How To Grow an Avocado Tree At Home – It’s Easier Than You Think
If you’ve ever wondered how to grow an avocado tree at home but haven’t tried it, you should. Avocado is a delicious fruit that’s packed full of life-enhancing nutrients.
While it takes time to grow an avocado tree to the point where it produces fruit consistently, it’s something you can certainly do if you follow these simple steps and live in an area that’s an ideal climate for growing avocados.
Growing anything from seed is an interesting and rewarding experience. For kids, it’s a wonderful educational opportunity that can be profound in its effect. Growing your own avocado tree requires a basic understanding of how things grow.
But it soon turns into much more as it becomes a lesson in patience and an acceptance of the laws of nature. It’s not a quick study, but a lesson that’s spread out over the years it takes to transform a seemingly valueless thing most would simply throw away, into a plant that helps sustain life on planet earth.
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of enjoying homegrown produce from a backyard garden, you know that nothing found in the store can possibly compare. Similarly, with avocados, you’ll enjoy a taste that is a notch above. The fact that you grew it on your own property makes it extra special too.
Why Avocado Is So Good For You
Avocado has a high fat content and carries more calories than any other fruit. So how can this be good for you? Well, there are bad fats and good fats. Most of us consume far too much of those bad fats and the result is an obese society with a perpetual fixation on weight loss.
But avocado provides a healthy form of nutritious fat that’s actually good for you. A zero-fat diet is NOT a healthy way to live, by the way.
Avocados are high in mono-unsaturated fats. They are also loaded with life-enriching vitamins and minerals. They are an excellent source of both soluble and unsoluble fiber. Dietary fiber helps prevent constipation and maintain regularity – essential for feeling your best.
Like persimmons, avocado also contains a high concentration of tannin, an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-ulcer compound. There are other antioxidants in avocado too including beta carotene, alpha carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and cryptoxanthin.
Even though these exist in relatively small amounts in avocado, together they are workhorses that serve as protective scavengers by going after free radicals. This is key since free radicals play a significant role in the development of various diseases as well as premature aging.
As if that wasn’t enough, nature has also given avocados a healthy dose of vitamins A, E, and K within its delicious pulp. So, every mouthful doesn’t just taste great – it nourishes too.
A single 3.5 ounce serving of avocado provides an abundance of nutrition including:
- 26% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin K
- 20% of the recommended daily amount of folate
- 17% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C
- 14% of the recommended daily amount of potassium
- 14% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin B
- 13% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin B6
- 10% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C
It also contains trace amounts of manganese, copper, iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin.
For anyone counting carbs, avocado is an “interesting” food. At first glance, you’d probably shy away from it. But when you look at little closer, you find out that although it contains 9 grams of carbohydrates – seven of those grams are fiber. So, the net gain is just two grams of carbs from a single serving.
Avocados contain more potassium than bananas. Potassium is a key element of cell and body fluids and helps control both blood pressure and heart rate.
Avocado contains heart-healthy mono-unsaturated fatty acids. 70% of the calories of avocado come from fat, so there’s no question that it’s a high fat content food. But there’s a huge difference between the fat in avocado and the fat in many other foods.
The majority of fat in avocado is oleic acid. Oleic acid has been linked to reducing inflammation and has numerous other benefits. It’s also important to note that the fat in avocado is resistant to heat-induced oxidation, making avocado oil a safe and healthy alternative choice in the kitchen.
Why Grow Your Own Avocados?
Growing your own avocados means that you’re getting organically grown produce and that’s a huge plus. It is particularly important today with widespread commercial farming that continues to encourage the use of harmful pesticides in favor of corporate profits.
Each of us needs to take charge of our own health when it comes to using food not just for nutrition, but for it’s therapeutic and healing properties too. The problem lies with commercial farming that’s designed to produce bigger and more attractive looking fruit and vegetables that hide the often dangerous chemicals they’ve been treated with during the process.
Eating organically and supporting organic farming is the best way to combat the dangers that exist in our food supply. The more organically grown food you can consume as a proportion of your overall diet, the healthier you stand to become. And when it comes to organic produce, nothing beats homegrown.
How To Grow Avocado From A Pit/Seed At Home
Since you’re solely responsible for the growth and development of your avocado tree, you control what goes into the product at every point. There’s no comparison, in my view, between organically grown produce and the run-of-the-mill, commercially produced variety. You can taste it in every bite. So it’s well worth learning to grow whatever fruits and vegetables you can – including the mighty avocado.
To get started growing your own avocado tree, begin with a realistic projection.
Above all else, you’ve got to be patient as avocado trees take years to mature to the point where they produce delicious fruit. It’s important to know this from the outset so you don’t get overly anxious waiting for your tree to develop.
It can certainly bloom and grow under your direction, given the right environmental conditions and attention. But no matter how much loving care and nurturing you provide it still takes time. When you’re willing to accept this harsh reality, then and only then is it time to begin planting an avocado tree.
As for environments, Southern California weather is best. Avocado trees prefer hot weather and lots of sunshine. It’s also helpful if you can protect them from the wind as they are growing.
All that you need to begin growing an avocado tree is one seed or pit. This means you have to get started with an avocado that you buy from the store. If you can find organic avocados – by all means – use them. If not, you’ll have to start with a regular seed/pit. Start by rinsing the pit and locating a small glass container and 3-4 toothpicks for each seed you want to plant.
Fill the glass jar three-quarters full with fresh, filtered water. Do not use tap water as it contains elements like chlorine that can be harmful to the developing seed. Now, stick one end of each toothpick into the seed and then use the part that sticks out to suspend the seed over your water-filled container.
You want the water to cover most of the seed. The idea of the toothpicks is to keep the seed in the water so it can flourish. Once you’re all set up, place your container in a warm place – away from direct sunlight and refill with water as needed.
To increase your odds of success, I recommend trying to grow a few different avocado trees at once. In anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks, you should begin to see the roots and stem forming.
If after eight weeks there’s still no clear indication of roots or stem, it’s time to start over. Begin with a fresh seed and follow the steps again.
As the stem begins to grow, you’ll want to pay particular attention. When it grows to a length of about six or 7 inches, that’s when it’s time to cut it back to about half that size. When the roots emerge and the stem has leaves on it again, it’s time to plant your tree in rich soil – in a 10 or 12-inch diameter clay pot.
It’s important to use rich humus soil and only plant the seed about halfway into the soil. In other words, you want the avocado pit to be half exposed on top. Avocado roots are particularly shallow, so that’s all that’s needed for your seedling to grow.
Be sure to water it frequently, without overdoing it. You want moist soil – not saturated soil. And you want to give it plenty of sunlight – the more the better.
If the plant turns a yellowish color, be careful because you may be overwatering. In this case, it’s best to let it dry out for a few days. If the leaves begin to turn brown, it may be that there is too much salt accumulated in the soil.
When the stem grows to a height of about 12 inches it’s time to cut them back again to half the size – about 6 inches – to encourage the growth of new shoots. Ultimately this will lead to a healthier hardier avocado tree.
Stick with it and with any luck, you will get to enjoy the unmistakeable taste of your own, homegrown avocados.