Ways to grow an avocado plant from your shop-bought fruit

This unusual fruit, with its pear shape, large stone and dark, wrinkled skin, has become synonymous with brunch and healthy eating. The first step in all cases is to remove the large stone – the seed – as gently as possible, and wash off any bits of fruit stuck to it with warm water. Gallery: High protein breakfasts to kickstart your day (Women's Health UK) The most popular method of sprouting a new plant from this seed is to pierce it with toothpicks. The Royal Horticultural Society advises a third option: soaking the seed in hot water for half an hour before cutting a thin slice off the top, and placing it in a pot of moist, sandy compost with the top cut end sitting slightly proud of the soil. If you treat it well by keeping it warm, in a bright area and watered regularly during the growing season, it should become a lovely evergreen foliage plant. Once the plant is mature and over a metre tall, however, people do attempt to encourage them to flower by scoring the surface of the stem bark or trunk with a knife in several places. If it does then flower, it has to be pollinated to fruit, so would benefit from the pot being placed outside in a sunny spot during the day to attract insects. Fruit can take over a year to develop from the flowers, and should be left on the tree until the skin turns purple, and then picked so it can ripen. So if you are determined to grow your own avocado fruit, it’s best to buy a grafted plant of a hardier cultivar that would be suitable for the UK, such as ‘Wilma’ or ‘Gainesville’. Victoriana Nursery sells Persea americana ‘Haas’ as a 90cm tall container plant, which can be kept indoors in winter and on a sunny patio in summer. • Yuzu, a Japanese citrus cross between a mandarin and a lime, with a remarkable tang beloved of Michelin starred chefs for fusion fish dishes and modern desserts. • The finger lime or caviar citrus is hugely popular with foodies in Australia and is sure to be the next fruit craze to reach these shores.