Grow Avocados – Tips How to Grow Your Own
Avocados are very healthy, very tasty, and very versatile ingredient! Which means that if you like avocados, you may wind up buying a lot of them every week. With prices averaging $1+ for conventional avocados and $1.50+ for organic ones, all those avocados can quickly add up in cost, making you wonder if you should just grow avocados on your own. If you’d like to try, then check out these tips to grow avocados.
How to Grow Avocados:
Before you start growing your own avocados, remember that avocados grow on a tree. And trees take a long time to grow. Which means that planting an avocado tree today does not mean you’ll have fresh, homegrown guacamole in a few months. Or even in a few years.
If you plant an avocado seed (AKA pit), it could take around 8-20 years before you ever see avocado fruit grow on it. You can speed the time up considerably by purchasing a grafted avocado tree. In that case, you may see avocados growing in around 2 years. But still, that’s not fast compared to growing things like carrots or potatoes (plus, you could easily spend $50+ for a grafted tree).
So if you really want to grow avocados in your yard, be ready to wait a while! Since starting an avocado tree from seed is the most common (and most tricky) of the two options, this guide focuses on growing an avocado tree from seed.
The first thing you have to do to grow your own avocados from seed is root the seed. You can simply save the seeds/pits from the avocados you buy at the grocery store. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon, being careful not to cut or damage the seed. It’s okay if some of the green avocado flesh is stuck to the seed. Rinse the seed clean in warm water, wiping it with a cloth until no avocado flesh is left.
Now there are two ways you can root the seed. The first way is to simply float in water until the roots get to be 3 inches long.
The other way is to wet a paper towel until it’s damp, and wrap the seed in it. Place this in a plastic bag or a glass jar and keep it somewhere dark that won’t get too hot. Do not seal the jar or bag. You’ll need to leave the seed there for a couple of weeks.
Every 3-4 days, check on the seed and wet the paper towel if necessary. After several weeks, you’ll see the seed cracking open, and a bit later, roots growing out. You may feel tempted to crack the rest of the seed open to help the avocado along, but don’t do this! Like with a baby chick in an egg, the seed shell is helping to feed the growth that you’re seeing.
Do note that not all avocado seeds will root at the same speed. Some may not even root at all. So to avoid wasting time and being disappointed, you may want to root several seeds at once. Whichever seems to be do doing the best can be the one you plant, if you only want one avocado tree.
Once your seed has grown a 3-inch long root, you can plant your avocado in a pot. Planting them outside is usually not a good idea since avocados like humid, tropical environments and don’t do well in the cold. An 8-inch pot tends to be large enough in the beginning.
Ensure it has soil that drains well. Once planted, about 1 inch of the seed should be above the soil.
Place your avocado pot in a warm location with sunny indirect light. Avoid drafty areas, since they’ll have dry air.
If you hope to grow avocados from this tree, you’ll need to take good care of it! You’ll want to keep its soil moist and avoid letting it dry out (watering 2-3 times a week tends to be enough). Since tropical areas tend to be humid, your avocado tree may appreciate being in the same room as a humidifier. Or you can just mist its leaves every so often.
You may also want to fertilize your avocado with a balanced indoor plant fertilizer. You can do this every 3 months once your tree has grown some leaves.
If left un-pruned as it grows, your avocado tree could begin to sag under its own weight. So you may want to start pruning it occasionally once it gets decently tall. You’ll also need to re-pot the tree as it continues to grow.
That’s about it! Once you have a little avocado tree growing, it’ll just be a matter of continuing to take care of it and hoping that it fruits one day. And when it does start growing fruit, be ready to use all those avocados! Because once they start producing fruit, avocado trees won’t stop until they die (though some years may naturally have a higher or lower yield than others).
Do you think you could wait the years until your avocado tree grows fruit?
If you found this helpful, here are some other growing tips.
- Japanese Beetle (aka June Bug) How To Control Them
- 7 Vegetable Garden Plants That Grow in the Shade
- How to Care for a Mother-in-Law’s Tongue (aka Snake Plant)
- How to Successfully Grow Peppers Indoors