Question: I just purchased a Hass avacodo tre4e. Do I need to buy another tree to pollinate? Also, I am trying to germinate some tree seeds and can't get them started. How do you do that?
Answer: Avocado trees have both male and female flowers on the same tree so you don't need a second tree for good fruit set. It's important, though, that there's lots of bee activity to move the pollen from the male to the female flowers, so don't use a lot of pesticides in your yard, and be sure to have lots of colorful annuals and perennials to attract bees to your yard.
Avocado seeds may be started in a glass of water or in a moist, porous soil mixture. If the seed is started in water, insert three or four toothpicks in the seed about half way down the sides. Next, fill a small glass with water to the brim and place the seed in the glass, flat end down, so the toothpicks rest firmly on the brim. The toothpicks should be supporting the seed so that the pointed half is out of the water and the bottom half is in the water. The sprouting tip will come out of the pointed end, so be sure the flat end is immersed in water. Place the glass on a sunny window sill or some other well lighted spot. Add water as needed to keep the bottom half of the seed wet at all times.
After a few weeks a small root should appear from the flat end, and there should be signs of a small shoot at the pointed end. Tiny leaves will develop and grow on this shoot. Later, when the main stem emerges, plant the seed in a container with house plant potting soil.
If the avocado seed is started in soil, fill a large container with house plant potting soil. Plant the seed so that the pointed end is about an inch above the soil surface. Keep the soil moist at all times until the avocado plant is established.
Water the plant often enough to keep the soil moist but not wet. A wet soil will result in curled leaves and soft stems. A dry soil will cause dry leaves that eventually fall off. You can either grow your avocado tree indoors as a houseplant, or plant it outside so it can become a tree.
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