Monstera Deliciosa: tips for caring, growing and propagating it

Monstera Deliciosa: tips for caring, growing and propagating it

I will repeat it forever and ever; plants are my favourite decoration elements for any space. I love them evergreen and lush. And who, anyway, is not lured by the emerald green, shiny leaves of Monstera deliciosa plants? For those who want to buy, or already have a Monstera, here are all my tips for caring and propagating a healthy, happy plant.

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How to germinate an avocado seed in less than a month!

How to germinate an avocado seed in less than a month! | from IN WHIRL OF INSPIRATION


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.

How to germinate an avocado seed in less than a month! | from IN WHIRL OF INSPIRATION
How to germinate an avocado seed in less than a month! | from IN WHIRL OF INSPIRATION


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 see the "seam"? It's very recognizable and in slightly different spot on each pit.

Do you see the "seam"? It's very recognizable and in slightly different spot on each pit.

Pin the toothpicks opposite to the slot you opened.

Pin the toothpicks opposite to the slot you opened.

Do you see the whitish plant-embryo in between the slot? That's where the germination start!

Do you see the whitish plant-embryo in between the slot? That's where the germination start!

The root growth after some weeks.

The root growth after some weeks.

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

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Déspina Kortesidou

Déspina Kortesidou was born with the April flowers sometime in the '90s in the sunny peninsula of Greece. She is a graduating master student of neuroscience & metabolism, and a born adventurer.

(3rd person statements sound so official, love it)

She founded In Whirl of Inspiration, back in 2011 when she was (just) a biology student, in the island of Crete. In Whirl of Inspiration started as a creative and writing outlet for when studying molecules, became too monotonous. Recently, she started writing a children book and a not-so-children's book about the civil war in Greece. She has a soft spot for cheese, elder people, and (her own) jokes, but can't tell any as she ruins them by laughing too early. She enjoys sharing advice for eating healthier, or inspiring people to cover themshelves with plants, color and confetti.

Feel free to email her at hello@inwhirlofinspiration.com, or find her on Instagram and Twitter. (breaking the 3rd person narration to thank you properly)

Thank you so much for reading!

How to Grow a Ficus Benjamin Indoors

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♫ ♪ The Tallest Man on Earth - To Just Grow Away

Do you have a benjamin ( ficus benjamina ) or do you plan buying one? In that case I have some great news just for you, you better do so! Benjamins are so easy to be taken care and have few demands. And as a reward they will thank you with their luch green foliage. ( once you have this green bush of yours, create some foliage shadows on your wall ) Some care tips now:

The credits for this collage go to my friend Harry (a.k.a. my  Follow your Heart project  pal)!

The credits for this collage go to my friend Harry (a.k.a. my Follow your Heart project pal)!

 Benjamins are considered to be some of the most popular indoor plant and "outdoor" plants. Outside is between quotation because in places with a harsh winter ( a.k.a. some regions of Greece) a benji outside of the house during the night means a frozen benji ( below -4 degrees of Celsius). As for the photosynthetic process, they need sunny spots, but not a direct exposure to sunrays. Also, they need watering 2-3 times a week when they are outdoors during the warm months and once a week when they are indoors. Water only when the surface soil dries. Moreover they love  washing their leaves with water during the warm months ( = a balcony errand). However, the leaves' shower should take place in the morning/afternoon, 'cause the strong midday sunrays would burn the wet leaves. In the winter your benji will need extra humidity indoors and it's effective to put some pebbles in a tray and on these to place the benji's pot. Thus the evaporated water will be absorbed by the plant. Just make sure to leave your pot in stationary water, for your roots not to be rotten.

A good liquid fertilizer for green plants every 15 days during spring and autumn will keep your plants perky and greener. If the benjis stay permanently indoors, you can fertilize them every 30 days all year round. Prune the dried twigs and remove all the yellow leaves, so the plant will focus to the healthy and strong leaves. If your benji grows more tall than you can stand, prune its top and thus the plant will divert more energy growing its lower branches and become bushier.

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Now if:

:: the leaves turn yellow and fall: over watering. Allow the soil to dry and limit watering. Also if you have changed the plant's position/ pot, you should be prepared for yellow leaves until it get used to the new circumstances.

:: the leaves fall: move the plant to spot with more sun/less air streams.

:: the leaves turn yellow and have spider webs below them: spider mites (=spider like little crabs that suck the leaves' juices). Sprinkle with a special insecticide.

:: there are brown insects underside of the leaves/stems and the leaves' color is altered: grains (manges). Clean the leaves with cotton ball dipped in alcohol or with a special insecticide.

Happy gardening!

3 Comments

Déspina Kortesidou

Déspina Kortesidou was born with the April flowers sometime in the '90s in the sunny peninsula of Greece. She is a graduating master student of neuroscience & metabolism, and a born adventurer.

(3rd person statements sound so official, love it)

She founded In Whirl of Inspiration, back in 2011 when she was (just) a biology student, in the island of Crete. In Whirl of Inspiration started as a creative and writing outlet for when studying molecules, became too monotonous. Recently, she started writing a children book and a not-so-children's book about the civil war in Greece. She has a soft spot for cheese, elder people, and (her own) jokes, but can't tell any as she ruins them by laughing too early. She enjoys sharing advice for eating healthier, or inspiring people to cover themshelves with plants, color and confetti.

Feel free to email her at hello@inwhirlofinspiration.com, or find her on Instagram and Twitter. (breaking the 3rd person narration to thank you properly)

Thank you so much for reading!