Monday, October 26, 2009


the avocado plant has experienced some stress recently.

like a moth to the flame, the avo's attraction to the desk lamp caused it harm. it grew so quickly that i didn't realize it could reach the lamp, and a leaf was singed.

avo, oct 26th, too much of a good thing

the other thing i've noticed is that the axillary buds (located along the stem) are either smaller or detached altogether. this must have happened just over the last few days. did they fall of on their own? have fruit flies eaten them away? i do not know. i was getting ready to make the decision to pinch, but this is causing me to hesitate.

avo stem, oct 26th, bud gone

these buds are meristematic zones! these regions are responsible for a plants growth.

the vascular cambium is the meristematic region located inside the stem and roots of the plant. it produces the xylem and phloem (which transport water/nutrients up and down the plant), and thus controls the girth of the plant. the axillary buds along the stem (from where new leaves, flowers, branches would grow) control vegetative growth. however, they are not as active as the apical meristem, located at the top of the stem. in order to stimulate vegetative growth and obtain a fuller plant, we must eliminate apical dominance. you can do this easily by cutting off the apical meristem of a young plant that has enough axillary buds.

pinching works better with certain plants over others. it is commonly practiced with basil and tomato. it is avoided with pine trees that are grown for the purpose of becoming christmas trees. the resulting adult christmas tree would require two stars (or angels), not one, to guard the highest point. but i do not know exactly how the avocado plant will respond, especially since its axillary buds appear to be damaged.

i will investigate this further before acting. notice how spindly it is:

avo, oct 26th, next to bottle 'o red for scale
(typical 750ml bottle, but please note protruding cork)


  1. actually, i don't think it's the buds themselves that have fallen, but rather the leaf primordia. still, i don't know why.

  2. Hi..I posted today on my update on the avocado that I am growing.I'm getting lots of advice on what to do.

  3. balsiha! what a coincidence. i just pinched the top of my plant today too, but haven't had a chance yet to post about it.