If every time you have access to every kind of seeds, you feel an internal itch to plant all of them welcome to the club; all seeds are future plant buddies. In this club germinating avocado seeds, as you may know, is one of the greatest challenges. One of the most common cases is to put the seed in water and throw it away two months afterwards as it is covered with mold with no roots in sight. I've tried a thousand and one ways to germinate avocado seeds, and everyone agrees that it takes 2-3 months to do the job. Well, I found out with some basic tips you can crop this time to only one month. Everything you need to know follows below.
Some key problems and how to solve them:
If you remove the seed from the fruit, wash it and place it in a bowl with water, 3 are the main scenarios that you expect (after some months):
- you are filling the bowl with water and you end up throwing away the seed because it became disgustingly moldy on the outside,
- you are forgetting to refill the water regularly and you end up throwing away a dry, dead seed,
- or you are over the top harry to see the first roots emerging from the seed.
Most likely you will end up with the first two scenarios; I was failing for months too. But why?
1. Do you have the avocado seed always half submerged in water?
If you forget to refill the seed container with water and you let it dry for days, forget the germinating. I am sorry but this is the natural flow of events, seeds without regular moisture deactivate their vegetation mechanisms and hibernate. So, water people water.
2. Is the outer skin of the seed slimy/moldy after a few days/weeks?
If you don't forget refilling the container with water, you will notice that after a while the outer brown skin that is covering the seed starts to get moldy/slimy. Don't get discouraged, as that means that you are still on track. Normally the outer skin protects the seed from the water in the tropical regions where the avocado trees grow. If an exposed seed falls on the ground, due to the continuous raining, the outer skin will get rotten and fall very quickly. Then the moisture will penetrate the seed enabling vegetation. So in order to accelerate things: first fully soak the seed for two days in a bowl of water. The skin will soften and you will peel it easily. Then the inner whit-ish seed will be revealed.
3. My seed still doesn't have any roots, why's that?
Now that we got rid of the skin, let's tackle the next problem. The avocado seeds take so long to germinate, because due to their size moderate humidity doesn't reach the core of the seed to activate the development of the embryo plant (= creating of roots and the stems).
So! After you peel the skin take a look of your pit. You will notice that on each seed exists a "seam" that surrounds it all the way around. (If you open the seed at the "seam" with a knife and separate the two hemispheres, you will see a hibernated embryo-plant in the core of it. But don't do that, as it will destroy the seed.) Take 2 toothpicks and diametrically opposite stick them on the "seam" on the top of the pit. With a slight force move them sideways, so you open a thin slot, WITHOUT separating the two hemispheres completely in the bottom of the seed. Pin the toothpicks opposite to the slot you opened and using their support hang the avocado pit avocado in a bowl with enough water, that the slot of the pit is submerged in it. Remember to refresh the water regularly, so that the slot of seed is always moistured. This trick will speed up the process of germination and in 2-3 weeks will see the first root. Leave the seeds in water until they create plenty of roots and at least a small twig with some leaves. Otherwise if you plant the seed before photosynthesis starts, you migh "drown" it with the overabundance of soil nutrients.
Do you think that you are ready to try germinating avocado pits again? Were my tips and tricks useful and if not do you have anything to share? If you have please do in the comments below. Good luck with your gardening adventures and remember that the avocado trees produce fruit after their seventh year of growth (!). So be prepared for a lot of patience my pals! xoxo