At the end of 2017, I decided I was going to try my hand at growing an avocado tree in 2018. You know, just for fun. But I also challenged my siblings and parents to grow one, too. I started 10 pits. (Because avocado pits take a long time to start, I’m eager, and I wanted to increase my odds of getting a new, fun houseplant—I’m well aware avocado trees don’t grow in Ohio!)
Right now, 7 are in pots; 1 is sending up a shoot (and will need to be potted within a few weeks); 2 have rooted. I’m at the point of giving away some of the trees because I can’t possibly keep 7 avocado trees—I just want 1 or 2, maybe 3.
I’ve been chronicling my avocado journey on Instagram and dare I say that it has become my “thing.” As in, friends and family are starting to gift me avocado-related items. A friend gave me some snazzy socks and I received a funny “Avocado-holic” t-shirt from family.
When it comes to growing plants and caring for them, I tend to not be too scientific with it. I wing it—go with my gut, for better or worse. But, because of aforementioned challenge, I actually researched this endeavor—a little bit—and then created my own piecemeal method. I’d say 7 out of 10 pits potted ain’t too shabby. Almost 80% successfully grown into trees and who knows what’s going to happen with those last 2?
So, I figured, I’d share with you how I’ve done it. My method sprouts avocado seeds without toothpicks, which is a common technique. I started with the soaking technique in this video:
But! I only soaked my pits until the peel came completely off (with my help). As soon as they were peeled, I transferred them to water bottle starters that I learned to make with this video:
I kept the bottles filled with enough water so the bottom half of the pit was always submersed.
Here, I’m going to tell you that I tried 2 AvoSeedos. While they’re very innovative, I liked the water bottle starters better. The main benefit of the AvoSeedo is that you don’t have to worry about the water level getting too low and your pit drying out. While I DID have to check the water bottle starters daily, I found that one of the pits in my AvoSeedos didn’t send up a viable shoot until I kept the water level very high, checking it every day. It could have been because I was using a small-ish bowl to float the AvoSeedo in. I don’t know. The other one did just fine. You make the choice, as you start your own avocado journey.
Once a pit sent up a shoot and a few leaves unfurled (it takes months), I transferred it to a pot of dirt. I have a bunch of 32 oz. yogurt tubs stashed in my basement for gardening purposes, so I was all set. I punched holes in the bottom of them to allow water to drain, put a few rocks in the bottom, added some potting soil, and tucked in the avocado tree, covering the pit about halfway with dirt.
Okay, so from there, I dunno. Ha! A follower on Instagram told me to pinch the top of the tree off to make it bushier. I did that with the first tree I potted. It hasn’t done much since. It’s still healthy, but I’ve yet to see new growth. It makes me hesitant to pinch other trees juuuust yet.
Are you a step ahead? Have you already done this and have an avocado tree in your home—or garden? Tell me your secrets!