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Avocado Topiary and Pit Marking

March 7, 2023

Avocado topiary

Avocado Topiary

Once you’ve successfully propagated an avocado (which is a fun process in itself!), it’s time to challenge yourself and have even more fun. If you’re new to avocado propagation, then take a look at my foolproof guide here. 

Topiary is a form of gardening (and I use the term very loosely here!)  that shapes plants into decorative shapes that the plant would not naturally grow into. This can be done by pruning or training the plants over time (patience is key) to achieve the desired shape. I don’t claim to be an expert, or to have even been completely successful, but creating shapes with the stem of an avocado is a fun process.

Typically, the avocado plant is not a usual specimen to practice topiary on, but there is definitely some experimenting that can be done and some enjoyment to be had.

Germinating the pit

Use our easy to follow foolproof guide to avocado propagation. You can find the blog here. Once the pit has sprouted some roots, plant the pit in a pot with a well draining potting mix. Keep an eye on the stem growth – once it reaches 15 cm (or 6 inches) it will require its first prune.  

Pruning the avocado plant 

Your 15 cm (6 inches) stem will need to be cut back by half, to create a stem approximately 7 cms (3 inches). By doing this, you are encouraging root growth as the plant’s energy will not be diverted into growing stems and leaves. Regular pruning also helps create a shorter, thicker and stronger stem. 

As avocado leaves can get fairly large, cutting them back before they reach full size will keep the plant in proportion. 

Training your avocado plant

By using copper or aluminium wire, you can train your stem and branches to grow in any direction you wish. I have tried a loop and also stem braiding, but if you are just experimenting to have some fun, you can train your plant any way you wish.   

Wrap the wire around the stem and branches to encourage growth in your desired direction, making sure that the wire isn’t too tight to restrict the stem or branches. And make sure to replace these wires as the stem and branches grow thicker, to avoid bounding them. You can then gently bend and tie the plant’s branches or stems to encourage them to grow in your desired direction or shape  

If you have given this a go, we would love to see your progress. Get in touch and send us some photos! 


Avocado plant braiding

Avocado pit marking

Avocado pit marking


As with creating an avocado topiary plant, this is a fun activity to try. Or if you want to gift an avocado tree, then writing a message on the pit is a great idea to personalise a gift! It is worth noting that, once the pit has served its purpose of a nutrient providing capsule, it disintegrates into the soil so this is a temporary feat. 

The process of pit marking can occur because any cut to the pit will oxidize and turn brown. We can use this oxidization to our advantage by gently marking out letters or shapes and allowing it to turn brown against the light colour of the pit. 

You can really let your imagination run wild here, so have some fun.  

Things you’ll need are:

  • An avocado pit (of course!)
  • A small, sharp knife
  • A design… or an imagination!

Step 1 – Peel the avocado pit by removing the outer layer (or husk

Step 2 – Decide on your design. A heart? Initials? The choice is yours and the possibilities are endless

Step 3 – Either create a template by drawing your design on a piece of paper, cutting it out and sticking it to the avocado pit as a guide where to cut. Or go with the flow and create your design directly onto the pit. Note – if you’re intending to keep your design to the top-half of the pit.  

Step 4 – To create a colour block, remove any flesh from inside the outlines made.  

Step 5 – Sit back and watch your design come alive. Any areas cut will start turning dark after about half an hour.

Step 6 – Germinate the pit as usual by following our fool-proof guide to avocado propagation blog, found here. 

Step 7 – Plant the germinated pit in soil (or keep it in water indefinitely) and display your work of art! Or gift it. Remember that the design will remain on the pit until it decomposes into the soil. This decomposition occurs naturally once an avocado planted in soil becomes self-sufficient.

Please let us know if you give this a try. We’d love to see what you have created. Send us an email or tag us on your Instagram posts.


Avocado pit marked with a heart