If you are a frequent shopper of avocados at the grocery store and like me love to consume this fruit, you may have already thought about planting your own avocado tree to harvest the fresh fruit. While it takes a lot of patience to grow an avocado tree from seed or rather a stone (it can take up to 13 years before it starts producing fruit), you’ll have everything you need to grow one the next time you cut an avocado after reading this article.
How to plant and grow an avocado tree from a stone.
First, grow your avocado seedling inside the large brown seed in the center of the fruit. You can grow the tree outdoors if you live in a warm area. Although they grow in warm regions, avocados are exotic fruits that grow in tropical climates. In France, they can be grown indoors, at least for now….
Avocado trees are subtropical plants native to southern Mexico. If you live in an area where winter temperatures regularly drop below freezing, plant the avocado tree in a pot so you can move it indoors during the winter. Indoor avocado trees should be grown in potting soil, not garden soil, to allow air and water to circulate freely.
How and When to Plant an Avocado Tree
It is easy to germinate an avocado seed, as you may have learned as a child. Buy an avocado, taste its succulent green flesh, and then wash the large seed or stone. Remember which end of the seed was on top and which was on the bottom. Next, push several toothpicks into the center of the kernel and place the toothpicks in a glass of water so that the bottom of the seed is in the water. You can germinate your kernel any time of the year, as the seedling will remain inside at this point.
Place the cup in a warm place but away from direct sunlight, adding water as needed to keep the bottom centimeter of seed in the water. Roots develop first, followed by the emergence of a seedling.
When the seedling reaches 15 to 20 cm in height, cut the stem in half, about 8 cm high, to encourage the plant to put its energies into new growth. When the seedling has several leaves and thick roots, plant the seed in potting soil in a 25 cm wide pot with drainage holes.
Tips for caring for a young avocado tree
Place the pot in a sunny window inside or move it outside whenever the temperature is 10°C or above. Keep young avocado trees in pots in partial shade; the leaves can burn if they receive too much direct sunlight while they are still establishing.
If the tree is grown indoors in a container, plant it in potting soil and water weekly. If the container is moved outside in hot, dry weather, water more frequently.
If planting outdoors, choose well-drained garden soil and water the newly planted avocado tree every 5 to 10 days with several inches of water. It is best to water less frequently but deeply to force the roots to grow to reach the water. Keeping about 18 cm from the trunk of the tree, mulch with about 9 to 15 cm of thick bark or cocoa bean shells to retain moisture.
If you live in a warm enough area (outside France), you can plant outdoors. Avocados grow best at temperatures between 15 and 30 ° C in areas with medium or high humidity.
In summer, fertilize weekly with nitrogen fertilizer, indicated by a higher first number, such as 7-4-2. Avocados also need a small amount of zinc, so look for a fertilizer containing this component. Avoid fertilizing during the winter when growth is minimal.
Prune the tree regularly. Every time it grows 20 cm tall, cut off the first two sets of leaves. When the plant reaches 30 cm, cut it back to 15 cm. When the plant has reached 45 cm, cut it back to 30 cm, and so on. This encourages bushier growth.
Repotting the indoor avocado tree:
If you grow the avocado tree in a container, gently remove it as it grows and place it in larger and larger pots, the diameter of which increases by 5 cm at a time.
Frequently asked questions about lawyer culture:
How big is an avocado tree?
Mature avocado trees planted outdoors reach up to 4-10 m in height. As they grow, they can become too large to keep in containers without being too cramped.
How long will it take me to have lawyers on my avocado tree?
If you start with the avocado bean in a glass of water, expect to wait about 13 years to have fruit. However, if you start with a healthy nursery-grown plant, you could be eating your own avocados in about four years. Avocados do not ripen on the tree, so you will need to pick them once they reach a good size and wait several days for the flesh to soften.
How long do avocado trees live?
When the tree is planted in optimal conditions, it could outlive you. Avocado trees have been known to live for hundreds of years.