Growing avocado seeds is easy once you know how, but it does require a little patience. This post will take you through the key steps you need to do to get those seeds to grow into an avocado plant.
Avocados are now known as a superfood and are packed with protein, healthy fats and lots of key vitamins we need everyday to feel good.
Not a fan of avocado? Maybe you just haven't tried the right dish yet.
Yes, it can make a great guacamole or a an avo smash, but you may not know avocado can be added to smoothies, homemade ice-cream, desserts and a multitude of savoury dishes. Here are some avocado recipes you might want to try out.
Image: Dairy-free Avocado Lemon Pound Cake
Why Bother to Grow Avocado Plants From Seeds?
Firstly because they look amazing!
If you need more reasons than that....
> It's free
>It's a fabulous way to re-purpose food waste
>It's also a low effort way to grow something new
>You can do it anytime of year
>It's a nifty way to teach your kids about seeds
>You can plant them
> Eventually you might even grow fruit
Did you know some countries, like Mexico and Chile, are being seriously impacted ecologically by the popularity of avocados in the USA and Europe?
Due to the water requirements of growing the fruit and a privatised water system, not only is the environment suffering through lack of water, but so are the people.
Opting for fair-trade avocados is best!
Step by Step Guide to Growing an Avocado Seed
Forget everything you have ever heard about it being difficult or impossible to grow an avocado seed!
It is true that not all seeds will work (which is completely normal in nature), but in my experience most will successfully grow.
The steps below are exactly how I grow mine and it works about 80-90% of the time.
What You Will Need
> Glass Jar
> 3 Toothpicks
> Tap Water
Step 1. Wash and Scrub the Avocado Seed
This is really important because bits of avocado, no matter how small, are guaranteed to make your seeds mouldy way before they start to grow.
Simply scrub under the tap, no need to use detergents at all. I use one of these coconut fibre scrubbies which do a great job.
There is no need to remove the outer shell.
You can also leave it a day or two before you continue with the rest of the steps.
Step 2. Identify the Bottom of the Avocado Seed
This is so important!
The bottom of the avocado seed should have an obvious circle (pictured above) and not a tapered point (that bit is the top).
Doing this step upside down is going to lead to serious disappointment.
Step 3. Insert Your Toothpicks
Again, another HUGE reason why avocado seeds fail to flourish and thrive is due to how much the seed is immersed in water.
The toothpicks need to be pushed into the seed on an angle, around about the half way point.
Doing this means it will be 2/3 to 3/4 in the water when placed in your jar.
Avoid inserting the toothpicks into existing lines (or as i like to call them, seams) on the seed as this is exactly where it will split once it really takes off and you'll lose your support system.
Double check your seed is going to sit properly supported in your jar or glass
This one picture below is perfect. It's sitting well below the top of the glass (and it's the right way up too).
Step 4. Add Water
This step is easy.
Fill your jar to the brim with water and give it a home on your kitchen windowsill where it will get some sunlight.
Remember to check the water levels every few days and top it up.
Initially you may have to change the water every few days but after that once a week is plenty.
When the leaves appear, it's time to water more frequently.
Step 5. WAIT, and wait and wait and wait.......
Now this is seriously the most difficult part of growing your avocado seed.
I'm not a patient person, so I know that if I can do this, then so can you!
The reason I propagate these in clear glass is so that i can SEE if the seed is beginning to grow, or if i have a dud.
The first thing you are going to see is the root beginning to grow.
Initially it will look a lot like a fat toothpick coming out from the bottom of the seed and as it progresses it will grow a more complex root system.
This one pictured above has developed some great roots and will hopefully begin to grow above the water very soon.
(and in case you're wondering, it isn't mouldy but has shed its outer shell and just has some discolouration).
Warning - this can take a matter of weeks to months, so be patient and keep watering it, don't lose hope.
Eventually, the seed will begin to split and form its first shoot - this is always exciting.
Sorry, but you are still going to need to be pretty patient.
It can take ages for that first shoot to gain length and to finally start growing leaves. (When it does, it looks amazing!)
Different seeds will grow at various rates - the smallest plant pictured above was started before the larger one.
These have taken around 6-7 months to get to this stage ! (now you see why I keep mentioning patience)
They will grow quicker in warmer months because they do better with more sun and warmth.
I'm a little scared to plant mine into a pot just yet as I've grown attached to these little guys and really don't want to kill them when i pop them into soil.
I'll keep you posted on that.
Now, if you are hoping to grow actual avocados to eat and enjoy, well you are going to need a heck of a lot of patience.
Avocado seeds can take 5-13 years to grow into a mature tree and bear fruit and there are is no guarantee the fruit it grows will be as nice (or even edible) as the one you ate.
On the plus side, they do make lush indoor or outdoor plants. I'm enjoying the free plants and if they ever fruit, I will be throwing a big guacamole party.
Tell me you're going to try this at least once! and don't forget to tag me if you share your pics - I'm a little addicted to seeing other peoples plant progress on Instagram.