The avocado is an excellent fruit in terms of taste and health. Many of us would like to produce our own avocados by simply planting a few pits… You can indeed get a very nice plant this way, or even a tree after a few years, but there is little chance that you will be able to harvest lawyers. However, let’s see how to plant a pit to grow an avocado tree.
Preparing the avocado pit before sprouting it
This step consists of extract the core of the fruit which, biologically, is none other than the unique seed of this big lot called a lawyer. It must then be cleaned well so that there is no flesh left at all. To do this, simply pass it under water and rub it by hand. Finish by rinsing with lukewarm water and then let it dry well at room temperature for a day.
Once the pit is dry, superficially cut its tegument, that is, the more or less brown envelope that surrounds it, with the point of a knife, from top to bottom. We can then move on to hot germination thanks to two methods: the glass of water or the small pot of substrate.
Sprout an avocado pit in water
It is necessary to plant four wooden toothpicks, tilting them slightly, at the base of the pit without pushing them too much (no more than 4 or 5 mm) so as to form feet for this large glitch to stand upright. It only remains to place the latter, tip pointing up, in a small glass container such as a jam jar or yogurt jar. Finally, a little water is poured in so that the base of the core is in contact with the liquid, and the upper part out of the water.
Thereafter, it will be necessary to change the water regularly. It is crucial to place it in bright light, in a warm place, but avoiding direct sunlight.
Sprout an avocado pit in the ground
This is another method used to allow roots to form and it is just as effective as the previous one. However, it does not allow observation of root development. No need to use toothpicks.
The avocado kernel must be installed in a light substrate, loose, that retains water, such as seedling soil or a homemade mixture of 30% medium-grained sand, 30% well-matured compost and 40% seedling soil. Be careful however, this substrate must be healthy. It is therefore strongly recommended to pass it for 50 minutes in the Th 4 oven (120°C) then to let it cool completely before use.
Fill a small terracotta pot about 25 cm in diameter with substrate, and plant the avocado pit in it, point upwards, without burying it completely. It must in fact be left in the open air for half of its height. Finally, place the pot inside the house, in a warm and very bright room, but avoid direct sunlight.
Then water very regularly so that the terre that is always wet. It should never dry out. This does not mean that it should be soaked because that would promote the appearance of mold.
Planting an avocado stone: patience is required
Whether you put the avocado pit to germinate in water or in a substrate, you have to be patient. The roots develop, and after 21 to 28 days the core cracks and then the germ appears between the two cotyledons. But before planting this very young avocado tree in a large pot, it takes between 4 and 5 months, which allows the small plant to have formed several leaves. Of course, when replanting the kernel installed in a glass of water, we free it from the toothpicks…
Ideally, several nuclei can be germinated at the same time, and why not by using the two methods described above, which multiplies the chances of success.
Caring for a Potted Avocado Tree
Once transplanted, the very young avocado tree needs some care to grow.
- Water regularly so that the soil always remains moist. But under no circumstances should its roots be soaked, as this can lead to the death of the tree in a few days.
- Spray water on the foliage.
- Pinch in the first times in order to maintain a height of 15 to 16 cm at most and to force the avocado tree to branch, otherwise it will only form a stem and it will tend to spin. The avocado tree that is a few years old is pruned in the spring to stimulate its growth and remove dead wood.
- After 6 or 8 months, let the stems grow then prune them to maintain a height of 30 or 35 cm so that they thicken and the foliage is thicker. Pruning should be done very regularly at first.
- Fertilize with a liquid fertilizer for green plants every three weeks because the avocado tree needs rich soil. Fertilizers should only start after 6 months.
Do not hesitate to install the potted avocado tree on the terrace from June, in a place sheltered from the wind and direct sun, but where it is warm enough. It is advisable to lay a mulch at the foot of the shrub to prevent the water from evaporating too quickly. This will keep the substrate fresh.
Be careful though, this is a chilly plant which must imperatively be stored inside the house or in the veranda as soon as the outside temperature is around 7°C. The avocado tree does not resist below 5°C, unless you opt for one of the varieties originating from Mexico because they are more rusticcapable of withstanding down to -6 or -8°C.
Grow an avocado tree is finally very easy since it is enough to buy on the market or in supermarkets a ripe avocado and to recover the stone after having consumed the fruit. On the other hand, you should not hope to produce your own lawyers because the fruiting of an avocado tree is only possible under specific climatic conditions, which is not the case in our latitudes. In addition, cross-pollination is almost unavoidable. Finally, note that in its natural environment, an avocado tree only bears fruit after 4 to 7 years!
Planting an avocado pit therefore allows you to have a beautiful plant but generally not producing fruit. And so that the avocado tree lives a long time, it is important to treat it as soon as it is infested with scale insects. It can be sprayed either with a mixture of black soap, methylated spirit and oil, or with a decoction of horsetail.