Saturday, June 19, 2010

Grow your own Avocado Plant

Its the time of the year to be eating avocados and here in Cygnet they are only 68c at the supermarket so I bought 4..... then began to think about growing my own. Here it would be necessary to do that in a glass house or poly tunnel but in most parts of Australia you can grow them in the garden. Sure it will take ages and you never quite know if it will fruit but I reckon its worth a try to grow them from seed.

I found this information on a lovely website, all about avocados:

You'll be glad to know that you can use the seed from an avocado to grow your own tree. Here's how:

Avocado seed in a glass image

  • Thoroughly wash your avocado seed.
  • Secure toothpicks into the seed so that they sit out horizontally.
  • Suspend the seed with the heavy side down over a glass of water. About 3cm of the seed should be sitting in water.
  • Place the seed out of direct sunlight and top up the water as needed.
  • In 2-6 weeks, roots and stem should start to sprout.
  • When the stem is 15 to 18cm long, cut it back to about 8cm in length.

 

Avocado seed sitting in soil image

  • When the stem has grown leaves again and the roots are thick, plant it in a pot with half the seed exposed
  • Water the plant lightly and frequently, with an occasional deep soak. The soil should be moist but not saturated.
  • Make sure it's getting plenty of sunlight.
  • When the stem is 30cm long, cut it back to 15cm. This will encourage new shoots.

Now you should be well on your way to growing your own avocado tree.

 

After writing this, I received some more useful information in a comment from Lesley who says: 

You can grow avocados outdoors in Tas if you have a warm spot. For a while there was a commercial avocado plantation at Swansea on the East Coast that produced beautiful fruit. Unfortunately it died out, not due to the cold but due to severe drought and an inadequate irrigation supply (they are very sensitive to water stress). I planted one last year on my Little Swanport property and it is doing well- we do get several light frosts a year. If you are thinking of planting an avocado or any other plant that is marginal in our climate you need to pay special attention to getting all their other requirements right. Avocados are sensitive to root rot (phytophera) and thus need free draining soil with heaps of organic matter. They also need regular watering and shelter from wind. Get these criteria right and if your site isn't too cold, you are well on your way. It is worth buying a grafted tree if you are going to this much trouble. "Bacon" is the recommended cultivar for cool climates - shop around until you get one. One bonus is that you don't need a pollinator if growing avocados in a cool climate, unlike in the tropics.

6 comments:

Heiko said...

I tried this several times. Never worked for me. Don't know what I'm doing wrong.

Olive said...

Kate we have an enormous avocado tree grown from seed. It has out grown the 2 we bought from Perry's Fruit & nut nursery. Perry's told us we needed 2 different varieties for pollination, so, it might be a good idea to buy another avo of a different type and start its seed off as well.
In addition, we haven't had any fruit from the homegrown as yet but the 2 grafted ones have been producing for the last 2 years and have been in the ground for......maybe 4-5 years. (going toward their 3rd. flowering season) Do you know that a fully grown tree should produce 200 fruit per year? Yum,yum,yum.

JOC said...

Hi Kate,
hope you're well and the garden thriving.
I might have to give this avocado idea a go! We love them and I remember the trees in Adelaide just bursting with the fruit.
I just hope that I live long enough to reap the benefits.
What happens when it gets too big for the hothouse or tunnel? If I can get anything to grow that is!
Jan

Kate said...

Thanks so much for this, Olive! I will be sure to buy a different avocado this week.

Jan, I once saw an escaped hothouse plant in a botanic gardens.... they simply removed a pane of glass and let it grow out the top!

Come on Heiko, Have another go!

Lesley said...

hi
you can grow avocados outdoors in tas if you have a warm spot. For a while there was a commercial avocado plantation at Swansea on the East Coast that produced beautiful fruit. Unfortunately it died out, not due to the cold but due to severe drought and an inadequate irrigation supply (they are very sensitive to water stress). I planted one last year on my Little Swanport property and it is doing well- we do get several light frosts a year. If you are thinking of planting an avocado or any other plant that is marginal in our climate you need to pay special attention to getting all their other requirements right. Avocados are sensitive to root rot (phytophera) and thus need free draining soil with heaps of organic matter. They also need regular watering and shelter from wind. Get these criteria right and if your site isn't too cold, you are well on your way. It is worth buying a grafted tree if you are going to this much trouble. "Bacon" is the recommeded cultivar for cool climates - shop around untill you get one. One bonus is that you don't need a pollinator if growing avocados in a cool climate, unlike in the tropics.

Kate said...

Thank you Lesley, I am going to put this great information into the post about avocados in case anyone comes to read it later.