How do I Grow Avocado Trees?

M. Walker

It is possible to grow avocado trees either from the seed or from purchased seedlings to plant in a garden or flowerpot. To grow avocado trees that produce avocados, the plants must be grafted, or fused with the tissues of other plants. The grafting process is often difficult to accomplish, so individuals who desire fruit-bearing avocado trees should purchase pre-grafted seedlings. Otherwise, these trees can easily be grown from the pit found in the center of an avocado.

Avocado trees may be grown by planting the fruit's pit.
Avocado trees may be grown by planting the fruit's pit.

To begin to grow avocado trees, wash the avocado pit and suspend it in a cup of water so that the bottom is submerged about 1 inch (2.54 cm) of liquid. This can be accomplished by carefully inserting a few toothpicks, thumbtacks, or skewers into the pit’s surface to act as a stand. When placed at even intervals, the stand can be balanced over the edges of a cup or glass to keep the avocado pit suspended in the water. Be sure that the fatter part of the avocado pit is the section that is submerged because the stem will begin to grow upward from the pointier end.

Ounce for ounce, avocados contain more protein than cow's milk.
Ounce for ounce, avocados contain more protein than cow's milk.

Keep the avocado pit in water, continuing to maintain the proper water level, and place it in a warm, sunny location. Roots should begin to form in the cup after about a month, and a stem should begin to sprout from the top of the pit. Let the stem grow to about 6 inches (about 15.35 cm), and then trim it down so that it is only 3 inches (about 7.62 cm). Once the stem has grown back to its original length and the roots have become strong and thick, the plant can be moved to soil.

Planting an avocado seedling is a relatively simple process, and the growing seedling should be placed in a pot of soil so that the top section of the pit is still visible. The best pots will be ones that are about 10 inches (about 25.4 cm) in diameter, as these will allow the avocado tree’s roots to fully develop. While starting to grow avocado trees in a pot, it is important to keep them in a bright, sunny location with consistently damp soil.

It is possible to grow avocado trees outdoors as long as the climate is warm and the soil is well irrigated. To plant a tree outside, wait for it to mature and develop a thick, sturdy trunk and well-developed roots. Plant the tree in a sunny area where it can receive continuous sunlight throughout the day, and be sure to fertilize minimally, especially during the first few months of outdoor growth. Ideal planting times are between the months of March and June, as they give the plant extra time to develop before the harsher winter months.

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