The Garden of Live Flowers

Tales of the bintgoddess and her zone 5b garden in Chicago, Illinois

Sunday, January 31, 2010

January: Growing an avocado from seed

The January/February 2010 edition of Chicagoland Gardening Magazine has an article about how to grow an avocado (Persea americana, Lauraceae) from seed. I know a lot of people have done this but I don't think I ever even saw an avocado when I was a kid, and now we don't like avocados so we don't keep them around. However, I have been known to grow things I don't like to eat, including strawberries, hops, and green beans. Sometimes TMCH eats the results, and sometimes I just like the plant. I tried to grow a mango last year, but instead I grew a nice crop of mold. The avocado will go better, I just know it!
The first step: wait for the avocado to ripen. I am using a Hass avocado, and today it was black and soft, definitely ripe. I cut through the rind and the two halves fell apart easily. The avocado fruit is a berry.
I scooped the seed out from the pericarp with a spoon and washed it with water and a sponge to get all the icky off it. The surface of the seed is beautiful, like marled wood. It's about 1 1/2 inches long and slightly egg-shaped.
I then poked three toothpicks into the soft surface of the seed, about 1/3 of the way from the top, the top being very slightly more pointy than the bottom, and suspended the seed over a glass. I filled the glass so the water is 1/3 of the way up the bottom of the seed, and wrote the date on the glass.
I put the glass in a south-facing window. It needs 6 hours of daylight a day. If it doesn't sprout roots in 6 weeks I will have to start over, but hopefully something interesting will happen soon!

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Blogger Meredith said...

Cool! Thanks for the information. We love avocados in this house, and the seeds are so gorgeous, I always hated to throw them away. I will have to try this for sure.

(You don't like strawberries?? If you lived nearby and grew them without intending to eat them, I'd invite you over frequently, LOL.)

3:34 PM  
Blogger rambleonrose said...

Good luck! I have never grown an avocado and always been interested to try it, although I also don't like eating them, which is probably why I haven't tried.

7:43 PM  
Anonymous MrBrownThumb said...

Good luck! I haven't done this since I was a kid but I'm doing it this year, along with the pineapple top.

Last year I saw a perfect pineapple top sticking out of the neighbor's dumpster and for a second I thought about taking it and planting it.

11:41 PM  
Blogger Rose said...

You won't believe this, Diane, but I have an avocado pit/seed sitting suspended on a bowl of water on my kitchen counter right now! I remember trying this years and years ago--with little luck as I remember--so I wasn't too sure how to do it. I think I may have put the toothpicks too far down on mine, because the bottom is barely in the water. It's been about 3-4 weeks now, so I'll be patient for a couple more. If it doesn't grow, it may be awhile--I buy probably one avocado a year:)

7:04 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Rose, let me know if yours does sprout!
MBT - I've never tried growing pineapple (another fruit I won't eat!) but I like the thought of dumpster-diving to save plants :)

9:26 PM  
Blogger Kylee from Our Little Acre said...

I've always wanted to do this, too! I just might have to get an avocado and try it. I hope you're successful!

11:15 PM  

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