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Avocado roots turning black and white spots

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Anurag Churi starts with ...
Hello Experts,

I am using toothpick method to grow avocado tree from seed. Its a wild avocado i plucked from tree in africa and the growth has been good since from march 2018. I see dark portion in the roots and it is spreading. I also see white spots in lower section of the seed. I am afraid if it is some kind of infection. Kindly help..

Thanks
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Anurag Churi
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13th June 2018 1:08am
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Original Post was last edited: 14th June 2018 3:59pm
David01 says...
Hi Anurag,

You need to remove the outer skin or seedcoat and clean it thoroughly before using toothpick method otherwise, it will get bacteria growing on the leftover flesh or seedcoat. In your case I suggest:

1. use tooth brush to remove all the white spots on the seed
2. spay Rubbing Alcohol over the seed and root
3. wash the seed with tap water
4. You need to change the water in the
container/bottle once a week. Cheers.
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David01
CRAIGIEBURN,3064,VIC
13th June 2018 11:48am
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Original Post was last edited: 13th June 2018 5:01pm
brad16 says...
I understand that many people search the Web for information on growing avocado from seed, and the toothpicks always comes up.

Please everyone, stop growing avocado this way. It's a science experiment to amaze and dazzle school kids.

If you are intrigued and want to see a seed sprout roots, it's an interesting thing watch, but if you want to grow a tree ... plant it, like any other seed, with the flat end and the 'dimple' facing down.

If your seed has been in the water since March, it's been too long. It will be encouraging rot and when you try to plant it, you will have fragile roots that will need to be surrounded by soil and prone to damage.

Planting directly in soil with the tip of the seed poking up from the top means that the roots grow into the soil by themselves, and the seeds germinate exceptionally well. Once you see seed split apart and a shoot coming up from between the two halves, you already have substantial root system in the soil below.

For everyone wanting to grow a tree ... pot the seed in soil/potting mix. Leave the toothpicks in the kitchen cupboard.
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brad16
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14th June 2018 10:53am
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Anurag Churi says...
Hi David,
Thank a lot for your inputs. I will try the same and updat the thread. I had uploaded pics of the plant but they are somhow not available. I am uploading them again. Kindly have a look.

Thanks.
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Picture: 5
 
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Anurag Churi
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14th June 2018 4:12pm
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Original Post was last edited: 14th June 2018 4:15pm
David01 says...
Hi Anurag,

You need to remove the black mould with the soft tooth brush. And other steps as suggested in previous forum.
Replace with 1/2 l bottle of coke as your cup is too short for the future roots grow. Wait until spring plant it in the good soil. Alternately, you can plant it in a small container with good potting mixed but keep it inside and transplant it in spring when the weather get warmer. Cheers
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David01
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15th June 2018 1:35pm
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Original Post was last edited: 15th June 2018 1:42pm
Anurag Churi says...
Dear David / Brad,
Thanks a lot for your replies. As per your advice, i have cleaned the roots using rubbing alchohol and now planted in pot. But now i see that the oldest leave has turned brown and all other small leaves tip are brown. I have attached pics. Kindly suggest.

Cheers!!
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Picture: 2

Picture: 3
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Anurag Churi
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21st June 2018 4:45pm
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brad16 says...
Anurag,

It look ok to me. Avocado can have red-ish flushes.
Keep an eye on it though. It just went through a traumatic experience but seems to be coping quite well.
One thing I would suggest ... those terracotta pots usually just have a single small hole in the centre for drainage. Especially at the moment (winter and change of environment) don't let that pot sit on a saucer of water. Let it drain as thoroughly as possible, so maybe try sitting it on 3 little blocks (like lego or something) to keep the bottom of the pot out of the water that drains out into the saucer. I'm not saying to let it dry out, just not to let it sit in water.

My basic idea is very poorly sketched in the attached picture. It's just an idea that may safe-guard against unintentional overwatering (since this little guy came all the way from Africa, I assume you have big hopes for it).
Pictures - Click to enlarge

Picture: 1
  
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brad16
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22nd June 2018 1:53pm
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Original Post was last edited: 22nd June 2018 1:55pm
David01 says...
Hi Anurag,
You photos was not sharp enough to identify the problem. However, young Avocado leaves color are reddish and stay in that color for a few weeks then change to green. The potting mix should contain no fertilise and free of saline at this stage. Cheers
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David01
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22nd June 2018 7:25pm
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Original Post was last edited: 22nd June 2018 7:33pm
Anurag Churi says...
Hi Brad / David,

Uploading clearer pictures again...please have a look and convey your expert advise.
All the tiny leaves are brown at the tip and they turn complete brown once fully grown. The fully grwon leaves are shiny (waxy) and have green veins.

@Brad,
You nailed it buddy. I am really having high hopes from this one, as its not a commercial grafted fruit. I read that if you use a seed of commerical avocado seed would never bear fruits. So fingers crossed...





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Picture: 3
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Anurag Churi
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27th June 2018 5:55pm
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brad16 says...
Hi Anurag,

The plant looks healthy. It looks like a nice spot for it near the window. If it was outside in direct sunlight, the colours wouldn't be as dark and deep.
The colour and shine is what I'd expect to see, and would be similar to one grown in a shade house.

The soil looks like it came from the backyard. It appears to be quite heavy and clayey, so be careful with the amount of water you put into it. You may have read that avocados need free draining soil.

Are you planning to eventually plant it in the yard, where that soil came from?

If so, start thinking about improving the drainage. The Sydney climate can be temperamental. It can rain solid for weeks, or can be dry just the same. In dry periods you can always irrigate or water, but in rainy periods, an avocado can die in that sort soil without doing something about drainage. There are a few things you can do, but I'll leave that for later if no-one else decides to chime in. Other people will have more experience with clay than myself, but I do have an idea that involves a pillow case ;)
(hint: it's just a bodgie home-surplus grow bag which will form the nucleus of a raised mound)
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brad16
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28th June 2018 11:00pm
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David01 says...
Hi Anurag,

Your Avocado seedling looks good. Cheers.
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David01
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29th June 2018 7:04pm
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Anurag Churi says...
Thank you friends for your replies...
Just one question...there are two stems that have come up from the seed...is it fine? Or shall cut the smaller one off to stimulate the growth of bigger one?

I also saw two small holes on two oldest leaves (one on each).
I hope there is nothing to worry..

@Brad,
I bought the soil and pot from the market. Also the guy suggested to me put vermicompost. I havent
planned about its planting...but preferably i will do it in the back yard..
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Anurag Churi
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1st July 2018 7:51pm
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Original Post was last edited: 2nd July 2018 10:56pm
David01 says...
Hi Anurag,

Don't change any thing until your seedling is stable (in sept). You need to remove the weakest (small) stem by then but not now. I don't use the Vermicompost so I can't comment on it. Cheers.
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David01
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2nd July 2018 3:52pm
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Anurag Churi says...
Hi Experts,

I am back with a query again :)
The plant has been doing well except its height. As i mentioned earlier it has got two shoots and suprisingly the younger shoot has now grown little longer than old one. Leaves have been growing rampant. Leaves are huge and green but i am worried about the height of plant...it appeares to be stunted...please have a look at the pictures and suggest..would be a great help.

Cheers
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Anurag Churi
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20th July 2018 5:49pm
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Original Post was last edited: 20th July 2018 5:49pm
brad16 says...
The seed provides both nutrients and energy to supply the plant until the roots are established enough to do that by themselves.

When you have two shoots, BOTH shoots compete for nutrients stored in the seed. So effectively, each one only gets half the nutrients it would have had if it was the only shoot.

If you wanted to concentrate on only one shoot, the second one should have been removed at the first sign of it appearing. The best time to remove it has now passed. Both of them look healthy and are doing fine. I'd let them both continue from here and once you see the seed is hollow or shrivelled up (all the nutrients used up), I'd carefully divide the two, making sure an equal amount of roots are divided between them.
This will mean that their growth will again be slowed down until the roots catch up to the size of the rest of the tree.

It's not a problem. It just means that for the first few years they won't be as big as they would have been if it was just one. The bright side though is you have two now, and once the seed is finished and the trees depend solely on the roots, they'll grow as per normal. The main thing is to keep them healthy.

Avocado trees are big trees. You aren't missing out on much if they start off a bit smaller.

If you do want only the one tree, it still isn't too late to remove one of the shoots, as they are still feeding from the seed, but as you can see, the growth in the second shoot is growth that didn't go into the first, and it won't get it back. It's a bit like closing the gate after the horse has bolted.

The risk of dividing them later to have two trees, is that you may damage them when cutting them apart. If you feel you don't want to take this risk, then remove the second shoot now and let the other continue from here on.
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brad16
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21st July 2018 9:29am
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Original Post was last edited: 21st July 2018 9:32am
David01 says...
Hi Anurag,

Now you can keep the thicker trunk and remove the thinner one. Cheers
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21st July 2018 11:38am
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Anurag Churi says...
Hi Brad,
Thanks a lot for your detailed advice. Now after reading your reply i have two concernes...it would be great if you could help me deciding.

1. What if we do not cut any stem?
Longback, i read on internet that if you have multiple stems then it would definately produce fruit..one of them represents its parent and also one of them is sexual which will bear fruit. Which is why i am little worried about cutting one of the stem off. Would there be any issue in future if we do not cut off any of the stem?

2. Which one to cut?
The younger has grown little longer tha old one, but has hardly 2-3 leaves and the stem is thin.

The older one has not grown in length for a while but its leaves are huge and many....also the stem thicker than the young one.

I would not prefer the other approach you have suggested, as it involves cutting the seed and roots into equal half...i am afraid i would damage it coz i am very new to all this.

Request you to suggest the best alternative.
Thanks
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Anurag Churi
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22nd July 2018 4:57pm
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brad16 says...
Hi Anurag,

What you are referring to in your first option is 'polyembryony'. Avocados aren't polyembryonic, so both shoots are a result of sexual reproduction. There isn't any cloning.

It is quite common for avocados to send up two shoots. I've planted quite a few seeds and something like 20% of them grow two shoots. I've had a few with three.

Polyembryony is a hot topic for mangoes on this forum. Maybe that's where you go that idea?

The first shoot (the thicker one) is the main one to consider. Although the second one has sprung up very quickly, it is like the rabbit in the 'rabbit and the tortoise' story. The first one though has the best headstart, and although the second one looks like a rocket right now, the first one has the best sustainable growth.

You could keep both the way they are if you want. But if it came down to it, I think you would prefer just one tree, and have it be the best possible tree it could.

In that case, cut the second shoot now. Let the first, which is thicker and stronger, grow to its fullest. Being the only one, means it is will grow symmetrically and the main supporting trunk will be vertical from the ground. That means support and strength.

In the future when the tree starts to flower, you'll be able to tell what flower type it is (still some years away yet). Then you may be interested in planting another one nearby with the opposite type of flower so they cross pollinate each other. Having two stems of the same tree is no benefit for cross pollination. They are the same tree.

So that's a lot of words to come to the same thing as David01 has just said. "e;Cut the skinny one."e; I've just tried to cover some options so you can decide for yourself based on what you would like to happen.

Good luck with it. Hope it gives you something special.
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brad16
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23rd July 2018 12:22pm
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Anurag Churi says...
Thanks Brad!! I have cut down the thinner stem...n hoping to see good growth in the thicker one..

Thank you very much for the deatiled explanation!!
Cheers!!
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Anurag Churi
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25th July 2018 8:59pm
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Anurag Churi says...
Thanks David for your reponse...i have removed the thin stem.

Cheers!!
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Anurag Churi
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Anurag Churi says...
Hi Guys,

Now i see some kind of spots/holes/pits on a few leaves...is it any kind of infection or disease? Can you suggest (if possible organic) insecticide/pesticide for this?

Pics attached

Thanks.
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Anurag Churi
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1st August 2018 2:06am
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Anurag Churi says...
Guys... please reply....i see more and more holes on leaves every day....😕

Thanks

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Anurag Churi
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brad16 says...
Hi Anurag,

We are just everyday people here on this forum, and sometimes we have other things we need to do.

Pests aren't my specialty, but it looks like something has discovered your luscious leaves are good eating.

Look underneath the leaves for signs of small things. Take particular note around the midrib (the big vein down the middle of the leaf), that's where things get the most food for the least effort.

First thing is to wipe all the visible ones off. Smear your finger across them to smudge them out. Depending on what they are, if they just fall off into the soil, they would more than likely just crawl up the stem again.

Eco-oil is marketed towards organic gardeners. It's used for these kinds of pests that feed on sap and nutrients Its effectiveness? I don't know. It is supposed to smother them.

Like I said, I'm not the expert with pests. I don't micro manage my plants. I have too many, spread over to big a distance to bother with details like this.

The tree looks healthy though and you've been getting good growth out of it. Someone else would better than I for advice with this problem.
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9th August 2018 5:01pm
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