|By goGreen | January 29, 2012|
Avocado trees are large,evergreen trees that produce small, oblong fruits. Avocados have a dark, tough outer skin with soft, squishy bright green flesh inside. At the center of an avocado fruit is a dark brown, hard pit, or nut, roughly the size of a ping pong ball. This pit is the seed of the avocado and when planted properly, grows into another avocado tree. So save your next avocado pit and try your hand at growing your very own avocado tree.
Things You’ll Need
- Paper towel
- Avocado seed
- Small container
- Commercial potting soil mix
- Larger container
Planting the Seed in Soil
1. Wash the seed to ensure it is free of debris, drying it off with a paper towel. Use a knife to make a small, thin slice in both the top and bottom of the seed.
2. Fill a small container with commercial potting soil mix. Make sure that the container is shallow and has plenty of drainage holes in the bottom.
3. Determine the approximate length of your seed. (There’s no need to measure it. Just get a visual approximation.) Plant the seed two to three times deeper than it is long.
4. Keep the seed in a warm area (with temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit) and keep the seed moist by watering daily. Do not allow the soil to become soggy.
5. Allow the seed to germinate for up to 15 days, finally re-potting the seed into a larger, well-drained container filled with high-quality potting mix. If you live in a warm climate or if there is no danger of frost in your climate, plant the seedling directly into the ground, if you wish.
Planting the Seed in Water
1. Poke three to four toothpicks into the avocado seed. Space them equally around the top and insert them horizontally into the seed, pushing them in just enough to hold the seed in place for the next step.
2. Fill a small container with water, placing the seed onto the top of the container. (Let the toothpicks rest on top of the container to suspend the seed in the water.)
3. Place the container with the seed in a warm location with indirect light.
4. Change the water in the container at least once each week for the next 15 days.
5. Re-pot the seed in a larger container filled with high-quality potting mix once it has sprouted.
Care of the Tree
1. Water your avocado tree at least daily whether planted indoors or outdoors. If you have a wet winter, avoid watering daily in December and January.
2. Fertilize your avocado tree regularly once it reaches one year in age. Fertilize every two weeks during spring and summer, and fertilize every six weeks during the winter.
3. Protect your tree from frost by covering it with a tarp when temperatures drop to freezing levels.
Tips and Warnings!
Over-watering your avocado tree or leaving it in soil that is too damp will cause root rot, a condition that causes the roots to die out and subsequently kills the tree. Signs of root rot include yellow, drooping leaves and muddy-looking soil surrounding your tree.