1. Q: How do you grow an avocado?

A: Wash pit; stick in 3 toothpicks 2/3 way down seed from pointed top; set on rim of glass; fill with water so that the bottom 1/3 of seed is covered. When root forms and top starts to split, pot with soil and place in brightest light indoors.

2. Q: I was told that if I planted an avocado in the ground, it would grow a tree - but without avocados on it. Is that true? Also, what's the big deal about putting toothpicks and putting it in water and all that? If I just put it in the ground, will it grow? And, will there be avocados on it?

A: The big thing about using the toothpicks and putting it in the water is that you get to see it happen!! First the seed splits, then the root starts to grow and finally here comes the shoot. Literally a miracle happening before your eyes! No problem with putting it in the ground or pot though; you just miss all the action. Plant it fairly shallow, just barely covering the seed with soil.

All avocado seeds WILL eventually produce fruit if they grow long enough.

3. Q: Can you please tell me how often and exactly how much I should water my avocado tree. I have been told you should only water it once every seven to ten days. It has lots of clusters of buds. Last year they all fell off. It might have been because it was only two years old. Some of the leaves are turning yellow. We have been watering it every second day.

A: Water can be one of the hardest issues to address when dealing with plants, because the symptoms for too much water are the same as the symptoms for not enough water. All fruit plants require well-drained soil in order to grow and produce properly. So if you water too often you force the oxygen out of the soil and the plants cannot use the water you are applying. Plant roots require oxygen in order to take up the water. So I think if you are applying water every two days, you are applying it too often. Every 7 to 10 days is probably adequate right now. In the peak of the summer you may have to water more often; maybe every 3 days. The best way to determine if you need to water is by feeling the soil. Dig down with a shovel to a depth of 6 inches. Place a ball of soil in your hand; if the soil sticks together in a ball, you have adequate moisture; if the soil crumbles and fails to hold together, then you need to apply water. It may be that you can go longer than you think before you apply water.

| Parson's Archive Home | Aggie Horticulture |