Have you ever wondered about growing avocado from seed, right at your home? We brought you three different and fun methods to do so easily!
The creamy texture and the numerous nutrition benefits have made avocado a favourite fruit among the health-conscious.
If you are such an avocado aficionado, you must have wondered, if it is possible to grow this in your home?
You have the seed sitting right there in the fruit, right!
The answer is both yes and no - Growing avocado from the seed is possible, but the chances of that plant giving you a tasty buttery fruit soon is sadly a no.
If you want to enjoy eating your avocado, growing them from the seed might not be the best option. It is an excruciatingly slow process and your plant might take anywhere between 8 to 20 years to produce the fruit.
In contrast, commercial growers use grafting methods that produce the yield in 2 to 3 years. So, for eating, you are better off buying the fruit. Growing avocado from seed can be a fun project for the gardening enthusiast in you and an interesting school project for your kids, yet it isn't a sustainable method for you to get the fruits.
Yet, if you still want to grow avocado from seed, have a read on these simple steps for doing so.
Pick a fresh and ripe avocado fruit. Twist it open and remove the seed. Avoid using a knife as it might damage the seed.
Clean the seed with a soft-bristled brush or a cotton cloth under warm running water to gently remove the sticky bits of fruit. Then, soak your seed in water for 10 minutes to soften it.
Once you have the clean seed, you have three options for sprouting it:
Paper towel method
The first method is pretty straightforward. Wrap the avocado seed in a damp paper towel, place it in an unsealed plastic food bag, and keep the bag in a dark cupboard. Room temperature works best for this stage, so you need not use any heating pads or lights.
Check on the seed once every 3 to 4 days and ensure that the paper towel is damp but not dripping wet.
As the seed germinates, the pit will crack open and roots and the seedling will appear from deep inside. It is a good idea to sprout 4 to 5 seeds at once and then plant the most viable ones.
Water glass method
The second method is slightly complicated. First, locate the top and bottom of your avocado seed. The top is slightly pointed and from it, the sprout will grow. The bottom is slightly flat and from it, the roots will grow.
Insert 3 to 4 toothpicks into the outer edges of the seed at a slightly downward facing angle from the top. Fill a small glass with water and place the toothpicks on their edges so that the bottom part of the seed is suspended in the water. Place this set up in a warm and bright spot but avoid direct sunlight.
Add water as needed so that the bottom of the seed stays submerged and change the water once a week. Make sure the roots are always submerged in the water, so don't forget to keep an eye on the water level.
Finally, the simplest method is to plant the avocado seed directly in the soil. First, soak the cleaned avocado seed overnight in water. Then remove it from the water and let the pit dry out for a couple of days.
Once it is dry, remove the brown covering and plant it in the container with the top one-third of the seed sticking above the soil. Keep the pot well watered but not soggy, and place it in a bright, sunny spot.
Even though this method is super simple, you wouldn't be able to observe the emergence of roots and stems - which to be honest is all the real fun.
PS - It takes anywhere between 4 to 6 weeks for your avocado seed to root and sprout. So, stay patient as your pit sits there.
If you have germinated the pit in a paper towel, your avocado seed is ready for planting when the roots are 3 inches long.
If you have germinated the pit in water, then wait for the sprout to grow up to 6 to 7 inches and plant it.
Fill an 8 to 10-inch deep pot halfway with potting soil. Now, plant the seed so that the roots are fully covered in soil but the top inch with the stem is sticking out of the soil. Be careful not to damage the roots. Gently push down the seed and add more potting mix if needed.
Light And Water
Avocado plants will grow best under strong direct sunlight. If not given ample sunlight, the plant will stretch to reach for the available light, and you will end up with a spindly looking plant.
Nourish the plant with room temperature water until the soil is moist but not damp. If the leaves are wilting and start to turn yellow, or if the stem starts to soften, it is an indication that you are overwatering.
Pruning And Pest Control
If not pruned regularly, your avocado plant could become 'leggy' i.e. Develop an over-long stem with few leaves on top. Pruning or trimming is an effective way to encourage your plant to branch out.
Once the central stem grows to 6 to 7 inches, prune it to 3 inches. When the plant grows to 12 inches, trim the uppermost leaves and the tip of the plant. You can also pinch the tips of lateral branches when they are 6 to 8 inches long. However, avoid pruning when the plant is actively growing.
If you notice any insects on your plant, remove them with a gentle spray of water. Then treat your plant with neem oil and dish soap insecticide once a week until the infestation goes away.
Growing avocado from seed is more about the fun of observing the fascinating germination process and enjoying a tropical houseplant that needs minimal care.
Germinating the seeds is also a fantastic opportunity to teach your children about plant life and get them excited about the flora and fauna around them.
Have you ever tried this fun project?
Tell us all about how you grew your avocado plant in the comments.