How to Grow Avocado From Seed or Pit
Don't you wish you could grow your own avocados? Just walk outside and pick a ripe avocado whenever you want? Well don't fret. Soon you'll have your own organic avocado tree. I'll show you how.
If you don't live in a place where avocados are grown (in the USA, only in California and Florida), you may not have ever seen a full-grown avocado tree. They grow to approximately 70 feet tall, with alternately arranged branches which are about 5" to 10" long. The flowers are very small greenish-yellow. The pear-shaped fruit is about 3" to 8" long, weighing between 3.5 oz to 35 oz, and has a large seed in the center.
Now, if you are worried that your avocado plant will grow so high it puts a hole through the roof, not to worry... your avocado tree won't grow very high in a pot.
How to Grow Avocado From a Seed or Pit
It is fun to watch an avocado stem sprouting from the pit. To be successful, make sure that the pit matures inside the avocado fruit. Some stores will put their overripe avocados on sale. The pits of these ripened avocados are the best to grow.
Here's how to grow avocados from seed or pit:
- Remove the seed or pit from a ripe, unrefrigerated avocado.
- Wash the pit thoroughly under cool water, making sure you remove all the green fruit on it.
- Gently dab the pit with a paper towel to dry.
- Stab the pit with three or four toothpicks, about one third of the way up.
- Place the avocado pit point up in a glass or jar filled with tepid water.
- Place the glass in a warm place, away from direct sunlight.
- Check the water level often and make sure that at least an inch of the base of the pit is in the water. Add more water as needed.
- In four to six weeks, the pit should split and a stem will sprout from the top and roots will begin to grow at bottom. If there is no change in the pit by this time sorry, you got a dud. Better throw the pit out, buy another avocado, and start all over.
- To make the stem stronger, when the stem grows to about six inches, cut it back to three inches. In another two to three weeks, new leaves will sprout and there will be more roots at the bottom.
How to Transplant a Sprouted Avocado Seedling
Now it's time to plant your avocado seedling.
- In a medium-size flower pot (10-1/2" wide), put in some enriched potting soil up to about an inch to the top.
- Make a hole in the middle by pushing the soil down with your fingers, deep enough to cover the pit halfway.
- Place the pit (round side down) in the hole and add more soil around the pit, making sure that the upper half of the pit is above dirt line.
- Gently firm the pit into the soil by gently pushing the soil around the pit. Make sure the stem is straight up.
- Water your new plant gently so as not to make water holes but make sure the soil is thoroughly moist but not muddy. There you go, you got an avocado plant.
- Place your new avocado plant on a windowsill or near a window. Avocado plant loves lots of sunlight.
Tips for Planting and Caring for an Avocado Tree
- Keep your avocado tree where it can get lots of sunlight—the more sunlight, the bigger it will grow.
- Water lightly regularly, with an occasional deep soak. Keep the soil moist, but not muddy.
- If the leaves are turning yellow, you are over-watering. Let the soil dry out and then water as usual.
- If the leaves are turning brown and fry at the tips, the soil has accumulated too much salt. Let water run freely into the pot, and drain.
- When your avocado tree grows to about 12 six inches high, cut it back to six inches. This will encourage the tree to grow side shoots and more leaves. Soon you'll have a beautiful leafy avocado tree.
Frequently Asked Questions
How big will an avocado tree grow?
In the outdoors, they can grow to about 70 feet tall, but if you keep them in a pot, they'll stay much smaller.
How long does it take for an avocado tree to bear fruit?
If you're wondering if your avocado tree will ever bear fruit—it will, but you'll have to wait 7 to 15 years after planting. By the way, the fruit on a new avocado tree will not be exactly the same as the fruit you may have tasted when you got the pit.
Is an avocado tree easy to grow?
Yes, it's quite easy to start an avocado tree from a seed, but it will take at least 3 years before the young tree can bear fruit; some trees take more than 15 years to mature enough to start producing fruit.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.