Sunday, April 26, 2009

Dancing with Avocados

All my friends tell me I have a green thumb but I just like the work of making something grow. As long as I can remember I have always had plants around me. I’m one of those people who gets a cutting from something and then begins to grow them like mad. This is where the green thumb part comes in because plants seem to respond to my touch. All kinds of plants! In fact, the only plant that has refused to fall under my spell are African Violets. They are a rather high strung lot and despite lots of care have consistently resisted the pull of my caress so I stir clear of them. Everything else if fair game.

I like avocados but Alex loves them and probably if given a choice would eat nothing else. One day recently I decided to try my hand at growing them. Alex gave me a million reasons why they would not grow but I pressed ahead anyway.

As always click each photo for a better view.

First comes the rooting
The rooting process is pretty straightforward in that you should first eat an avocado and save the seed. No problem there... Let the seed dry out and next suspend it in a glass of water with toothpicks.

This little beauty is almost ready to go. I found out that in order to get fruit (an avocado) you have to have at least two trees so I have several in various stages of sprouting.

After about two to three weeks if lucky and patient you will begin to see signs of life sprout out through the top of the seed. You almost feel it is a chick trying to break free from an egg and you should provide encouragement.

Dirt and growth
Little by little the sprout works its way out of the seed. Once it does it is time to place it in dirt. I know this is going to sound strange but at this point you want to slow growth. The leaves at the top should be pinched back to allow the trunk to get strong and hardy, otherwise it will grow too fast and become stringy. The stringy part is important because they don't like wind.

While growing these I learned all Hass avocado trees are descended from a single "mother tree" that was raised by a mail carrier named Rudolph Hass, of La Habra Heights California. He patented the tree in 1935.

The makings of a tree
Following the pinching stage the plant begins to get stronger and stronger, and once the trunk is strong enough the plant will override the pinching process and sprout more leaves to get taller.

It is truly a sight to behold as the tree gets bigger and bigger. And, true to form Alex asked me to grow one for him. He is now the proud owner of the beginnings of an avocado tree. I will keep you updated as we grow our avocado farm. If we only get a few avocados it will be well worth it because I learned in some cultures they are considered aphrodisiacs and contain 60 percent more potassium per ounce than bananas. Is this a great fruit or what?

Next stop... Jackfruit!


  1. I hope you make it with the avocado tree!


    Good Bloog my friend!! Congratulations!!

    good luck!! See you!

  3. I really like your blog, lots of nice pictures! I might try to grow the avocado plant, what kind of sun does it need?

  4. Dear Cherrie, I'm filled with admiration at the way you can tame all these rebellious plants ! Trying to grow an avocado tree, I never was able to go beyond the first stage you describe ! Is it due to our climate over here or am I doomed ? I wish I had a green thumb like you ! I need your advice for, in desperation, I've now turned to growing a fern plant (which I thought would be more suited to our climate ?) Have a great week-end.

  5. my gosh, u have a green thumb!. my grandma use to grow African violets... i found that to be an easy plant to grow... a friend taught me to put the pot in another dish and water from below, what he called 'texas style'... and it works... try it w/one, i bet u won't kill it... u sparked my interest in trying to grow an avocado tree.

  6. Growing the avocados was fun. You first have to be patient and let the seed dry out so that the outer covering flakes off. At that point you put in the toothpicks. Some avocado seeds sprout quickly and others take more time. I just kept putting in water and leaving it alone until the seed finally began to crack. The pinching part is key to slow down growth and allow the trunk to get strong. It prefers strong sun but will work with indirect light. The two things it does not like are wind and frost.

  7. I am glad u mentioned pinching the leaves.. I don't think my mom ever did that.. Maybe that explains why the tree never advanced? LOL....

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  9. I loved growing Avocado plants a few years ago but mine always became very tall and then fell over or needed loads of canes. They then did not look very attractive. Hence I stopped growing them. You have inspired me today to try again but this time following your advice on the pinching out the growth.
    My son tried to grow one a few years ago after he first encountered the large stone while we were preparing a salad together, but he didn't dry it out first or use the tooth picks, so it just rotted in the water on his bedroom window sill. I'll suggest he tries again!

  10. good blog nice content and layout
    great work

  11. I meant to tell you : this is a lovely photo of you on your handmade verandah !

  12. fyi, just want u to know that the avocado sprouted!.