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My DD and I have been harvesting avocado stones for months now. It's become of staple of our daily routine to check on them, change their water, plant/pot, and re-pot. There's nothing more fun than watching life grow from a stone!
"How do I do it?"
Open the avocado and remove the stone from the center. Eat the fruit of the avocado, it's yummy and is full of nutrients!*
Wash the avocado stone under cool running water, you don't need soap to clean it. With your fingers gently wipe away and remove any of the green fruit that might be on the stone. Rinse it well and then blot it dry with a paper towel.
Carefully push three toothpicks into the thickest width of
avocado, you want to push the toothpicks into the stone about a 1/2"
deep. (It's okay if you push them in deeper or even a little less) The
toothpicks will help suspend the avocado stone in water and keep the top
part of the stone in fresh air and the fat base of the stone under the
surface of the water. Be careful pushing in the toothpicks, they have
pointy edges and could hurt if they poke your hands, it's all right to
ask a grown-up to help with this.
Suspend the stone over a glass filled with water....the
toothpicks will rest on the rim of the glass and hold the stone in place
so it doesn't sink to the bottom. Always check the water level in the
glass and see that the water is covering the fat base of the stone by
about an inch depth. If the water is below that level you'll need to
add some more. Slowly and carefully pour in more water from a small cup
to avoid splashing.
Place the glass in a bright windowsill. In about three to six weeks the top of the avocado stone will begin to split and a stem sprout will emerge from the top and roots will begin to grow at the base.
When the stem grows to about five or six inches pinch out
the top set of leaves. In another two or three weeks new leaves will
sprout and their will be more roots.
It's now time to plant the young avocado tree. Place
enriched potting soil in a large flowerpot (maybe 8" to 10" across).
Fill the soil to about an inch from the top of the pot. Make a small
depression in the center of the soil and place the stone, root-side down
into the depression. Don't put it too deep...you want to have the upper
half of the stone above the soil line. Add some more soil around the stone
to fill in any air holes by the roots and then firm it into the soil by
gently pushing the soil around the base of the stone. The tree's stem and
leaves should be straight and pointing up (like a flagpole).
Give the soil a drink to water the stone. Water it generously
so that the soil is thoroughly moist. Water the soil slowly and gently
so that when it's poured in it doesn't gouge out holes in the soil.
Keep your tree watered but don't let the soil be so moist that it ever
looks like mud.
How do I care for my avocado tree?"
Keep your tree in a sunny window, the more sun it gets the bigger it will grow.
Remember to give it frequent light waterings but don't let
the soil get muddy. If the leaves turn yellow it means that the plant
is getting too much watering, let the tree's soil dry out for a couple
of days, then return to light waterings.
When the stem grows six more inches pinch out the top two
sets of leaves. This will encourage the plant to grow side shoots and
more leaves, making it bushy. Each time the plant grows another six
inches pinch out the two newest sets of leaves on top.
"Can my avocado tree ever go outside?"
Yes it can go outside in the summer. If your winters are cold ~
below 45 degrees (F) or 7 degrees (C) ~ you must bring your tree inside
for the winter. Otherwise, if your winters are cool and mild, the tree
may stay outdoors year round.
"Will my tree ever grow fruit?"
Sometimes they will begin setting fruit after they are
three or four years old. It helps to have several avocado trees growing
together to aid with pollination.
"How tall will my avocado tree grow?"
*Avocado Nutrition Facts*
Avocados contain just 5 grams of fat per serving.
Avocados contain NO cholesterol and NO sodium.
Avocados contain 60% more potassium per ounce than bananas!
Avocados are high in fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium and folate.
Enjoy sprouting your avocado stone and growing your tree!