Growing Avocados in the North

Mon. Feb. 5, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Growing avocados in the North

I had a listener ask me about growing avocados in Minnesota.  He’d taken some pits and put them in water. One sprouted.  After months and months of sitting in water, it’s started to sprout leaves along with those roots.  The question from there was what to do with it!

avocado pit just breaking open by Ryan Dulin

A How-to guide on sprouting an avocado seed/pit at Inhabitat

I did some research and found that, based on the pictures and the information I found, he needed to cut back the sprout and let the roots “fatten” up a bit more before planting them in soil.

avocado sprout! By Ryan Dulin

Since avocados are a zone 8 plant there’s NO chance of that darling growing outdoors.  So, can it be a houseplant? The simple answer is yes.

In fact, there are several dwarf varieties, which can help the cold and temperate season gardener produce the healthy fruits in their own home.  Yes, those avocado experts say we northern gardeners can actually grow a plant that will produce fruit.   If you’ve got room, and I mean a lot of room, because these “dwarf” plants are still 15 feet tall, then click on this link Cold Hardy Avocado

And good luck!  😉

Avocado “fruit” growing indoors can start with a pit but is most successful with a healthy grafted dwarf tree. Cultivated avocados are grown from compatible rootstock. A plant produced from a seed is less likely to produce fruit, (and to be honest, WAY less likely) but it will make a lovely tree.

Move the sprouted pit to an unglazed terra cotta pot that is at least 10 inches across and twice as deep as the roots. Use a potting mix with compost blended with sand for a loose, fast-draining composition. Growing avocados in containers indoors also requires bright light. Pinch off excess growth at first to promote a bushier, stronger plant.  You’ll also need to stake it.  Check out