Gardening indoors – because you can

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An experiment in propagating avocado seeds – Part II

These avocados are of the Haas variety. They were purchased at the local Co-op.

These avocados are of the Haas variety. They were purchased at the local Co-op.

We left off on my last post with the completion of our homemade greenhouse. In this post, as promised, we’re actually going to go ahead and get these two avacado seeds started! Now for the sake of being completely honest, I’ve actually gone ahead and started the first one, which is the one that will stay uncovered… Hello – it’s the one you see here in the picture! We’re going to completely go over rooting the other avocado seed right now step-by-step using the experimentation method mentioned in part I of this post.

Haas variety avacado. Pretty tasty!

Haas variety avacado. Pretty tasty!

So the first thing that I did was to grab my homemade setup crafted from a soda bottle, then my avocado. The avocado being used here is a Haas variety, and I purchased it, and the other one a little earlier today from the local food Co-op. They only cost me $0.79 each!

Be careful at this stage!

Be careful at this stage!

Once I got my avacado in position, I grabbed a huge knife and threatened the hell out of it. I told it that if it didn’t yield me a beautiful plant, I would kill all of his cousins come spring… I don’t think it was paying much attention, though. I used the knife to cut the avocado vertically, lightly pressing until I could feel the seed against the blade of the knife. You want to make sure that while this is being done, you don’t damage the seed inside of the avocado. Once you feel the seed under the knife blade, go ahead and rock it all the way around lightly.

Twist... Simple

Twist… Simple

Once you make a vertical cut around the outer edge of the seed, go ahead and twist the two parts of the avocado apart. On a ripe avocado, they should come apart fairly easily. I tried this about two months ago with a really tough-fleshed avocado, and the seed was a true pain in the ass to remove… That seed actually sprouted it’s first root about two days ago in water – finally.

Fleshy seed.

Fleshy seed.

After I got the two halves separated, I was able to easily remove the seed from the half it was stuck in using only my thumb. When first removed, the seed tends to have a lot of the avocado flesh still on it, and you definitely want to get rid of it, being careful not to damage or remove the outer layer of skin on the seed – it’s brown, and it takes a lot of rubbing to get it off, so once again, no worries.

Clean avocado seed. Ready for the world!

Clean avocado seed. Ready for the world!

I removed the avocado flesh by running cool water over the seed and rubbing lightly – it comes off pretty easily. I made sure not to damage or remove the outer skin of the seed, which is light brown… You won’t have much success if you damage that outer skin, so be careful! I’m not sure what others do at this exact moment, but I let my seed dry out for a few minutes – it seems like it’s been through a lot, and I need to dry my hands and take some pictures anyway.

Three toothpicks will do the job.

Three toothpicks will do the job.

Now for the toothpicks. I make sure to keep the toothpicks that I’m using for this clean, as to not encourage the invasion of parasites. I try to be as clean as possible when dealing with anything that has to do with plants… It’s just a good idea. If you didn’t already know, I’ll inform you now – the roots will grow out of the bottom of the seed, which is the broad side – the flatter part of the seed. The plant itself will begin to stem from the top, or the pointy side of the seed, therefore you want to put the bottom of the seed in water, leaving the top of the avocado seed exposed to air.

Fill it just enough to cover the bottom half of the seed!

Fill it just enough to cover the bottom half of the seed!

Once you have the toothpicks in place in the seed, all that’s left to do is prop it up over the soda bottle greenhouse that we made earlier, fill it with water (enough to cover the bottom half of the seed), and cover it up with the top of the soda bottle. When you’re all done, your new project should look something like what I have pictured below.

Both avocado seeds... We'll see which grows better soon!

Both avocado seeds… We’ll see which grows better soon!

I’m going to keep these out of direct light. An ideal location for me would be in the kitchen, so that’s where they’ll be for now. As mentioned before, all feedback and comments are appreciated, and will keep me going as far as this blog is concerned. Subscribe if you’re benefiting in any way, and be sure to stay tuned – my next blog will be about propagating mango plants from seeds!

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5 thoughts on “An experiment in propagating avocado seeds – Part II

  1. so that seed really would be growing up and up?
    nut i dont like that tree.. cause if it has an catterpilar, its discosting..

    • lol – no caterpillars, as of yet… it’s winter time here. If there are any in the future, I’ll take them outside and send them peacefully on their way… I just want to grow stuff. Indoors. You should follow my blog, and I’ll keep you updated as to whether or not there are any creepers about!

  2. Pingback: An experiment in propagating avocado seeds – Part II « Gardening indoors – because you can

  3. Do you have any ETA or next steps on how to keep the project going? I’m sure you’ll post after you do it, but I want to make sure I’m not too late when I need to. TIA!

    • As a matter of fact, I’m going to update this pretty soon. As far as an ETA on the first root showing up, it varies. I have one I’m looking at right now that took just over a month to show rooting.. I think it would have happened a few days to a week earlier had I not kept it in the window and kept it on my counter instead. I did fail to mention a few things in the post though – I do change the water out every three days or so to keep bacteria from forming, and I make sure that when I do, I lightly “rinse” the top of the seed off as well. Let me know if you have more questions! Thanks!

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