How to grow an avocado tree

Also known as an alligator pear or butter fruit, the versatile avocado is the only fruit that provides a substantial amount of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA). Avocados are a naturally nutrient-dense food and contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals.

Growing your own avocados is a simple, satisfying project for experienced or beginner gardeners. Whether you start from seed or a nursery-grown tree, one essential for success is patience. Plant a tree, and you’ll wait three to four years for fruit. Start with a seed, you may wait 10 years or more. With proper care, you’ll be on your way to plucking ready-to-eat avocados from your own yard.

Step 1: You’ll need to start by removing the seed from the avocado carefully and then washing it clean.

Step 2: Use three or four toothpicks to suspend it broad end down over a water-filled glass to cover about an inch of the seed. These toothpicks are your avocado scaffolding, which will allow you to rest the bottom half of the avocado in water. Put the glass in a bright place but out of direct sunlight and replenish water every 5days or as needed. You should see the roots and stem start to sprout in about two to six weeks.

Step 3: When the stem is 6 to 7 inches long, cut it back to about 3 inches. After two or three weeks when the roots are thick and the stem has leaves again, plant it in a rich soil in about 10-inch-diameter pot, leaving the seed half exposed. Water it frequently, with an occasional deep soak. The soil should be moist but not saturated. And don’t forget the more sunlight, the better.

Step 4: Watch it grow. Give it frequent waterings with an occasional deep soak. The soil should always be moist, but not saturated. Yellowing leaves are a sign of over-watering; let the plant dry out for a few days.

Health Benefits of Avocado Fruit

  • Avocados are a great source of vitamins C, E, K, and B-6, as well as riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and potassium. They also provide lutein, beta-carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Great for vision
  • Improved digestion
  • Natural detoxification
  • Healthy for the heart
  • Osteoporosis prevention
  • Cancer prevention
  • Lower risk of depression
  • Osteoporosis treatment
  • Antimicrobial action
  • Protection from chronic disease
  • Healthy pregnancy