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How to Grow an Avocado Tree

Updated on January 23, 2016

Grow an Avocado Tree at Home from Seed

I really cannot remember who first showed me how to grow an avocado tree from seed as a child. I do remember however how intrigued I was by the large pit of the avocado which reminded me of a dinosaur's egg, and trying my luck at planting it, hoping a tree would grow out of it, without much success at the time.

Two years ago however, as we were having an avocado salad at home and my kids were equally curious about this unusual fruit, I decided to show them how one is supposed to grow an avocado tree from a pit. This time, we were in luck! The avocado pit grew roots and a small green shoot made its appearance which eventually started growing into a beautiful plant! I have had my first avocado tree grown from seed for over two years now, it is perfectly healthy and I am thinking of transplanting into in a sheltered spot of our garden this year, in order to give it more room to grow. It has not borne any avocado fruit yet, but you should know that avocado trees grown from seed at home can take up to 10-15 years to bear fruit and they might never do, either because in some cases they have to be grafted, or because the climatic conditions they are growing in are not to their absolute liking.

Even without fruit though, an avocado tree is a beautiful plant and it is a great idea to grow your own, especially if you include your children in this fun as well as educational gardening activity.

Unless otherwise specified, all photos are mine

You absolutely insist on harvesting avocados? - Buy a grown avocado tree

If you absolutely insist on your avocado tree bearing fruit one day, you might be better off buying an already grown and grafted avocado tree rather than growing one from seed. The Haas avocado tree featured here is one of the top rated varieties on Amazon. It is already grafted and ready to produce fruit in half the time normally necessary for avocado trees grown from seed. It is a quite cold hardy, although if winters are really cold where you live you will have to protect it from severe frost. Depending on where you live, you can either grow it in a large container if you have to move it inside for protection in winter, or in your garden if the climate is more temperate. The Hass avocado tree produces very tasty dark green fruit from April to October, which turn purplish-black when ripe.

But don't miss out on the fun of growing your own

Growing your own avocado tree from seed is really not hard at all. Here is how to do it:

First of all, you need the pit of an avocado. Take a ripe avocado, slice it in half lengthwise with a sharp knife and twist the two halves apart. With a spoon, release the avocado pit without damaging it.

You will notice that the pit is pointed at one end and rounder at the other. Take three wooden toothpicks and stick them in the rounded end of the pit, like this.

Now place your avocado pit in a clear glass jar and fill it with water until about 2/3 of the pit is covered, with the toothpicks keeping the tip out of the water.

Place your jar in a well-lit spot and add more water every few days as the level goes down due to evaporation. In a few weeks, the pit will split and you should see small white roots growing out of it. Your avocado is now ready for planting.

Find a small flower pot, put some perlite on the bottom for drainage and add some good potting earth. Dig a hole in the middle, carefully place your avocado pit inside (after taking out the toothpicks) and cover it up with more soil, leaving the pointed tip uncovered by about 1/3.

Place the plant in a warm, sunny spot and water regularly, ensuring good drainage so that the soil is moist but never soggy. In a few weeks, you should see a bright green shoot growing out of the pit.

Take good care of your avocado tree to keep it healthy. Give it enough water to keep the soil moist, especially in summer. Fertilize it every 4-6 weeks and make sure it has enough sunlight during the day, otherwise it may not be able to bear fruit. If you are lucky, you may wake up one day and see that your avocado tree has flowered! And if it flowers, there is a very good chance that it may bear fruit!

Here is my two year old avocado tree, grown from seed in the way I have just described to you. It has not flowered yet, and it may never do, although it is far too soon to tell for a tree grown from seed at home.

What can you do with avocados?

Assuming that you had such a success growing avocado trees in your garden that you are harvesting more avocados than you can possibly use, what can you do with avocados?

Avocado tools and Cookbooks - Helpful items on Amazon to help you make the most out of your avocados

Use them in great tasting recipes

Avocados taste absolutely wonderful! Soft and silky, buttery and refreshing there are so many yummy things you can do with avocados!

Shrimp and Avocado Salad

I love the taste of shrimps with avocado and this is my favorite salad for summer. Actually, it is not just a salad but a healthy, low calorie and absolutely yummy meal!

Here is what you need:

For the salad

1kgr of large shrimps, boiled

1 medium sized lettuce

2 avocados, peeled and diced

For the dressing

1/2 cup mayonnaise sauce

1 tbs lemon juice

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 tbs parsley, finely chopped

1 tbs chives, finely chopped

a pinch of hot chile powder

Place the lettuce leaves on a plate and add the shrimps and avocado pieces. Mix the ingredients for the dressing together and pour over the salad.

Avocado Shrimp Cocktail

This was my favorite starter when I was a child and I still love it.

You will need:

2 ripe avocados

300 grs of baby shrimps, peeled and boiled

1 cup mayonnaise sauce

5-6 drops of hot tabasco cause

2 tbs capers

Cut the avocados in half lengthwise and remove the pit but do not peel them. Mix the rest of the ingredients together and place some of the mixture into the holes left by the pits. Just yummy as a starter or a quick meal!

Here and here, you can find more delicious avocado recipes

Photo credit: via Compfight cc

Avocado skin care

Avocados are wonderful for dry skin and hair care because of their high fat content. It is very easy to make avocado masks at home and, believe me, they are much better and cheaper than shop bought ones. Here are my favorite homemade avocado mask recipes which I use regularly at home. The skin mask is really effective for moisturizing dry or sensitive skin and it also has an anti-ageing effect. The hair mask is fantastic for deep conditioning dry, frizzy or very curly hair.

Avocado dry skin face mask

Peel and pit a very ripe avocado and mash it in a bowl. Add 1/2 cup of honey and keep mashing until you have a smooth creamy paste.

If you want to keep some of it for some days you can, provided you add 1 tsp lemon juice and keep it in the refrigerator.

Apply the mask to your face using your fingers and leave it on for 10-15 minutes. Gently wash it off with warm water and pat dry.

Avocado hair mask

Peel and pit a very ripe avocado and mash it into a bowl. Add 1 tbs of warm olive oil and one egg white. Keep mixing until smooth. Apply the mask to your hair and put on a shower cap. This both helps the hydrating factors to better penetrate your hair and it will also keep you from making an oily mess of everything! Shampoo your hair twice to remove all oily traces and enjoy marvellously soft and shiny hair!

Photo Credit: xlungex via Compfight cc

Everything Avocado - Avocado home and kitchen décor

Avocados not only taste wonderful and make amazing skin care products, they also have a lovely green color. Decorate your home and kitchen with beautiful avocado inspired items

© 2013 Aquamarine18

What do you think of avocados? Please leave a comment

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    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 4 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      I love blended avocados. You should try them sometime.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 4 years ago from San Francisco

      I love them, of course! When avocados are in season we eat a lot of them. Our favorite is to make a simple guacamole, adding lime juice, minced onion and garlic and salt and pepper, but we love them sliced in salads and on sandwiches, in quesadillas and as a sweet little mini salad too. To make that one, we leave the avocado in its shell, minus the pit, add a little balsamic and olive oil mixed with a bit of pressed garlic and onion, salt and pepper, and, well, yum!

    • profile image

      MaggiePowell 4 years ago

      Your Avocado tree will probably just stay a nice ornamental but non-productive tree. In order for an Avocado tree to fruit, it should be grafted.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Do you have to crop the first bottom leaves when they start to grow? Or just leave them?

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 4 years ago

      What do you do with avocados? You mean there is someone who doesn't know? Oh, poor baby. I love avocados. Really thorough well developed lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I LOVE AVOCADOS!! And I remember the thing about the toothpicks and the seed. But since many family friends had avocado trees and would give us bags of them for free, I never bothered to grow a tree. That was when I was living in Florida. Now I live in Texas and I sure do miss my Florida avocados.