You know how every now and then you see something on Pinterest or online and think “yeah…sure…”
I had such a feeling and then was enough proven completely wrong. Wouldn’t you know it, you can grow an avocado tree from a pip, and it actually works!
What a fantastic project for a child (or the childlike in my case). There is something magical about growing food scraps whether it be sprouting potatoes or a pineapple but this one actually turns into a quite attractive plant. Here is how you do it.
All that you need to do is find yourself an avocado pip which, lets be honest, shouldn’t be that challenging if you are as addicted to guacamole like I am. Then comes the tricky part.
You first have to figure out which way is up. This will be glaringly obvious or tricky depending on the size and the age of your pip (this is also true for people am I right?). There will be one end that is a little flatter and one that is a little more rounded or pointy. The routed end is up.
Take 4 skewers (or two cut in half) and poke them into the sides of the pip. You will have created something that looks a little like a satellite but this gives the pip a little stand. You then fill a glass full of water and balance the pip on the skewers over it so that the bottom of the pip is submerged in the water.
Word of caution- the pips are slippery! Be careful while forcing the skewers into the pip because it can easily slip an cause you to impale your hand like a giant human shish kabob. Hind sight is a great thing…
Leave it on a sunny windowsill and wait. And wait… Change the water every couple of days, top it up and wait… Just when you think that this is stupid and nothing is going to happen, it sprouts.
The first thing that happened was that the pip began to split and the sprout became to emerge. Then roots started to grow out of the bottom and down into the water.
Keep changing the water to keep it clean and let it grow until the roots are about ready to reach the bottom of the glass. It is then time to plant it and marvel at just how clever and talented you are. There you have it, a little tree.
As far as the upkeep goes, make sure that it gets plenty of water and a nice sunny place. This being Canada, mine will never actualize it’s dream of living free outside. It will have to stay an indoor plant where it is warm.
I know what you are thinking (and what I was thinking). Is it going to grow avocados? No. I have read that it might fruit but it will be nothing like what we are used to. The conditions to grow commercial avocados are so altered that it will not be reproduced at home in a ledge. But they are gorgeous plants and that is good enough for me.
There I was thinking myself clever until my Father in Law informed us that he has avocado plants growing in his compost bin back in Australia all of the time. Oh… well that is there where it is warm and lush and this is here (the frozen North) and so I am still more than pleased with my green thumb.
I am skewered a couple more and plan to make a little indoor grove while the weather is still warm enough to get them going.
Go ahead and give it a go. I love this kind of scrap gardening because it is important to me to teach my daughter where food comes from and the cycles of growth. This is a just a fun way to do it.