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How to Take Care of an Avocado Plant

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How to Take Care of an Avocado Plant

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Overview

Avocado plants make attractive indoor plants that require little care and maintenance to keep them looking their leafy best. Although avocado plants may never produce a single avocado, the plants can grow to big, bushy plants that can span 6 feet at maturity. If you prefer to keep your avocado plant a bit smaller, the size can easily be controlled by an occasional light pruning to rein in the plant's growth.

Step 1

Keep the soil evenly moist but don't over-water. Too much water can cause the avocado plant to rot, while too little water can cause the plant to drop its leaves.

Step 2

Place the avocado plant in a sunny window, but don't expose the plant to hot afternoon sunlight. A window shaded by a sheer curtain or a window shaded by a tall tree is best.

Step 3

Use kitchen shears to cut young avocado plants back to 3 to 4 inches once the avocado plant has grown to 6 or 7 inches tall. Cutting the avocado plant back will cause the plant to produce bushy growth instead of a tall, skinny stem. Continue to pinch the tips of the plant as needed to encourage full, bushy growth.

Step 4

Stake the avocado plant if it needs support to keep from falling over. Poke a wooden or bamboo stake into the soil about an inch from the stem. Tie the avocado stem loosely to the stake with a strip of nylon stocking or other soft, stretchy material.

Step 5

Fertilize avocado plants every three months, using a standard fertilizer for indoor plants. Read the label directions carefully for specific instructions.

Step 6

Prune avocado plants as needed to maintain a pleasant shape, or if you want to limit the size of the plant. Trim the longest stems first, and remove any stems that are weak, spindly, or detracting from the appearance of the avocado plant. Never remove more than 1/3 of a stem.

Things You'll Need

  • Kitchen shears
  • Wooden or bamboo stake
  • Strips of nylon stockings or soft, stretchy fabric
  • Fertilizer for indoor plants
  • Garden pruners

References

  • North Dakota State University: Starting an Avocado
  • University of Nebraska: Start an Avocado
  • Gardening Know How: Pruning Avocado Trees: Trimming An Avocado Houseplant
Keywords: avocado plant, prune avocado plants, care for avocado plants

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.