Growing Your Own Avocado Tree

"How do I do it?"

Slice open the Avocado and remove the pit. Don't miss out eating the flesh, as it's tasty and full of nutrients!

Wash the Avocado pit under cool running water; you don't need soap to clean it. Using your fingers, gently remove any of the green fruit that might still be on the pit. Rinse the pit well, then blot it dry with a paper towel.

Carefully push three toothpicks into the thickest width of the pit, about 1/2-inch deep. It's okay if you push them in deeper or even a bit shallower. Be careful when inserting the toothpicks because their pointy ends could poke your hands, which can hurt. It's all right to ask an adult to help with this.

Suspend the pit over a glass filled with water, resting the toothpicks on the rim. Only the bottom fat base of the pit should be submerged in the water. The top portion should receive fresh air.

Check the water level regularly, ensuring that it always covers the pit base by about 1 inch. When you need to add more, slowly and carefully pour the water from a small cup to avoid splashing.

Place the glass on a windowsill that receives bright sunlight. In about 3 to 6 weeks, the top of the Avocado pit will begin to split, and a stem sprout will emerge. Roots will begin growing at the base.

When the stem sprout grows to about 5 or 6 inches, pinch between your fingers each leaf at the top (the level furthest from the pit) and remove it from the plant.

In another 2 or 3 weeks, new leaves will sprout, and there will be more roots. That's the time to plant your young Avocado tree.

Fill a large (about 8 to 10 inches in diameter) flowerpot with enriched potting soil to about 1 inch from the top. Make a small depression in the center of the soil and place the pit, root side down into the depression. Don't insert it too deeply, as the upper half of the pit should remain above the soil line. Add more soil around the pit to fill in any air holes near the roots. Secure it in the soil by gently packing down the soil around the base of the pit. The tree's stem and leaves should point upward and be straight (like a flagpole).

Water the soil slowly and gently to avoid making holes and generously until it's thoroughly moist. Subsequently, keep your tree watered but not so wet that the soil looks like mud.

"How do I care for my Avocado tree?"

Keep your tree near a sunny window. The more sun it gets, the bigger it will grow.

Remember to water it frequently, but don’t let the soil get muddy. If the leaves turn yellow, the plant is getting too much water. In that situation, don't water the tree for a couple of days to let the soil dry. Then return to watering it lightly.

When the stem grows 6 more inches, pinch and remove the two layers of leaves furthest away from the pit. This encourages the plant to grow side shoots and additional leaves, making it bushy. Each time the plant grows another 6 inches, pinch and remove the two newest sets of leaves on top.

"Can my Avocado tree ever go outside?"

Yes, it can go outside in the summer. If your winters are cold, below 45°F or 7°C, you must bring your tree inside for the season. Otherwise, if your winters are cool and mild, you may keep your tree outdoors year-round.

"Will my tree ever grow fruit?"

Sometimes an Avocado tree will begin setting fruit after it's 3 or 4 years old. It helps to have several Avocado trees growing at the same time, near one another, to facilitate pollination.

"How tall will my Avocado tree get?"

It can grow between 20 and 40 feet tall. However, with pruning, you can keep it much shorter.

Advocado Recipes
Avocado Gift Baskets
2014 OCTOBER 01 WEDNESDAY