From Food Waste to House Plant: Avocado
By: Luke Fish (Farm Intern) & Kaitlyn Dykstra (Farm Manager)
Avocados have gained a prominent position in the diets of many due to their high nutrient density and cholesterol free nature. High in heart-healthy mono-saturated fats, dietary fiber, and containing considerable amounts of 13 vitamins and minerals – avocados are deserving of their increased popularity.
Natives of dry weather and sandy soil, avocado trees are not an ideal candidate for aquaponic farming, but that doesn’t mean we don’t eat em!
While you are unlikely to grow your plant into a fruiting tree, avocado pits make interesting decorative items and require minimal upkeep. Not to mention, avocado seeds are included with your purchase of the fruit you love!
How to Start an Avocado Tree from Seed:
- Remove avocado pit and rinse well with water. Be careful not to remove the brown skin from the exterior of the pit.
- Identify which end of the pit is ‘up’ and which is ‘down’. The end of the pit that comes to more of a point is ‘up’, while the flatter end is ‘down’. This step is important because it determines the orientation of the pit when sprouting.
- Insert 3 to 4 toothpicks around the perimeter of the avocado (at a slightly downward angle), 3/4 of the distance to the top of the pit.
- Using the toothpicks, suspend the avocado pit over a container of water so that the bottom half of the seed is submerged at all times. Add water when necessary to ensure constant submersion.
5. Wait for your seed to sprout! This process could take anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks, so patience is required. The pit will split before the roots start to grow. We found the greatest success when we placed the avocado pit in a sunny window.
6. A taproot will grow from the bottom of the pit, while a small sprout will emerge from the top. Make sure to keep the taproot submerged in water at all times!
7. When the stem of the sprout reaches 6 inches or taller, the pit can be planted in soil, still leaving the top half of the seed exposed. The plant prefers as much sun as it can get, so make sure to put it in a sunny place.
Check out this video to see how you can start growing an avocado tree in less than 5 minutes!