The next time you eat an avocado or use it in a recipe, save the stone or pit. Planting your own avocado tree is easy and fun. Perfect for all ages – for the garden and indoors- it does a great project for a school class.
Cut the avocado carefully so you don’t damage the pit, which is in the middle. To do this, cut once around the entire fruit, about an inch into the skin/pulp, and then twist the two halves in different directions to open the fruit. Carefully remove the core and set it aside. To avoid wasting the fruit, use the pulp to make the delicious dip/cream guacamole.
Wash the avocado pit gently to remove the remaining pulp. Use warm water and only your hands. Don’t use soap. Be careful not to remove the tan skin of the kernel. Otherwise, the kernel may be destroyed and less likely to grow.
Holding the pointed side of the kernel up, insert four toothpicks into the kernel about 1/4 inch (5mm) around the center. This allows you to balance the core in a cup without fully inserting it into the cup. Remember that the core should be 1-2 cm deep in the water.
Fill a small, slim container (preferably made of glass) with water until it is full to the brim. The opening of the container should be large enough for the avocado pit to fit snugly. The opening shouldn’t be too big either; otherwise, the toothpicks won’t reach, and the core will fall in.
The toothpicks should be on the edge so the core is only halfway in the water. Make sure the pointed end of the pit is facing up, and the rounded end is facing down, or your avocado won’t grow.
Place the container with the avocado in a warm, quiet place – near the window or some other bright spot so the plant can grow and take root.
Do this so contaminants (e.g., mold, bacteria, fermentation, etc.) don’t interfere with the growth process. Make sure the bottom end stays wet and submerged at all times.
Over 2-3 weeks, the tan skin becomes dry and shriveled, eventually falling off. Soon after, the core breaks open at the top and bottom. After 3-4 weeks, a taproot will appear at the lower end.
But be careful not to damage the root in the process. Give the avocado time to develop the root. Soon, a leaf bud grows from the top, becoming a sapling with leaves.
Avocado trees are very specific regarding their ideal climate and growing conditions. Most often, avocado trees should be planted in a pot and moved according to the changing weather. You should only plant your avocado tree outside if the temperature never falls below 10 degrees Celsius at any point of the year.
Avocado trees prefer a soil of any pH but with low salinity and plenty of drainages. Until the tree is about a year old, the soil does not need to be over-fertilized. From this point on, you should use a 10-10-10 fertilizer twice a year to support the tree. Otherwise, use plain potting soil and add a few rocks to the bottom of the planter to aid in drainage.
Take a clay flower pot 20-25 cm in diameter and fill it with enriched soil to 2 cm below the rim. A 50/50 mix of hummus and coir (coir) works best. Press the soil down a bit and add a little more if needed. When the soil is ready, dig a narrow hole deep enough to fit the roots and pit of the avocado plant.
When the roots have developed well and leaves have formed again (after cutting back at least once), the avocado sapling is ready to be planted in soil. Remove the core from the container and carefully remove the toothpicks.
Carefully dig in the core so that the top half is sticking out. This ensures that the lower part of the stalk cannot rot underground. Cover the core loosely with soil.
Water your plant daily, or at least enough to keep the soil moist. Don’t water so much that the soil becomes muddy. When the leaves turn brown tips, the tree needs more water. If they turn yellow, it has too much water and should not be watered for a day or two.
Take good care of your avocado plant, and you will have a beautiful and easy-care tree in a few years. Your family and friends will be impressed when they hear you grew your tree from an avocado pit you left over from your guacamole recipe.
Remove the stone from the flesh by slicing the fruit around.
The narrow end.
Clean it up and prepare it for planting. Since this plant does not like to stand alone, it is better to plant two seeds at once.
Do this with your hands to avoid damaging the seed.
Never fertilize beforehand. Otherwise, the roots cannot develop properly. You can harvest the first fruits in about three to four years.
Avocados don’t ripen on the tree. Take it off and wrap it in a paper bag or newspaper. Then, leave them in the sun until they are soft. Now you can enjoy them.
It used to be claimed that a fruit-bearing avocado tree can only be successfully grown from seed in one trial out of 1000, and even if the trial is successful, it will take seven years before the first harvest can occur. The fruit may itself then not be edible.
An avocado tree grown from seed grows very tall, unlike a grafted tree. Avocado branches are not very stable and cannot support the additional weight. So don’t attach a hammock or anything to an avocado tree because the branches will snap off. Excessive pruning (too much or too often) will stunt or stop leaf growth.