Ornamental Avocado Containers

Ornamental Avocado Containers
I came across a row of little trees in containers in someone’s garden the other day that were really cute but what were they? They had a lush tropical look, clean, thick stems (rather than fat trunks) and thick glossy wide ovate leaves that left the surrounding garden bed dappled.

I asked and was surprised at just how nice an Avocado tree could look in a container. After some research and garden club chatter, I summarise the following and hope you make this a project for your container garden.

Avocado trees (Persea americana) are native to Central and South America and thrive in warm, subtropical climates but they can be successfully cultivated in various zones, even those with colder climates though avocado trees do not do well in temperatures below 50°F. It’s a key crop here in South Africa where the climate for them is just right.

Germinate an Avocado Pit.
To start an avocado tree from a pit, clean the pit thoroughly and insert toothpicks around its centre. Suspend the pit over the container so that its base is submerged in water while the top is above the rim of the glass jar (an old jam jar will do ). This will give much pleasure as you watch the roots root and the sprout sprout as the pit produces the tree beginnings. Just keep the bottom if the pit in water and change the water around weekly.

Alternatively, you can purchase a young avocado tree sapling from a nursery or garden centre and if you do this, then go for a 20-gallon container straight away … no transplanting needed.

Choosing the right container
Selecting the right container is essential for the success of an ornamental avocado tree. Go for a large container with good drainage holes to prevent waterlogging. A container with a size of 15 to 20 gallons will be the biggest pot I’ll have in the end as I will be starting with self-grown pit and a pot around 10 inches. As the tree grows, I will transfer it to larger containers as needed and, as I do not want mine to grow too big, I’ll see how many times I’ll do this before donating it to someone with garden space, patience and the desire grow an Avo tree for fruit.

Avocado trees thrive in bright, indirect sunlight. Place containers in a place where it receives at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day, and make sure to protect the tree from strong winds. If you're growing your avocado tree indoors, place it near a sunny window.

Avocado trees prefer well-draining soil that is slightly acidic. Fill a 8-plus inch pot with a cactus/succulent indoor container mix. This mix is formulated to be loose, fertile, and quick-draining for plants preferring drier soil conditions, like avocados. Adding organic matter, such as compost, can also help enrich the soil and provide nutrients to the tree. You can use a mix of potting soil and perlite to enhance drainage if you use everyday potting soil.

Avocado trees prefer to be consistently moist. Water the tree regularly, allowing the top inch of soil to dry out between watering. Root rot can be a concern if the soil is consistently waterlogged. Ensure good drainage and avoid overwatering to prevent this issue. If you suspect root rot, consider repotting the tree in well-draining soil

Feed trees with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season (spring and summer). Remember less is more - follow the package instructions for proper dilution.

Pruning and Maintenance
When I get there, I will be pruning my avocado tree to encourage a bushy and well-shaped growth. The first serious trimming happens when the plant is about 12 inches tall. At that time, cut it back to 6 inches and allow for new leaves and stems to form.

As it gets taller, pinch off new growth throughout the summer to force new branches to form, and keep the plant bushy while controlling its size. Remove any dead or unhealthy growth. I want my growing tree to look petty and healthy.

As the tree grows, it may need to be transferred it to a larger container every 2-3 years to accommodate its root growth and encourage healthier foliage, but this will depend on how big you want the tree to be. When repotting, carefully remove the tree from its current container, gently loosen the roots, and place it into the new container with fresh soil

By the by, Avocado trees can become root bound in containers left undisturbed for extended periods. When a plant becomes root bound, its roots fill the container, leaving little room for new growth. In most cases, a slightly root-bound avocado tree is not a problem for ornamental purposes. It may even encourage the tree to remain a manageable size for its container

Keep an eye out for common pests like aphids, mealybugs, and scale insects. If this happens, gently wipe the affected areas with a soft cloth or use a mild soapy solution to remove them. Neem oil or insecticidal soap can also be effective treatments.

I hope you will try. These trees offer lush green foliage and a unique, tropical appearance. Enjoy your avocado tree for its beauty and the touch of 'it's different' it brings to your space.

What do you want your Container Garden to do?

You Should Also Read:
Plant a Tree in a Pot
Palm Trees in Pots
Topiary Containers

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