The following time you eat an avocado or prepare avocado toast, save the seeds. It might seem like something you would try in a fifth-grade science class, but you can actually sprout that thing and grow your own avocado tree at home and if you’re lucky enough, you’ll harvest your own creamy green fruits!
Here’s how to do it:
- Extract the seed.
Remove the avocado seed carefully without cutting or breaking it. Wash it to remove any slippery residue and dry it thoroughly.
- Pierce the seed.
Hold the seed upright. Wedge 3 toothpicks around the circumference of the seed at a slightly downward angle. If you’re not sure which part of your avocado seed is which, you should know that the top is the slightly pointy end or the part of the pit that faced the stem when the pit was inside the avocado.
- Soak the seed in water
Fill a tall, clear glass with water. Place the seed in the glass with the toothpicks resting along the lip of the glass. The bottom of the seed should be submerged in the water while the top stays dry.
- Let the seed sprout.
Place the glass in a warm spot out of direct sunlight. Change its water every couple of days to remove any mold or bacteria. Add more water if necessary to make sure that the bottom of your avocado seed stays submerged. Within 2 to 8 weeks you should start to see the sprout’s tail. Be careful with the water. You don’t want your sprout to dry out.
- Trim the sprout.
As soon as the tail grows 6 to 7 inches, trim it in half to encourage new growth.
- Prepare to plant.
As soon as the sprout grows another 6 to 7 inches, it’s time to plant it. Place the seed in a 10-inch-wide pot filled with humus-rich soil, leaving the top half of the seed exposed.
- Keep your plant happy with water and sun.
These plants love sunshine, so make sure you put the pot in a sun-drenched area. If it’s summer, you should put it outside. Water it often, so the soil is moist but not soaked. If the plant suddenly turns yellow, you’re watering it too much.
- Foster more growth
As soon as your plant grows up to 12 inches tall, cut it back to 6 inches to encourage some new growth.
- Transplant – maybe
If you live in an area where the temperature doesn’t usually dip below 45° F, you can transplant the tree into a warm, sunny spot outdoors. From March to June is the best time to do this, because young avocado trees can get sun damaged in the summer. If you live in a cooler climate, bring your pot inside as the temperatures start to fall in autumn. It doesn’t like the cold.
- Savor the fruits of your labor
Are you ready for some extra fresh guacamole? Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait for a while. Some trees will mature and bear fruit in 3 or 4 years, while others might take as 15! Believe it or not, some of those trees may never bear any fruit at all. That’s quite disappointing, but at least you have a cool and modern houseplant with an interesting story!