DIY: Grow An Avocado Tree

When I was a kid I remember my sister, who is now my business partner, taking the pit of an avocado, putting several toothpicks in it and suspending it in a cup of water. I thought she was crazy but several weeks later that avocado pit actually sprouted. She let the plant grow for a while and when the roots were plentiful she planted it in a pot. I don’t recall it ever bearing any fruit but I do remember her growing it for several years. This is a fun project to try and here is how you do it:

  1. Remove the seed from a ripe fruit and insert several toothpicks in the seed so that it can be suspended in a cup of water. The seed should sit in the glass so that about an inch of it remains in the water.
  2. Keep the seed in a warm place but out of direct sunlight. The seed should sprout in 2 to 6 weeks.
  3. Let the plant grow to about 6 inches in height and then prune it in half to encourage the plant to branch out. This will also encourage the roots to grow stronger.
  4. When the new leaves emerge plant the avocado in a pot with fast draining soil in full sun.

Other Growing Tips

  1. For the first several years you should trim the plant to encourage a bushy shape. The first significant pruning should occur when the plant is about a foot tall and you should trim the plant back by 6 inches. Avocado fruit emerges from new growth so this process while it may seem extreme is needed if you want the plant to produce fruit.
  2. The plant should be repotted in the spring when growth restarts again after the winter.
  3. Fertilize the plant during the growing season with a fertilizer made for fruits and vegetables.
  4. Avocado should be kept evenly moist but the soil should drain well. If you see leaves that are yellow it means you are watering it too much.
  5. Avocado trees prefer warm temperatures. They can be kept outdoors in the summer but need to be moved back indoors when temperatures start dropping down to 50 degrees.  
  6. It is possible for the plant to flower and bear fruit but it can take up to 10 years to do so.
Leave a Comment:

  • Jun 02

    I have gotten roots to grow but never a plant with leaves?

    Have you ever tried planting it after you get the roots?  I think I will try this again, the next time I buy an Avocado. It has been a while.

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