Everything You Must Know about Avocado and How to Plant it
Avocados (Persea Americana) is one of a superfood. It is different from common fruits which are mostly sweet and sour. This fruit is not sour at all. Moreover, it is high in vitamin and healthy fat. Therefore, it is no wonder that it offers many health benefits. Due to those benefits, it is a good idea for you to try to grow this fruit plant. If you know how to plant avocado, you will likely be successful in planting it.
Avocado trees are predicted to be originated from Mexico. It grows well in tropical regions with a lot of sunshine but mild climate.
However, certain species grow well in subtropical areas that have little wind and no frost. This flowering tree is cultivated in various countries, such as Mexico, Peru, Indonesia, Dominican Republic, and Colombia.
If you want to grow it, you must not only understand how to plant avocado. But, you must also know several things about this fruit plant. Here are some of the facts you need to know about it.
Avocados are a unique fruit. It has an oblong or pear-like shape and weigh between 150 g and 1.4 kg. Different cultivars have different skin colors when they are ripe.
Some of them are green and others are dark, almost black. Meanwhile, its flesh is yellowish-green. Moreover, the taste of this fruit flesh is a bit bland and creamy. However, certain cultivars taste a bit sweet and nutty.
In the middle of the flesh, there is a seed or pit. Some cultivars have bigger seeds than the others. However, they have a similar brown color. Besides, when the outer membrane of this seed is open, there is a yellow core.
This fruit is highly nutritious. In 100 g of avocado, there is 14.6 g fat, 8.5 g carbohydrate, and 2 g protein. Besides, it is also high in folate, vitamin B, and Vitamin K. Other nutrition that can be found in this fruit is vitamin E, vitamin, dietary fiber, magnesium, potassium, and zinc.
Besides, avocados also contain certain phytonutrients which are good for our body. One of them is phytosterols. Moreover, it also has carotenoids. Meanwhile, the fat in this fruit is rich in oleic acid. Avocado is a fatty fruit, but it will not cause an increased level of cholesterol or other fat-related disease in our body.
3. Health Benefits
The nutrition that is found in avocados gives great benefits to our bodies. It can make us healthier and helps us prevent certain conditions. These are some health benefits that are offered by this fruit.
Reduce high blood pressure
If you suffer from high blood pressure, you should eat avocados regularly. This fruit is rich in potassium. The potassium in an avocado is higher than the potassium found in a banana. Moreover, it is said that high potassium intake can reduce high blood pressure.
As a result, eating avocado regularly will help you reduce your high blood pressure. With more controlled blood pressure, you will get more health benefits. It will lower your risk of suffering from strokes, kidney failure, and, of course, heart attacks.
Promote healthier heart
For you who have some relatives who suffer from heart disease or heart attacks, you should keep your heart healthy. It is because your risk of suffering from these health problems increases if your parents or relatives with this condition. To make your heart stay healthy, you can eat avocado regularly.
The potassium in avocados will help you control your blood pressure. As a result, you can stay away from heart attacks. Moreover, this fruit is rich in oleic acid. This monounsaturated fatty acid can minimize and prevent inflammation in the heart. Therefore, your heart will be healthy.
Besides, the good fat in this fruit will help you reduce cholesterol levels and bad fat. As a result, you can minimize your risk of suffering heart disease which is caused by a high level of cholesterol. Moreover, this good fat will also help you absorb nutrients, especially antioxidants, better. Therefore, you will be healthy and have a better immune system.
Good for losing weight
This fruit is one of the fruits that are rich in fiber. Therefore, eating avocados will make you feel full longer. As a result, you can reduce your carbs intake and lose weight. Moreover, this fiber will also help you have a better metabolism system. Therefore, your calorie intake will be burnt into energy right away.
Reduce the risk of cataracts
The carotenoids in avocados are excellent antioxidants. It is very good for the eyes. Therefore, eating avocados regularly will help you to protect your eyes. As a result, you have a lower risk of suffering from macular degeneration and cataracts.
Avocado fruits can be eaten without being cooked. The cooking process can make this fruit taste bitter. This fruit can be used to make various dishes. Some of them are avocado milkshakes and smoothies. Moreover, avocado is one of the ingredients in guacamole. This fruit is also added to a sandwich.
There are two types of avocado cultivars. They are A cultivars and B cultivars. Type A has female flowers that bloom in the morning and then, at midday, they closed. After that, they bloom as male flowers in the afternoon. Meanwhile, type B has female flowers that bloom in the afternoon and close in the evening. The next morning, they will bloom as male flowers.
Because of this unique flowering, pollination is difficult to occur if there is only one tree. Therefore, you really must know how to plant avocado. To make sure that you have excellent yield, you need to have at least two avocado trees in your garden. Moreover, it is recommended for you to have them in different types.
Some examples of A cultivars are:
This most common avocado cultivar bears year-round fruits. The weight of this fruit is between 150 g and 250 g. It has dark and pebbled skin when it is ripe. This tree can withstand cold temperatures to 30o F or -1o C.
This avocado tree bears big and smooth grin skinned avocados. When it is ripe, the skin will remain green. This tree can withstand cold temperatures to 30o F or -1o C.
This avocado cultivar has smaller fruits compared to Hass. Besides, its skin is smoother and green. When it is ripe, this fruit has a dull green color. This tree can withstand cold temperatures to 30o F or -1o C.
Choquette is mostly grown in Florida. It has big fruit. Moreover, it is resistant to disease.
Some examples of B cultivars are:
This cultivar tends to have overlapping bloom flowers. As a result, this avocado tree has more chances of self-pollination. It bears medium-size fruit whose skin turns dark before harvest time.
This cultivar can withstand cold temperatures to 23o F or -5o C. Therefore, it is pretty popular in subtropical areas. When this avocado is ripe, it has dark purple skin.
It has medium-sized green fruits. When it is ripe, the skin of this fruit remains green. This tree can withstand cold temperatures to 23o F or -5o C.
Growing this fruit is not as simple as growing other plants. However, if you know how to plant avocado, you will be successful in doing it. Some of you may not feel confident in planting it in your home garden. But, if you choose to plant the right cultivar, you will surely see this tree grows well and bears fruit.
There are two ways of how to plant avocado. You can grow it from the seed or using grafting methods. Each of those methods has its advantage and advantages.
Planting avocado from the seed is pretty affordable. You can use the seed from the avocado you have eaten. However, it takes a longer time for the tree to bear fruits. You may need to wait between 8 and 20 years. Moreover, the quality of the fruits may different from the fruit it is from.
Planting avocado using the grafting methods is pretty expensive. You need to buy the grafted tree in your local nursery. But, this tree will yield fruits after three years or less.
These are the steps of how to plant avocado from the seed or pit.
1. Germinating the Seed
The first step of how to plant avocado from the pit is, of course, germinating the pit. There are several things you must do in this process.
Take the pit from a ripe avocado
Clean it using warm water. You need to make sure that it is clean from any fruit flesh.
Use a damp tea towel to wrap this clean pit.
Place the wrapped pit in a food bag but don’t zip it shut. Store it in a dark cupboard.
Check this pit every four days and make sure the tea towel stays damp.
The roots will grow out of this pit. When they reach three inches long, you can prepare the pot.
In planting this seed, you need a pot (size 8 inch) and potting mix. Fill in the pot with the potting mix half full. Plant the seed carefully and make sure that the root is not broken. Don’t forget to put the bottom side at the bottom.
When you plant this seed, you need to leave the top inch of the pit above the soil. Water the potting mix until it is moist. This potted seed needs to be located on an area with strong indirect sunlight, warm temperature, but draft-free.
This seed will grow and have some leaves after several weeks. When this tree reaches 12 inches tall, cut the little branch to 6 inches. It will allow the young tree to grow new shoots. After it grows again, you can remove them from the pot to your lawn.
In planting this young tree, you must make sure that the location you choose has full sunlight. Moreover, it must not be exposed to wind or frost. Besides, you also need to make sure that the soil is fertile and its pH is about 6.
3. Watering and Fertilizing
Proper watering is one of the most important steps in how to plant avocado. A young tree needs to be watered about three times a week. However, older than a year tree needs less water. Therefore, you can water it once a week. Besides, you also need to mulch it with redwood bark or other coarse yard mulch.
Moreover, this tree needs to be fertilized with a pound of nitrogen per year. You can fertilize it twice or three times a year. But, the total amount of the fertilizer must be a pound. Moreover, you also need to fertilize it with home fertilizer since this tree also needs zinc.
You must not expect this tree to bears fruit after two or three years. Since it is planted from the seed, you will wait pretty long to see it yields fruit. However, when it finally yields some fruits, you must be careful in harvesting it. You must make sure that the fruits you pick are mature enough.
The largest ones are usually more matured than the smaller ones. Therefore, you may need to harvest those fruit several times. The avocado that you have harvested will ripen after one week or so and ready to eat.
Growing avocado trees is not that difficult if you follow the steps of how to plant avocado above. However, the characteristic of this tree is very unique. You may see this tree flowering, but the fruits don’t follow. However, once it yields fruits, you will likely have a lot of fruits from this tree and will be able to harvest it every season.