Highly flavored and nutritious, avocados signal a healthy diet, whether we’re talking about guacamole or salad. If you like not having to make regular trips to the grocery for your daily supply of fresh avocados, try growing an avocado tree at home. It’s surprisingly easy. In 10 easy steps, you will see how you too can get a full-grown avocado tree from a little seed, making the whole process very educational and easy to remember.
STEP 1: Without cutting the pit from the avocado, remove and wash clean of all the avocado fruit. You might find it helpful to soak the pit for a few minutes in some water. But make sure you don’t remove the brown skin from the pit!
STEP 2: All avocado pits, despite not being perfect round shapes, have a top and bottom side. From the ‘bottom’, the future roots will grow, as for the ‘top’ the sprout will do the same. You can find which is which by looking after the slightly pointier end. When you noticed that, you found the top. In opposition, the bottom will have a flat end. It’s important to place the bottom in water, so the roots will begin to gently grow.
STEP 3: Next, stick 4 toothpicks into the top side of the avocado seed. Make sure the injections are made pointing down at a slight downward angle and are spaced evenly around the circumference. Wedge the toothpicks strongly because they will allow you to place your avocado base in the water but still have the fruit hanging over a glass.
STEP 4: Place the glass with the half-submerged avocado in a place with sunlight. Use a clear glass for this operation, so you can observe when the roots start to grow. It’s useful for warnings of mold, bacteria and fungus growth, so you can change the water when it’s needed. You can do the latter regularly every day, as many professionals recommend, but it’s better to change the water every 5-7 days.
STEP 5: Sprouting can take as long as 8 weeks, although many websites suggest only 2-4 weeks. The best advice is to be patient. And pay attention so the seed goes to the necessary stages of sprouting: the outer brown seed skin will slough off as the top of the avocado pit will dry out and form a crack; the crack will extend and to the bottom side of this, a tiny taproot will begin to emerge; this will grow longer and longer until a small sprout will peek through the top of the avocado pit. Don’t forget to maintain the taproot submerged, because not doing so will be synonymous to the death of your plant.
STEP 6: There are a few tricks when it comes to planting the newly born sprouts. When the stem reaches 6-7 inches in length, cut about 3 inches off it, as this will make the new part grow faster. Cut and put it in a rich humus soil pot, when it has reached 6-7 inches again. Use best with an 8-10inch diameter pot. Before placing in a sunny area, make sure that you leave the top half of the seed exposed.
STEP 7: In this stage of planting your own avocado, you need to know two things about its relationship with water: the soil should always be moist. If you start to see yellow leaves, it’s a sign you exaggerated and over-watered it. No need to panic though. Let the plant some time to absorb the water and continue after it has dried.
STEP 8: Encourage the plant to grow larger, by pinching out the top two sets of leaves. Do this when the stem has reached about 12 inches in height. Repeat the method when another 6 inches have grown additionally on the plant.
STEP 9: If you happen to come across some nasty bugs, like aphids, you will need to wash them off the avocado. You can do this by showering or gently hosing down your plant. When there are no more pests on it, spray the avocado tree with a solution of water mixed with a few drops of dishwashing liquid and one teaspoon of neem oil. Check in 4-5 days to see if it’s clean. If not, repeat the process until it is.
STEP 10: In the autumn or winter, if it gets cooler than 45 degrees F, you must bring the baby avocado tree indoor, so it won’t freeze to death.
And there you have it. All you need to know about how to plant your own avocado tree from a seed. After a couple or so years, the tree will begin to give fruit. On some occasions, some trees take about 15 years to bear fruit, and some never do at all. Even if your commercial avocado – seed you used to plant the tree – is one of the tasteful fruit on Earth, don’t expect that yours should be the same. Naturally grown avocado are different. You can grow several avocado trees together to aid with pollination and ensure your fruits are good as well.