Avocado From Seed – Grown As A Houseplant

Avocado as a house plant Growing an Avocado Houseplant Don’t throw out that seed! You can grow a beautiful houseplant or even your own tree following a few simple steps.

* Wash the seed. Using three or 4 toothpicks, suspend it broad end down over a water filled glass to cover about an inch of the seed.
* Put it in a warm place out of direct sunlight and replenish water as needed. You should see roots and stem sprout in about two to six weeks.
* When the stem is six to seven inches long, cut it back to about three inches. Yes I did say Cut it back to about 3 inches tall.
* When the roots are thick and the stem has leafed out again, plant it in a rich humus soil in a 10 inch diameter pot, leaving the seed half exposed.
** Give it frequent, light waterings with an occasional deep soak. Generally, the soil should be moist but not saturated. Yellowing leaves are a sign of over watering, let the plant dry out for a few days.
* The more sunlight, the better.
** If leaves turn brown and fry at the tips, too much salt has accumulated in the soil. Let water run freely into the pot and drain for several minutes.
* When the stem is 12 inches high, cut it back to 6 inches, Yes cut it back to about 6 inches tall, to encourage the growth of new shoots.

Tips for the backyard Avocado grower. If temperatures fall below 45 degrees(7.25C) it is unlikely that you will be unable to over winter Avocado trees outdoors.
While it is true that you can grow a tree from an avocado seed, keep in mind that a tree grown from seed will be very different from its parent variety and may take 3-15 years to begin producing fruit. Fruit from a tree grown from seed tends to have different flavor characteristics than their parent variety. Known varieties such as Hass avocados are grafted to preserve their varietal characteristics rather than being grown from seed.

Planting is usually best in an area where there is good drainage. Make sure it has full exposure to the sun and is not competing with other trees. Spring time is the best time to plant. Avocado seedlings don’t work well as most of them will not bear fruit. Buy a grafted variety, like a Hass, from a reputable nursery.

Watering is very important to an avocado tree since it is a subtropical fruit. A full grown tree needs at least 150 gallons per week in fall, summer and spring. In hot weather, water twice a week for short times. Avocado roots are near the surface. If tip burn occurs it is probably salt build up. Increase watering up to 250 gallons per week. Younger trees need more frequent watering for short periods due to the roots being close to the surface.

Scott’s Turf Supreme is a good all around nutrient that has trace minerals that are essential to keeping an avocado with green leaves to say the least. Younger trees require more frequent but lighter fertilizing. A mature tree which is anything over four years old takes half a pound of nitrogen per year. Apply a quarter cup of fertilizer around where the sprinkler wets the soil every other week.

Back off during heavy flowering as the tree does not need to grow.

Pruning starts just before the days start getting longer, like in February or sooner, but after any threat of frost. Eliminate branches that go in a downward direction or ones that touch or are near the ground. If they touch the ground ants can infest the tree. Long green stemmed sucker shoots that go up straight up should be topped. As the tree grows, keep the center of the tree open. Ultimately the avocado tree will be vase shaped.
Picking time can be a long span lasting several months. The fruit will be dark in color. This is the optimum time to pick for quality. Sometimes the fruit drops to the ground. Grab it before your dog gets it. He knows the best tasting avocado is one that has just fallen from a tree.

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17 responses to “Avocado From Seed – Grown As A Houseplant

  1. you wrote: * When the stem is six to seven inches long, cut it back to about three inches. Yes I did say Cut it back to about 3 inches tall.

    So important for any tree being grown from seed! I’ve actually cut a few jacaranda trees (started from seed) twice to get the trunk stronger before letting them grow for real! So far so good!

    Thank you also for subscribing to my blog! Greatly appreciate it! 🙂

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  2. Brillant idea. Avocado, Lemon and Orange trees all make beautiful houseplants. Thanks for the tips.

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  3. Great tips. I’ve been thinking of showing my son about seed sprouting with avocado seeds, but I didn’t know how to go from there with the plant itself. Thank you for sharing this info!

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  4. I’ve grown many avocado plants. Some I had the same trouble as Anne. I grew all mine though in dirt in a pot then put them in the backyard.(Calif) but I never thought of keeping them pruned as a houseplant now that I am in Arkansas winters.
    Also, I think it was you who wrote how to cook Okra without the slime? I want to put some in a stew but was wondering about the getting rid of the slime idea. Was that you?

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    • Re jsnapp62 Slimy Ideas
      1. Soaking okra in vinegar before you cook it will reduce the sliminess. Combine 1 quart of water with 1 cup of cider or distilled vinegar and let the okra soak it in for 1 hour. Then pat dry before cooking.
      2. Let your okra come to room temperature before you cook with it. It’s also a good idea to cut up your okra and let it sit at room temperature until it’s dry (about 1 hour) this will reduce any slime during cooking.
      3. Don’t slice okra into thin rounds — the less surface area the less likely there will be so much slime. Cut the okra into big chunks for using in a recipe.
      Some people swear by cooking okra whole — that you should only cut off the tops and then proceed to cook them whole. This way there’s almost no cut surface area and the okra has a lesser chance of getting slimy.
      4. Cooking okra in the oven or on your bbq grill at very high heat for a short amount of time ensures little to no slime will develop. If you’re making a gumbo or stew, add cooked okra to the pot instead of cooking it in the liquid. Choose to saute, roast or grill your okra first. You can also blanch the okra first and pat it dry before adding it to a recipe.
      5. Small, tender pods will have less sliminess in general than large, oversized pods. Look for small pods when purchasing okra. Skip buying okra in pre-measured pints or quarts and instead choose your own from the loose bins at the market.
      6. Salting food brings out moisture just think of when you cook mushrooms. The same thing applies to okra if you salt too early during cooking you will get a slimy dish. So, salt near the end or better salt at your dinning table.

      Hope you find this useful
      Happy eating slimless Orka!

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      • I have southern parents who only cooked okra whole and believe me it’s slimy. I didn’t know I liked okra until I had some fried. I grow my own and it is prolific. I only have one person at church that likes it and they can only take so much. I did cut some into rounds last year, put them on a pan and froze them, then put them in ziplok bags. If you batter them while they are still slightly frozen they are great. Thanks for the ideas. I want to make gumbo but didn’t want it to be slimy.

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  5. I love avocado, but living in Central IL I never considered trying to grow them. I think I’ll give it a shot as an indoor plant.

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  6. I have tried this and was successful in pots however we had to move cross country and left them behind with friends. I have tried again to grow an avocato tree from seed and didn’t realize how much more maintainence they need. I will attempt the trimmings does it matter what season I should trim. Can I for example trim in November if my little tree has a growth burst?

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    • Re thefolia Thanks for visiting my tiny blog.
      At almost anytime I will have 1 to 4 in some stage of growth. I give them as house gifts.
      It they are house plants and are getting all the water and sun it wants, it seems to me you can prune anytime that it needs a clip. Keeping them short causes them to become more of a bush than a tree and pruning makes the main stem much larger and stronger. Good luck on your new avocado house plant.

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      • Wow the gift that keeps giving. Thanks, what a wonderful idea to gift the prunings. So do the prunings root too?

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        • Mmmmm – I have never tried to root the tips pruned off of seedlings, but I’ll bet using a root stimulator and keeping the pot soil damp you will soon have a new rooted plant.
          Grin … Let me know your results.

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  7. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    Oh, avocado… I would so love to have them in my back garden… if I had a back garden! I live in a flat with my son.

    Thing is, I can’t even keep a pot plant alive, & it’s sheer miracle my son survived me, so I’ll leave you to do this magnificent business of actually bringing forth fruit from the earth. Wonderful.

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  8. Interesting – not something I could have outdoors and I think it would be costly in terms of water but it would nice just to go into the garden and pick an avocado pear!!

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  9. I’ve started many of these over the years, but I didn’t know to prune them and so always ended up with skinny, thin plants.

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