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Many of us are well aware of the health benefits of avocados, but do you ever wonder if you can grow an avocado tree indoors? You would be surprised to know that growing avocados indoors is easier than growing it outdoors. All you need is to have a little patience to see an attractive seedling sprouting from its seeds.
There is great diversification in avocado plants (more than 1,000 varieties). Some varieties can grow up to a height of 80 ft, and others can reach up to 20 ft. But there is no need to be worried about the size, as there are several dwarf varieties of this plant that you can enjoy growing indoors. People tend to grow this delightful pear-shaped fruit as a natural superfood because of its high nutritional value and healthy fat content.
The most common growing variety is the Haas avocado, which is suitable for indoor planting. These avocadoes are small in size and contain high-fat content with delicious flesh. Although this plant takes a lot of time to bear fruits (9 – 10 years), planting it as a decorative indoor tree is also a rewarding effort.
Due to the rise in its popularity, avocados are the best option for growing in your indoor space. Growing avocados from stones (seeds) can take years for fruiting. However, if you are growing it as a beautiful house plant, then growing from seed is the best choice. This article will explain how you can grow avocadoes in your home by following simple techniques.
Growing an Avocado from Seed
- Growing an avocado from its seed is very easy.
- Start with rinsing and cleaning of the seed.
- In the next step, suspend the seed with the help of 3 toothpicks in a way that one inch (2.54 cm) of its broad end is submerged in a glass of water. You can also use an avocado growing kit for this purpose.
- Make sure its top portion is exposed to air.
- Place this glass in a warm place away from direct sunlight.
- Its roots and shoot will start emerging from the seed after six weeks’ duration.
- Keep changing the water in the glass until its shoot becomes 6-7 inches long (15-17 cm).
- Then, cut it back to 3 inches (7.5 cm) and wait for leaves sprouting.
- Once it establishes healthy leaves and a dense roots system, you can transplant into a pot or container.
- Select the pot having at least 10 inches (25 cm) diameter with a good drainage hole.
- Water it after transplanting and keep in a south-facing window.
Growing an Avocado from a Young Plant
If you don’t have enough patience or time to grow avocadoes from seeds, then you can go for buying a young plant from a nursery. However, these delicate plants also require specific conditions to flourish and eventually set fruit. Choose a large pot with a good drainage hole.
Use a potting mix made for citrus (Commercial citrus potting mixes include perlite, peat moss, compost, and vermiculite) or any regular potting soil mix that is rich in nutrients. Transplant the young plant into a pot and if its roots are bounded, untangle them before planting. Place it in a spot that receives full sunlight. It will bear fruits within 4-5 years.
To grow an avocado indoor, a nutrient-rich and well-draining potting soil mix is ideal. However, the potted avocados plants usually suffer from the accumulation of salts in their soil. The sign of this problem includes leaves turning brown and tips curling and drying.
You can deal with this mineral build-up issue in two ways. The first one includes watering of your avocado plants with only rainwater. If it is not feasible for you, then the other option is using distilled water. Let the distilled water run freely into the pot to flush the soil and drains out for several minutes.
It is good practice to keep avocado plants continuously moist. But keep in mind that they can’t handle too much water. In fact, the main cause of death for potted avocado plants is overwatering. So, adequate drainage is essential. If your avocados leaves are turning yellow, then it’s a sign of overwatering.
To resolve the problem, let your pot dry out for a few days. The best way to water your avocado plants is to provide a deep soak after a week or two, depending upon the leaves’ condition. You need to be more careful during winter as soil takes more time in drying, and overwatering can lead to root rot. Once it starts rotting, it will become difficult to save your plant. So, avoid this situation by watering sparingly.
Frequent application of balanced fertilizer during the growing season is very important for the proper growth and development of the avocado tree indoor. You can use fertilizer recommended for citrus for the avocado tree every couple of months during the first year of growth.
It helps in establishing the little sapling. Spraying trace elements like Cu, Zn, Mn, and B in the first four years (during spring and summer season) is helpful for the avocado tree to bear fruits earlier. When it begins to set fruits, increase the application of K fertilizer to 15%.
Avocado plants thrive best in full sunlight. Although they can tolerate some shade, you should put the potted indoor plants, preferably in the brightest spot in your house. If you’re planting from a seed, then you can keep it on a bright windowsill until its roots form, and leaves start sprouting. As they love full sun, so providing supplemental light during the winter season is beneficial for them.
Avocado plants are sensitive to temperature variations and have specific temperature requirements. They thrive best in warm temperatures, ideally between 60 and 85 oF (15 to 29 oC), which makes them excellent indoor plants. However, they can also tolerate low temperatures up to 50 oF (10 oC) during the winter season by slowing down their growth.
When your plant reaches up to 12 inches tall (30 cm), it’s the time for its first trimming. Cut it back to 6 inches (15 cm); this practice will bring out new leaves and force new branches to form. As it becomes taller, prune it regularly during the summer season because fruit usually sets on new emerging growths. Through pruning, you can promote the growth of lateral branches, which will give it a bushy shape and also control its size.
Growing an avocado tree indoors Conclusion
Growing an avocado tree indoors adds character and freshness to your home. The success of growing avocado indoors lies in providing the correct amount of watering and adequate sunlight exposure.
Fertilize it regularly during the growing season. If you observe any white layer over the potting soil, flush the water to remove excessive mineral. Also, make sure water is draining out from the bottom hole. Once it starts fruiting, prune its old branches every summer.