Today, I wanted to share a really rewarding growing experience that has taken me a little by surprise. Over the last year I’ve eaten many avocados; in guacamole, on toast, blended to make healthy chocolate mousse (sounds strange but is yummy!)… and as a result, have had lots of pits rolling around my kitchen counter. From these pits, I’ve tried and failed to grow an avocado plant a couple of times.
As you might have noticed, plant propagation, particularly water propagation is increasingly popular right now, and growing plants from cuttings (have a look over on houseplantswap.com ) or plants that come from seeds such as avo’s, seem to be capturing the attention of the masses. There’s something so simple and nourishing about growing something that is the by-product of a fruit or vegetable that hasn’t cost very much, and the feeling of an experiment on your kitchen windowsill is extremely appealing! Their popularity can surely be validated by the availability of ‘starter avocado plants’ at ASDA over the summer!
In Spring, I saw some plastic ‘avocado propagation trays’ in Tiger for just £2, and thought I would give it a go. Before this point I had used cocktail sticks, which are totally fine too! But the problem I kept having was that the water would evaporate as the jars were in a bright spot and I’d have to top them up every few days (sometimes I would also forget). The great thing about these plastic vessels is that they float – so that when the water level gradually drops, so does the container; meaning the base of the avocado pit is in constant contact with the water… so more chance of successful rooting!
As the photographs above show, I used an old plant pot as the propagation container because the plastic tray fit really well in it. I’d almost forgotten about it until a few weeks ago, I noticed the pit start to crack and to my surprise, there were roots forming under the tray! For reference, I kept the tray in bright, indirect light near the window in my office… I put most of my plant propoagations here, they seem to like it!
In case you need persuading to give it a go… 1. It’s fun / 2. It’s (practically) free / 3. It looks great / 4. An easy way to grow your plant collection!
The HPH community share their avocado growing love
I thought it would be nice to celebrate this growing success by asking you to share photos of your avo growing experiments over on Instagram…
The first photos I received were from my friend Brad – I’ve loved his plant for ages and it was great to see how it was doing – it looks great amongst some of his other plants in the first photo (see below), the leaves are SO beautiful with the light shining through them:
Next, we have a wonderful mature plant from Sarah which she grew from seed three years ago! Unfortunately she had to cut it back as it got too big to live indoors over winter, though she’s got a couple more smaller plants growing now. I would absolutely love mine to look like this one day!
ABOVE: some exciting initial progress from Amber // middle, right and below by Celine
Natali is putting her windowsill to good use with two avocado babies on the go:
Another great bit of recyling here from Naterlee …I love that avo on the left perched on top of the recylced Whisky bottle and the multi use of the glass on the right where some tradescantia is happily rooting alongside another avocado.
Below are three photos from Zeine …this avo looks incredible elegant!
The triptych above is from Kelly which is a few weeks behind the stage that mine is at, just look at those lovely little leaves!
Next we have some photos from my friend Justyna who has shared some exclusive photos with me of her ‘cado (thanks J!), it’s lovely to see the progress of her plant over three images:
Above are two great photos from Carla and the current progress of her plant, look at those crazy, beautiful roots! Looks like this one is nearly ready for potting.
Below shows a completely relatable set up of a houseplant enthusiast showing the ‘arctic-grown’ avocado collection of Saghar from Norway, a number of plants at differing stages here:
The biggest plant I have seen comes from Ladislav …it’s three and a half years old! It looks right at home in this photo:
To end the post I wanted to share some photos of the ‘Insta Avocado King’s’ (in my opinion) collection… Thanks so much Nelson for letting me share your amazing avocado family and some growing tips from his recent Instagram post:
Hope you enjoyed seeing a variety of avocado plants throughout this post and picked up some tips. If you haven’t already given it a go, perhaps this post has tempted you to grow your own. One of the things I have come to love most about this process is the plants’ humble beginnings, which started as your lunch or dinner, that can be ‘recycled‘ into a houseplant to nurture and grow. Thanks to all the people I have mentioned in this post for sharing your photos with me, I really appreciate it.
Thanks for reading and please send any post requests to me in a DM on Instagram
4 replies on “Avocado growing: Why everyone should grow an avocado plant”
Avocados trees are nice big houseplants. If allowed to reach the ceiling, they can be allowed to spread out laterally high up and out of the way. They do need quite a bit of pruning when they get that big though, since stems are limber and tend to sag back downward. In some ways, I prefer avocado trees to the common ficus trees.
However, if planted in the garden, they are quite different from avocado trees purchased in nurseries. Nursery grown avocado trees are grafted. The scions (above the graft) are adult growth of known cultivars that produce particular types of fruit. Seed grown avocados are not grafted. They are therefore not genetically identical to a particular cultivar. The fruit can be slightly different from the original fruit that provided the seed, (although almost all seed grown trees eventually make very good fruit, even if significantly different). The other concern is that they are not grown from fruit producing adult growth. They start out with their juvenile growth. Not only does it take a few years to mature enough to produce fruit, but the juvenile growth is very vigorous, and grows very tall very fast. If not pruned down, the fruit that eventually develops will be far out of reach! Unfortunately, the necessary pruning to keep the trees lower also disfigures the young developing trees. The good news is that most of us who grow seed grown trees either do not mind the disfigurement, or do not mind knocking avocados down from awkwardly tall trees. In the end, the trees become nice producers, potentially with picturesquely gnarled trunks. (They will need regular pruning as they mature.) They just have certain ‘issues’ that those growing them in the garden should be aware of.
Sorry for the long reply.
Thanks for this great post. I’ll start peeling my avo pit today (a tip I would have missed if I didn’t read your blog!). I love Nelson’s tips so I’m going to give them a go + the toothpick over a water jar option and compare.
Please tell me do you use filtered water? Do you place any plant food in the water?
I’m starting to realise the sunniest spots in my house are in both bathrooms! I assume I should keep away from the glass to decrease possible sunburn?
Thanks in advance. Loving your blog… lots to catch up on.
Hi Tara, sorry I didn’t see this comment until now! I use tap water that I leave sit overnight or ideally for a day or two. I don’t use plant food until I pot them up 🙂 Yes, watch for burn on the leaves, I got this on a few of mine, but have moved further away from the window now. Thanks so much for your kind words, good luck!