Avocado is a tropical plant. At home, it is grown as an ornamental crop to decorate the interior of residential and office premises. Avocado has the ability to release a large amount of oxygen, creating a favorable atmosphere in your home or office. For the sake of this, they contain a tropical plant in places of residence and long-term stay of a person. It blooms extremely rarely indoors, you can not wait for fruiting at all. But flower growers always want to have a tree from the tropics in their collection. Therefore, extra knowledge about growing avocados at home will not hurt.
Description of the plant
Avocado is an evergreen, fast growing tree from the Laurel family. Places of growth are characterized by a warm climate: Africa, Latin America, India, Israel. In the natural environment, the height of the tree reaches 10-20 meters.The trunk is straight, but branches strongly. The elliptical leaves are large, their length is 20 cm. They fall all year round, new ones quickly grow in their place. Small flowers have a greenish tint, they are inconspicuous in appearance, their location is the leaf axils.
The fruit is dark in color and shaped like a pear. It does not differ in large sizes, its length is 5-20 cm, weight is from 50 g to 1.8 kg. The skin is tough, in unripe fruits it is dark green, and in ripe fruits it is black. The pulp of the fruit is green or yellow-green in color. Avocado has an oily taste and a large seed inside the fruit. The fruit has a high calorie content. It contains fatty oil (45%) and fatty acids (30%). Protein is several times more than other fruits.
How to choose seeds for planting?
Growing avocados at home begins with the selection of planting material. Bones are taken only from ripe fruits that are bought in the store. First, a visual inspection is done. A large, ripe or even overripe fruit is selected. On its surface there should be no damage received during transportation. To check the ripeness, you need to take an avocado in both palms, lightly press down and immediately release. The structure of the ripe fruit is quickly restored, it can be bought.
If, due to inexperience, it turns out to acquire a not quite ripe fruit, there is nothing wrong with that, after a while it will ripen. To make this happen faster, bananas or apples are placed next to the avocado. The fact is that these fruits havethe ability to release ethylene, which promotes ripening in a shorter time.
How to remove the stone from the fruit?
This has to be done very carefully. The fruit is cut in half with a disinfected knife. The pulp remaining on the bone is washed off with warm, running water. After that, she needs to dry. After germination, the seed is placed in the ground. Landing should not be delayed for long.
Preparation of planting material
One of the conditions for growing avocados is the germination of the seed. This is done in several ways. The simplest is this: the seed is soaked for 30 minutes in hot water, boiling water is not suitable. During this time, it will warm up. The shell is removed from it, the narrow tip is cut off and the place of the cut is necessarily treated with a garden pitch. Then the wide end of the seed is 1/3 part placed in a pot with pre-prepared soil.
Before germination, the container with plantings should be left alone, not forgetting to water every seven days. The substrate must not be allowed to dry out, it must always remain moist. Not all bones can form roots, so for safety reasons, several pieces should be placed in the ground. If conditions are favorable, their germination will occur after two to three weeks. This method is called closed.
Using toothpicks when sprouting seeds
For growing avocados frombones at home, another method is used, closed, which is considered the most reliable. Germination of seeds for further planting in the ground is carried out with the help of toothpicks, it is enough to take three or four pieces. Sharp sticks are stuck two to five millimeters into the middle of the bone, evenly around the entire circumference. Then the whole structure with a blunt end is placed in a container with water, which should be warm and settled. It is necessary to immerse the bone in the liquid strictly to the level of punctures. It is important that they do not get wet.
Flower growers with experience advise adding charcoal or activated charcoal to the water. The water level in the tank must always be under control. If the liquid evaporates quickly due to the dry air in the apartment, it needs to be added. Now it remains to wait for the appearance of small roots and a crack between the cotyledons, from which sprouts will appear.
Heavy, acidic, clay soil is not suitable for growing avocados at home. These are the characteristics of garden soil. Therefore, it should not be taken only to fill the pots. The soil mixture must be specially prepared. To do this, garden soil, humus, peat, coarse sand are mixed in equal proportions, a little lime is added.
How do you know if a seed has sprouted?
The seed has symptoms that are characteristic of the state of germination:
- appearance of small roots;
- shell cracking;
- formation of a root on the nucleus;
- appearance of a sprout intop.
When growing avocados at home, it takes 21 to 60 days for a seed to germinate.
Transplantation of the germinated bone into the ground
To exclude the presence of harmful microorganisms in the soil, it must be disinfected. To do this, one day before the onset of the planting period, you need to spill it with boiling water. It is better to plant planting material in plastic pots 15 cm high. Clay containers will not work, as their walls allow moisture to pass through. A drainage layer is placed at the bottom of the pot with holes. It can be special granules or expanded clay. When all preparations are completed, the germinated bone is immersed in the soil by 1/3 part, it should not be completely dug in. The planting procedure must be done carefully so as not to damage the young roots.
Peculiarities of care
When growing avocados at home, care is an obligatory agrotechnical procedure. The plant in the room should feel comfortable, then it will develop normally, delight others with its lush crown. To do this, you need to observe the regime of watering, top dressing, temperature, humidity and much more.
An adult plant is not demanding on lighting; windows located in the northern, western or eastern directions are suitable for its cultivation. In the summer, from noon to four o'clock, the tree needs to be shaded, since it is at this time that the direct rays of the sun fall on it. In winter, when daylight hours are shorter,avocado needs additional lighting. Artificial light sources should be installed.
Temperature and humidity
Culture comes from tropical forests, where it is always warm and humid, it will not grow in the cold. When growing avocados at home (the photo of the tree is presented for viewing), it is important that the plant is comfortable as in its natural environment. Therefore, the temperature in the room should always be at least 14-21 оС, humidity - 65%.
Caring for the plant, you need to constantly monitor that the surface of the soil in the pot is always wet. Avocados need frequent watering, but do not like stagnant water. In rooms, especially residential ones, where food is prepared, there is not enough humid air. To create a suitable microclimate, a tropical plant should be sprayed periodically, and containers filled with water should be placed next to it.
Immediately after planting, avocados do not need additional nutrition. The plant has enough of what is contained in the substrate. Only after four to six months, you can start feeding with any complex fertilizers that are specifically designed for home plants. Fertilize the plant once every month.
How to form a crown correctly?
Growing an avocado tree at home (photo below) is impossible without crown formation, as you always want to see the plant beautiful and lush. The procedure is to pinch the stems. First time to do iton the main stem when it has eight true leaves. In the future, the crown is formed from lateral shoots when five to seven leaves appear on them. When growing avocados at home, the tree reaches a height of one and a half meters.
Young plants require an annual transplant due to the fact that their root system grows, it becomes crowded in a small pot. For this procedure, spacious containers are stocked. When the tree reaches the age of three or four, growing avocados at home can be done in tubs. Transplantation is done every three years and in the spring season. A small tree from a warm climate, with decent care, becomes the pride of the home collection of flower growers.
Is it possible to bear fruit at home?
The appearance of flowers on a tree does not mean that fruits will definitely form. The fact is that this plant has a complex mechanism of pollination. The fruit is tied only on one flower out of five thousand copies. To increase the likelihood of fruiting, when growing avocados at home, artificial pollination should be used. This is done as follows:
- Each flower opens twice. The flowering of the first day is different in that the pistils have a working function. At this time, several flowers are selected to be marked.
- When the second day comes, they open again, but the flowers are masculine. On marked women'sinstances of pollen is transferred using a brush. Whether or not after such fertilization the ovary is difficult to determine, but there is always hope.
For the plant to bear fruit
When grown at home, avocados rarely bear fruit. But if you take into account some points, this period can be waited for:
- You need to be patient, let the plant grow up. Trees begin to bear fruit when they reach a height of two meters.
- The fruiting process can be accelerated if the plant is grafted periodically.
- Fruit formation should be expected five years after planting.
- Avocado blossoms are also rare. But if this period comes, the procedure of artificial pollination should be carried out three times a month and in the morning.
What threatens the plant with improper care?
If you care for an avocado irregularly or do not pay attention to it at all, its condition and appearance will hardly be called normal:
- The tips of the leaves become dry. The reason is the microclimate in the apartment. It is worth taking care of increasing the humidity.
- Leaves dry and begin to fall off. This is due to excessive watering, cold air, draft, low water temperature.
- After the leaves wither, the whole tree dies. The reason is lack of moisture.
- Leaves turn pale and shoots begin to stretch upwards. This is due to insufficient lighting.
What pests are dangerous for avocados?
This plant is damaged by scale insects and spider mites. To prevent this from happening, the air around it must always be moist. If there are a lot of pests and no spraying with water helps, you just need to collect and burn them, and wash the plant with laundry soap. When monitoring indoor air humidity, it is important not to overdo it, otherwise the plant will get sick with powdery mildew.