Before you throw away that avocado pit, consider planting it so that you can get fresh avocados throughout the year. Growing an avocado from a pit is easier than you might think and can be a fun project to do with your kids. You can start your avocado tree from a pit that comes out of a fresh avocado that you’ve bought from the store with just a cup, some water, and a few toothpicks.
Heath Benefits of Avocados
Before we get to the growing instructions, let’s take a moment to look at the numerous health benefits that avocados have. Some consider avocado to be a super-food as it contains high quantities of vitamin A, E, B6, and others. It is also a good source of healthy fat, and is linked to preventing problems such as heart disease, cancer, and eye degeneration.
How to Grow an Avocado from a Pit
The first thing you need to do is gather your supplies: a small plastic cup, several toothpicks, fresh clean water, and a fresh avocado. Organic is best because some hybrid or genetically-modified varieties may be sterile which means they won’t grow.
Here is short tutorial:
Begin by carefully removing the pit from the avocado. Rinse it well and then pat it dry. The “top” part of the pit is slightly pointed, and the “bottom” is flatter and has a circular indent in the middle where the roots will come out.
Holding the pit upright, choose a spot about halfway up and press 3 – 4 toothpicks into the sides, about a quarter of an inch deep, and spaced out evenly around the pit. These will be used to keep the avocado pit partly in the water.
Set the pit bottom-side down into the cup, suspended by the toothpicks. Then, fill the cup with lukewarm water until the bottom 1/3 of the pit is submerged and place it in a sunny and warm location. like a north-facing window.
Over the next 6 to 8 weeks, change the water in the cup every 2 – 3 days to make sure that mold does not grow and to be sure that the root part stays submerged in the water. You will begin to see roots growing from the bottom and a stem sprouting from the top.
Once the pit has a good root and a sprout that is about 6 inches high, you can plant it in a pot. Use a mixture that is one part potting soil, one part perlite, and one part peat moss. Be careful to not damage the root while transplanting. You want to leave the top of the seed with the sprout above the top of the soil.
Then, make sure your avocado plant is getting as much direct sunlight as possible. They are tropical plants that love sunlight, and you will find that if they don’t get enough, they will have tall stems but small leaves. During warm sunny days, let your avocado stay outside, but be sure to bring it in if the temperature gets below 60 degrees at night.
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