Grow a plant from the seed core
The avocado, on the other hand, is not actually a vegetable, but a berry fruit. The pear-shaped, mostly green fruits grow on a tree, which in nature can be up to 40 meters high. However, commercial avocados mostly come from plantations, where the trees are pruned to a height of 15 meters for practical reasons.
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The avocado comes from the tropics
The avocado is a tropical plant, which means it needs a lot of sun and warmth. For these reasons, in our latitudes it can only be kept indoors or in a greenhouse, but not outdoors. However, it is possible to put the avocado in a sheltered, sunny spot in the garden, at least in summer. The tropical avocado can easily be pulled from the seed core of a commercially available fruit. There are two methods for doing this.
The water glass method
To grow a plant from the seed, many hobby growers use the water glass method. To do this, the core is removed from the fruit and the brown membrane is removed. Now three toothpicks are carefully pricked into the seed, this should be done on the upper, more pointed side of the core. Now a water glass is filled with fresh water and the core and toothpicks are placed in it so that only the flattened part of the core is in the water. The toothpicks lie on the edge of the glass. Now the glass and its core are placed in a warm and dark location. The root shoots appear within about four weeks.
The disadvantages of the water glass method
However, the water glass method has some disadvantages. For example, the seed core can be damaged by toothpicks in such a way that it is no longer capable of germination. You can work around this problem by simply using a small shot glass that does not require a holder instead of a water glass. In addition, the moisture can lead to an infestation with mold, so that the core simply rots.
The flower pot method
This, in turn, can be avoided by putting the core in a plant pot with soil instead of a water glass. Loose, sandy soil is best for this. The flattened part of the seed kernel is in the ground, while the upper part peeps out. The soil must be kept moist at all times, and a foil over the plant pot should protect the sensitive seedling from cold and drafts.
Once you have decided on the water method, you can repot your seedling as soon as a root ball has formed. Before that happens, however, you need to be patient: the avocado is very slow to germinate. The first delicate tips can be seen after four weeks at the earliest. However, it can also take several months before success is achieved. Just before the seedling breaks through, the core splits into two parts. So don't be alarmed if the seed core is supposed to have "broken" one day.
Pot an avocado
To pot your seedling now, mix loose sand and standard flower or palm soil in a ratio of 1: 1. Fill a small planter with this mixture and carefully place the seedling in it. Gently press the soil all around and water the seedling with stale, room-warm water. Make sure that the top of the core is sticking out of the earth. Your avocado now needs a bright and warm location, but should not yet be exposed to the blazing sun.
Proper care of the avocado tree
Keeping your seedling thriving depends on proper care, but it's not particularly complicated. Basically, there are only three things you need to consider.
Your young avocado needs:
- a bright location without direct sunlight
- a warm location without drafts
- water regularly, but not excessively (the soil should be moist, but not wet)
You can leave the soil to dry out in between, your avocado can handle a lack of water quite well. As a rule of thumb, it is better to water too little than too much.
Does the avocado have to be fertilized?
Basically, young plants do not have to be fertilized. However, the monthly application of a little citrus fertilizer does not hurt either, on the contrary.
Prune an avocado
Avocado plants always grow upwards and usually only develop side shoots after a few years. As the trees can get very tall, they should be pruned in good time. As soon as the fourth leaf shoot appears, you can snap it off (e.g. with a pair of rose scissors). As a result, your avocado will develop more side shoots and therefore become bushier.
Tips & Tricks
Give your avocado some fresh air: As soon as night frosts are no longer expected in spring, the plant can stand in a protected spot in the garden. However, it should be brought back in before the first cold autumn days are expected.