Wednesday, April 8, 2015

How To Grow Avocado Trees From Seeds On The First Try!

Did you know that, you can actually grow your own avocado tree at home? Even though trees rooted like this rarely bear fruit without help, it’s still a ton of fun to plant your own tree and watch it grow. And if you have kids, this is a great project. Here are instructions for how to root and plant a tree from an avocado pit. All you need is an avocado, a little water and a few toothpicks, a sunny window, and a whole lot of patience.

Avocado trees grow best in warm, sunny places, but you can keep one quite successfully for many years in the right indoor environment. They can grow to between 20 and 40 feet, but are quite happy if you keep them pruned indoors.

What you will need:

1 avocado pit

4 toothpicks

1 small glass or ceramic dish

How to remove the avocado pit:

Cut a full circle longways around the avocado. Twist it apart.

The two halves should separate neatly.

Whack the pit with a sharp, heavy knife so that the blade bites into the pit just a little bit.

Twist the blade and the pit will come right out. Then clean off your pit. Scrape off any avocado that’s still stuck to the pit.

Rinse it off under cold water, then wipe it off. You want to be sure you’ve removed all the avocado.

When you root the pit, you want to do it pointy side up. The stem and leaves will sprout out the top. And the root will push its way out the bottom.

Push one toothpick into the side of the avocado pit. You want to get it in far enough so that you can pick the pit up by the toothpick.

Do this with the other 3 toothpicks. Place the avocado pit over your dish, so the toothpicks are resting on the rim of the dish and the pit is suspended over the center.

Fill the dish with water so that the avocado pit is about halfway submersed.

Change the water every day or two, so that the pit is constantly sitting in water.

Set the dish on a sunny windowsill. Keep an eye on it, and replenish the water frequently.For the first few weeks, your pit won’t really do much. It will just sit there, looking very much the same as the day that you first propped it up. You may start to despair.

Then, after about three weeks or so, the top of the pit should begin to split open. (Nature is also kind of imprecise…this can take up to six weeks to happen.)

Over the next few weeks, a stem will shoot up, the first leaves will begin to grow, and roots will begin to force their way out of the bottom. In a few more weeks, you should see more leaves.

The whole process will generally take about 3 months, give or take.

When your tree is maybe 7-8 inches tall, nip off the top few leaves. Pinch them off. It will encourage growth and help.

Grab a 10-inch pot with a saucer and at least one drainage hole in the bottom. Fill it about an inch from the top with potting soil.

Dig a shallow hole in the center of the soil (just deep enough so half the pit is covered). Nestle the bottom of your avocado sapling in it, root-side down.

Cover the pit halfway with soil, so half the pit is still exposed. Press down firmly on the soil to secure it. It should be standing up straight, at attention.

Pour a little water into the pot gently, set your tree in a sunny window. Keep it watered, and watch it grow! Avocado trees like warm, sunny spots. If your tree doesn’t get enough light, it will get leggy (i.e. all stem, few leaves). Depending on where you live, you should be able to keep your tree outside in a sunny spot. If the temperature ever drops below about 45 degrees F, bring it back inside. Water it enough to keep the soil moist, but not muddy. You never want your tree sitting in a puddle of water once you’ve potted it.

If your leaves start to turn yellow, it’s a sure sign it’s getting too much water. If this happens, stop watering it for a few days until the soil dries out a little.

Happy gardening!