Anyone who knows me, knows that I love avocados. Love them! I can have them on toast with some lemon, salt and pepper, scoop them and enjoy them straight up, guacamole the life out of them, blend them into my smoothies, add them to my brownies or banana bread recipes…they can literally be added to any and everything.
Not in the recipe? No worries. It’ll be my side dish. Haha
The last few years have not only seen a hike in prices of avocados but also a soar in demand. It’s definitely a trend these days. I’m pretty sure almost any cafe you walk into would have smashed avo on toast somewhere on their menu.
Why not make your own cafe-worthy toast at home?
Growing your own avocado is not a hard thing to do and you can probably get started with the pit of the next avocado you buy from the supermarket.
The thing about cultivating a tree is that it’s different from growing a plant. You get the first bit right and once your tree has an established bark, it’s almost too easy from there on out.
How do I grow Avocado From A Seed?
- Well, get your hands on the pit of an avocado that you enjoyed. Then decide whether you’re going to use soil or water to get your seed sprouted.
- Soak the pit in water for around an hour or so then peel off the outer brown layer.
- Identify the top and bottom of the pit. The roots grow out of the bottom, which is the flatter part of the seed. The top is always more pointy.
- Build a toothpick stand. Basically, you want to have only the bottom of the seed touching the water in whatever jar you decide to grow your avocado in.
So take for toothpicks and insert a bit of them into the bottom of the avocado, spread around it facing slightly downwards.
The rest of the toothpicks will have to lay on the jar.
- Fill your chosen jar with water and lay the toothpick-ed seed on the top, making sure that the bottom touches the water.
- Initially, I do not keep my jar in the sun. I place it in a cupboard until I spot a stem that’s a couple inches tall growing out of the seed.
- If you want to keep the avocado as a dwarfed house plant/tree, then when it’s around 7” or so cut the stem down to half.
- Remember to consistently change the water.
- Also, once you’ve done the initial pruning and your roots are well established, repot your plant into soil.
- Fill a plant pot with nutrient-rich soil leaving space for the plant. Carefully spread the roots of the plant then place it into the soil and cover the roots.
- Now allow the plant to grow in a humid environment.
Here are a few different things you should consider:
When Should You Take the Plant Outside?
Avocado seeds need warm soil and temperatures above 45F. If the soil is too cold or too hot, the seed won’t grow correctly, so timing is essential.
They also enjoy a humid space. Even if you’re living somewhere that isn’t tropical, you can still “trick” your plant into growing well.
Placing gravel over the soil in your pot and when you do transplant it to outside is a good way if you live where there is dry air.
Also, initially in order to acclimatise the plant, you’d want to take your pot outside for a few hours a day. If the days are hot, do not set them in direct sunlight.
If you live where it is moderately cold, consider covering the plant with plastic to create artificial humidity when it is outside.
Areas like California and Florida usually don’t experience winter, and their growing season can last up to a year, so you don’t have to keep your avocado tree warm. Growing avocados will also work in areas with moderate winter climates.
When Is the Best Time to Plant the Seed?
The “right” time of year to plant an avocado seed is dependent on where you live. For many people (especially in warmer states), waiting until spring is a good time to plant from seed. If you live in a cold or frosty area, wait until mid-spring or early spring until you plant from seed.
The best time to transplant your avocado is when the soil has warmed up enough. Initially, you also don’t want to leave it outside in the open for too long, or it will become injured from being exposed to cold temperatures.
How Long Does It Take for Avocado Seeds To Sprout?
Growing an avocado from seed doesn’t take a very long time, but you must wait until your plant is strong enough to survive outside without extra protection.
When your avocado tree is about one foot tall, start hardening off your plant (if you haven’t already). The process of hardening off consists of keeping the plant outside for more and more time over about 10 days.
Like I mentioned above, your plant will still need some warmth during this time, so cover it with a sheet of plastic or some other type of covering to prevent it from freezing. After the 10 days, you can plant your tree outside in a garden bed or other spot in your yard.
What Do I Need to Help My Avocado Tree Grow?
It’s crucial to have a well-drained mix of soil with no large stones or other debris in the area where your avocado tree will be growing, to prevent root damage.
When it’s time to take your little tree outside, do the same soil process as in the pot. Nutrient-rich, well drained soil is key. Make a hole wide enough to fit your roots, then gently place the plant into the hole, covering the roots with soil.
Keep your plant well watered but not waterlogged.
Don’t forget to fertilize your seed at least once a month with organic fertilizer, like compost or worm castings.
How Can I Protect My Avocado Tree in the Winter?
Gardeners usually bring their young plants indoors during very cold winters. So if you’re getting this project started later in the year, try keeping the plant in the pot until outside warms up a bit and you don’t have to worry about frost.
When the tree is well established an you believe it is strong enough to withstand the wind etc outside, you can use a transparent plastic to cover it but keep it in a spot with lots of sunlight.
You can also cover it with a layer of dry straw and then wrap it in newspaper before putting it into the ground or in a warmer area indoors.