Winter Project: Growing Avocados

Winter Project: Growing Avocados

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One of my readers requested information on growing an avocado tree from a seed pit. This was a fun project I did when I lived in Florida. I was amazed at how fast it grew and how fun it was to grow it.

  • When picking an avocado to plant, ensure that there are no diseased spots, bruises, and soft to touch. The fun part: eat the avocado pulp. Wash the seed pod found in the middle of the plant. Let the pod dry.
  • Choose a glass jar.  I used one that was twice as long as the pod and had a wide mouth.
  • Submerge the pod into the water, larger side downwards,  then place three or four toothpicks into the upper tapered section (upper 1/3 of the pod) and suspend in the jar, with the top of the avocado resting out of the water and the toothpicks supporting it.
  • Place the container on a windowsill where it will get good light, but not in direct sun.
  • Watch the plant every day, ensuring the water is kept high on the plant.
  • It may take between two-eight weeks to see any sprouting. Initially, the sprouts will be fine hair-like, then grow into roots.
  • When the stem reaches eight to ten inches high, you will need to prune it to approximately three to four inches high to stimulate leaves’ growth.
  • When the new leaves grow, then you can plant them into the soil. It’s important to plant it into the soil no more than three weeks following the pruning. You will need to use a six to eight-inch pot using a good grade of potting mix. (I talk to mine daily, but that is optional)I mix the potting mix with 1/3 sand to 2/3 potting soil. Be sure at this point, the entire pod is covered with only the remaining stem above the mix.
  • Watering is important. Deep soak the plant when the soil is dried out. Don’t overwater, but don’t neglect. Let it dry out in between the watering.  If the leaves start to yellow…then you have overwatered.
  • As it grows, you can decide whether you want to keep it as a houseplant or plant it in the garden when warm weather comes. Since it takes five years before it flowers, and they may or may not bear fruit. Generally, your avocado tree needs a second tree (it doesn’t matter if the types are different) to help pollination.

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