We are an avocado-obsessed generation.

From savory, avocado toast to fresh, summer salads, to healthier desserts and even avocado chips, millennials are finding new ways to add these versatile, green fruits into their diets

While Americans from all 50 states consume avocados at an increasing rate, California currently grows most of the US bred avocados, followed by Hawaii and Florida. These trendy, "Instagrammable" fruits have a growing season from early March to late July in Cali.

Since the US consumer base demands avocados year round, which is not feasible, 80% of our avocados are actually imported from Mexico, Chile, and Peru. With avocado consumption now averaging 7.1 pounds per capita in the US,  it is important that we know where this trendy food comes from.

Avocado History and Production

In order to make your beloved avocado toast, there are many steps that avocado farmers have taken throughout the decades of the fruit's consumption. The rich history of the avocado is more than just fascinating- it's also making my stomach rumble.

The most common variety of avocados, the Hass avocado, accounts for 95% of American avocados. Bred completely by accident, this variety was observed to produce avocados with significantly thicker skin and turned purple-black when ripe, two desirable traits unlike other avocado varieties. 

Today, the Hass avocado tree, which thrives in a mild climate, accounts for millions of avocados each year, distributed all over the globe to avo-lovers like you and me. Bless.

Rather than grow this picturesque fruit strictly from seed, avocado farmers have transitioned to "grafting small stems [of the Hass tree] onto the seedling of another type of avocado" to produce more fruit in a shorter amount of time. After 3-5 years and countless blooms, thousands of Hass avocados emerge on the tree, ready to be harvested.

The end result?

Very happy millennials.

Most of us aren't running a large scale avocado farm, but that doesn't mean we can't benefit from the satisfaction of growing our own bundle of green joy.

On a small scale, growing your own avocado tree from seed is just as rewarding. All you need is an avocado seed, a few toothpicks, water, soil, and a sprinkle or two of patience.

How to Grow Your Own Avocado Tree

Olivia Chadwick

Growing an avocado tree is quite a feat, and isn't for the weak. When growing your tree, it is likely that it will not produce the avocados you are dreaming about. If it does end up producing fruit, it may take years before an avocado appears.

But hey- growing your own avocado tree is still a fun DIY project, and may even provide you with homegrown (literally!) avocado toast some day.

1. Thoroughly Clean Avocado Seed

Try not to remove the brown skin around the seed- this is the seed cover and the young avocado tree's source of protection.

2. Locate Top and Bottom Sides of Seed

The top end will sprout and eventually turn into the avocado tree, while the bottom will produce roots that soak up water to successfully hydrate the tree. 

3. Suspend or Plant Avocado Seed

Option #1

This is the most common way to grow an avocado tree. Taking 3-4 toothpicks, pierce the avocado seed evenly so that it can suspend in water. Make sure the toothpicks remain firmly in the seed.

Check to ensure the top of the seed is facing up, and the bottom of the seed is facing down. Fill up a cup or container with water and rest the seed on top so it is half submerged in water. Place in a warm area with lots of sunlight. 

Option #2

Olivia Chadwick

The easy way (you may not have good results, but you can give it a try) is to toss some avocado seeds into nutrient-rich soil and consistently water to keep the soil damp.

Place the avocado seeds in a "warm area with plenty of sunlight", and wait for the magic to happen. Avocado trees thrive in temperatures ranging from 60-85 degrees Fahrenheit with moderate humidity levels.

Tip: Sitting the plant by your window works perfectly!

That way, you can remember to water it when you are in your kitchen cooking dinner or washing dishes. This little plant will likely become your little baby. Look how cute it is....gah.

4. Wait & wait &...wait for it...wait

The waiting process has officially begun.

It can take anywhere from 2-6 weeks for your bundle of joy to sprout, and can sometimes take nearly 8 weeks. Be patient, my little friend. Your time will come.

You will notice that roots have appeared in the water, the brown seed has cracked open, and a small avocado tree is making it's way into the world. #SoTouching

5. Replant Your Avocado Tree

Once your avocado tree has grown to around 6" tall, it is time to replant into a larger container. There are many ways to do this, but I prefer to use an 8-10" pot and nutrient-rich soil.

Place the young avocado tree in the middle of the pot and fill lightly with soil; some hobbyists even recommend leaving the top of the avocado seed exposed. 

Tip: Your avocado tree loves sunlight, so make sure you provide enough quality time in the sunshine for your green bundle of joy.

6. Don't Forget Plant Upkeep

Olivia Chadwick

Just like any living thing, this avocado tree needs to be taken care of. Make sure to water the plant 2-3 times per week. If the leaves appear yellow, this is a sign of overwatering- let the plant dry out for a few days.

Once the avocado tree gets to be 12" tall, pinch out the top few leaves. This will encourage growth on your avocado tree and allow the tree to appear bushier.

If you get lucky enough to see an avocado emerge, it's time to celebrate. Usually, avocados are pollinated from bees or through surrounding avocado trees, and less commonly, human intervention.

There are thousands of small flowers that appear on avocado trees, but most of those flowers fall off without producing fruit, which is normal.

Avocado Fact: Avocados do not ripen while attached to the avocado tree- the green fruit only ripens once it is picked.

There you have it.

Growing an avocado tree is much more than a silly project. The satisfaction of growing your own plant and seeing your hard work pay off is more than enough gratification for me. 

And maybe, just maybe... an avocado may emerge on your tree.

For further avocado growing tips, farmer information, nutrition facts, or avocado recipes, check out California Avocado's website.

Knowledge is power, ladies and gentleman.