Episode sixteen: grow your own avocado plant

A couple of months on, here are two of my avocado babies... soon I'll be pinching out the top growth to make them more bushy.

A couple of months on, here are two of my avocado babies... soon I'll be pinching out the top growth to make them more bushy.

These were the plants pictured above, when they were wee stones. Ah - sweet!

These were the plants pictured above, when they were wee stones. Ah - sweet!

If you've blown your houseplant budget for the year on a beautiful Boston fern or a towering Euphorbia, this week's show will help you get your new plant fix without spending a penny. Although they grow to 20 metres tall in their native central America, avocados make surprisingly good houseplants - a little like a bargain basement fiddle leaf fig, if you will. And the best bit is you can have fun trying to get one to sprout from an avocado pit or stone.

Don't worry if you have failed in the past trying to germinate a stone using a rather precarious method involving toothpicks - see the picture below if you have no idea what I am talking about - because I have another method that has been pretty foolproof for me - and not a sharp stick in sight. Listen to the show and I'll reveal all!

Photograph: Joachim Huber on  Flickr

Photograph: Joachim Huber on Flickr

Here are a few more resources about avocados if you want to delve a little deeper into some of the things I mention in the episode:

  • Find out more about London's avocado trees here and here.
  • Get yourself a copy of Connie Barlow's book The Ghosts of Evolution to find out more about the megafauna that kept the avocado tree in business thousands of years ago.
  • Find out more about the many different varieties of avocado grown commercially for the burgeoning avo' market.
  • If you fancy giving the toothpick method a go (it does look rather fun) here's a step by step guide. Just don't blame me when it doesn't work ...

Question of the week

This week's query came from a reader with a sad-looking fiddle leaf fig ...

The problem seems to be cold draughts from the conservatory the plant was sat in - a classic Ficus lyrata complaint! There's a useful guide to growing the fiddle leaf fig at The Spruce.

Want to ask me a question? Tweet @janeperrone, leave a message on my Facebook page or email ontheledgepodcast@gmail.com.

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Credits

Thanks to  talented voice artist Mark Hamilton for providing the extra voices you hear in this show and our theme music, Back to the Fuchsia; you also heard Hot Lips by Bill Brown and His Brownies and Government Funded Weed by Black Ant which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

Jane Perrone