We all love avocados, and especially in the summer, they are everyone’s favorite fruits! The avocado fruit is simply delicious and irresistible, and this food can be easily incorporated in your everyday diet, either alone or as a unique condiment.
However, a few of you probably knew that you can plant and grow your own avocado at home!
Therefore, next time you are slicing it for a salad, or you are preparing delicious guacamoles, remember not to throw the seed away, as you will need it in order to grow your own avocado trees.
However, people in areas with sunny and warm areas may enjoy in these fruits often, but since they can be easily destroyed by frost and cold, northern gardeners should follow some important tips in order to grow them at home.
First of all, extract the seed, by removing the pit from the flesh of the avocado gently. Wash it clean or soak the pit n some water for several minutes and them scrub it to eliminate all remains. However, note that you should keep the seed cover, that is, the brown skin of the pit.
Then, pierce it. All avocado pits have two ends, its top, that is, the end from which the sprout grows, and its bottom, from where the roots grow. The top is the end which is a bit pointier, and the flatter one is the bottom.
In order to stimulate it to sprout, you should put the bottom in some water. Therefore, it is important to determine which end is the bottom before you pierce the pit.
After you have soaked it in water, firmly wedge in some toothpicks. In order to leave a larger part of the avocado base soaking, you should stick the toothpicks pointing down.
Next, you need to leave the seed to sprout for 3-6 weeks. After this time, you will notice a sprout coming out from the top, as well as roots at the base.
As soon as the stem is grown for about 5-6 inches, pinch out the top set of leaves, and in a few weeks, you can expect to have new leaves and no more roots.
After some time, the sprout tail will be around 6-7 inches, and you will need to trim it in half in order to stimulate new growth.
Now, take a large flowerpot (for instance, 8″ to 10″ across) and place some enriched potting soil to about an inch from the pot’s top.
Place the pit in a small depression you will make in the center, but you need to put it root-side down. In order to water the pit, you should generously water the soil, as it needs to be really moist.
How to Care for an Avocado Tree
Like all shallow-rooted trees, the avocado tree needs loose, well-drained soil. As for pH, it should be neutral or slightly acidic, as with most other garden plants.
In the first few years of life, an avocado tree needs a lot of water. Water the plant two to three times a week. After the tree is rooted, watering can be reduced, as the roots will get the necessary moisture from the soil. Understanding when a tree needs additional moisture is quite simple – pay attention to soil moisture, as soon as it dries, water the plant.
Avocados grow well in fertile soil and require regular fertilization throughout their lives. In the early stages, in order for the tree to grow healthy and strong, use a fertilizer rich in nitrogen once a month. Such top dressing can be replaced with organic compost, which is applied every three months. Continue to fertilize the plant during flowering and throughout the growing season. When the fruits are ripe, fertilizer can be postponed until the next season.
Caring for an avocado depends on where you grow it. An outdoor tree will require minimal pruning. Potted plants, on the other hand, require pruning regularly to keep them compact. In addition to the main branches, pay attention to side shoots so that the avocado does not lose shape.
Pests and diseases
Although the avocado tree has a high content of the toxic persin, to which only humans and cats are immune, it does not repel pests. Spider mites, thrips and caterpillars can merge on the plant. Treat your avocado with neem oil to combat them.
Diseases pose another danger, the most common of which are root rot and bay wilt. Root rot is caused by overwatering or the accumulation of salts in the soil as a result of excessive fertilization. Laurel wilt is a deadly fungal infection spread by ragweed beetles, so keep them out.