ColtsFan
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Starting an avocado tree

OK, I've got the pit in water and it will be many months before anything can be done and years before it produces fruit, but I read an article on wiki-how and number 14 (the last line) has me confused..... has anyone ever grown an avocado tree and if so, why would it not produce fruit grown this way?


1 Cut into the avocado carefully, so as not to injure the pit located in the fruit's center. Carefully remove the pit, and set it aside. Use the avocado meat to create the tasty dip/topping known as guacamole.

2 Wash the avocado pit gently, removing all avocado flesh. Do not remove the seed cover which is light brown in color.

3 Holding the pit "narrow" (pointed) side up, stick four toothpicks into the middle section of the pit at even intervals, to a depth of about 5 mm.

4 Add water to a small, slender container (preferably glass) until it reaches the very top rim. Your container's opening should be wide enough to easily accommodate the full width of the avocado, but not too wide.

5 Set your avocado pit (with inserted toothpicks) on the top rim of the container. The toothpicks should sit on the rim of the container, while keeping the pit only half-submerged in the water. Make sure the pointed side is up while the rounder end is in the water or your avocado will not grow.

6 Set the avocado-topped container in a temperate, undisturbed place - near a window or other well-lit area - to begin the rooting and growth process.
7 Change the water every 1-2 days. Do this to ensure that contaminants (i.e. mold, bacteria, fermentation, etc.) do not hinder the avocado sprouting process. Ensure that the base of the avocado always remains moist and submerged in water.

8 Wait patiently. The avocado takes several weeks to begin to root. Over the next 2-3 weeks, the avocado's brown outer layer will begin to dry out and wrinkle, eventually sloughing off. Soon after, the pit should begin to split open at the top and bottom. After 3-4 weeks, a tap root should begin to emerge at the base of the pit.

9 Continue to water the plant accordingly. Take care not to disturb or injure the tap root. Continue to allow the avocado pit time to establish its roots. Soon, the avocado will sprout at the top, releasing an unfolding leaf-bud that will open and begin to grow a shoot bearing leaves.

10 Plant the baby tree. When the roots are substantial and the stem top has had a chance to re-grow leaves (after at least one pruning), your baby avocado tree is ready to be planted in soil. Remove the sprouted pit from the water container, and gently remove each of the toothpicks.

11 Use a 20-25 cm terracotta pot filled with enriched soil to 2 cm below the top. A 50/50 blend of topsoil and coir (coconut fibre) works best. Smooth and slightly pack the soil, adding more soil as needed. Once the soil is prepared, dig a narrow hole deep enough to accommodate your avocado's roots and pit.

12 Carefully bury the avocado pit in the soil such that the top-half of pit shows above the surface of the soil. This ensures that the base of the seedling trunk doesn't rot under the soil. Pack the soil lightly around the pit.

13 Water your plant daily or enough to keep the soil moist. Avoid over-watering to the point that the soil becomes muddy. If the leaves turn brown at the tips, the tree needs more water. If the leaves turn yellow, the tree is getting too much water and needs to be permitted to dry out for a day or two.

14 Continue to tend to your avocado plant regularly, and in a few years you will have an attractive and low-maintenance tree. Your family and friends will be impressed to know that from an avocado pit, salvaged from your guacamole recipe, you have cultivated and grown your very own avocado tree. (Note: The fruit you get from a tree grown in this manner will almost certainly not be edible.)

15 Alternatively, plant the pit in a pot, during the warmer months and wait for 3-4 months for the plant to sprout.

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Kisal
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Avocado trees need a warm climate. They are commonly grown in southern California and Florida. Fruit-bearing avocado trees are grown on a grafted rootstock. Trees grown from seed rarely produce fruit.

While it certainly is possible to grow an avocado tree indoors, they require a great deal of light ... the equivalent of full sun outdoors. To grow well, and especially to produce fruit, you would have to provide artificial lighting. You would also have to hand pollinate any flowers that appeared, if you wanted them to set fruit.

You would also do better, I think, if you were to purchase a dwarf avocado tree, because standard-sized types can reach 20 to 40 feet in height.

You can start an avocado tree from a seed, and have a nice little houseplant for awhile, but they do eventually grow up to be big trees. ;)

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applestar
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I'm not sure about NOT producing fruit -- I HAVE seen descriptions of anywhere from 5~7 years to 10~15 years for a seed-grown avocado to flower and fruit. Another prominent issue is the Type A and Type B designation in avocados. Avocado trees have male and female flowers -- same flowers change from one gender to another on different schedule -- in the morning or in the late afternoon. Since each tree has its set schedule, it sounds like you need a second tree with opposite schedule to cross pollinate, even though they ARE self-fertile (so save pollen from morning or late afternoon and pollinate the female flowers later?)

Any cross-pollinated fruit won't produce true to the parent plants -- so the quality of the fruit isn't guaranteed. I often think, though, that there's also *some* chance that the resulting cross would be superior....

Grafted trees are a essentially a clone of the parent tree, and will mature and flower/fruit is something like 2~4 years. Also as mentioned, there are genetic dwarf varieties that fruit earlier to begin with, and stay smaller.

About how big they get -- when he was in college, my brother sublet an apartment. The owner had a GIANT avocado tree that sat in the middle of the living room and radiated its branches almost all the way across. :shock: Don't remember if I ever asked if it was producing fruit though.

I started growing little avocados from their pits last year -- I have 3 little trees right now, vacationing outside in a dappled shade, and I have 4 more seeds (and a mango seed!) nestled in some sand and water in a covered clear plastic container on a sunny windowsill. What am I going to do with them all when they're bigger? :roll: I dunno! :lol: But I reasoned that the more plants I have of different kinds of avocado, the better chance of getting both Type A and Type B.

p.s. In a fruit tree book I have, there is a photo of a little avocado, just growing from it's seed, flowering directly from the less-than-pencil thin trunk. Maybe the author used some kind of a hormone to induce the flowering?

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Gary350
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I have grown many avocado trees from the seed. Put the bottom have of the seed in water it will grow a root in about a month. When the root is a few inches long plant it in a 6" pot. Keep it watered it will grow a top soon. Keep it near the window but not in direct sun light. I use to plant my seed about Thanksgiving the tree would be 3 ft tall by May. Put the avocado tree outside in full shade if you put the plant is direct sun light it will kill the plant. About 1 week in full shade allows the plant to become accustom to more light. Next move the plant so it gets 1 hour of full sun and the rest of the day it gets full shade for 1 week. Then move the plant so it gets 2 hours of full sun for 1 week. Move the plant again so it gets 4 hours of full sun for 1 week. The 8 hrs of full sun 1 week. Now you can plant it in the yard in full sun. It should grow to 8 to 10 ft tall by October. First frost will kill it dead.

ColtsFan
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Wow, I'm glad I asked, what great information.... now I need to decide if I want to continue with this. I hate killing any kind of a tree but an avocado tree that doesn't produce fruit will be pretty useless to me, but it sure would be neat to see if I can pull it off.

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Kisal
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Avocados seeds will actually produce a nice little plant, and it's easy to do.

Just don't expect fruit from the tree, unless you live in an area where you can plant it outdoors. Even then, however, the fruit probably wouldn't be high-quality, and might not even taste good.

But you'd still have had the fun of growing it. :)

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applestar
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applestar wrote:Any cross-pollinated fruit won't produce true to the parent plants -- so the quality of the fruit isn't guaranteed. I often think, though, that there's also *some* chance that the resulting cross would be superior....
OK I worded this part wrong/this part is slightly misleading --The seeds from any cross-pollinated fruit won't produce true to the parent plants, so the quality of the fruit produced by the plants grown from those seeds isn't guaranteed.

Another factor apparently is that the flavor of the fruit is dependent on temperature and other climate conditions (this sounds similar to coffee beans). Avocados don't like it too cold and don't like it too hot, and they like lots of humidity and moisture. It sounds like frost-free USDA Zones along the coast or near large bodies of water like lakes and rivers would be ideal.

Have you noticed though, that whether it's coffee beans, avocados, or pineapples, commercial website info pages of companies selling them as a PRODUCT rather than nursery stock almost always talk about how the seed-grown plant will be too big or too unmanageable and how the resulting fruit is not going going to taste good for one reason or another (coffee beans supposedly taste better grown in higher elevations, which most of us don't have and CAN'T artificially produce) ... Of course nursery stock websites usually have GRAFTED plants and say they're better than seed grown for one reason or another. :roll: Should we be discouraged or skeptical...? What about the home-grown -- "I grew it myself" factors: Carefully tended with individual attention, Eaten shortly after ripening on the tree? What about the pleasure of seeing them grow?

Thanks Gary350, I'll move my plants further out in the sun as you described. :D

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Kisal
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I knew a lot of people in southern CA who had avocado trees in their yards, including my FIL, who owned an avocado orchard.

Most of my friends who purchased trees for the purpose of having the fruit made a point of buying trees that were dwarfed by grafting.

Everyone I knew who had any plants at all had at least one or more avocado pits sprouting and growing. Nobody I knew ever got any fruit from those trees, though. [img]https://bestsmileys.com/clueless/4.gif[/img]



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