Avocados are one of those fruits people can’t seem to get enough of—no matter how expensive they are! They’re creamy, full of healthy fats and delicious. If your love affair has you wondering how to grow avocado at home, we’ve got you covered.
Step 1: The Toothpick Method
Creating a houseplant is one of the ways you can learn how to grow avocado at home. For this, you’ll begin with a washed avocado pit. Carefully place three toothpicks in the seed about halfway down.
Suspend the avocado with the fat end down, ensuring half of the seed is submerged in water in a jar or glass. Be sure to replenish the water as it evaporates. Place your jar in a bright window. Over the course of a few days to several months, the seed will begin to sprout.
“When the stem is 6 to 7 inches long, cut it back to about 3 inches,” recommends The California Avocado Commission.
Step 2: The Potting Method
“When the roots are thick and the stem has leaves again, plant it in a rich humus soil in a 10-1/2-inch-diameter pot, leaving the seed half exposed,” says The California Avocado Commission. Be sure to put a little gravel or some pebbles in the bottom to ensure proper drainage, and keep the soil moist but not saturated.
You will soon notice your plant has sprouted. As sets of leaves begin to develop and grow, consider pruning the top to create a bushier plant (which is great if you plan to keep the plant indoors). Eventually, your plant will outgrow its pot, so be sure to move to a bigger pot when needed.
Step 3: The Tree Planting Method
If you choose to plant your avocado tree in the ground, instead of keeping it as an indoor plant, you’ll want to dig a hole as deep as the current root ball and a little wider than the width. “The avocado is a shallow-rooted tree with most of its feeder roots in the top 6 inches of soil, so give it good aeration,” says The California Avocado Commission.
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Because its root system is fragile, you should be very careful not to disturb the plant during transfer. “If the tree is root-bound, however, loosen up the soil around the edges and clip the roots that are going in circles,” says The California Avocado Commission. Next, check the pH of your soil, since avocado trees prefer a pH of 6 to 6.5. You’ll want to make a mound 1 to 2 feet high and 3 to 5 feet around if you have heavy clay soil. This will ensure proper drainage.
Just like when growing avocado indoors, watering outdoors is similar. Soak the soil well and allow it to dry out moderately before watering again. “Trees typically need to be watered two to three times a week. As the roots reach out into the bulk soil, more water can be applied and the frequency of watering can diminish to about once a week after a year,” says The California Avocado Commission.