Basically, the avocado, which originally comes from South America, grows in warm and humid areas. In Europe and the UK, cultivation is difficult, but not impossible as long as you follow a few rules. In this article, we will show you how to grow avocados in three steps.
Step 1: Prepare the stone
All you need to grow your own avocado plant is an avocado stone and a glass partially filled with water. Propagation is also possible in a plant pot filled with soil. Clean the stone and cut lengthways into its shell with a sharp knife. Alternatively, remove the shell completely to make germination easier.
Wrap the prepared stone in a damp cloth and put it in a plastic bag. Seal this tightly and leave it in a warm place at around 25°C. Check regularly to determine whether the cloth is still damp and roots have formed. When these are a few centimetres long, remove the stone from the bag and place it in a water glass or plant pot filled with soil.
If you choose to cultivate in soil, stick the avocado kernel into the substrate with the tip up about a third of the way in. This supports the development of the seedling and roots. Choose a plant pot with a drainage hole in order that excess irrigation water can drain away, preventing root rot.
If growing in a water glass, use either a practical germination plate or a DIY toothpick construction. The germination plate has the advantage that it covers the glass and the water evaporates less quickly.
If using the toothpick method, carefully poke three toothpicks into the upper third of the stone. The toothpicks serve as a holder, keeping the top two-thirds of the stone out of the water. Only the lower third of the stone should be wet. Alternatively, and if available, you can of course also use a glass with the perfect diameter, keeping the stone held in place with its lower third in the water.
Step 2: Properly care for your germinating plant
Now leave the stone in a warm and dark location. If cultivating in soil, make sure always to keep the earth moist. But avoid waterlogging and the associated mould and root rot.
When growing in a water glass, change the water around every three days and add an organic liquid fertiliser to keep your plant supplied with the necessary nutrients.
After about a month, the first roots will form. The avocado stone will soon burst and release the seedling.
When the seedling has reached a height of around 15cm, move it from the water glass to a plant pot. Cover the roots with soil, keeping the stone and seedling exposed. You could also leave your avocado plant in hydroponics for longer. It's your choice.
Step 3: Choose the right location
Avocado plants love warm, moist and bright locations, not too sunny and without drafts. If your plant is exposed to too much sunlight, its leaves will turn red. In spring and summer, you can put your avocado plant in a sheltered place outside. However, it won't enjoy temperatures below 15°C, so bring it indoors for the winter.