The Q&A Archives: Avocado From Seed

Question: I am looking for the right way to germinate an avocado seed, and raise a tree. Also how to maintain it.

Answer: You can grow an interesting houseplant from your avocado pit. Take three toothpicks and insert them opposite of each other about halfway between the top (pointy end) and the bottom (flat end) of each pit. These will be used to suspend the pit in a glass of water. Place the skewered avocado pit in a glassful of water so the top is above the water and the bottom half is in the water. The pit will crack and grow roots and then send a shoot up out of the top. Once the sprout has developed two leaves, transplant your new tree into a pot filled with regular potting soil and keep your new tree in bright light (but not direct sunlight at first). Once it has adjusted to being in a pot, move it to the brightest location you have. When the stem is about 12 inches tall, pinch out the tip to encourage branching. The result will be a multistemed plant. If you don't pinch out the top, you'll get a tall, skinny, leafless stem will foliage appearing only on top.

Give the seedling plenty of light, the brighter the better. You will need to repot it into larger containers as it grows or it will quickly become very unhappy! Fertilize it with the low rate of a liquid plant food periodically. Keep the soil moist but not soggy and your plant should do well.

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