Avocados are used in many recipes, and for those who enjoy guacamole, fresh avocados are a must. Once you eat the avocado, you can sprout the pit and grow an attractive houseplant. Sprouting avocado pits makes an excellent project for children learning about plants and living things, as they can actually see the roots and tiny tree start to sprout from the pit. Plant the seedling and it will grow into a tree, although it will probably never bear fruit.
Fill a 6-inch clay pot with a mixture of one part potting soil, one part perlite and one part coco peat. Leave a little room at the top for watering.
Remove the toothpicks from the sprouting pit and plant the seedling in the center of the pot when the white taproot is 2 to 3 inches long. Leave the top of the pit just sticking out of the top of the soil and water to evenly moisten.
Place the pot in bright, indirect sunlight. Direct light will burn the leaves on young avocado plants. As the plant matures, it can take more direct sunlight.
Water the plant until the water starts to come out of the drain holes. Let the water drain into the saucer for 15 minutes and discard the excess water. Wait until the top of the soil feels dry before watering again.
Pinch off the top of the growing tip when it reaches 12 inches tall, to 6 to 8 inches. This will cause the plant to be bushier and more attractive. You can repeat the pinching when it reaches 2 or 3 feet tall by 3 or 4 inches.
Mist the avocado plant when the air in your home is hot and dry. This is especially important when heat or air conditioning is running. Spray the tree twice a week in these conditions. Use distilled water as the tree may react badly to chemicals in some tap water.
Apply a fertilizer made for avocado plants every three weeks in the spring and summer and every six weeks in the fall and winter. Follow the manufacturer's direction on how much to apply.