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Just about any dish can benefit from avocados. Whether you want to take omelets, salads, sandwiches, or smoothie recipes to the next level, nutrient-dense avocados are a great choice. This heart-healthy fruit (yes, believe it or not, it’s a fruit) is beyond its versatility, making it the perfect staple.
And the best part is that it doesn’t require a ton of effort to grow an avocado tree indoors. All you have to do is grab onto a leftover pit and grab some basic supplies to reap the benefits of this delicious fruit. Plus, this simple (and affordable) gardening project is fun for kids to try.
Full Disclosure: There is a caveat. Expect avocado trees to take between five and 13 years to produce fruit. It’s also difficult for this to happen indoors, which is why fruit can sometimes be so expensive in grocery stores. If you’re ready to give it a try, follow these five basic steps to growing your own avocado tree from a pit:
Supplies you will need
Growing an avocado tree
1. Keep an avocado stone (without cutting or breaking it) and wash off any residue. Let dry, then insert 3-4 toothpicks about halfway up the side of the pit.
2. Hang the large end of the pit in a glass or jar. Fill the container with enough water to submerge the bottom third of the seed, advises the Missouri Botanical Garden.
3. Place the glass in a warm place out of direct sunlight and change the water regularly. The roots and a shoot should appear in about 2 to 6 weeks. Otherwise, start with another seed.
4. When the shoot is about 6 inches tall, cut it back to about 3 inches to encourage root growth.
5. Once the stem grows back, plant the pit in a 10 inch pot filled with rich potting soil. Now is the time to let your avocado tree grow, grow, grow!
To note: You can buy older trees instead of starting from scratch. Amazon sells 4ft tall grafted avocado trees that can set fruit in 3-4 years instead of 10.
Caring for an avocado tree
Place the pot in a sunny spot and water lightly but often. The goal is to keep the soil moist but not soaking wet, recommends California avocados. You can place the tree outside in the summer as long as temperatures stay above 45 ° F. Prune your plant occasionally (every 6 inches or so) to promote fullness.
TIP: Yellow leaves are a sign that you are overwatering. Recompose to prevent root rot.
You can also plant avocado trees outdoors in USDA Zones 10-12, aka, frost-free regions. They do best in rich, well-drained soil in full sun. Water 2 to 3 times a week, soaking the soil thoroughly and then letting it dry out before watering again.
Avocado recipe ideas
While your tree isn’t producing fruit anytime soon, complete your green thumb project with avoided-themed dishes from the Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen. First up: our classic guacamole recipe, with just the right amount of lime and jalapeño. You will not be disappointed!
Check out these other favorites that make avocado the star of the show:
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