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I stuck a bunch of avocado seeds into some mud, and surprise, they sprouted and seem to be doing quite well!

I think I need to move them to separate pots, however. Is there a general rule for doing this? Number of leaves? Plant height? There are some that are struggling (the two near the bottom of the pic), so I'll probably leave them alone for the time being.

Avocado saplings

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    Welcome to the site Catsunami. Thanks for asking such a well-written question, especially with great pictures! It will really help us help you! – Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL Aug 6 '16 at 23:02
  • Your babies look beautiful. You should look at seperating them - carefully - Avos root are very sensitive - next time maybe grow them in individual containers ? Also, as much as it hurts, you should look at removing the tiny leaves starting at the top of the plants (now - about 15cm tall) to encourage outward growth. Avocados don't need to grow 20 meters tall, you can simply keep them cut down to size. They may take anything from 7 years up to produce fruit which will probably not produce avos which are anything like the ones you planted. – davidgo Aug 10 '16 at 6:24
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    @davidgo, thanks! I just wanted to give an update - I transplanted them successfully into clay pots. They seem happy, didn't even wilt. Some of them had very strong root systems (one had the main root about the diameter of my pinky finger!). I also snipped off their top leaf nodes. – Catsunami Aug 17 '16 at 17:12
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Avocados are trees, growing up to 65 feet (19.8 m) tall. As houseplants they do not branch out readily and require full sun. Most often they end up looking thin and spindly.

They take ten years before they fruit outdoors and because hybrids are grown you are not guaranteed that any fruit will be like what you planted.

All your seedlings should be gently separated immediately and planted in an indoor plant soil that has more drainage than the mix you currently use. A pot with drainage is essential for success. You may be able to find a pot that is for trees which is deeper than the usual ones.

See these questions for more information on avocados which are a popular topic.

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  • Thanks for the info! I don't expect any fruit from them, they're mostly a curiosity. I plan to prune them and see where that goes, but if they end up just spindly and thin, that's okay too :) Thanks for the info! I will get pots and different soil mix (I read some stuff online yesterday for the consistency) and replant them today or tomorrow. – Catsunami Aug 7 '16 at 18:05
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I've found that avocados tend to grow a deep root system, so when you start seeing roots coming out the bottom of the pot, it's DEFINITELY time to transplant them to a bigger pot. With the photo included, I'd only have put maybe 2-4 seeds in it, tops. I just transplanted 4 of my avo seeds about the same height as those in the picture, into a 50L rubbish bin (comes with handles, which is handy - I drilled some holes at the bottom for drainage with some flat wood drill bits - it was only maybe 2-3mm of plastic to drill into so just did it slowly and didn't do any damage to it). I chose a rubbish bin because it was more deep than wide (and I struggled to find deep plant pots - no one seemed to have them - so I resorted to the next best thing), because they tend to grow roots downwards pretty quickly.

When they're older, I'd personally only want the avo trees to get to 2-3 meters high above ground. Any higher and you're just putting more painstaking effort into getting the fruit (why make it hard on yourself?).

In terms of avo's growing slowly, like the 2 seeds mentioned. If they haven't caught up to the others after a few months, they're probably weaker. A good indication of plant health is how quickly it grows (with exception to permanently slow growing plants, like the Jaboticaba). Also, if it's struggling to push roots through chunky soil (rocks, big chunks of bark, etc.), then it's going to slow down the growth, and potentially produce fruit that indicates its hard struggle in life (so choose a soft/fluffy/fine organic potting mix for when you're transplanting them to their 2nd to last, or final, destination). It's like Paul Gautschi says with kale, if the leaves are bitter, the plant is indicating its bitterness of how hard life was for the plant, because it struggled to grow. Kale shouldn't be bitter. Same goes for other plants. Give it the right stuff and make it happy.

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