Growing avocado from seed is a rewarding and satisfying project. It’s also quite easy, provided you follow certain guidelines to ensure your seeds will germinate successfully. Here are seven things that I feel are important for beginners to know before embarking on their first attempt at growing avocados from seed.
It’s Not A Tree, It’s An Herb
Although avocados have been planted in many regions of the world where they don’t naturally occur and will grow into attractive shade trees over time, avocado is a member of the Lauraceae family. This means that unlike other fruit trees such as apples or pears which produce seeds inside their fruits, avocados produce their seeds on the outside of the fruit.
An avocado seed consists of two main parts: a dark outer layer and a lighter inner portion called the kernel or meat. The hard black shell is part of both its protective mechanism as well as its method for dispersal in nature—the unripe green fruit containing this large seed will drop from the tree when ready to “release” it into new territory where conditions are favorable for growth (usually via water such as streams). Since you’ve probably never seen an actual avocado plant sprouting up along your local streambed, we’ll call this scenario ‘unnatural’ propagation…but we can still make use of some features found within!
You Can Grow Avocado From Seed
Since this is not a common practice, you may be surprised to learn that many different parts of an avocado fruit are quite suitable for growing new plants. The most popular method by far involves collecting the large almond-shaped pit with its attached kernel and sowing it directly into potting soil where it will eventually sprout roots throughout the winter months (or early spring in warmer climates).
However, if your only option happens to be young immature green avocados—which often appear on trees as low spiny branches or enlarged leaves surrounding elongated flower stalks called panicles–you’re closer than you think! The entire branch itself makes a wonderful cutting which usually takes root within just one week if planted immediately after harvesting. When selecting soil for avocado trees, make sure you choose rich, well-draining soil. There are also special mixes available for growing avocado trees from seed which can be beneficial when planting the young tree in its permanent location. If using your own garden soil, begin by adding one inch of organic compost to the top six inches of soil and blend it into the native soils thoroughly before planting avocado seeds or pits.
Avocados Are Grown From Seed Take Years To Fruit
This is perhaps the most common misconception that I see when people start researching avocado propagation online.
Although it’s true that avocados grown from seeds will indeed produce their flowers and therefore, set fruit with regular pollination, the process of growing a tree large enough to yield mature fruits can vary wildly depending on environmental conditions. Some growers have managed to get around this by grafting a small branch or even a bud instead of planting an entire pit—but these methods are comparatively rare since they involve more advanced skills such as cleft-grafting which isn’t necessarily for beginners. You’ll just need patience if you want your tiny sapling to become fruitful!
Grows Best In Full Sun
Although the exact requirements for fruiting and growth will vary depending on your local climate, it’s safe to assume that avocado plants prefer a lot of direct sunlight—at least six hours per day or more if possible! They can certainly endure part-shade conditions (especially when young) but they may not produce as many flowers over time which could result in fewer fruits. Therefore, this is an essential requirement regardless of location, just make sure you plant them where they’ll get enough light without burning leaves from reflected heat during hot periods.
Avocados also require proper drainage since their roots tend to be sensitive to waterlogged soil even though their foliage can tolerate mild drought conditions. One of the main reasons for poor growth or early decline is due to excessive water which can cause roots to rot. During the winter months, you may need to reduce watering even further so that soil doesn’t become soggy from rainfall alone unless your tree happens to be indoors under artificial light where humidity levels will remain higher throughout the year.
Prone To Pests & Diseases
Although they’re generally very resistant against most common fruit tree problems in temperate climates, avocado plants can experience infestations from various types of insects or diseases when grown outside. Aphids are perhaps the worst culprits since these tiny sap-sucking bugs favor tender new growth and can quickly kill young seedlings if not detected immediately! It’s also worth mentioning that nearby citrus trees may act as a host for avocados during certain times of the year which is one reason why it helps to plant them further away—particularly if your area happens to be humid enough.
You should always check any unusual discoloration on leaves, stems, or roots before deciding whether you need pest control measures around an avocado tree. I usually use a strong jet of water to knock aphids off leaves or simply take the time to remove them with insecticidal soap if plants are still small enough for me to do so safely! Once insects get out of hand, you may need chemical treatments but this should be your last resort unless you want avocados that taste like pesticides instead of fruit.
Although I’ve occasionally seen advice suggesting that avocado plants don’t require regular feeding, this is not true in most cases. These tropical beauties will certainly appreciate occasional organic mulches or compost applications around their roots to boost soil fertility but they should be fed with a balanced fertilizer about once every month during the growing season when leaves begin to appear! You may need more frequent treatment if you’re growing avocados outdoors where there’s less control over moisture levels—and it’s easy to forget all about them since these trees tend to grow slowly at first!
Can Be Grown From Cuttings
Avocados are surprisingly easy to propagate since they naturally drop branches or seeds which will eventually sprout into new plants! This is why many people choose to grow avocados by rooting a branch instead of planting an entire pit—but these methods are comparatively rare since they involve more advanced skills such as cleft-grafting which isn’t necessarily for beginners. You’ll just need patience if you want your tiny sapling to become fruitful!
If you’ve got the time and resources, nothing is stopping you from growing multiple avocado trees at once so long as each one has sufficient space between it and its neighbor (about 25 feet minimum). I plant two seedlings per hole whenever I have enough room for extra plants since they’ll grow more slowly as a result—and it’s always good to have backups in case you lose one or two during a cold winter.
So there you have it: seven essential tips which should help anyone successfully grow an avocado plant from seed indoors without too much trouble at all… unless you suddenly decide that avocados aren’t worth having around after all since they take up a lot of space!