Avocado’s, one of my favourite fruits and a healthy choice as well. Maybe not the healthiest choice for the fruit but I do love me some homemade guacamole and tortilla chips! Yum!
Like most gardeners and homesteaders, for us the best practice is to grow our own fruit and vegetables. You’ll find once you start that the avocado is a relatively easy plant to grow!
- How to grow an avocado from seed
- The Usual Suspects – the bug who loves avocado leaves
- When to expect fruit
Step One: Remove the pit from your avocado – set that aside later for whatever meal you’re preparing it for! Make sure to be careful you don’t want to cut the brown skin around the pit. Clean the pit with warm water to remove the avocado flesh, and using your thumbnail gently remove the brown skin around the pit.
Step Two: Locate the right ends of your avocado. You need to figure out the top of the avocado and the bottom – the top will sprout and needs to remain dry, the bottom will root and needs to stay wet. Although most are elongated, some are circular in nature and it could be harder to tell.
The top though, tends to be pointier, and the bottom tends to be flatter. It’s easiest to see the top from the bottom when the avocado pits are in the fruit.
Use the diagram below:
Step Three: Pierce the pit with toothpicks, best practice is four evenly spaced around the diameter of the seed. I find this works best if you angle the toothpicks slightly downward.
Step Four: Place the bottom end of the pit in the water, submerge up to the half point and keep the top dry. Place it in a windowsill that gets a good amount of light, avocado’s like the light life! Change the water about once a week.
TIP: Use a clear glass to place the pit in, this way you can see the growth as it happens!
If you don’t want to pierce your pit you can always buy gadgets online made specifically to grow avocado’s from their pits.
Step Five: Watch it grow! In about 8 weeks you will have a nice little sprout – this could happen sooner, though in my experience it’s usually around the 8 week mark.
What to Expect When Expecting an Avocado Tree
How do you know you’re growing your little sprout just right? It takes on some pretty obvious signs.
It’s Cracked – Your pit will start to dry out on the top and form a small crack. It won’t take long for it to grow and reach the bottom of the pit. A small taproot will begin to develop – this will continue to grow and it is very important to keep this root wet at all times.
BUT what the heck is a taproot?
Good question! Have you ever eaten a carrot? Of course most of us have, well a carrot is a taproot. A taproot is the largest root in the plant system, this is what all the other roots sprout from. It is large, typically straight, thick and grow directly down.
Once your baby plant reaches about 6 inches in height cut it back down to 3 inches. This will stimulate growth. Once it has grown back to 6 inches you can move it from it’s cup to a pot of rich humus soil in an 8-10″ diameter pot. Leave about half of the pit exposed and place in a sunny windowsill.
Your baby tree with require a lot of water, at least once a day and give it a good deep soak occasionally – once a week or so. If your plant doesn’t want that much watch out for yellowing leaves this is a clear sign of too much water, allow it to dry out for a couple days and it should be back to good.
In order to create a nice bushy tree you will want to prune it back once it reaches 12 inches. To do this simply take the two top most sets of leaves off the top of the tree. Pinch these leaves out again each time your plant grows 6 inches.
Word to the wise though, these plants love the sun and can’t handle the cold. You will have to bring them indoors once winter comes.
The Usual Suspects
Avocado’s are delicious and we’re not the only ones who think so, a delicacy in the aphid circles, these little suckers can’t get enough of avocado leaves! If you see any evidence of these critters be sure to take your plant outdoors and clean them off, a good spray with the garden hose should do the trick.
Create a concoction of water, a small bit of dish soap and neem oil, then spray your plant down with it. Check back every 4-5 days, re-clean and spray as needed.
When Will You See Fruit?
Unfortunately when growing an avocado tree from a seed it can be hard to tell when you will see fruit from your tree. Some have seen fruit on their trees in as little as 3-4 years, while others wait for over 15 years. Still some will never see fruit from their trees.
It’s important to note that even if your plant produces fruit it may not taste or look the same as the avocado that started this journey. Commercial avocados are grown from grafted branches to control the fruit. However, it does help to have more than one tree in your orchard, this will encourage pollination.
Avocado trees can grow quite big, and you probably wouldn’t want to have a large variety in your home. However, there are dwarf plants now available which you could keep in your home which could also bare fruit.
Either way, fruit or no fruit the avocado tree is an easy and pleasant little tree to grow in your garden!
For those who are visual learners I did find this helpful video on youtube, enjoy!