The Easiest Way to Plant and Grow an Avocado Seed in Soil

Updated on May 31, 2019
Rebecca Scudder profile image

After hundreds of unsuccessful attempts, I found some simple tricks to get my avocado seeds sprouting every time.

Avocado plants grown from seed in a pot can make great indoor plants.
Avocado plants grown from seed in a pot can make great indoor plants. | Source

After you eat an avocado, the temptation to grow your own plant is almost irresistible. There are a couple of ways to go about this. You may have heard of the method in which you insert a few toothpicks into the sides of the pit and submerge the bottom of the pit in water. However, I've found that this method isn't always successful, especially for me. If the seed does sprout, you'll then have to transplant it into a pot of soil.

There is an easier way to grow an avocado tree without toothpicks. I learned this simple method of sprouting the seeds directly in some soil in a pot after what seemed at least a hundred failed attempts with toothpicks. This way also emulates the seed sprouting in nature.

My mother tucked an avocado seed in another plant's pot and forgot she meant to try the toothpick method. To her surprise, a couple months later she found it had sprouted. I tried starting one in soil on purpose, and was successful.

Ideal Growing Conditions for a Potted Avocado Tree

  • The soil should be moist and slightly acidic (pH of 6–6.5).
  • The pot should have good drainage.
  • Give them plenty of indirect sunlight. Avoid direct sunlight, especially when young.
  • Maintain high humidity and temperatures between 65–85 °F.

How to Grow an Avocado Plant From a Seed

1. Rinse the seed and peel the brown skin off.

The brown outer skin may be firmly attached to the pit. You can gently score the skin layer with a paring knife and lift the skin with the tip of my knife. Shallow cuts on the pit won't affect its germination. In fact, some people may even crack the very top of the seed open to help the stem sprout. You could also leave the skin on if you don't want to try to peel it.

2. Place some soil in a pot and moisten the soil.

Avocado trees grow best in slightly acidic soil (pH of 6–6.5) with good drainage. You can use new, rich humus soil or recycle some old soil from your garden or another pot. If you are using old soil, make sure to remove any weeds, grasses, or old roots that may reduce the avocado seed's chances of sprouting. Add enough water to moisten the soil without flooding it. Place the pot on a saucer to catch any excess water.

3. Press the bottom of the seed into the soil.

Gently press the bottom of seed into the soil so that only half of it is still visible. The bottom of the seed is usually the wider end, although this may be hard to identify because some seeds are close to being spherical. Having the correct orientation is important because the roots will emerge from the bottom.

4. Place the pot in a warm area with plenty of sunlight.

Avocados thrive in humid and warm conditions (65–85 °F or 18–30 °C). Make sure the seed gets adequate indirect sunlight to encourage growth. Young plants are sensitive to direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. I place mine on my kitchen windowsill. A south-facing window is best.

5. Keep the soil moist while you wait for the seed to sprout.

It may take anywhere from 2–8 weeks for the root and stem to sprout. If you notice the seed starting to crack, that is a good sign. Check the soil every few days to make sure the soil remains moist. If you can't leave an impression of your fingers when you press on the soil, it needs more water.

6. Pinch off the newest leaves at the top to encourage fuller, bushier growth.

For a fuller plant, pinch off new leaves that sprout at the top of the stem. This also helps control the height of the plant. Do this whenever the plant grows another six inches.

7. Consider cutting the stem down by half once it grows to at least six inches.

This is a technique that can encourage new growth and helps prevent the plant from just being a tall stem with a few leaves at the top. Don't do this untill your plant has a set of leaves below where you intend to cut.

It may take a few weeks before the avocado seed sprouts the root and stalk.
It may take a few weeks before the avocado seed sprouts the root and stalk. | Source

How Long Does It Take for an Avocado Plant to Bear Fruit?

Avocados planted from seed may take anywhere from 5-13 years to bear fruit. Don't expect your potted plant to flower or produce fruit, and even if there is fruit, it likely won't have the same quality and taste as your typical avocado. Opt for a grafted plant if you want fruit.

How to Care for an Avocado Plant Grown in a Pot

1. Prune several times a year.

If you are growing an avocado tree as a decorative indoor plant, you should continuously prune it to make sure its size remains manageable. According to the University of California, Division of Agriculture and Resources, there are hundreds of avocado varieties, and some of them (like the Wurtz avocado), grow to only about 10–15 feet with regular pruning. Start early in the plant's life to make the stalk grow stronger and encourage lateral growth.

2. Keep the soil moist but not muddy.

Avocado plants love water, but too much water can also harm the plant. Root rot is a common problem when a plant is over-watered or when there is poor drainage. Thoroughly wet the soil and let it go a little dry before another thorough watering. This helps promote strong root growth.

Need some indicators for when to water? Check the soil. If you can leave an impression of your finger when you press on it, there's no need to water it.

3. Check the leaves for signs of the plant's health.

The leaves will reflect the plant's health and growing conditions. Yellow leaves or leaves that are falling off can indicate that your avocado plant is getting too much water, not enough sun, and/or not enough nutrients. Brown leaves can indicate salt or chloride burns from minerals in the water or fertilizer. Potted plants commonly encounter these problems because there is less drainage, and nutrients and minerals are more likely to concentrate in the soil.

4. Maintain sufficient light, warmth, and humidity during the winter.

Although some varieties can survive below 32 ºF (0 °C), most will become damaged—especially during the first year of growth. Avoid exposing them to cold temperatures and breezes. The dry heat of a heating system can also be damaging. A humidifier can moisten the dry air. You can also occasionally spray water on the leaves. A growing lamp may be useful when there is not enough natural sunlight throughout the day.

You also don't need to water as frequently in the winter. Avocado plants don't have a dormant period, but they won't be growing much in the winter either. Too much water will increase the risk of root rot and nutrient depletion. Again, check the soil and leaves to determine when you should water.

5. If you are growing for avocado fruits, grow a grafted plant.

Avocado plants grown from seed—especially in a container or a pot—will have a hard time flowering and producing fruit, if at all. This is mainly because maintaining optimal growing conditions is much harder. However, people commenting on this article have said friends and family members have been able to get their avocado plants to produce fruit. It can take anywhere from 5–13 years or more for an avocado planted from seed to bear fruit.

A grafted avocado plant has a better chance of producing fruit. A grafted plant is a plant grown by fusing part of a young, growing plant onto an established plant. Grafted avocado plants are available at many nurseries and will generally produce fruit in just a few years with proper care.

Pinch off top leaves to control how tall the avocado plant gets.
Pinch off top leaves to control how tall the avocado plant gets. | Source

Resources

Growing an Avocado Tree. California Avocados. Last accessed on July 18, 2018.

Dr. Mary Lu Arpaia and Dr. Ben Faber. Avocado Information: Answers to Questions. University of California, Riverside. Last accessed on July 18, 2018.

Edible Plants: Avocado, growing. University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Last accessed on July 19, 2018.

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.

Questions & Answers

  • Can you get avocado "fruit" from its seed?

    I have never had any of my plants blossom. I understand that avocado trees may take up to ten years to start blossoming, and commercial avocado groves usually graft their trees from already producing avocado trees. Currently, the oldest avocado plant I started is about six years old and has a stem about 3/4 inch in diameter. It is about five feet tall. Since I live in the northern US, my plants are outside for about six months a year. This isn't the ideal environment for a fruit tree. If my plants ever do blossom, I will post the information in my article.

    I have had comments that discuss blossoms or fruit from avocado seeds that they, or relatives of theirs, grew. Most, if not all of those comments seem to be from regions where the plant can stay all year outdoors or is planted in the ground. I think it is certainly possible for a plant you start to produce fruit eventually, but you seem to need to be in a favorable environment.

    I grow avocado plants from seeds as an attractive houseplant. Blossoms and fruit would be an incredible bonus, but I don't expect them. There are several nurseries that sell grafted avocado trees, and I recommend you consider getting a grafted plant if you really want to grow your own fruit.

  • I have purple flowers this year. I planted last year in the dirt put it in the garage for the winter brought it back out in the spring. Do avocado trees have purple flowers?

    Many of the avocados I have started seem to have leaves that are tinged red or purple, but they turn green as they get bigger.

    I have some five-year-old avocado house plants, and none of them have flowered yet, so I think your flowers are actually young leaves.

    Online pictures of avocado flowers look like they are quite small and white or yellowish. Each flower is only open for a couple of days at most.

  • My large avocado seed has produced a 2" root, and I can see the leaf down there. I'm afraid to keep the bottom in water anymore and wonder if this is the time to plant in the dirt or do I need to add small amounts of dirt until the water is gone?

    If you have successfully started your pit in water, that sounds like a good point to plant it in soil. I would not gradually add small amounts of dirt until the water is gone. Put your sprouted pit into loosened soil in a pot, keeping the upper part above the soil level. You might even want to poke a hole for the root, so it doesn't crack or break. Then sit the entire pot into water in your sink or a larger container.

    You can dribble water into the soil around the pit as well. When the soil is saturated, let the excess water drain from the pot. This should compact the loose soil around your root without the force of pushing it into dirt. Once it is planted, you want moist soil, not soupy soil.

  • Do I bury the avocado pit when the plant is several inches tall? My pit is cracking but has not fallen off

    I would not remove the pit until it falls off by itself.

    I'm not sure if you are asking about a seed you started in soil or water.

    I only bury the pit partially when I start in soil, and I would not bury it completely if I were planting one started by the toothpick method either.

  • I'm trying to sprout an avocado seed in water. So far I'm having success. After two weeks the seed shell cracked on the bottom. I need to buy a small pot and soil. I live in Tucson, Arizona, where can I purchase these items?

    Do you have any pots from other plants that died? I use those sometimes. Sort through the dirt on a piece of newspaper to remove the old roots.

    You should be able to get plant pots at stores like Wal-Mart or Target, as well as home improvement stores. They also sell small bags of potting soil.

    You do not want extremely dense soil. Mix in at least 25 % sandy soil from where you live, or some vermiculite or other soilless growing compound.

© 2011 Rebecca Scudder

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    • profile image

      Mama Bossi 

      2 weeks ago

      I've planted my avocado tree that I started from the seed. The article I read said not to cover the seed. I haven't yet covered it but I can not find any articles that say when this should happen. Can you help please?

    • profile image

      hennie 

      7 weeks ago

      i planted avocado trees the toothpick method then planted 4 over to ground 5m apart in a square 1 of them died the other 3 died last winter but fortunately grew out next to them now the same thing happened tvis winter leaves are dead and hanging would could i do to increase my chances for them to grow again like after last winter

    • Rebecca Scudder profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca Scudder 

      2 months ago from Upstate New York

      Hi Harry. From what I've read, 100° F is about the top range for avocados to grow well. Above that, they start losing flowers and fruit.

      The growing zone recommended for them are

    • profile image

      Jean Blasko 

      2 months ago

      What kind of soil do you plant the avocado in.? I started 3 and they are growing stems with leaves. One is quite tall. Do I cut it back?

    • profile image

      Harry Wilson 

      2 months ago

      I have 3 avocado plants about 10 to 12 inches tall in pots. I am interested in tall, outdoor trees. In south Texas we have in summer time 90 to 100 degrees. when and where do I plant the 3 plants? Do they take full sun with routine watering.

    • Rebecca Scudder profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca Scudder 

      5 months ago from Upstate New York

      Seeds sometimes seem to have a mind of their own. Are you growing your seed in water or did you plant it in dirt?

      A possibility is that the seed is upside down, and what is emerging is the root. If the 'stem' is starting from the wider end, what you see is likely the root, which does start before the stem almost all the time.

      If it is in water, now would be a good time to to plant it. Make sure the wider end in down, and only have the soil go halfway up the pit.

    • profile image

      Ioana 

      5 months ago

      Hi! I tried to grow an avocado tree for like a month now and the roots didn’t grow yet but the stem did. Did I do something wrong or is it normal this way?

    • Rebecca Scudder profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca Scudder 

      5 months ago from Upstate New York

      Hi Sarah. I think you should be able to plant all of them.

      Make sure you leave about half the pits above the surface of the soil. Be careful not to break any of the roots while planting them. You may want to hold the more established sprouts at the level you want them at, and sprinkle soil down over the roots to avoid disturbing the roots too much. Water loose soil until it compacts around the plant, and add more soil if needed. If you are compacting the soil, make sure excess water is drained before you place it in the location where you wants your plants to stay.

      It sounds like you may get a miniature avocado houseplant forest if your plants all prosper.

    • Rebecca Scudder profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca Scudder 

      5 months ago from Upstate New York

      Hi Imogen. My experience with browning leaves is usually from the plant getting too much water.

      Avocados do shed their leaves over time, and if new leaves are still growing, that may be the answer.

      Too much water will kill avocado plants. If you repotted it with the pit below the surface, upper roots, which need to be able to come up to the surface, may be unhappy without the opportunity to get air and light.

      I've read that planted avocados which will grow outside often are put on a slight mound to make sure there is adequate drainage.

      I try to make sure all my avocado plants are put on my deck in warm months. Keeping them out of direct sun will make sure the leaves don't sunburn. Weather permitting, the change may be good for your plant.

      House plant soil can use up nutrients, which is why occasional application of a liquid fertilizer is good, but too much fertilizer can burn a plant.

      If you are watering with chlorinated tap water, you could leave the water out for 24 hours before watering the plants. This should dissipate the chlorine.

      It may also be reacting to being repotted, which can disturb plants. In that case, the plant should be readjusted in a few weeks, based on my experience.

      Good luck, and leave a comment telling me how your plant does.

    • Rebecca Scudder profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca Scudder 

      5 months ago from Upstate New York

      Hi Theodora. I don't clip my plants myself. Instead I nip off the new leaves. Californiaavocado.com does recommend trimming the sprout down, and they are a reputable sourse of information. They also advise the toothpick method, with which I haven't had much luck.

      I would make sure your plant had at least two sets of leaves, and clip the plant above at least one set of leaves.

      I've found plants I put outside seem to be less leggy.

      Good luck, and leave a comment on how the clipped plant does.

    • Rebecca Scudder profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca Scudder 

      5 months ago from Upstate New York

      Hi Marisa. I'm not sure what to do about mold growing around the seed. I have an idea, but I don't know if it will work.

      Gently remove the seed from the pot. Use a spoon to lift it, and check to see if a root is coming out of the bottom, so you don't break it off.

      Very gently hold the pit under room temperature water, and wash the dirt off. Rub gently at any mold that appears to be on the pit.

      If you can, repot it in new soil. If you original pot doesn't have drainage, use a pot that does. If you don't have new soil, lift out and discard the moldy bits of soil. Then spread out the remaining soil on a newspaper in the sun. You want the soil to become dry and crumbly.

      When you repot the pit, make sure it is buried only halfway. Water until the water comes out the drainage, or immerse the pot. Drain it before you put it back on the saucer.

      Make sure you don't over water it. Don't water it until the soil is barely moist. Don't let it dry out completely either.

      You submitted this comment a while back. Let me know what happened to your pit, and if you try this, I'd love to know how your plant progressed.

      If any reader has advice about mold growing around a seed or plant, please comment.

    • profile image

      Sarah f 

      5 months ago

      I started 10 avacado pits 8n wet paper towl and a zip lock bag. I have5 with roots 3 cracked with a root comming and 2 cracked. Can 8 put them all in dirt to continue growing..

    • profile image

      Imogen 

      5 months ago

      P.S. I’ve now noticed lots of the leaves are turning brown around their edges, with some blotches of brown sprinkled over them too. I read above this can be because of salt or chloride burns and not good drainage. Are there any other reasons? And what can I do to help the plant be healthy again?

      Thanks!

      Imogen

    • profile image

      Imogen 

      5 months ago

      Hi Rebecca,

      Thank you for this post - very helpful tips!

      I’m a bit worried about my avocado plant. We’ve been growing it happily for I think a year and a half now.

      I recently re-potted it (we’ve had it in doors, by a window but not in the direct light) with some new compost but it’s leaves have gone all flat and droopy. There are some new leaves sprouting on I think three new ‘limbs’ and the whole plant is still a nice green colour.

      Do you have any suggestions?

      Thanks!

    • profile image

      Theodora Giamo 

      5 months ago

      I am trying at the moment to grow an avacado. It is in a small clay pot and it is about 5 inches tall. When should I trim the top leaves?

    • profile image

      Marisa 

      6 months ago

      Hi! Thanks for your article. It’s been a great help. I sprouted my seed in water and planted it so that 1/2 of the seed is still exposed, as you described. Everything seemed to be growing fine until I noticed a ring of mold growing around the perimeter of the seed, right where it comes into contact with the moistened soil. Is there something I can do to save it?

    • Rebecca Scudder profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca Scudder 

      9 months ago from Upstate New York

      Hi Alys,

      Some people cut their avocado seedling down several inches when it gets six to twelve inches high, so a broken stem may not be a catastrophe. Even if the stem broke off near the pit, you have a chance that it will grow a new stem. Just make sure you keep the soil moist. It may take a month or two before you know if new leaves or a new shoot will sprout, so don't be on a hurry to give up on your plant.

      You might want to start a new seed or two.

      Good luck.

    • profile image

      Alys 

      9 months ago

      If my stem of my avocado breaks off when i take the leaves off will it die, if it does how do i save it

    • Rebecca Scudder profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca Scudder 

      13 months ago from Upstate New York

      I find avocados start with a single root, and as the plant gets larger it gets more.

      Cindy, if you have a six inch root, i would certainly plant it. Use a pot deep enough so the root will not bend or break.

      Terry, I think your plant sounds healthy. If you haven't put it is soil, I would plant it now. The little side roots will turn into lots of roots as they grow.

      A short stem with 5 leaves is good - it sounds like you will not have a leggy plant. Because it is so short, I would not prune or pinch the top untill it is taller.

      It sounds healthy so I would not worry that it doesn't look just like other pictures you have seen. It could also be a seed from a different variety of avocado than those.

    • profile image

      terry 

      14 months ago

      I have seen avocado plants with a mass of roots but mine has a long white root almost 6 inches long with ting roots starting to shoot out from this main root.the trunk is about 2 inches long with five miniture leaves on it so far,its seems different to the others ive seen on youtube .can anyone explain as I have started another one off and it appears to be going the way to develop .

    • profile image

      Carolyn 

      14 months ago

      My avocado seed now has a long root. It is still in water what should I do next?

    • profile image

      Evelyn Edgett 

      15 months ago

      Thank you for this post--it's wonderful! Your instructions are clear and easy to follow. I am pleased to announce that I now have an avocado sprout approximately 1 1/2 inches tall! I posted about this on my blog, and I made certain to post a link to this page so everyone would know who is responsible for my very first success. Here's a link to my blog, if you would like to read my enthusiastic post. http://blessedinbowie.blogspot.com/2018/08/it-work... Thank you again!

    • Rebecca Scudder profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca Scudder 

      15 months ago from Upstate New York

      hi Boho. What is at the top of your plant is not a flower. it is a cluster of leaves, which will continue to grow. I have noticed some avocados have leaves which start out with a reddish tone, but they will turn greener as they get larger. Look carefully at the center of the leaves, and pinch the very center leaf off with your fingernail. This encourages it to put out side branches, and not become a skinny giant stem. There is a picture near the bottom of the article showing the new leaf bud to pinch. I also think it is time to put your plant into soil. Pick a pot that allows a couple inches clearance around the roots, so they have space to grow. I hope you enjoy your new plant.

    • profile image

      Boho 

      15 months ago

      Hello.

      I used toothpics method in jar 6 months ago and now it has roots, stem but no leaves.. it has only flower on top.. how can this be ??

    • Rebecca Scudder profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca Scudder 

      15 months ago from Upstate New York

      Hi Cindy, I've mostly used miracle grow house plant fertilizer mixed in water, at about half the recommended dose. I was given some fertilizer sticks to put in the soil, and didn't notice a difference between the two. I never used them again after I ran out, but I think they were effective too.

      Hi Peggy, If your plant otherwise seems healthy, I wouldn't worry too much about leaves with a downward angle. I have plants grown from different types of pits, and they don't look identical to one another. I also have leaves on the same plant that tilt in different directions. If the leaves are hanging limply from the stem, or yellowing, it doesn't sound like the plant is very healthy. Make sure it isn't too damp, I did kill a plant once by not having good drainage in the pot when I put it outside for the summer. We had a lot of rain, and the plant never dried out. I wasn't worried about watering it because of the rain, and it was probably close to a month before I realized the water level was higher than the soil. I drained it, and checked it frequently, but I had let the roots get damaged My leaves began falling off, and the plant never came back. I had a 3 foot stick with branches. I scratched the stem and there was no green layer under the skin. I felt very neglectful.

    • profile image

      Cindy Daly 

      16 months ago

      What is the best source of plant food I can give my new potted avocado tree?

    • profile image

      Peggy 

      16 months ago

      The leaves on my avocado are pointing down . What can I do to have them to be normal?

    • profile image

      shullcatherine@yahoo.com 

      17 months ago

      I will give this a try--have one growing from a seed about 24" tall. It's fun to watch daily the progress.

    • Rebecca Scudder profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca Scudder 

      17 months ago from Upstate New York

      Hi Raymond. Thanks for the tip about the skin. Are you putting the seed and the pot in the dark, or just the seed, and are you keeping the seed moist in the dark?

    • profile image

      Raymond 

      17 months ago

      I did this with success, the only thing I did different, was let the seed set in a dark place for about a week, then the peel falls off easily. Thank you for this instruction.

    • Rebecca Scudder profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca Scudder 

      18 months ago from Upstate New York

      Hi Cathy, I don't find it matters to me, as long as you keep the soil moist around the seed. If you are going to be away, keeping the seed out of direct sun will keep the soil moist longer. However, some of the people who have commented do believe it speeds germination to keep the seed in the dark. Under the sink seems to be the preferred place.

      I have a couple in pots on my sunny kitchen windowsill right now, but I usually seem to start them out of direct sunlight while my plants are inside for the winter. When it is warmer out, I start them outside on the somewhat shadier side of my house.

    • profile image

      Cathy 

      18 months ago

      Should the new seed in the soil be placed in a sunny location—partial or full—before the seed begins to sprout or in the sun only AFTER it begins to sprout?

    • profile image

      Helen 

      20 months ago

      No sunlight in apartment. I set the pit in its water jar on the small shelf on the wall beside our door in the hall. A small light above is on 24/7. The root-sprout grew out the bottom of the pit, followed by more roots and a sprout up from the top to ten inches topped by too tiny leaves. Sprouts and roots grew 3/8 inch daily with that light. I cut the stem to 6 inches tonight. Leaf buds are developing. Waiting to see my tree!

    • profile image

      Carol 

      21 months ago

      I have 5 avocado trees growing in my house. One is about 5 years old.I have 4 more at various sizes in a huge pot all I do is wash the seed & push it in the dirt & in a month or so I get another tree, Love growing them. I also grow Apple, Tangerines, Lemons, & Grapefruit.

    • profile image

      Anne de Bruyn 

      22 months ago

      hi my avo has sprouted in water. and is about 30cm long, why do i need to pinch the top leaves off, just curious

      regards Anne

    • profile image

      Pat 

      24 months ago

      Why are my leaves falling off of my avocado plant..it started getting tall and then leaves, all the leaves are falling off.. Why????

    • profile image

      Linda 

      2 years ago

      I found out by accident by throwing the seeds into the garden, they do seem to grow better, have also left some in the dirt at the end of the year where they froze and the next year came by, I was shocked since we regularly get into the 20-30's in the winter. So now I always start my seeds outside in the summer, in the dirt, and the same way in the winter, inside. Have a couple of dozen growing right now, nothing like my first endeavors years ago, they were over six feet. Maybe I will have it happen again, now I know that some trees fruit and some don't, but with the inside over wintering I still don't know if they lose leaves in the winter. Inside they do lose leaves but not all of them. Need to do some more research, wishing all of you the best of luck and if you do start in water, try giving soil a try, you will be surprised.

    • profile image

      Leon 

      2 years ago

      5 years ago I have grown 3 trees from 2 seeds in the highlands 3,000ft of Orissa India and have had 2 huge fruit off one of the trees of which the seeds from those had already split and germinated within the fruit itself with possibly another twin on the way. They are now about 5 years old.

    • profile image

      Amelie 

      2 years ago

      REALLY thankful for your article!! I have three successful avocado plants growing, after countless failed water growing attempts. Can't thank you enough Rebecca for putting this together step by step with images

    • profile image

      Danger D 

      2 years ago

      grow a avocado in water

    • profile image

      Carla 

      2 years ago

      We like the water method. So far two seeds and two successful trees about three ft high with many leaves. We started inside and now they are outside. Right now the prefer outside. When the weather gets cold, Christmas lights and a little landscaping cloth around it helps.

    • profile image

      Sharon 

      2 years ago

      I started my Seed in a cup of eater with toothpicks

    • profile image

      kepriad 

      2 years ago

      u can just dunk the seed in soil it will spout within 2 months

    • profile image

      Susan nelson 

      2 years ago

      I have a small tree started how do I repot it ?do I leave the seed part that is above dirt out or barrier it?

    • profile image

      Shirley 

      2 years ago

      Do they give fruit?

    • profile image

      Trevor 

      2 years ago

      You know it's an avocado tree right not an avocado plant??

    • profile image

      MariJensen 

      2 years ago

      I guess I got lucky. In Florida on a business trip, I stopped to see friends. Their 5 year old pulled me into the backyard and I saw an avocado (5 inch dia.) on the ground. I brought it home, ate it and put the seed in an inch of water in a cup. A month later, it sprouted.

      I still haven't topped it. It's about 2.5 feet tall. It grows and throws out more leaves whenever I water it. It seems to LOVE water. It's such a beautiful young tree and quite the wonder of all my friends. I hope to see it get about 8 feet tall and maybe even give me an avocado some day. Do you have tips on how to get them to fruit indoors?

    • profile image

      todd swenson 

      2 years ago

      They love to start in fire ashes from my wood stove. I threw the seeds in with my ashes thinking I was just making compost. I stepped on the seeds and pushed them into the ash and forgot about them the next thing I knew is I had a whole bunch of plants and I didn't even know what they were until I dug one up. Wow it's an avocado plant. I then transplanted about 5-6 in a medium sized pot using the ash they were born in. they got over 2 feet tall when I gave them to a friend that really wanted them. I never got the rest of them transplanted before the deers ate them all.... put I've got more going now again.

    • profile image

      Don Cavanaugh 

      2 years ago

      I've had good luck with the water method. I've read cutting off alittle from the top and bottom speeds up the seed to sprout...it worked for me!!

    • profile image

      andrea dehaas 

      2 years ago

      i had an avocado plant start growing out of my compost container one year , went to dump it out at the end of the summer and the plant was quite big , it was really something i did not expect. so i kept it and it grew quickly

    • profile image

      Caroline Dordolo 

      2 years ago

      Hi there, I just recently commented. The root is now 2 inches long. I decided to lift the avocado and change the water and in DOI g so I dropped it in the sink and split in half!! The root is still in tact and I used an elastic to gently join the two again. I hope I didnt lose it for good! Any thoughts or comments and do you think it will continue to grow? When should I expect a stem to come out the top?

    • profile image

      Debbie Garcia 

      2 years ago

      My avocado plant has sprouted a stem.

      It grew in a pot with my Christmas Cactus..do I need to repot it to its own pot?

    • profile image

      Keith n Susan 

      2 years ago

      We just planted a seed per your instructions. The seed is VERY SMALL! This is awesome as there was a LOT OF MEAT in the avocado. Is this any indication of what the tree will produce?

      Thanks,

      Keith and Susan

    • profile image

      Annie 

      2 years ago

      My boyfriend was playing around one day and stuck in avocado seed in a pot with my aloe plant about three months later I see this tall branch sticking up out of my pot and then I remember avocado seed was put in there it was amazing I didn't even know that it had started to grow because I had a dream catcher hanging and it was going behind the Dreamcatcher

    • profile image

      Jo Bebe 

      2 years ago

      I have a seed going on 6+ months old. Started it in water, it sprouted a root that is now about 6-7". Didn't notice the mold until the sprout died off and I see now a new sprout coming up. I was told to leave it in water and gradually add dirt....It molded. So I now have planted it and begun treated it with Hydrogen peroxide. 6-7 Months is such a long time to wait only to not know if it will live. Pray for my Avo :)

    • profile image

      Caroline Dordolo 

      2 years ago

      I've been reading other's comments from different blogs and decided to just have some patience. I noticed a large crack finally at the bottom of my avocado seed after almost 3 months about a week ago and thought it may finally be sprouting! I checked again this morning and yes i see it's gotten closer to the bottom so the root may finally be appearing. Is this normal to have taken so long. I've read that if it hasn't sprouted after a month or 2 it probably won't. So I'm having a little faith here to hang on now. I left it on a shelf in the bathroom and checked the water level every couple of days and topped it off. I read it does not need to be near a sunny window during that time. The bathroom is fairly warm during the winter months. Now when the root develops how long before i should pot it in soil. Any info would be helpful and then i guess is would be ok to put it in a sunny window seeing that Spring is here.

    • profile image

      brian collins 

      2 years ago

      I work in a office and I have grown a avocado tree in a glass of water . It is 14 inches high and I would like to transfer it to a pot

      what do you recommend to do as in what compost and what size pot

    • profile image

      Sorry I'm a kid can't say my name 

      2 years ago

      So I do not have soil but I have dirt a lot so I'm going to try planting it in that dirt , does this work? Also, I do not know why or how but they say that if you talk to your plants the will grow better because they are happy don't know if this is true do you know?

    • profile image

      Lynn M. Southern New Jersey, USA 

      2 years ago

      Wrap a seed in newspaper, put the in a dark jar and pour on a mix of 3/4 cup of water and 1 Tbs of Hydrogen Peroxide. Cover with plastic wrap and hold in place with a rubber-band. Mark your calendar for 14 days. When you remove it from the jar it will have split open and sent out a tap root. Plant the pit about 3/4's of the way in soil, water it with the same mixture until it sprouts and then plain water will work. the point of the HP to keep fungus, bacteria and other pathogens from ruining your seed.

    • Rebecca Scudder profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca Scudder 

      2 years ago from Upstate New York

      I can't think of any reason why an avocado would not grow in India. Keep the soil moist, and when your plant is outside, you may want to make sure that the plant has some shade part of the day, to keep the soil from baking dry. I know that once the pit sprouts, it will struggle and then die if it is in completely dry soil for too long. Good luck, and let me know how things go.

    • profile image

      yodi 

      2 years ago

      are these purely ornamental, or will they eventually bear fruit?

    • profile image

      Ellen Brammer 

      2 years ago

      http://www.ucavo.ucr.edu/AvocadoVarieties/Unreleas...

      After reading your excellent instructions I asked the question, "What is the best variety of avo's to grow for the table?" This UC website opens a new world of info which you may already know. Thank you for sharing your valuable experience.

    • profile image

      hillsmom 

      2 years ago

      In the past I have successfully "sprouted" avocado pits. I suggest, if you want to use the three toothpick method in water, it works better if you place it in an opaque container, rather than glass. Roots seem to germinate better in the dark...IMO. Last year, 2015, we planted it in an outdoor planter on our deck. I couldn't stand to see the poor thing shivering in the winter, so I brought it in and kept it on the unheated, but enclosed porch. Put it out in the spring. The squirrels decided they loved it. They gnawed on the trunk/stem, took the leaves away for whatever, and I had a plant growing at a 45 degree angle, but it seemed happy there, but the planter box was too shallow even though the leaves grew back, etc. Then my DH decided to get an overly large pot, and transplant the "tree" into it. Unbeknownst to me, he left most of the roots in the planter. I was less than pleased, and also he used something really stinky as planting soil. Well that was the end of "Avis" the avocado...she went into the compost pile. Sometimes men just don't listen...sigh. I startd a new pit this evening. Happy New Year to all.

    • profile image

      nyein pye phyo 

      2 years ago

      my avocado plant is not getting taller from about 9 inches.. how long does it take for the new bud to grow..? i see a new bud at the tip but its been about a month not getting taller..

      is it the soil..?

    • profile image

      P. Jordan 

      3 years ago

      I put 2 seeds directly into a pot. Both eventually sprouted with double shoots!! I am inundated with chipmunks who ate the tender growth completely off both seeds. I was heart broken. I left them undisturbed & one eventually grew back, but with only one shoot.

    • profile image

      william 

      3 years ago

      im sprouting mine a mason jar the root is around 3 inches and it doesent seem to be growing from the top please advise me thank you williamdyches@yahoo.com

    • profile image

      Christin from Pittsburgh 

      3 years ago

      Hello,

      I am growing an avacodo plant in water and it is starting to show a little green on the inside of my cracked seed. Root is about 2.5 inches long.

      I am tempted to put a little liquid miracle grow in the water glass but wanted an experts opinion first. lol I am getting impatient and don't want to be hasty.

    • profile image

      Susan Kasner 

      3 years ago

      Hi I'm from South Africa, Western Cape. I bought my 2nd avo tree from Stodels, potting the 2nd one, put it under a tree for good sun but also shade in afternoons, looks fine in beginning (Feb - hot weather) but lost all branches after 2 months. Covered it with shadeclothing during the cold winter time and just opened it in Sept, less cold weather. How must I proceed with my avo plant to get some leaves?

    • profile image

      Rosie 

      3 years ago

      I unexpectedly have avocado's sprouting in my compost, how should I transplant into a pot?

    • profile image

      Ernestine 

      3 years ago

      My avocado was sprouted with toothpicks but I think the soil method sounds much better. My grandson gave me his sprouted seed when it was about 10 in tall about 9 years ago. It is now in the garden and approx. 8ft tall having been lopped two years running as I don't want it to grow too tall. It is very healthy, I believe they are gross feeders so do feed it with a slow release fertiliser. It had a few flowers two years ago but these did not produce fruit, although I sprayed it with sugar water to encourage bees and insects. Looking forward to this year, as I notice someone's tree has produced fruit after 9 yrs. I have been told it may take 15. In the meantime its a nice looking ornamental. Avos are very expensive here so I live in hopes.

    • profile image

      Katie 

      3 years ago

      This method really is fool proof. I took your suggestion and threw two seeds into a pot and they are BOTH sprouting. I've tried the toothpick trick many times and always failed. Glad I came across this article. Thanks!

    • profile image

      Renae 

      3 years ago

      My avocado is planted in a pot and growing nicely but the seed is now black... What do I need to do with it

    • profile image

      Chris 

      3 years ago

      "small apt" Doing tooth picks, my best performer was a smaller seed, although that could be to do with how ripe the avocado I took it from was (Riper the better) or because a smaller seed absorbs moisture and delivers to the root sooner. I also found my dead seeds were due to soil, not enough moisture with soil method, also peel the seeds husk to prevent rot. I'm also updating my last post, I wouldn't switch from toothpick to soil until the root is almost an inch long, so it can provide its self with enough moisture to servive. I only use mineral enhanced purified water because chemicals in tap water (sulphites) impede growth. I also only change the water every three days however watch that the water does not get lower than the bulb root once that process has started and watch for discoloured water ( a sign of contamination). Germination should have the water at least 2/3rds of the way up the seed. The warmer the better I think, around 24-30 C or 75-86 F seems to work well. the seed does not need direct sunlight for germinating until sprouting. After transplanted two thirds or more deep in soil (the soil will collapse after watering a few times). and lightly pack the root at the bottom with some soil so it is less likely to dry out, I have mine in a 8x8inch pot, I have been using a childrens tylenol syringe (10ml or 2 tsp) to apply the water only aproximatly twice a day depending on the heat, 1 or two tsp at a time. some times mid day if the seedling is being torched by the sun. I also have a cheat, diatomatious earth, farm feed grade, works to retain moisture and fertilizes, so by the feel of my hand i check the moisture content because below it will be about the same. I surround the seed with about two table spoons and wet it, creating a crust, don't flash flood it or it will spread out. This all makes more cents once you realize that avocado's grow best in rainy and hot sunny places howeever don't need to stay soaked just moist, and sandy earth is great, so excess moisture bleeds away. I could not find sandy soil at the store so I went with sapling starter and an over sized pot to wick away excess moisture. I also used 2 table spoons of hard wood ash from an apple tree as fertilizer. Don't worry about PH level because avocados do quite well in high or low PH. My first seed sprout is 1 inch above the seed at about 25 days. I haven't decided whether trimming the root later will be necessary to create more roots but I am going to pinch the centre leaves at six inches and higher to keep the tree broad instead of tall because I am in the northern hemisphere and it can't winter outside here and my house won't fit a 15 to 30 foot tall tree. Oh and when you first transplant into soil, give it a fare amount of moisture, like a cup so the soil packs around the root. I hope this helps someone. And if you have for sure knowledge of trimming the root after in soil please let me know.

    • profile image

      Suzanne Sharpe'Boatwright 

      3 years ago

      Thanks for the tips on growing avocados from seeds! I couldn't figure out for the life of me, what I was doing wrong, lol mine kept growing "leggie" as you say

    • profile image

      Erin 

      3 years ago

      Hi! Thanks- this method has worked for me after no success with toothpicks and water! Just wondering if you transplant them to separate pots and at what point? My 18" tree is doing well, but now I have another sprouting in the same pot and I'm not sure what to do! The bigger one has about 5 sets of large leaves and several baby leaves on top. I couldn't find any comments addressing this topic. Thanks for any advice!

    • SmallApt profile image

      kate 

      3 years ago from Toronto

      I did the toothpick thing with my avocado pit and it seemed to take months then suddenly there was a root so I waited a few more weeks then put it in a pot

      today there is a sprout I wish I could upload a photo

    • profile image

      Chris 

      3 years ago

      From what I've heard, go with semi shady (Part day), all plants need the sun however all day in a scorcher may burn out your plant, as specially as a sapling. Lol excuse my terminology I know its not an evergreen.

    • profile image

      Chris 

      3 years ago

      I have had good luck germinating with the tooth pick method they always crack and get a bulb root within a week. However I had one seed that was pre started with a half inch root when I opened my avocado. It cracked a bit when I took it out. I did the tooth picks. the root started to go brown after a week and then my seed fell in half. so I figured sitting in water was just encouraging rot. So I planted it in the backyard. Mainly clay, but it can grow if it wants to. maybe the earthworms will clean it up. But now I am paranoid of my healthier toothpicked seeds so I potted them and only left the most premature one in the water. I even planted a whole avocado in the back yard after I cut it open and discovered it starting to spoil. So I stuck it back together for the planting. Someone had also told me if the skin is not broken it turns to leather that the sprouts can't puncture so maybe it will work if it doesn't rot first. I live in Canada so I defiantly have to bring them in doors early fall. I also peeled two and did not peel the others being that i read that the seeds skin protects it. I didn't window sill them for germination however had them in the open on a shelf and it is july with no AC and its been about 24C. Also read that a good root system is essential. which in soil the roots get little hairs to help absorption, so I am personally not worried about my over sized pots, I figure, mimic nature and cross my fingers. I like seeing the variety of ideas here, thank you. To bad there are no definite answers yet. Maybe I'll get some, this is my first go at it.

    • profile image

      Darlene Quinn 

      3 years ago

      Hi Rebecca, I tried to plant a seed and it kept getting moldy at the bottom where it meets the soil. I was in a dry place with some light. I only watered the dirt when I first planted the seed. What do you think is wrong?

    • profile image

      Amanda 

      3 years ago

      At what point do you plant outside? Plant in sun or shade?

    • profile image

      Dawood Khan 

      3 years ago

      Hi..thanks for sharing such amazing idea of growing this lovely plant. I wonder if I could try this too in the northern Pakistan where temperature plunges down to -6 c in winter. thanks again

    • profile image

      Kevin 

      3 years ago

      I have never managed to grow an avocado until three years ago when two grew from the compost into which I put the potatoes. When I harvested the potatoes I found them and took one in the house and lost the other. The next Spring I found the lost avocado and although it was not so healthy it was alive and is now growing fine.

    • profile image

      J Kenler 

      3 years ago

      I have only ever grown one avocado plant from seed. I placed the pit into moist soil, covered it with Saran Wrap ,and waited a few weeks for a stem to appear. I then removed the Saran Wrap and placed my plant in a sunny window. It is now 11 inches high with nine healthy leaves at the top and I have never pinched it yet. I like the way it looks and will wait to see what shape it takes before I start pinching it. I am, however, a bit nervous about when to transplant it because I don't want to harm it.

    • profile image

      Brenda kay 

      3 years ago

      I live in the northern part of Arizona in Yavapai county. Close to the top of the mountain. It's pretty bad soil. But, the good thing is that I have a lot of worms. A few bins that I can start the seeds in. I have tried the water method and nothing. I have had a few try to start. Then nothing. I and my roommate purchased this 2 acres 3 yrs ago. Did not know that fruit barring trees would grow here. But with the Almond and Apple trees I'm thinking that Avocados with the right love and your methods I should be able to do this. Thank all of you for your helpful tips. I will let you know how things are coming along. Have a great life

    • profile image

      Chantal 

      3 years ago

      This is the best way to grow the trees! Now I just need to know how to keep them alive in our climate :-) We have frost in winter and very hot weather in summer which are both not conducive for growing avos Is there anyone that has kept a tree alive that may be a specific type of avo tree?

    • Rebecca Scudder profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca Scudder 

      3 years ago from Upstate New York

      Hi Rosie. I use miracle grow on all my houseplants. I mix it with the water about once a month.

    • profile image

      Rosie Escobar 

      3 years ago

      What kind of fertilizer do use for avacodo trees?

    • lrdl3535 profile image

      Richard Lindsay 

      3 years ago from California

      Sounds like a really good way to plant these. I might even give this a try.

    • profile image

      3 years ago

      this mimics the way the groiw in the "wild". They will srout if they are laying sideways too.

      Kathy

    • Rebecca Scudder profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca Scudder 

      3 years ago from Upstate New York

      Hi SunPixie. Good luck with your seed. I liked your baby pictures :) You might want to plant Arturo a little deeper - I can't tell for sure from the baby picture. Just keep the soil moist. I think you should be able to keep him outside in Thailand. I'd like to hear if he sprouts.

    • Rebecca Scudder profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca Scudder 

      3 years ago from Upstate New York

      Hi Julie. The idea of using nylon screening is clever. Thanks for the tip.

    • Rebecca Scudder profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca Scudder 

      3 years ago from Upstate New York

      Hi Donna. I'd transplant the seedlings insode if you want to keep them. The most cold hardy avocados I know may be able to tolerate going below freezing for a short amount of time, but I think more than a night or so would be pushing it. Good luck

    • SunPixiesfrmDixie profile image

      Stephannie White 

      3 years ago from Boone NC

      Thank you so much! I've been trying & trying & wasting so many seeds. Avocados are very expensive here and I hope your advice helps me improve my gardening skills - I've one seed left. For luck, I've named him Arturo. Crossing my fingers & keeping that soil moist! http://sunpixies.com/dir/arturo-the-avocado-baby-p...

    • profile image

      Julie Gray 

      3 years ago

      I use nylon screening to cover the drain hole. This way only the water comes out, not the soil.

    • profile image

      Donna Sammond 

      4 years ago

      I found out how easily avacado seeds root in a mulch bin by accident Today I was readying my bin for the fall/winter and found 3 avacado trees - each about 1 foot tall. I don't know if they'll grow in my area - coastal South Carolina

    • Rebecca Scudder profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca Scudder 

      4 years ago from Upstate New York

      hi bec :)

      I wish you the best with your avocado tree. Your method of sprouting in your compost heap is very similar to mine. I think the only difference is you don't have as much control over what direction the pit is in when it starts sprouting- and that is a problem the avocado seed seems to deal with just fine. Could you let me know what you mean by polytunnel? thanks

    • profile image

      bec 

      4 years ago

      Here in west Ireland i have a 4foot avocado tree planted from seed - it's doing great in a polytunnel!

      It is about 4 yrs old - one tip to get the seed sprouting is to throw all the seeds in your compost bin - when you come to empty it you'll find all the avocado seeds have sprouted lots of roots! Collect them up and plant them! Easy!

      I'm hoping to get mine to set fruit soon - it did well this year with healthy growth...so hopefully, fingers crossed it'll deliver the goodies! :-)

    • profile image

      Sandra Waldo 

      4 years ago

      i grew two in water and they rooted nicely. I planted one but gonna try this way with my other two. Thankyou

    • profile image

      Verity 

      4 years ago

      I've never found soil nor toothpick method works. Not sure though if it's a climate thing as I'm in the UK. What has work however is washng the pips and leaving them soaking fully for 48 hours then half submerged SAMs toothpicks for the remainder of the germinating period. I've managed to germinate a pip over a British winter and have done more since. I keep it as an indoor plant as we really don't have the climate here for it to live outside. Who knows if it'll ever bear fruit. Fingers crossed.

    • Rebecca Scudder profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca Scudder 

      4 years ago from Upstate New York

      Hi Mascha, A couple of people a ways down in this comment chain recommend using wet paper towels in a Ziploc bag, but I haven't heard of using tissue before. One of them also suggested keeping the seed in the dark for a while (under the sink I believe)

      Do you put yours in sun or in the dark as well? I'm also curious- does the tissue eventually break down while the avocado is in the bag? Do you just put the whole thing into dirt once it has sprouted?

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