Avocado Tree: Transplanting from Jar to New Home

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Transplanting avocado tree from jar to pot

From jar to pot in one piece!

A wee avocado tree is a snap to transplant the first time, from jar to pot. All you have to do is take it out of the jar and put it in the pot. Right?

Well, almost.

An avocado tree is fun to grow indoors (unless you’re a cat)

Back in May this year, I posted about growing an avocado tree from seed, and included a couple of videos with minimum conflicting advice. I followed the average of all the advice, hung an avocado seed in a small jar by a trio of sturdy toothpicks, kept it watered and fed and amused, and almost entirely safe from harm. It grew quite nicely (despite a close encounter of the cat elbow kind).

With Mr Avocado Tree (Ms?) rapidly outgrowing his (her?) fourth and final mason jar —the largest one I own— it’s become evident that I need to start buying 5-gallon pickle jars worthy of a country store counter, or get this kid into his own dirt.

The avocado tree does not listen to experts

It is possible to watch too many how-to videos. Read too many advice articles. Listen to too many experienced horticulturists. Try to sort out too many conflicting Thou Shalts and You Absolutely Musts.

That’s the trap I found myself in this morning.

Since I’m still a certifiable newbie gardener, I immediately asked Professor Google how to transplant the avocado tree. Faced with 299,000 results, I gulped down a mug of coffee and settled in to speed-read.


So I had to decide to:

  • Wait until it’s three inches tall or
  • Wait until it’s ten inches tall.
  • Don’t transplant until it has three leaves or
  • Wait until it has 20 leaves.
  • Use a very small pot where the roots barely fit or
  • Use a very large pot to give it lots of room.
  • Position the tree so that the seed is above the level of the soil or
  • Position the tree so that the seed is right at soil level.

and furthermore…

  • Make sure to keep the toothpicks on or
  • Snip them off to avoid damage to the seed.
  • Use a mix of vermiculite, soil, worm castings or
  • Use a mix of soil, compost and sand (or many more variations).
  • Water the pot lightly or
  • Water the pot thoroughly and let drain.
  • Fertilize with —

Oh, the heck with it.

I decided to think like an avocado instead.

Avocado falls from tree, bird picks it up or it rolls down hill. Avocado gets stuck in some dirt or rolls into highway. Avocado grows or it doesn’t grow. Probably not if it’s on highway.

Avocado tree being supervised by Wingnut.

Apprentice Supervisor cat reports: Soil is all nicely floofed and patted and pawed and watered.

There’s no flock of wee garden gnomes following avocados around, toting bags of soil amended with vermiculite, worm castings and sand, fur-padded trowels to move the stranded ‘cado into just the right spot without bruising their minute toes, and bottles of specially balanced nutrient rich avocado-tree food.

So I dumped some dirt into a 6″ pot, floofed it up with my fingers and even tossed it a bit in the air (to emulate the effects of a windy hillside, don’tcha know), made a hill of it, took the tree out of the jar, put the tree in the pot, and watered it.

Enough fussing around. If it grows, it grows. If it doesn’t, it’s probably lucky that it won’t have to try to deal with Annie Godzilla Wingnut, my assistant apprentice gardener supervisor cat.

To your garden success!
Casey – the Garden Lass

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