Pruning an Avocado Plant

Question:

I have an indoor avocado plant that is about 5 feet tall. The leaves are only on the top 12 inches. Can I trim it down to about 2 feet and still have it leaf out?
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Hardiness Zone: 8b

Janell from Aloha Oregon

Answer:

Janell,

Avocados are self thinning and if not pruned regularly, they can grow tall and spindly as house plants. If your plant is still losing leaves, too much water or not enough sun are the two most common culprits. I've never grown an avocado plant, but theoretically, pruning a mature avocado plant should encourage branches to sprout from below the cut. This should create a stronger, bushier, more compact plant. If you don't want to cut back the main stem, partially cut back a few branches higher up to encourage new growth further down the trunk. Keep in mind that by cutting back main branches, you will stimulate growth all over and can expect to see several new stems emerge below the cuts. You may want to let these emerging stems grow out a bit and then periodically pinch or prune some of them back in order to reshape your plant. Avoid pruning in late summer or early fall.

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Ellen

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