Legion739
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Growing Avocado Pit - in my DIY indoor hot house

So I wan to grow a bunch of avo trees to plant in my garden.

I've done a bit of research and they say it takes them about 3 weeks to start growing from the Pit.

To speed things along and to help them a bit I've made a little hot house in one of the shelves of my closet

Image

It's just a 40wat old yellow Christmas decoration light bulb. to heat things up a bit.

I'll get a thermometer soon to try and see what the air temp in there reaches.

Has anyone done anything like this with avo pits before ?

And any tips on growing avo pits ?
is there anything I can put in the water to help the pit grow ?

I've suspended then in the water with tooth pics (pointy side up) and have peeld the skin of the pit as well as chop off about 1mm of the top & bottom of the pit (I've been told it helps speed things along)

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applestar
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Re: Growing Avocado Pit - in my DIY indoor hot house

Growing avocado pits is a fun project. I usually plant them in soil/sand mix or if started in water, plant in soil/sand mix soon after they germinate. I actually tend to avoid making any damage to the pit -- no tooth picks and I hadn't heard about cutting the top and bottom -- because they can spoil if mold/bacteria take hold in the cut/damaged pit, which is pretty nutrient dense. My favorite method for starting in water is to use some kind of a riser (vitamin lid) or use a double shot glass with wide enough diameter (I tried cut off plastic water bottle funnel, but it's too difficult to safely extricate the roots if you wait too long to plant. The wide mouth orange juice bottle funnel works better though).

You can put powdered plain unbuffered aspirin or Willow bark tea in the water, but it's not strictly necessary. More than anything else, just be diligent about changing the water. I prefer to use de-chlorinated/filtered water.

This warmer environment you created will promote water algae/mildew and fungal growth, so be doubly watchful. You might want to put a thermometer in there and take some round the clock readings and see just what the environment is like. Take readings of the normal room temperatures, too, and let us know.

You can keep them in there while the roots grow but only until they sprout shoots -- it's too dark.

Avocado shoots grow fast and many people make the mistake of not providing sufficient light in the critical beginning stages and end up with really spindly tall leafless shoots that they mistake for "getting big". It's better to encourage sturdy growth so they start making leaf buds lower on the stem so you can pinch or cut them above the bud cluster earlier.

I never paid much attention to how long they take -- I guess 3 weeks is closer to earliest they can grow. I've always started looking for signs of growth after "about" a month and sometimes it took more like 6 weeks. I guess warmer temp would help. I remember thinking that it also depends on whether the avocado had been refrigerated and chilled at some point -- chilled seeds from leftover half avocado seem to take a while to recover and grow, and never chilled seeds seem to sprout faster.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Growing Avocado Pit - in my DIY indoor hot house

Hi and welcome to the Forum! it always helps to tell us where you are located. There are hardly any garden questions that can be discussed without regard to location/ climate. I take it you are somewhere warm, if you want to plant them in your yard. I think they are only hardy to zone 8 or 9, depending on variety.

Why do you want them? Ornamental, for shade, for avocados? Understand that it can take 5 to 10 years to produce fruit and some never do. They do better with two different varieties for cross pollination. They require honeybees or other large insects for pollination. Do you have plenty of room for them? When mature they will be about 35 feet tall or more.
According to the University of California Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UCDANR) (see reference 6) spacing your avocado trees 20 feet apart is ideal, although 15 feet is acceptable if you don't have the space. An accepted practice is spacing the tree closer together to create a greater crop in the earlier years of the tree's life. Once the tree's canopies spread and crowding occurs, every other tree is removed to make room,
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Legion739
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Re: Growing Avocado Pit - in my DIY indoor hot house

Thanks

I'll keep an eye out for rot etc. in the hot environment, I really like growing them in water as it's great to see the roots grow etc. but if it fails I will try and grow them in some seedling mix or something.

I tried just growing one in water a few years back but it failed. I really hope it works this time round, I'll keep trying

I live in Cape town South Africa, summers here get really hot and winters are verry wet and cold (but never frost or anything like that)

when I was growing up on our farm in Johannesburg (South Africa) we had 4 MASSIVE avo trees that my great grandfather planted. the largest one was at least 9m tall and they produced some of the biggest avo's I've ever seen.

all those trees my great grandfather grew from seeds.

when I was about 12 years old I grew one from a seed and planted it in my grandfathers garden (Cape Town)
It's about 4m tall now and growing strong especially in summer. (it's started to make flowers now (it's about 10 years old, the first 5 years it hardly grew as it was in to much shade, but we then transplanted it to a sunny spot and now it's really growing fast))

we live about 500m form my grandfater and I want to plant a couple of avo trees in our garden aswell just because I love the trees, it's sort of a reminder of where I come from.

I know they won't yield avo's for a very long time. but I just love the look of the tree and as a feature in the garden basically

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Growing Avocado Pit - in my DIY indoor hot house

OK, great !! Thanks for sharing that story with us, very nice. Sounds like you really know what you are doing. I was just concerned because here in the States, where much of the country has very cold winters, lots of people have never seen a full sized avocado tree, just little sticks in pots. They tend to think "oh, I'm going to plant my avocado pit and in a couple years I will have a cute little tree giving me lots of nice avocados." (and then again someone wrote in and asked how many DAYS until her little citrus tree in a pot started producing fruit!)

But you understand what avocado trees are like and have the right climate for them, so I think it is terrific that you are growing some!
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Legion739
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Re: Growing Avocado Pit - in my DIY indoor hot house

This is one of the avo tree my Great grandfather planted on our farm (that we sadly had to sell when I was very young)

(big green tree on the left)
Image
Next time I'm in JHB (1400km form me) I'll go round and take better pics and grab a few Avo's to grow :D

Hopefully I'll have such a big tree one day :-()

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