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Can You Grow Avocados Indoors? Tips, Tricks, and How To Guide

Avocado

A favorite to many, avocados are a welcomed addition to any meal, whether topping a burger, salad, toast, or even eaten on their own. You especially know avocados are loved since they as cost extra at restaurants. It was only that easy to grow avocados and have as many as you like, whenever you like.

Luckily, growing them is rather simple. Avocado trees are seasonal plants that thrive in warm temperatures, sunlight, and humidity. That being said, you don’t necessarily need an outdoor space as avocado trees can grow indoors in any growing zone. In fact, they are excellent low-maintenance houseplants. As long as you’ve got the time and effort to give, the process is not only easy, but it can also be fun!

Read on for a detailed how-to guide on the different methods for indoor avocado planting, along with tips, tricks, and best practices.

garden flower divider2.5 Easy Methods for Growing Avocado Plants Indoors

We know what you’re thinking—how can there be 2.5 methods for growing avocados inside?

Simply put, you can grow an avocado plant indoors from either an avocado seed or a young avocado tree. The easier option is to purchase a juvenile avocado tree from a nursery to grow indoors. Pro tip: there are a couple of different cultivars available, but the dwarf varieties generally do best being grown inside.

When going with the seed method, you can either grow it in water or soil. Both options essentially use the same process, except that growing the seed from water includes a step before the seed is transplanted into the soil.

Hence, you have 2.5 available methods for growing an avocado plant indoors.

avocado
Image By: Ma_Rika, Pixabay

What You’ll Need

All you need to grow an avocado indoors is basic supplies. Some of which you may already have lying around the house, as well as a cleared out table or area to set up everything.

Supplies needed:

  • An avocado seed or a young avocado plant
  • A terracotta pot or other planting container with good drainage
  • A saucer dish to place under the pot/container
  • Potting soil (such as organic succulent potting mix designed for plants that prefer drier soil)
  • A glass jar or container, preferably see-through (only needed if growing an avocado seed from water)
  • Toothpicks (only needed if growing an avocado seed from water)

Growing an Avocado Plant From a Seed

Growing an avocado from a seed can be done in one of two ways: in water, and in soil.

The more popular method is to start by growing it in water. Many people like this option because it’s exciting to watch the seed’s roots emerging from the avocado pit as they grow. The rest of the process is the same as growing the seed in soil.

Growing the avocado from soil is just as effective of a method although less popular. The only difference is that you don’t get to witness the roots emerging.. The plus side is that you get to save yourself the step of transferring the seed to the soil.

Whichever option you choose, here are the step-by-step guides for both methods of growing an avocado seed indoors.

Growing in Water:

  • Remove an avocado seed from the avocado. Wash off any avocado remnants from the pit, being careful not to damage the seed.
  • Depending on the variety, the seed will either be round or oblong. The slightly pointier end of the seed is the top, and the flatter end is the bottom. You will be submerging the bottom part of the seed (the root end) into the water.
  • Prepare the seed with toothpicks. Stick enough toothpicks into the seed to support its weight, making sure to spread out the toothpicks evenly around the circumference of the seed. As the toothpicks will be holding the seed above the water, make sure they are sticking out of the seed far enough to rest along the edge of the glass jar/container holding the water.
  • Submerge the seed in water. Make sure the bottom of the seed is submerged in the water and remains submerged. Refill and change the water as needed.

*Tip: you will want to change the water every five days to a week to prevent any unwanted growth of bacteria, mold, and fungus that can harm your budding avocado plant.

  • Watch the seed grow. For optimal growth, place the jar with the seed in a bright room that gets plenty of light, with a temperature of 65-85 degrees. Soon you will begin to see roots emerging from the seed and growing down into the water. Eventually, stems and leaves will sprout as well.
  • Move the seed into soil when it’s ready. Once the roots begin filling much of the glass, you will know it’s time to place it in the soil. Fill your terracotta pot or other container with potting soil. Place the seed and roots on top of the soil and gently spread out the roots evenly. Pack the soil around the seed and cover its roots, while leaving the top of the seed exposed above the the soil.
  • Provide the plant with enough water and sun. Water it gently until you see water running from the container’s drainage hole and place the saucer dish beneath it to catch the drainage. Position the potted plant in a south or west-facing window where it will receive sunlight for at least 6 hours a day.
Avocado
Image Credit: Pixabay

Growing in Soil:

  • Remove a seed from the avocado. Wash off any fleshy remnants from the seed, being careful not to damage it.
  • The seed will either be round or oblong, depending on the variety of avocado. The slightly pointier end of the seed is the top, and the flatter end is the bottom. You will be submerging the bottom part of the seed into the soil.
  • Prepare the soil. Fill your terracotta pot or another planting container with potting soil. Place the seed and its roots on top of the soil while gently spreading the roots out evenly. Add some water to the soil—enough to moisten it without making it soggy.
  • Plant the seed in the soil. Make sure the bottom half of the seed is submerged in the soil while leaving the top half above the top of the soil.
  • Give the plant enough water and sun. Make sure the soil remains moist but not soggy. Check the soil to be sure it stays damp, and place the potted seed somewhere it will get at least 6 hours of indirect light. Make sure the temperature in the room stays between 65–85 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure optimal growth.
  • Wait patiently until the seed sprouts. It can take between 2–8 weeks for the seed to sprout,, with the roots emerging in the soil (out of sight) before that. The seed will begin to crack before sprouting and throughout its growth process.,

Growing an Avocado Plant from a Young Tree

Buying a young avocado tree is obviously an easier, more expensive option than growing it from a seed. As mentioned, avocado trees from the dwarf variety are often the most successful when grown indoors. Another advantage of this method is that nursery-grown avocado plants will start bearing fruit as early as 3-4 years in, compared to seed-grown avocado plants that usually take at least 10 years to begin fruiting.

For those who prefer this method, the number of advantages of growing an avocado plant from a young tree warrant the expenses involved. Here is an easy-to-follow guide for growing a young avocado tree indoors.

  • Let your avocado tree acclimate. When bringing a young avocado tree home, allow it a couple of weeks to adapt to your indoor space’s conditions before moving it to another pot or container. Transplanting it too early will likely cause transplant shock for your new plant.
  • Prepare the soil. After a few weeks, you can move your avocado tree to your terracotta pot or planting container of choice. Pour a few inches of potting soil into your pot/container.
  • Remove your avocado tree from its original pot. Carefully lay the tree on its side as you gently remove the plastic pot. Inspect the root ball for dead or rotten roots and remove any you find with clean scissors or shears.
  • Transplant the avocado tree into its new pot. Place the plant into the container on top of the potting soil. Fill the space around the root ball with more potting soil up to the same level it was in the original pot and patdown the soil as you fill it up.
  • Water the tree thoroughly. The best method for watering avocado trees is by giving them a deep soak once a week. The container you use should have a drainage hole to ensure the soil does not ever become too soggy. Place a saucer dish under the pot to catch any drainage.
  • Give the tree plenty of sun. Place the potted tree in a location with bright but indirect light for at least 6 hours each day. A south or west facing window is usually the best location.
Avocado
Image Credit: Pixabay

Best Practices For Ideal Conditions

No matter what method you decide to go with, here are some good tips, tricks, and best practices you can use to give your indoor avocado plant the best chance at success.

Warm Temperature and High Humidity

  • Keep the temperature between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit wherever your avocado plant is growing.
  • If your home’s climate is naturally drier, use a humidifier to ensure an environment with high humidity for your plant to thrive.
  • If you don’t own a humidifier, you can place the plant on a shallow tray filled with water and pebbles to help increase the humidity level.

Ample Indirect Sunlight

  • Place your potted avocado seed or tree in a south or west-facing window where it can get at least 6 hours of indirect light each day.
  • Make sure not to place your plant anywhere it is directly in the sun.

Just Enough Water

  • Water your avocado plant thoroughly once a week.
  • Allow soil to dry in between its weekly watering.
  • Use a pot or plant container with a drainage hole to ensure the soil does not get too soggy.
  • Use quick-draining potting soil like cactus or succulent potting mix.
Avocado
Image Credit: Pixabay

Pruning and Growth Support

  • Pinch back leaves to keep your avocado ’ ’plant’s stem strong and to also give the plant an overall bushy growth.
  • Trim the top leaves right above a growth node when the plant reaches about 12 inches. This will encourage healthy lateral growth for your plant.
  • When the plant grows over 2 feet, stake the stem using a bamboo pole or another sturdy stake. This will provide support for the plant’s weight and prevent the stem from bending over or snapping.

Fertilizer

  • Apply a general-purpose fertilizer (like 10-10-10) as directed to the soil every few This is an optional but helpful step, since fertilizers can help your avocado plant thrive indoors.
  • Be sure not to fertilize too heavily or frequently.

garden flower dividerFinal Thoughts

Although it’s not your average houseplant, the avocado plant is not as tough to grow indoors as you may think. Each method detailed above is simple to follow and requires basic supplies and not a ton of maintenance.

The primary factor to consider is that the environment is ideal for your young avocado plant to thrive and grow into all it can be. With the proper environment, the right amount of TLC, and due time, your young avocado plant can flourish into a beautiful fruit-bearing wonder in just a few years.


Featured Image Credit: Piqsels

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