Avocados are that one fruit almost everybody loves! They are so delicious and nutritious and are one of those trees you can grow indoors this winter. Today we will be talking all about how to grow avocado indoors!
Avocados are pear-shaped fruits that have been cultivated for centuries. They are a very rich and delicious food that can be eaten with almost everything as well as alone. Avocados are ideal to grow indoors because they don’t require much light and are an easy plant to grow, perfect for beginners!
Growing Avocados Indoors
Which Variety is Best to Grow Indoors?
There are a ton of different avocado varieties, but not all of them can be plated indoors. The dwarf varieties are ideal when it comes to growing avocados indoors.
Choose varieties that only grow 8-12 feet or shorter. Gwen, Holiday and Wertz varieties, are ideal to grow indoors since they only grow to about 8-12 feet and can be shorter if pruned.
What’s the Best Soil For Indoor Avocado Trees?
Avocado trees like a fast-draining soil since they don’t like to soak in water, but rather just be moist. You can put some pebbles or stones at the bottom of your pot which will encourage good drainage.
Do not use soil from your garden in your container since it won’t have good drainage. Use a good, sandy, and light potting compost to grow your avocado trees indoors.
Growing Avocado Trees from Seeds
Avocado seeds are also called pits and they are one of the easiest seeds to germinate. Follow the steps below to learn how to germinate avocado seeds.
Germinating the Seed/Pit:
- Take a pit/seed from an avocado and wash it to remove any pulp. You can purchase an avocado at your local grocery store, but just be sure it is organic.
- Grab 3 cocktail sticks or toothpicks, and push them into your avocado pit. Make sure the sticks are distributed around the seed.
- Fill a glass or jar with water and place the avocado pit on top, in a way the toothpicks are suspending the seed at the top of the glass. The pit needs to be dipped an inch or so into the water at the bottom.
- Place the glass in a sunny window and keep filling with water as required.
- Roots will start to grow out of the bottom and the avocado tree will shoot out the top. Root growth is very important at this stage, so keep an eye on your avocado pit and make sure it always has water.
- Keep the pit in the glass until the stem is about 7-8 inches long.
Planting the Germinated Seed:
- After the stem has reached 6-8 inches long, prepare your container.
- Pick a 10 inches in diameter terracotta pot to plant your tree.
- Fill the pot with a good sandy and light potting mix.
- Place the avocado tree seedling into the soil leaving the top half of the seed exposed.
- Water and place in a place where it gets enough sunlight!
Video on How to Grow Avocado From Pits
Don’t feel like reading? Check out this video on how to grow avocado from pits, courtesy of Project Diaries!
Avocado Tree After Care
Avocado trees love water but they don’t like to be soaking in water. If the roots are soaked in water they will start to rot and your tree will quickly die. Water according to your climate.
Allow the top 2 inches of the soil to dry before watering. To do this, stick your finger into the soil and if its feels dry, water. During the summer water every 2 days.
Provide Proper Light and Temperature:
An avocado tree needs about 6-8 hours of full sun every day to survive. But the more light you give your tree, the faster and bigger it will grow and the more chances of producing fruit. Place the pot in a south-facing window and this will be ideal. If you don’t have a sunny spot in your house you can always use artificial grow lights.
The ideal temperature for most avocado varieties is 60F to 85F, for a chance to produce fruit. Some varieties, when they mature, are hardy trees and can survive harsh temperatures.
Fertilize your avocado tree once a month during the first year using fish emulsion or water-soluble food. After the first year, fertilize 3 times per year in March, July, and October using a standard citrus fertilizer.
Avocado trees love nitrogen and zinc, so choose a fertilizer that has a high content of these elements. Do not fertilize during winter since the tree will be in its dormant period.
Prune to Promote Growth:
Avocado trees need to be pruned in order to promote growth and control size. Some dwarf varieties can grow to be 12 and more feet tall. Prune your tree for the fist time when it reaches 15cm. Cut it in half to ensure healthier and stronger branches when mature.
After the first prune, and once your tree has grown to around 30cm, prune again and cut the tips of the branches to 10cm long. This will make your tree grow healthy and strong. Once your avocado tree is mature, prune annually during winter to control the size of your houseplant.
Repot your Avocado Tree:
With time, your avocado tree will start to outgrow the pot you planted it in. When this happens, you will have to transplant it to a pot twice the size of the current one.
Repot your tree in the spring every time you notice outgrow. Click here to know more about how to repot a plant!
Watch Out for Pests:
Your avocado plant might get infected with spider mites. These small pests are difficult to spot but if you see the leaves of your avocado tree get yellow and dark spots, then you have a mite problem. Another way to spot them is checking under the leaves. If they are spider web-like, then you have a spider mite infestation. Use a botanical insecticidal or insecticidal soap to get rid of this annoying spider mites.
Harvesting Avocado Trees
If you want your tree to produce fruit you will have to pollinate yourself, since indoor avocado trees grown from seeds won’t produce fruit unless you pollinate. There are two easy methods you can use.
The first method is to use a paintbrush to brush pollen from the male stamen to the female stigma of the flowers. Do this with every flower to help with pollination.
For the second method, you have to cut off one flower and rub the stigma around every flower into the female part or all the flowers.
If your pollination methods worked out, your tree will start producing fruits. Once it bears fruit, wait about a week or two until you start picking the fruit. Before picking them and let them ripen at room temperature.
If your avocado plant doesn’t bear fruit, don’t fret – it could simply be that the climate just isn’t right for it. After all, avocado plants grow in tropical and subtropical climates, and therefore need adequate warmth and sun. If anything, your avocado plant will make for beautiful houseplants indoors! So now that you know how to grow avocado indoors, it’s time to get that green thumb out and get to planting!
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