Growing Avocado

I have an avocado plant that we started from a seed (pit).  What are its requirements – soil, water, light, etc. for optimal performance??

Avocado makes an attractive houseplant and a great project to try with the kids. Plant in well drained potting soil. When watering, soak the plant so that all the roots get wet and then allow the soil to dry before watering again. You may have to water more often in warmer weather. It does best in partial shade (bright indirect light) and will tolerate temps of 55-65F for a few months. Excessive heat, dry indoor air and excess fertilizer can cause leaf drop and marginal browning of leaves.You can increase humidity by placing it in a pebble tray or mist around the plant. In  Spring start feeding it with 1/2 strength houseplant fertilizer that includes micronutrients(zinc).  If you can, place your avocado plant outside in the shade for the summer. It will enjoy the warm, humid air. Once the stem reaches 12″ cut it back by half to a node to control the size and shape. It will not flower or bear fruit indoors but makes a great houseplant.  Hardy in zone 9-11

How to grow an Avocado plant from a pit.  start an avocado plant

Choose a nice ripe avocado for guacamole and save the pit.  Insert 3 toothpicks evenly spaced, half way up around the pit. Suspend the pointed end up over a glass of water making sure the bottom touches the water and stays moist all the time. If the water evaporates, add more and change it every two weeks. In 2-6 weeks, you should see the pit crack  and a fleshy white root emerging from the bottom. If not, start over. Once well rooted, carefully plant the pit 1/3 exposed into a 6″ pot in a well-drained soil mix and place in bright indirect light. Keep the soil moist but not wet. When the plant is 6 inches tall cut it back by 1/2 and then again when it is 10-12″.  This will promote  fuller and healthier growth.

Another way to start from seed. Cut off 1/4″ of the tip and place the rounded bottom into soil- deep enough so that only the flat end is showing. Water and keep the soil moist.

Plant tips
Low light will produce to a tall, lanky plant.
Leaves will yellow and drop in wet soil.
Brown leaf margins and leaf drop indicates that the soil is too dry
Brown leaf margins-fluoride damage
Brown tips- salt accumulation.