How can I transplant a vocado plant

From the core to the avocado plant

Whether Hass ’or Fuerte’: the avocado is more popular than ever because it is a real jack-of-all-trades. The healthy fruit brings flavor to the table, cares for the skin and decorates the window sill as a houseplant. In the following, we explain the methods you can use to grow an avocado tree from a core and how it can be grown at home.

Planting avocado: that's how it works

An avocado seed can be planted directly in a pot with soil or put in water to root. To do this, you stick three toothpicks into the core and place it with the tip facing up on a water glass. A light and warm location is important for cultivation, for example on the window sill. If enough roots have formed after a few months, the avocado can be planted in soil. Even when planting directly, keep the soil evenly moist and pay attention to warm temperatures between 22 and 25 degrees Celsius.

Avocado plant: the tropical tree for the window sill

Botanically, the avocado (Persea americana) belongs to the laurel family (Lauraceae). They are also known under the names avocado pear, alligator pear or aguacate. The avocado plant is native to Mexico via Central America to Peru and Brazil. Archaeological finds show that it was cultivated there as a useful plant over 8,000 years ago. The Spaniards tried their hand at growing exotic fruits since the beginning of the 16th century. Avocado trees have been cultivated in Mauritius since around 1780, and only 100 years later in Africa. Avocados have been grown in Asia since the middle of the 20th century.

Because of the great demand for the healthy fruits, the avocado plant can now be found everywhere where the climate makes it possible - that is, in tropical countries around the world. Much of the fruit comes from Florida and California. In suitable locations, the avocado develops into a 20 meter high tree. Small, light green flowers form in the leaf axils, which some time after fertilization produce the popular dark green berry fruits with their wrinkled skin. Their original propagation by seeds is no longer of interest for plant production, since the offspring become wild and lose their typical varietal characteristics. Instead, like most of our domestic fruit trees, they are propagated through grafting. In room culture, however, it is still easy to pull a small tree for the window sill from an avocado seed. Even if these redrawn avocado plants do not bear fruit, it is still a wonderful experiment for children and all other plant lovers.

Planting avocado seeds: the best methods at a glance

  • Put the avocado in a water glass
  • Plant the avocado seeds in the soil

Cultivation tip: To ensure that the experiment is crowned with success in any case, we recommend using several avocado seeds for propagation. Because unfortunately not every kernel manages to germinate, develop strong roots and grow reliably.

Getting an avocado seed to sprout and sprout is actually very easy. The water method is particularly suitable for observing the development of an avocado plant from seed to tree. To power an avocado seed in water, you only need three toothpicks and a vessel with water - for example a mason jar. The core is carefully removed from the fruit, washed off well and dried. Then you drill a toothpick about five millimeters deep in three places with about the same distance around the center of the kernel and place the blunt, egg-shaped avocado kernel with the point upwards on the glass. The lower third of the core should hang in the water. Place the glass with the core in a bright place - a sunny window sill is ideal - and change the water about every two days.

After about six weeks, the core opens at the tip and a germ emerges. It is growing very quickly. Long, straight roots form at the bottom. When, after a few months, enough strong roots have grown from the lower end of the avocado kernel and a strong healthy shoot has grown from the upper end, the kernel can be transferred to a flower pot with soil. Carefully remove the toothpicks and plant the core in moist soil - without damaging the roots. The avocado kernel stays on the surface, only the roots are potted.

Plant the avocado seeds in the soil

You can also plant the avocado seeds directly in the soil. To do this, you simply fill a pot with soil - ideally a humus-rich potting soil with a clay component - and put the clean, dry core in it. Again, two-thirds of the avocado kernel should stay above the ground. A mini greenhouse for the room keeps the temperature and humidity evenly high, but is not absolutely necessary. Water the soil lightly and keep the core moist by spraying regularly. The soil in the plant pot must not dry out, otherwise all effort would be in vain.

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What care does the avocado tree need?

A sure instinct is required when caring for the young trees. As a tropical plant, the avocado plant needs high humidity, warmth and a uniformly moist substrate. If your feet get wet, mold can easily become infected! The core then softens and rots. It is best to place the small avocado tree in a warm room (22 to 25 degrees Celsius) by a bright window and ensure an even water supply.

A well-rooted avocado tree should be fertilized every 14 days in the summer months, but it needs a break in the winter months. Hibernate your avocado tree at 10 to 15 degrees Celsius in as bright a spot as possible and continue to water it, but only in such a way that the bale does not dry out completely. Low-lime or decalcified water has proven useful for watering. If it contains too much lime, the plant reacts with chlorosis, triggered by a lack of iron. If you fertilize the avocado plant quickly enough with iron-based fertilizer, you can usually still save it.

In spring, the young avocado can be transplanted into a larger pot. The avocado tree usually grows as a long, straight shoot. If the avocado is to branch, this shoot can be cut off at a height of about 30 centimeters on a well-rooted plant in order to stimulate the sprouting of the side buds. You can grow the plant in a shrub or tree shape.

In the room, an avocado tree will not grow larger than 150 centimeters even after a few years and often only forms a slightly branched crown of long, thin shoots. In the long run, the cultivation and cultivation of an avocado plant work best in a heated greenhouse or winter garden: Only here you can offer it "tropical conditions", i.e. high humidity, lots of light and enough warmth. Older specimens can even go outside during the summer, for example in a warm and sheltered place on the terrace or balcony. But don't forget to clear the frost-sensitive tropical trees back in good time - depending on the weather, the avocado can get too cold at night outdoors at the end of August / beginning of September.

If you pull the avocado plant out of a core, it will not produce any fruit. For reassurance: even in the natural site, it takes an average of four years before the first avocados appear. The plant blooms profusely - only pollination is a bit complicated. Persea americana, as the scientific name of the avocado tree is, has hermaphrodite flowers (and blooms profusely!), But cannot pollinate itself and is therefore dependent on cross-pollination. And that too is difficult because the flowers open and close with a delay: first to let out pollen, then to pollinate your own ovary. But that shouldn't stop you from trying anyway! To do this, you pull at least two plants from the kernels of different varieties - amateur gardeners have achieved good success with ‘Fuerte’ - and place them next to each other. In the house you usually have to help out with pollination yourself by transferring the pollen from one plant to the stigmas of the other plant with a brush or cotton swab.

How healthy is the avocado really?

Hardly any other food has experienced such a boom in recent years as the avocado. As a trend fruit in the kitchen and cosmetics, it is eaten, drunk, applied and massaged in. Whether as an oil, spread, baking ingredient, tea, skin cream or face mask - the green fruit is more popular than ever. The reason for this is their valuable ingredients - including various unsaturated fatty acids, magnesium, calcium, vitamins A and C - their good processing properties and their velvety-nutty taste. As a medicinal plant, the avocado is used against coughs, diarrhea, obesity and acne. By the way, even the avocado kernels can be chopped up into smoothies and teas.

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Credit: Alexandra Tistounet / Alexander Buggisch MSG