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Digging In: How to Grow an Avocado Tree

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June 25, 2018

Before Avocados From Mexico become your famous Big Game guacamole, they grow in our orchards down in Michoacán. Thanks to the area’s tropical climate, natural irrigation, and rich volcanic soil, the hardworking farmers have been cultivating Michoacán’s avocado trees for generations to keep producing the delicious, #AlwaysGood avocados we love today.

 

But if avocado farming is YOUR dream (it’s definitely ours), why not try to grow your own avocados at home? It’s not the easiest job, but with the right steps, it can be a fruitful challenge. (Get it?!). You can keep an avocado tree indoors as a houseplant, or if the temperature never goes below freezing where you live, plant it in your yard. (Avocado trees thrive at temperatures between 60 and 85°F).

 

Here’s how to grow an avocado tree just by using the pit!

 

Start With a Seed

Select an avocado at the store. Remember to look for a dark green to black fruit with a bumpy texture that gives a bit when you squeeze it gently. This video will show you how.

 

 

With the perfectly ripe avo picked, prepare your favorite avocado recipe and set aside the pit. After you’ve enjoyed the snack, you’re ready to set up the seed to sprout. The beginning of the process is probably the toughest phase of growing an avocado tree, but if you can get through these steps, you’re on your way to a beautiful homegrown tree.

 

  1. Wash the seed. Scrub it with water and peel off the pit’s papery skin.
  2. Turn the seed broad-side down. One end of the seed is a bit broader than the other and has a slight indentation. This is the side from which the avocado tree’s roots will sprout — the broad side must be on the bottom.
  3. Prop up the seed on a glass of water. Take three toothpicks and stick them into the seed around its center at an angle. Set it atop a glass of water so that the lower half of the seed is submerged.
  4. Keep it in a warm spot out of direct sunlight. You’ll need to wait a few weeks, adding water as needed. After a couple of weeks, you should see roots and a stem starting to emerge. (If six weeks have passed and nothing has sprouted, discard it, and try again with a new pit.)
  5. When the stem is about 6 inches long, cut it back to about 3 inches to encourage thicker growth. When the stem reaches 6 inches in length again, it’s time to pot your avocado plant in soil!

 

BEYOND TREES

If your thumb is more of an arts-and-crafts kind of green, there’s plenty more to do with an avocado pit. You can make jewelry, a foot scrub, or even Christmas ornaments — which would look just lovely dangling from the branches of your avocado tree. 👀

 

Potting and Caring for Your Avocado Plant

Choose a pot that’s about 10 inches in diameter and use rich humus soil. Leave the top half of the seed exposed. Once in soil, place your avocado plant in direct sunlight. (We love the sun. 😎) Water it a few times a week. If the tips of the leaves turn yellow, you may be overwatering your plant, so let it dry out for a few days. If it starts to turn brown, it may be because of an accumulation of salt in the soil. Let water run into the pot and drain it.

 

Expect a Wait

It will probably take several years for your avocado tree to bear avocados, but don’t get discouraged. If you made it this far, you’re doing great! Be patient while you dream of the day when you’ll be able to enjoy guacamole made with avocados from your very own tree.

 

In the meantime, there’s no need to deny yourself of the tasty fruit — Avocados From Mexico are delicious and available year-round. And if you can’t tear yourself away from your little plant, you can even have avocados delivered right to your door. When your avocado tree sees the delicious guacamole you’re making, it will feel even more encouraged to grow up and produce its own for you to enjoy! (Well, maybe not. But avocado trees are pretty magical, so who knows?)

 

Your Very Own Avocado Tree!

Before you know it, you’ll wake up one day and see an avocado growing from your little friend’s branches. You’ll be so proud that you might shed a tear and feel the impulse to hug your avocado tree and tell it how proud you are. You two have come a long way!

 

Now that you know how to grow an avocado tree, the first avocado deserves the perfect recipe. Here are a few options:

  • Classic Guacamole: You can’t go wrong with guacamole, and this classic recipe is the Guac de la Guac. It’s the perfect first guac for your homegrown avocado.
  • Veggie Tacos: By getting this far, it’s clear you’ve got heart. So try out these American Heart Association-certified heart-healthy veggie tacos, the perfect meal for your avocado to star in.
  • Avocado Salad: Avocados are always good, and salads are infinitely customizable. Check out our Salad Station to build a salad recipe fit for your avocado tree’s firstborn.

 

These recipes are just the beginning of a long, happy life for you and your avocado tree. Dig into our recipe archive to discover hundreds of new ways to prep avocados. Happy gardening!

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