Avocados are considered by many to be a ‘super food’ as they are so packed with nutrients and can be used in so many ways in the kitchen- not just spread on toast! They are quite expensive to buy in the shops and as you slice another avocado open, you may well wonder if you can grow an avocado tree from the large pit (stone) and the answer is yes!
- One method that is recommended by many is to remove the pit from the fruit. Check that it has not been cut or broken in any way and then clean away any flesh.
- Pierce the avocado pit with four cocktail sticks at the north, south, east and west directions and push the cocktail stick into the pit about halfway.
- Fill a suitable container with water and balance the avocado pit (wider side down) over the container so that the bottom one third of the pit is in the water.
- Keep the avocado somewhere bright but out of direct sunlight and change the water every few days. The pit will split and a new shoot will start to develop after 2- 6 weeks- sometimes longer!
- When the shoot is about three inches (7.6 cm) in height, plant the pit in a pot about eight inches (20 cm) in size using good quality soil and water regularly.
An even easier method to grow an avocado is to clean the avocado pit and pop it in a pot of quality soil in a warm light position. Water regularly and a shoot should appear.
Whichever way you decide to try, once the avocado shoot is about six inches tall (15 cm), you need to cut it back to a height of three inches as this will help the root system to develop. Lightly prune your avocado every time it grows by another six inches as this will make it develop into a bushier young tree. If you live somewhere that enjoys good weather all year round (with minimum temperatures of 10-12ºC), you can plant your avocado in the garden.
Avocado trees on average, do not start to bear fruit until they are about ten years old. This could explain why they carry a high price tag in the shops!