Friday, September 2, 2011

Growing An Avocado Plant From Seed

The pit of an Avocado will grow into a hardy, attractive houseplant, so don’t throw out that sticky, slimy seed after cutting up and eating the fruit. Start an Avocado plant; it’s very easy. And it’s a wonderful project to do with children.

Here’s what you do:

Wash the seed by rinsing it with water. Insert three toothpicks around the pit on the bottom end (the top is the pointed end). The toothpicks should be about halfway down from the top.

Suspend the Avocado seed over a narrow glass or jar filled with water (the toothpicks will hold it in place) with the bottom half below the water line. Change the water regularly and make sure that the base, which is the root end, is submerged at all times; never let the bottom end run out of water.

Anywhere from two to six weeks the bottom of the pit will suddenly split in two and roots will emerge; keep the seed out of direct sunlight during this period. A pale stem will emerge from these two halves and start growing upwards, stretching towards the light.

The stem grows quickly in the beginning, as much as a few inches a week. As soon as you see more growth, move your plant into brighter light. Avocados can grow in moderate light but the brighter, the better. Small leaves will appear when the stem is a few inches tall and grow larger as the plant itself continues to get bigger. Now that the roots have formed and the plant is well on its way, remove the toothpicks and pot it up in soil, or in clay pellets (for hydroculture).

Avocados grow very quickly in the beginning, so don’t worry about that delicate looking stem collapsing or breaking. That little stem is the early stages of a tree trunk that can grow anywhere from 30 to 60 feet tall! But don’t worry, it’ll slow down way before it reaches its full potential, and it’ll be a very long time before you have to worry about it breaking through your ceiling.

3 comments:

  1. I used to grow those - and lots of other stuff, including peanuts. When I was young, I had this great book called "The After Dinner Gardening Book." It showed you how to grow all kinds of cool plants from veggies and fruits you bought at the grocery store. It's harder to get some of them to germinate nose, though, with all the GMO stuff. Yuck.

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  2. It's always fun to grow things from the veggies and fruits you buy. But you're right; it's tough to get them to germinate now. And that's a shame.

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