Planting Avocado Seeds

Avocado seeds can be planted just like the seeds of any other tree. However, there is a possibility of them not producing, or even producing mutated-looking avocados. The proper process of planting avocado seeds takes a long time but guarantees better results.

For an avocado seed to be suitable for planting, the pit located in the fruit\’s center must not be injured while its flesh is being removed. After that, wash the avocado pit gently to remove the remaining avocado flesh, taking care not to remove the light brown seed cover.

Next, the avocado needs to be germinated by suspending it over a glass of water. To do so, stick a few tooth picks into the sides of the avocado at even intervals to a depth of about 5 mm. These tooth picks will act as a support structure to perch the avocado seed on the rim of the glass so make sure that they are stuck in securely. Next, fill a glass with tap water before perching the avocado seed and its support structure on to the rim of the glass. The pointed side of the avocado seed must be facing up with the rounder end at the bottom. Add more water if necessary so that the a third of the base of the avocado seed is submerged in water. Place the whole set up on a window sill in the coolest room where it is temperate and undisturbed, as well as receives plenty of direct sun light.

The water in the glass needs to be topped-up everyday to ensure that the base is always submerged in water. Besides that, a change of water is also needed every few days, depending on the climate to avoid growth of mold, bacteria, and other contaminants which hinder the sprouting process. Regular change of water will also ensure that the pit will receive enough oxygen to sprout.

In a few weeks time, the avocado\’s brown outer layer will begin to dry out and wrinkle before it eventually sloughs off. After that, the pit will begin to slit open and a tap root should grow into the water. Continue to change the water regularly until a sprout shoots from the top of the pit and bears leaves. Once the leaves have been pruned and re-grown, it is time to plant it in soil.

The young sapling can either be planted in a big terracotta pot or into the ground. If you are planting the sapling into a pot, the pot should have a diameter of at least 20 to 25 cm. A mix of one-third compost, one-third vermiculite and one third river sand, filled right up to 2 cm below the rim would be suitable for the sapling to continue growing. An important thing to remember while planting the sapling is to ensure that the top half of the pit shows above the surface of the soil so that it will not rot. Remember also to back-fill and shake any air bubbles out before watering lightly. The plant will need 6-8 hours of sunlight everyday to grow properly. Remember to place the pot at such a place or to plant it in a location where its need for sunlight will be met. Continue to tend your plant. Unfortunately, the tree will only start to bear fruit after a decade.

Additional Reading
http://www.gardeningtipsnideas.com/2008/06/planting_avocado_seeds_a_stepbystep_guide.html
http://www.wikihow.com/Plant-an-Avocado-Tree

http://vegetablegardens.suite101.com/article.cfm/plant_avocado_from_seed

Image Credit:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/marylea/3171681274/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/univrsltransl8r/2746589561/