Lauren In Tokyo

Monday, April 28, 2008

Avocado: Tragedy strikes!

This weekend I transplanted the avocado seedling into a larger pot. The stem has grown to over 10cm and buds which indicate leaf growth are appearing on the stem. It was definitely time to move it to a soil pot.

I intended to take pictures of the avocado in its new home, but as I was grabbing the camera, my son grabbed the avocado and yanked it. The stem broke in half and the roots were slightly damaged. I don't think it is fatal, but the impressive stem is now an unimpressive stub.

I'll have pictures of it soon. Hopefully the exposed wound area doesn't get infected and the growth will continue apace. In some respects, this is similar to pinching, though a bit more aggressive than the typical pinch.

In other news, I pinched off the older avocado plant a week ago and some new leaves are emerging from the stem. If I've learned nothing else, it's that avocados can take a beating and still grow like crazy. I hope this holds true for the broken seedling that we've been watching.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Avocado: Stem about 5cm

There isn't much news this week except to note that the stem has grown to about 5cm above the seed. Last week it was only 1cm, so the plant is growing pretty fast.

Boy's Day is coming up soon, so we got the big samurai armor out for display. This took up all the room that the avocado was using, so the avocado and glass are now sitting in the shadow of the samurai armor. This means that the seedling will be getting less direct light. Hopefully it doesn't permanently damage or stunt the avocado.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Avocado: Ooh, a new variety!

Last time I was mentioning that the avocado type I am growing is Hass, but according to the University of California avocado information site every seedling is different and distinct from the parent tree. So while the parent was likely a Mexican Hass avocado, the seedlings I am growing are a hybrid of Hass and another type of avocado.


Monday, April 14, 2008

Avocado: What kind is it?

Although I don't have any solid evidence, I believe that the avocado trees which I am growing are of the Hass variety. The skin was rough and pebbly and dark purple to black, so it seems like Hass is the variety that fits the bill.

There is more on avocado varieties here at

I haven't seen any other varieties except for Hass (or what I take to be Hass at any rate) here in Japan. Looking at all the different varieties is certainly interesting, but not quite as fun as tasting them. I wonder where I can get my hands on some non-Hass varieties.


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Avocado: Stem peeks out

Last week's entry mentioned that the avocado had developed a stem. In just a week, the stem has grown enough to be plainly visible above the edge of the seed.

The stem should grow another couple weeks before sprouting its first set of leaves.

Here is a diagram of an avocado seed.

You can see the various parts which I have been describing. The cotyledons are visible to the naked eye, but they are obscured a bit by the strange growth around the hypocotyl. The rest is easily discerned.

If you look closely at this week's photo, you can see that a few root hairs have sprouted from the main root.

Lots of changes this week!


Saturday, April 05, 2008

Avocado: Strange growth in the seed

The avocado root is growing quickly and is wrapping around the bottom of the container. Soon, it will need to be transplanted. (I say this every week, but I never get around to it.)

What bothered me this week was a significant growth of white nodules around the origin of the root and stem. You can see it in the picture. It looks like cottage cheese between the root and the stem.

If anyone knows what this is, whether it is normal or some sort of disease, a little help is much appreciated.


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Avocado: Reaching the bottom of the glass

I swear, every time I make an avocado entry I have some kind of cold or something. Today I seem to be afflicted with a sore throat. This is worrisome because Miki had a sore throat last week and is still coughing. If I caught the same cold, that's going to be bad news.

This weekend was really cold and rainy. The avocado outside is not a happy camper, especially as the wind is strong and its leaves are getting battered. But inside, the seedling is enjoying the warmth, and it shows.

The root has reached the bottom of the glass that it is sitting in. It is curling a bit at the end, so I am thinking of how I can keep the growth relatively straight without changing containers. I have a feeling I can rotate the seed a bit and get the root to climb sideways along the bottom of the glass for a large coil. If it works, I'll try to update the pics next week.

This week, the picture shows the longer root and a little bit of the coiling going on at the bottom of the glass.