Thursday, June 25, 2009

Growing An Avocado Plant From Seed

The pit of an Avocado will grow into a hardy, attractive houseplant so don’t throw out that sticky, slimy seed after cutting up and eating the fruit. Start an Avocado plant; it’s very easy.

Photo downloaded from SXC

Here’s what you do:

Wash the seed by rinsing it with water. Insert three toothpicks around the pit on the bottom end (the top is the pointed end). The toothpicks should be about halfway down from the top.

Suspend the Avocado seed over a narrow glass or jar filled with water (the toothpicks will hold it in place) with the bottom half below the water line. Change the water regularly and make sure that the base, which is the root end, is submerged at all times; never let the bottom end run out of water.

Photo downloaded from Wikipedia (Released to the public domain)

Anywhere from two to six weeks the bottom of the pit will suddenly split in two and roots will emerge; keep the seed out of direct sunlight during this period. A pale stem will emerge from these two halves and start growing upwards, stretching towards the light.

The stem grows quickly in the beginning, as much as a few inches a week. As soon as you see more growth, move your plant into brighter light. Avocados can grow in moderate light but the brighter, the better. Small leaves will appear when the stem is a few inches tall and grow larger as the plant itself continues to get bigger. Now that the roots have formed and the plant is well on its way, remove the toothpicks and pot it up.

Photo downloaded from Wikipedia (Released to the public domain)

Avocados grow very quickly in the beginning so don’t worry about that delicate looking stem collapsing or breaking. That little stem is the early stages of a tree trunk that can grow anywhere from 30 to 60 feet tall! But don’t be alarmed, it’ll slow down way before it reaches its full potential. And it will be a very long time before you have to worry about it breaking through your ceiling.


  1. Who knew? Is the shell easy to penetrate? I've always thought they were quite hard. I remember we used to do a similar thing with onions when I was a kid - drop a bulb in a jar of water and watch it grow! Neat-o!

  2. Hi Tatiana, yes the shell of the seed is very easy to penetrate. I slip toothpicks through it without a problem. Next time you eat an avocado, save the seed and give it a try. The plant that emerges is really cool-looking.

  3. I have a question. At this moment I have an avocado plant with about 5 leaves, but the oldest leaves start already to collapse. And that happens all the time. How much water do you usually give the plant. I get the impression it should not be much. But I can be mistaken.

    thank you in advance for your answer,

  4. Hi Topsy, are you growing your plant in soil?

    There never is a specific amount for watering plants; generally speaking, you water them only when they need it. And how quickly they dry out depends on a lot of factors in your home, the size of the plant, whether it is root bound or not, etc. You should keep your plant evenly moist during active growing season (spring/summer) and a little more dry during the winter without letting it ever dry out completely).


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