Avocados have become one of the newest staples of healthy eating. Seriously, that delicious bowl of guacamole can become your next guilt-free snack thanks to this fantastic super-fruit (and yes, it is a fruit).
If you didn’t already know, avocados have an impressive amount of health benefits and have been taking the health-conscious community by storm. Avocados are packed with essential vitamins, such as potassium, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E – the list literally goes on. They are also a great source of fiber and have even been linked to share a similar fatty acid found in olive oil known to be “heart healthy”.
This superfood has continued to rise in popularity thanks to its versatility in the kitchen. Avocados can be easily incorporated into any dish for a splash of color or as a substitute for less-healthy choices without losing any of its flavors.
Peaked your interest? You can also enjoy your own home-grown avocados, without needing an entire backyard, in just a few easy steps.
1. Sprout Your Avocado Seed
After cleaning off an avocado seed, carefully stick 4 toothpicks into the seed, each at equal distance and about halfway down from the top. The toothpicks will be helping suspend your seed, so you’ll want to make sure they’re nice and even. Once you have your toothpicks in place, set your seed into a cup of water, using the toothpicks to keep your seed soaking in an inch of water, with the dimpled end facing down.
Keep your seed somewhere warm and away from direct sunlight. Let it soak for about 2 to 6 weeks, or until you begin to see roots and a stem sprout.
Once the stem has reached 6 inches long from your seed, cut it back to about 3 inches. Wait for more leaves to grow and the roots to thicken.
2. Time to Plant!
Locate a large pot, about 10 inches in diameter, and fill it with a nutrient-rich soil. Make a small hole in the center of the soil and plant the seed with its the roots at the bottom and half of the seed still exposed.
Pro tip: Get a terra-cotta pot with a hole in the bottom to ensure plenty of drainage.
You should water your avocado seed regularly and generously, taking care to keep your soil moist without over-saturation. If you notice that the leaves have begun to turn yellow or droop, give your avocado seed some time to dry out and resume watering with a smaller amount. If you notice that that the leaves have begun to turn brown and dry, you might not be watering your plant enough. Set the pot in your sink and gently run water through it for a few moments, taking care to fully drain your plant.
3. Enjoy the Fruits of Your Labor!
You did it!
Keep on water and tending to your perfect indoor avocado tree and you’ll start to see some avocado fruits forming.
Harvesting Your Avocados
It may take several years of growth for your avocado tree to start fruiting and produce new avocados. In some cases, this process may take over five years.
The fruiting process will take longer if the plant doesn’t get adequate sunlight and nutrients. Once the tree is fruiting, you will be able to harvest delicious, nutritious avocados throughout the year.
Avocados are ready to harvest once they are fully green and begin to lose some of their brightness, with larger fruit maturing first. Some varieties will begin to develop brown speckling once tree-ripened.
Fresh avocados must soften on a counter for a few days or a week until ready to eat. Avocados are ready to eat once they are soft enough to give a little when gently squeezed in your hand.
Your tree will continue producing avocados, allowing you to harvest them whenever you want.