The next time you make guacamole, save the pits from your avocados. You can use them to grow a small avocado tree. Although some avocado varieties can handle light frosts, gardeners usually cannot grow avocados outdoors in Canada. Indoor avocado trees rarely produce fruit, but they still make for an interesting house plant, and sprouting avocado pits is a fun garden activity for children. Avocado trees need plenty of sun and regular water.
Carefully run a knife around the pit of a ripe avocado. Do not cut through the pit. Twist the two halves of the fruit to separate them, then carefully pluck out the pit with a spoon. Rinse the pit and set it aside while you eat the avocado.
Fill a 6-inch-diameter pot or similar container with moist potting mix. Make sure your container has drainage holes in the bottom.
Bury the avocado pit in the soil with the pointy end of the pit sticking up. The end of the avocado pit should be just barely above the soil.
Water the soil every few days so that is evenly moist. Keep the pot in a warm, sunny location, such as a south facing window. The avocado pit should germinate in two to 12 weeks.
Put the pot outside after the danger of frost has passed. Slowly harden off your avocado by leaving the pot outside for increasingly amounts of time every day until the plant is accustomed to life outside. Bring the pot back indoors at the end of summer, before the frost hits.
Move the avocado tree into a bigger pot once a year in the spring. You can mix a little compost in so that the blend is one part compost to four parts potting mix, or you can apply all-purpose house plant food once or twice a year. Always follow all package instructions when using fertilizer.
Things You Will Need
- Potting mix
- Compost or fertilizer
- Pinch back the top growth of the avocado once it reaches about 12 inches tall if you would like a shorter, bushier house plant.
- Gardeners in warm, protected locations in British Columbia may be able to grow hardier avocado varieties such as Mexicola Grande or Fuerte outside year round. However, they will still be susceptible to frost damage and if any fruit forms it is unlikely to ripen thoroughly.
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