When it comes to avocado trees, you may be surprised to learn just how simple and satisfying this project can be, whether you are an experienced gardener or just a beginner looking for somewhere to start. You can grow these trees from a nursery-grown tree or start from a seed, but no matter which, patience is key. After planting the tree, it will take around 3 to 4 years, but if you begin with a seed, you may wait up to 13 years. For those looking to grow completely homegrown trees, this guide is for you.
Prepping the Seed
You’ll find the seed that you need to grow the plant coming in the form of that large brown pit inside of the avocado. In order to start the seed growing, the simplest way is to take a kitchen glass or a jar and fill it with water. Prepare the seed by giving it a good washing and putting 4 wooden toothpicks down about halfway into the seed from its pointed end. Support the pit on the glass using the toothpicks, keeping the pointed end at the top. Then, pour in water to fully cover the bottom half of the seed. Place this glass in a brightly lit area, and keep refreshing the seed as needed.
When the Grows Roots
You’ll be able to see the growth of the roots through the glass over time. When it has strong roots, you’ll notice that the top will begin to crack open while a sprout emerges. Once this has happened, you can put the seed in a container that is full of well-drained, coarse potting mix. Keep the seed halfway above the soil with the other half still below it. Once it is planted, give it plenty of water and put it in the brightest area of the home. Much like many citrus trees, avocado trees can be easily grown indoors. The best pot choice will be natural terra cotta because the porous clay material helps moisture continuously move through the soil. Begin with a pot measuring 6 to 8 inches in diameter that has large holes for draining.
Planting the Tree Outdoors
Because avocado trees are tropical plants, they won’t do well at all in cold places. If you live somewhere that is naturally warm and experience little to no freezing temperatures, you can plant it outdoors safely. If you do plant it outside, you will need to do so in the spring to allow it to get comfortable before winter. Find a site that allows for plenty of drainage and sun exposure. Care for the tree by giving it an airy place to grow, and do not overwater it. You will want to fertilize it using plant foods that are made specifically for citrus trees and avocado, specifically with high levels of iron, zinc and phosphorous. With proper care, you’ll be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor for years to come.