The Secret to Growing Avocado Trees: Patience

Remember in college, you’d put three toothpicks into an avocado seed, put it in a cup of water… and wait. Sometimes it grew, and often it did not.

In recent months, my daughter Katy and I have gotten into this in a big way:

Stage One:  Toothpicks. Four weeks.

Stage Two: Three-inch sprout. Four months.

I am going to snip this one off at the top and turn it into an avocado bonsai tree.

Apparently there are people who do this. Who knew?

Stage Three: Eight months.

Stage Four: Three years.

As soon as it moves outside, freezing temperatures, and pests like white flies are dangers. After a terrible bug infestation, I dosed it with Malathion. Killed half the leaves overnight. Ant poison works well for various bug infestations.

Stage Five: 25 years. Our neighbor grew this from a seed.

How to get these tress to grow fruit is a whole different challenge. For now, Katy and I will be buying avocados from Whole Foods for our guacamole.


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