Friday, February 3, 2012

How to Grow an Avocado: Grocery Store Produce Section Plants

If you were to go out and buy fruit trees it could cost you quite a bit of money, that is, if you could find them.  Fruit trees can be quite difficult to come by and if you do, they are expensive.  But, if you are a little adventurous you can purchase fruits from the grocery store produce section, plant the seeds and find out what happens.  Of course, this will take a little patience and an experimental mind-frame but a little work and a little money can produce a lot of interesting plants.  Not only that, plants grown from grocery store produce can teach you a lot about cultivating plants.  If you want to change your brown thumb into a green thumb, try your hand at growing seeds you find in grocery store produce.  There are probably a couple dozen different plants you can grow from the grocery store but today we will be talking about the avocado.

Avocados are relatively new to the supermarket, especially in the north.  They have been around a long time though in Florida, Texas, and California.  They aren't as ubiquitous as the banana but with a little searching most grocery store produce sections will turn up a small display.  Sometimes grocery store avocados can be a little pricey, say a dollar or more per fruit, but that is nothing compared to the price of purchasing a tree or the great experience you will get trying to grow it yourself.  Once you buy the avocado the first thing you have to do is eat it.  Typically this isn’t very hard being most people love avocados.  And these fruits are extremely healthy for you with healthy unsaturated fats, fiber, and lots of vitamins.  Studies have shown that avocados decrease cholesterol levels and possibly have anti-cancer effects.  If you don’t want to eat your avocado you can simply cut it open and take the seed out.  Once you have the seed, clean it off well and let it dry for a day or so. 
An avocado seedling.  Note the seed planted partially under the surface.
After drying, bury about three-quarters of the seed in some sort of soil.  The rounded side of the seed should be buried and the more pointed one-quarter end of the seed above the soil.  Keep the seed in a relatively warm location and make sure the soil stays moist.  Then wait, it may take up to two months for the seed to germinate.  I have achieved about a 50% germination rate this way.  There are many other ways to germinate avocado seeds which include wrapping the seed in wet paper towels or letting the round end soak in water.  These other methods have been far less successful for me. 

Once you do germinate a seed you will have to be patient again.  If you want fruit you will likely have to wait five or more years.  Avocados also do not tolerate temperatures much below freezing so if you live where it freezes you will have to grow it inside.  Avocados make nice house plants but if you want it to bear fruit it will need lots of light.  

No comments:

Post a Comment