Grafting an Avocado – Success with Cleft Graft

I have always wanted an Avocado tree. Space is limited in our lot so growing fruit trees in containers would be my best option. I already bought a grafted avocado but I want more and of different varieties. I read that the trees would set more fruit when another of a different type is nearby so they would cross-pollinate.

Plant sellers here in the Philippines are not always reliable when it comes to information on what they’re selling. I had to learn to graft for myself if I was to make sure that my avocados are all of a different variety.

I found an avocado tree in a resort in Bolinao. It has leaves that are different from the one I bought. I collected a small branch about 7 inches in length from the tree which is already flowering. I chose a branch with no flowers but with big, plump leaf buds. This will be my scion. Researching online, I found the Cleft graft to be the easiest type of graft for first-time grafters like me.

I already have Avocado seedlings which I germinated in water. I got the seeds from store-bought fruits. My seedlings were about 15 inches tall.

How I Grafted The Avocado Seedlings

  • I have two seedlings I plan to graft, so first I divide the small scion into two parts.
  • I cut the top of my seedling so the remaining top part is roughly as thick as the scion.
  • I make a vertical cut on the top of seedling about 1 ½ inches long. Right in the middle.
  • I shave the bottom part of the scion into a wedge shape same length as the seedling’s cut.
  • I inserted the scion wedge into our seedling’s vertical cut then tie it with dental floss.
  • I wrap plumbers tape around the graft union to seal it.
  • I placed a small plastic on the scion to prevent it from drying.
  • I place the finished seedling in a somewhat bright area but no direct sunlight.

How Long for The Graft to Heal

I made the graft on December 29. By January 15, about 17 days later, the scion’s buds came alive and started to grow. Unfortunately, only 1 graft was successful. The scion that survived was the top one from the original branch that I cut. I’m guessing that it was because it was slightly smaller and closer in size to the seedling, allowing the cambiums to meet and fuse properly.

I’ve never tried grafting a plant before. So this avocado was my first try. Luckily, one succeeded. You really feel good about yourself when you succeed. I thought of me as a skilled surgeon 🙂

Next, I try grafting a mango tree so I have 2 different types on one tree.

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