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Rooting Avocado

Rooting Avocado

Has anyone had sucess with rooting avocados?

I have read that Mexican varieties have been sucesfully rooted.

I am trying to root "Winter Mexican" a west indian x mexican hybrid.

I would like to use it as a rootstock, because of its salt tolerance.

The following thread was started by Jeff (woodland) on February 06, 2010 at 1:44 pm PST

rooting avos... is pretty easy to root an avocado seed...using the toothpick and glass of water method (available in detail online). Eventually transferring it to a pot. Mexican varieties are favored because they are more frost tolerant. It is fun too. goodluck

The above followup was added by Ed of Somis on February 06, 2010 at 2:11 pm PST.

seems to root easily, 96% success

for methods and procedure

The above followup was added by mo on February 06, 2010 at 2:23 pm PST.

I was unclear

I was not clear in my earlier post.

I was refering to rooting avocado cuttings, not germinating seeds.

Thanks in advance,


The above followup was added by Jeff (woodland) on February 06, 2010 at 4:58 pm PST.

very easy...

... to root seedling material up to about 6 months old. Not much use!

I've tried very many times to root avos, without any real success. I did get one to form roots, but I would have literally taken over 1000 attempts.

I know it is possible, as there is a nursery a couple hours drive away who do it. Very secret process though!

If you work it out, please let me know!


The above followup was added by Ben on February 06, 2010 at 6:35 pm PST.

stem cuttings

my post is what you were talking about, did you read it?

The above followup was added by mo on February 06, 2010 at 8:56 pm PST.

one more

this is without any hormone, only bottom heat, sand, and peat, but variety isnt mexican as was the first post

The above followup was added by mo on February 06, 2010 at 9:01 pm PST.

hey Mo!!


The theory is great. Have you succeeded yourself? I have read all this stuff time and time again, still cant get them to grow!

Again, both articles say Zutano are easy. But I personally don't like the fruit that much. What I want is a way to clone hass and a few others. It can be done. I just don't know how.

I have grown cuttings from zutano seedlings very easily, and used them as rootstock.

The above followup was added by Ben on February 06, 2010 at 10:41 pm PST.


the first article is not zutano,-- "all cutting
material was made from a single tree of an unnamed Mexican type avocado growing on
the main campus of the University of Florida (Fig. 1)."

and these are not theories, these are reports of what have been done and their results. They list exact procedures and materials.

The above followup was added by mo on February 06, 2010 at 10:54 pm PST.

Rooting avocado cuttings

Google "etiolation of avocado". Lots of info. Brokay nursery uses this technique and their website has a series of photos showing it.

The above followup was added by Jack, Nipomo on February 07, 2010 at 7:23 am PST.

Not easy, basically impossible for us common folks

Not easy, basically impossible for us common folks, from what I have seen. I have known many who have tried to root cuttings, even those who tried to air layer them.

I got some scion wood to graft one time, some of the wood was cut off air layer attempts. I applied rooting hormone to them and one out of dozen tried to do it, but finally died after a year or more.

I used the ones with the gnarly starts of root formation, from the air layering attempt; sure seemed like a winner idea, but it didn't happen.

I would assume that maybe a Tissue Culture type technique would work.

I have read of a method of cloning rootstock, where you graft the scion rootstock wood you want to another rootstock, Then after it has taken and healed over, you bury the union and let it root, then cut off the bottom rootstock and plant the rootstock you wanted to clone.

Seems that could be accomplished by wrapping it like air layer maybe, ??? Instead of burying the union actually in deeper soil.


The above followup was added by David Johnson, Waterford CA, zone 14 on February 07, 2010 at 8:41 am PST.

I forgot to mention, In some cases, you don't want to root cuttings, even if you could

In some cases, you don't want to root cuttings, even if you could. The case in point is, Guatemalan and their crosses with strong Guatemalan heritage.

Hass and their types are highly prone to root rot and what every. I put my seedlings though the tests and every Hass seedling I have ever started has died within a few years of root rot or ???? Most die within a couple years, but a few survivors make it longer; just in the course of things, mine seedlings face periods of drought and too much wetness and only the hardy survive.


The above followup was added by David Johnson, Waterford CA, zone 14 on February 07, 2010 at 8:48 am PST.


Brokaw uses the etoliation of seedlings to produce clonal rootstock. It seems to me a shoot on a tree might be etoliated. Something like air layering but with the added step of elongating the shoot by wrapping it in something to keep light out....Maybe a PVC tube... then nicking the shoot and adding hormone to air layer.
Make sense?

The above followup was added by George on February 07, 2010 at 10:43 pm PST.


I got an old freezer (superb insulation), and placed a 20L drum of water with an aquarium heater in it. This kept the atmosphere at near perfect temperature and humidity. I put a few grafted plants in it. Sure enough, etiolated shoots. I let them grow a while, then removed some and attempted to strike roots on heat with hormone treatment. Otheres I allowed to grow with growth restrictor, then treid to root. Others I tried to air layer inside freezer, others outside.

No success.

If it really is as easy as mo is suggesting, I'd like to know what I'm doing wrong! Maybe I'm being too fussy by not using the scions in the articles!

The above followup was added by Ben on February 08, 2010 at 0:10 am PST.

It is fairly easy to graft, so why try to root cuttings

It is fairly easy to graft, so why try to root cuttings, in the case of avocados. The fruit is most often considered better on the Hass types, but the roots of the Mexican are hardier for this area, so why not combine them.

Of course in a warmer area with salt problems, a West Indies rootstock type would be better.

It seems we are never happy with what we are supposedly limited too, but that is what makes most of us push the limit with plants. For the fruit, for the fun, for our obsessive passion. But then that also drives us to root cuttings, no one else seem able too.

I guess that was why too, Star Trek hit home with so many of us older nuts and fruits from CA.


The above followup was added by David Johnson, Waterford CA, zone 14 on February 08, 2010 at 8:55 am PST.


I have a tendency towards own-root trees. I feel they express their natural habit better.

The above followup was added by Ben on February 08, 2010 at 11:11 am PST.



I am trying to root cuttings that are known to combine salt tolearnace and cold tolerance.
I would like to use the rooted cuttings as rootstock for less salt tolerant varieties.

I have cold winters and salty water, an unfortunate combination for an avocado lover.
Eigther problem allone could easily be managed by chosing the right varieties.

There are only a couple of varieties (that I know of) that combine these charicteristics...and they are not widely available in California.

The above followup was added by Jeff (woodland) on February 08, 2010 at 5:21 pm PST.

Ben and Jeff


I also prefer the native plant and root system, many of my plants are seedlings, where they tend to come somewhat or mostly true. I also like the individual quality of the plants and their fruits.

But in some conditions, it is not alway possible or the best way.


It seems you might want to then, try grafting your wanted rootstock on to rootstock. Then once it has healed, plant it in a pot or do some kind of air layering to get that area to root. I guess it works on the principle that, most plants will send out roots so near the soil surface.

I found some of the data I found before on this:

2) Avocado. Nurse seedling graft of avocado rootstocks by the Frolich method and modifications are described by Reuben Hofshi in the Subtropical Fruit News, (vol. 4, no. 2, Spring, 1997). The method was developed as a means of cloning avocado rootstock varieties. Avocado is very difficult / slow to root from cuttings; hence, grafting. The method involves grafting a scion, from a clone that is ultimately intended to be used as a rootstock, onto a nurse seedling. This nurse seedling will serve as a temporary root system for the scion of this rootstock variety. New growth from the scion is then etiolated, and then air layered, in order to induce its own adventitious root system. The rooted layer is then detached from the nurse seedling and grown on. Subsequently a scion of a fruiting variety is grafted onto the rootstock clone.

This was interesting:

Australian avocado orchards are currently planted on seedling rootstocks, which
are genetically diverse encompassing genotypes from the three botanical races
of Persea americana. This diversity increases the difficulty of getting a uniform
outcome from standard management practices. For example, over a 6-year
period a 400% difference in yield was measured between ‘Hass’ trees in the
same orchard under identical management. Additionally, large differences have
been recorded between trees in the susceptibility of fruit developing post harvest
rots which negatively impacts on consumers. These differences have been
attributed to different rootstocks exerting changes on scion physiology/chemistry.
Phytophthora cinnamomi was present in eastern Australia before avocados were
introduced in the late 19th century. Thus, avocado seedling rootstocks have been
subjected to selection pressure by P. cinnamomi for a long time. In current
research rootstocks have been recovered from old grafted trees still growing well
in areas where most surrounding trees have died from root rot. These cloned
rootstocks grafted to Hass are being compared with resistant rootstocks
developed overseas.
Results discussed in this paper include the implications of botanical race on
cloned rootstock propagation and Colletotrichum gloeosporioides tolerance
together with preliminary yield results from genotypic x environment experiments
and rootstock responses to Phytophthora cinnamomi.
Key words Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, rootstocks, Phytophthora

This was very interesting:

The method of root stock propagation involves positioning a collar loosely about a root stock grown from a bud grafted to a seedling wherein the bud is from a clone having desired characteristics. A fruiting scion may be grafted to the root stock such that after controlled growth, the seedling, root stock, collar and fruiting scion if attached, may be transplanted as a body. The root stock grows to a size inside the collar causing the collar to gradually constrict flow of nutrients to the seedling and promotes rooting of the root stock itself while gradually destroying its vascular connection to the seedling. The seedling finally disintegrates and there is left a properly rooted plant having the desired characteristics determined by the bud from the clone.

Here are more if you want:


The above followup was added by David Johnson, Waterford CA, zone 14 on February 09, 2010 at 9:08 am PST.

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