Stop Buying Avocados. Here’s How to Grow an Avocado Tree from Seed
Growing an avocado tree from seed can be a fun and rewarding experience, and it’s a sustainable way to enjoy avocados without buying them from the store. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:
Collect the Seed: After enjoying an avocado, carefully remove the seed (pit) from the center. Rinse off any remaining fruit flesh to prevent mold.
Locate the Top and Bottom Ends: Avocado seeds are oval, and one end is slightly broader than the other. The slightly broader end is the top, and the pointier end is the bottom.
Prepare the Seed: Stick four toothpicks into the sides of the seed at equal intervals, about halfway up from the bottom. The toothpicks will help suspend the seed over a glass of water.
Suspend the Seed: Place the avocado seed, bottom-end down, over a glass or jar filled with water. The toothpicks should rest on the rim of the glass, holding the seed so that the bottom half is submerged in water. Make sure the water level is maintained to keep the bottom part of the seed continuously wet.
Find a Suitable Location: Place the glass with the suspended seed in a warm, well-lit spot, but avoid direct sunlight. A windowsill or a well-lit corner of your home should work well.
Be Patient and Wait for Germination: It can take anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks for the avocado seed to sprout. Keep an eye on it and wait for roots and a stem to appear.
Roots and Sprout Development: Once the roots are a few inches long, and the stem has grown to about 6 inches, it’s time to transplant the seedling into soil.
Planting in Soil: Choose a large pot with good drainage holes and fill it with a well-draining potting mix. Make a hole in the center of the soil and gently place the seedling inside, ensuring the top half of the seed is above the soil surface. Water the plant thoroughly after planting.
Caring for the Avocado Tree: Avocado trees need plenty of sunlight, so keep your plant in a sunny location. Water the tree regularly but be careful not to overwater, as avocados prefer slightly dry soil. Allow the soil to dry out between watering sessions. Fertilize the tree with a balanced fertilizer during the growing season.
Support the Plant: As your avocado tree grows, you might need to provide support for the stem. Use a stake or tie it to a trellis to ensure it grows straight and strong.
Pruning: Once your tree is established, you may need to prune it occasionally to encourage branching and maintain a desirable shape.
Patience is Key: Growing an avocado tree from seed takes time and patience. It can take several years before your tree produces fruit, and there’s no guarantee that the fruit will be the same as the parent avocado you used to start the tree.
Remember that not all avocado seeds will successfully grow into healthy trees, and even if they do, they may not bear fruit. However, it’s a rewarding and educational process, and the lush green foliage can make for a beautiful houseplant even without fruit. Happy growing!