Introducing Arturo

What on earth could this little alien plant be?  

Is this even from planet Earth?

… The answer is the beginnings of an avocado tree! 

I read an article a few months ago on growing avocados at home from a from a supermarket-bought fruit. Although avocados are a tropical fruit native to central America, it is possible to grow an avocado plant in the UK. We rarely eat avocados in our house, however one night we were having sushi for dinner – by exception I bought one to make salmon and avocado California rolls. Remembering the article, I retained and cleaned the pit to experiment with. 

I pierced the stone with a few toothpicks and suspended it, pointed end up, at the top of a jar filled with water, making sure that the base of the stone was submerged in the water. I then put the jar onto a warm, sunny windowsill in my home office, and left it for a few weeks. I made sure to keep the water refreshed and topped up every week so that it wouldn’t dry out. After six weeks, I noticed that roots had started to appear, the stone had started to split, and a little shoot started to emerge! Arturo had been born! 

According to Gardener’s World ( avocados need plenty of warmth, sunshine and moisture, and the trees can take up to ten years to bear fruit. Given that we live in the north of the UK, I’ll raise it as an indoor tree. I’ve since potted Arturo in peat-free potting compost. Arturo may never grow into a fully-fledged fruit bearing tree, but hopefully I’ll have an attractive houseplant soon enough!

Arturo has been doing very well – those shiny leaves mean there are lots of lipids, a sign of a healthy plant

When growing an avocado plant from seed, the shoot typically grows into a single, spindly stem. I have read that when the plant reaches 6 to 8 inches in height, you are supposed to remove half its height to prompt the plant to branch out.

Arturo without head! 😦

With some nervousness, I chopped off Arturo’s head this morning. I’ve grown rather fond of my little avocado tree, watching it flourish over the last few weeks. Hopefully Arturo will grow back in full force!

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