Growing avocado from seed is pretty easy and it only takes six to eight weeks for the seed germination to take place. If you are planning to grow an avocado tree in your garden or backyard this summer, you can use the avocado seed after eating its flesh part.
There are many varieties of avocado trees and all of them are members of the Lauraceae or Laurels family. Avocado (Persea Americana) trees are initially from Mexico, Guatemala, and West India and they can grow up to a height of 15 to 20 feet.
Most avocado trees blossom during the summer, and late spring to early summer is the time for avocado trees to bear fruit. Avocado trees bear fruits at a minimum of three to four years of age, while there are some other avocado trees that can take up to 15 to 20 years to bear fruits.
Avocado or butter or alligator fruit is best enjoyed as the guacamole dip and a batch of freshly made tortilla chips. Next time you are using avocado for your salad or guacamole, preserve the seeds for growing avocado from seed.
1. How To Grow an Avocado from Seed?
The seeds are the best choice for starting your avocado tree farming or growing avocado from seed. You can start growing avocado from seed today by gathering some ripe avocado fruit seeds, and removing the flesh part, and believe it or not it is just a few steps to plant avocado trees in your garden today!
1.1. Using the Toothpick Method
If you really want to grow avocado from seed in water, you need to germinate the avocado seed first. The avocado seeds are first washed and then dried for 3 to 4 days and then used for germination.
There are very few simple household things you will need for growing avocado from seed in water:
- Toothpicks- 3 to 4;
- A small glass or a glass jar;
- Potting soil and
- A clay or flower pot.
Step 1) Remove the flesh part of the avocado fruit and collect the pit or seed. Wash the seed under tap water properly to remove any traces of the fruit pulp and dry the seed. Keep the seed covered in a damp paper towel until use.
Step 2) Take four toothpicks and pierce the avocado seed around its middle part at an equal distance at an angle. These toothpicks are used to give support to the avocado seed while it is submerged in the water.
The avocado seed or avocado pit is now submerged in the water in a glass jar with the seed’s pointy side upside. The glass or the jar should be filled with water and the seed’s lower part should be properly submerged in the water.
Step 3) Put the glass or the jar in a warm spot in your garden but not under direct sunlight. You may need to take a good look at the water quality and change it frequently as needed. It may take a few weeks for the seeds to completely germinate.
Once the germination starts, the seed will crack open, and the shooting part of the avocado tree will come out and grow toward the light source. The root part will be submerged in the water. If the seed does not germinate within a few weeks, replace the seed with another seed or pit for the process.
Step 4) Keep the saplings in the same spot until it grows up to a height of 10-15 cm. Now you can transfer the saplings into the soil prepared with a proper amount of compost and a pH of about 6.5. You can use a clay pot to transfer the saplings into the soil.
The shoot will begin to have new leaves and grow further in the soil. Keep the soil well drained and now the plant needs a good amount of sunlight too. You may need to cut the stem once it reaches a height of 12 inches tall to help in the growth.
Note- Avocado plants do not need daily watering; only two to three times a week is enough. You can now place them in a sunny spot in your garden or backyard or even indoors near the windowsill.
1.2. Without Using a Toothpick
This process of growing avocado from seed is very simple and only needs some avocado seeds and a glass of water for the germination process. The simple things that you will need are
- Avocado seeds,
- A glass,
- Starting soil mix, and
- Some clay pots.
Step 1) You need to start by cleaning the seeds properly and then dry them before use. Fill a glass or a glass container with water and then submerge the avocado seeds into the water overnight or until the seed skin becomes soft. Remove the skin of the seed. Now dip the seed in the water again. This time make sure the seed is completely submerged in the water.
Step 2) When the seed starts to crack, you take it and bury it in the starting soil mix in a clay pot. Give it some water to prevent it from drying out. Proper watering is important for the avocado seed during its germination. As it requires indirect sunlight, you can put them in a shady place where the temperature is moderate.
In about a few months the small avocado tree will begin to grow from the sprouted seed. Regular watering is necessary at this stage for proper growth of the stem and the root. Cut the stem of the tree to ensure growth and generate new ones. The tree height should reach 8 to 12 inches height before stem cutting.
1.3. Using A Paper Towel
There are many ways you can grow avocado from seed. One of them is using a paper towel to germinate the seeds. If you are not sure about the toothpick method, you can start using this method to germinate the avocado seeds. This is a very easy and very effective method.
The materials that are used for this method are
- Avocado seeds or pits collected from a local grocery store,
- Potting soil mix,
- Some planters,
- Ziplock bags,
- A paper towel,
- A glass or a container, and
Step 1) You can start by using some ripe avocados and removing the flesh part. After washing the seed with water properly, dry the seed for two to three days.
Step 2) Use a wet paper towel and cover the seed with it. Put the avocado seed with the wrapped paper towel in a zip-lock bag. Do not air lock the bag. Put the zip-lock bag in a dark location.
Avocado seed should germinate within three to four months time. Regularly check the seed for germination.
Step 3) Once the root starts to form, put the seed in a glass of water and keep the root part of the seed submerged in the water. You may need to change the water regularly to prevent any microbial contamination.
Keep checking the seed as the stem and root starts to grow. At this stage, you can place it in a planter with some potting soil and keep it under the sunlight in your house or garden area. Keep watering regularly and watch the avocado tree grow further. Use the regular cutting of the stem to provide a more growth boost.
1.4. Growing Avocado from Seed Directly in Soil
Another way of growing avocado from seed is to directly put the seeds into the soil. You will not need to follow the extra steps to germinate the seed and then transplant the young plants into the soil. In this soil method, you will only need some fresh avocado pits or seeds and good quality garden soil or potting soil.
Step 1) Prepare the seeds and make sure that the seeds are completely clean and without any fruit pulp left on the surface. You can use a paper towel or a clean cloth to remove any remains and dry the seeds. Use any potting soil mix with good-quality compost to prepare clay pots or planters or any container of your choice with drainage holes.
Step 2) Create a tiny hole in the middle of the soil bed and directly put the dry seeds or pits into the soil. Make sure that the upper half of the seeds remain uncovered and the bottom half of the seeds are planted into the soil bed.
Step 3) Place the pots in an area out of direct sunlight and a moist environment. Water the pots regularly. Make sure the pH of the soil is around 6.0 to 6.5 and the soil remains moist. Once the saplings are out, check the stems and cut them once they reach a height of 6 to inches. The mature trees can be placed in direct sunlight on a soil bed with proper water drainage.
2. Maintaining the Avocado Trees
Taking care of your avocado trees once they start growing is important especially if you really need them to bear fruits. A contribution of your valuable time and effort could give these trees a little support in their proper growth. These tips will keep your avocado trees in good condition.
The indoor avocado trees do not need direct sunlight. You can keep the tree pots in a sunny spot or near a window that receives good sunlight and they will thrive well.
If your avocado trees are outside in your garden area, you need to keep them under direct sunlight for at least 6 to 8 hours daily. Indirect sunlight is ideal for small avocado trees, as they cannot survive well under direct sunlight. Once they are mature, they need to be placed in a place with full sun exposure.
2.2. Watering the Avocado Plants
Avocado trees almost always need good watering for their proper growth. Avocado trees need moist soil and a proper drainage system. During germination and sprouting, the avocado trees require irregular watering, and mature trees require a lot more water during their fruit-bearing stages.
2.3. Soil Condition for Avocado Plants
The avocado plants grow in potting soil with the proper amount of compost and a good water drainage system. Make a soil bed rich in organic matter and dried leaves as much as possible to make it looser. Most of the soil is rich in sand or sandy loam, and some soil supports fruit growth in the avocado trees.
2.4. Climate for Avocado Plants
Avoid extreme weather conditions for the proper growth of avocado plants. Too much heat or too much cold is not ideal for avocado trees. Ensure a warm climate and a moderate temperature of about 15 to 30 degrees.
Avocado trees thrive well in the summer season from March to June. Some avocado varieties can thrive in much colder temperatures, around -2 to 0 degrees. Freezing in a cold climate is not good for avocado trees’ growth. If you really want to grow avocado trees, you need to make sure that the weather is optimum for their growth.
2.3. Use a Fertilizer to Boost the Growth
Although avocado trees get nutrients from the soil, they also need a good fertilizer for better growth. Fertilizers with a proper amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium are perfect for avocado trees. You can fertilize the soil every week during the summer season. Avoid using fertilizers during the winter as the avocado tree grows slowly at this time.
2.4. Keep It Humid
A humid environment is necessary for the avocado trees to grow faster and bear fruits. A moderate to high humidity (45%-65%) is quite favorable for avocado trees. You may need to spray some water if the leaves and stems look dry.
You can also use a humidifier for indoor plants to increase humidity around the avocado trees. The roots may love to dry out but the leaves and stem love a misty vibe. So, keep a close watch and use some mist to keep avocado trees moist.
2.5. Pollination Of Avocado Trees
Pollination of avocado flowers, once they start blooming, can be done in any of two ways: hand pollination or direct contact and indirect pollination using a pollinating tool.
2.5.1. Direct Pollination of Avocado Trees
Avocado tree flowers start to bloom from March to May. Natural pollination or hand pollination is useful when you already have type A and Type B avocado trees. Type A avocado flowers are female in the morning and male in the afternoon while type B avocado flowers are male in the morning and female in the afternoon during the first day of the bloom.
Collect male flowers from type B avocado trees and pollinate the type A female flowers in the morning of the first day of the avocado flower blooming. You can also use the type A male flowers in the afternoon and pollinate the type B female flowers at the same time.
If you have only any type of avocado tree, you can collect the male flowers and keep them until the next day. Use them to pollinate the female flowers the next day.
2.5.2. Indirect Pollination Of Avocado Trees
In this process, you can use a pollen-collecting tool including a paintbrush or a cotton swab to collect the pollen from male avocado flowers. Store the pollen with the brush or swab in a zip-lock bag and use it to pollinate the female avocado flowers. Another pretty effective method is to attract pollinators. Bees are the best pollinators for avocado flower pollination.
2.6. Protect Plants from Pests and Fungal Infections
Avocado trees are susceptible to pests and fungal infections and only proper care is the best solution to save them. The pests that largely decay plant leaves, flowers, and fruits are mostly bugs, mites, caterpillars, borers, and thrips. Careful use of some fungicides and insecticides is preferred during avocado tree growth, flowering, and fruit production.
Growing avocado from seed requires a lot of patience and is surely an exciting learning opportunity for those who want to gain some idea about growing avocado trees from seed. Watching the seed become a tree and bear an avocado fruit is a rewarding experience. But if you are lucky enough, you may have your own avocado tree and avocado fruits in your backyards with some skills and proper care!