Meagan Francis
Split Avocado with Seed Pit Displayed
Avocado, or Persea americana, has an edible seed with a pit inside that can propagate itself in water.

Chances are good you already have some experience with how to grow an avocado. It’s easy and fun to coax the large, hard stone at the center of this green fruit to sprout, which is probably why it’s a popular classroom activity!

Of course, getting an avocado pit to sprout is one thing; growing it into a fruit-bearing tree is quite a bit more work! However, many gardeners enjoy growing avocado trees as a decorative houseplant or as part of their landscaping. Wondering if that tree might one day yield yummy avocados (Also See: Can You Freeze Avocados?) is just part of the fun.

You can also grow a beautiful olive tree for your home or yard. Garden Girl Patti Moreno shows you how to get started.

Here’s how to start:

Avocado Plant Grown from Rooted Pit
  1. Remove the large pit (seed) from inside an avocado, rinse well, and dry (a wet seed will be slippery!).
  2. Push three or four toothpicks into the seed at its widest part so that you can suspend the pit over a glass of water with the pointy end sticking up. The water should cover about an inch of the seed.
  3. Put in a warm place and make sure to maintain the water level.
  4. In 2-6 weeks, roots and a stem will sprout from the seed. When the stem is about six inches long, trim it in half.
  5. When the stem leafs again, transplant the seedling to a pot with loose, sandy soil. Plant the seedling root down, leaving the top half of the pit sticking out of the soil.
  6. Give your plant frequent, light watering and keep it in a sunny place to encourage growth.
  7. Pinch back the newest top leaves every time the stems grow another six inches or so to encourage more growth and a fuller plant.

In most regions, the avocado plant can stay outside in summer. If you live in a warm climate that does not experience temperatures less than 45 degrees F, you may want to make your avocado tree part of your landscaping by moving the plant outside permanently:


Fruit Trees You Can Grow in Pots 14 photos

  • For best results, transplant in the early spring, after gradually acclimating your plant to the elements by bringing it outside for a while each day for a week or two.
  • Plant in a large hole (about 3 feet wide by 3 feet deep) in well-drained soil, in an area that receives plenty of indirect sunlight.
  • Water regularly, but don’t over-water (you’ll know you’re watering too much if your plant’s leaves turn yellow.)

Now just sit back and get ready to guac 'n' roll! It can take anywhere from 5 – 13 years for an avocado plant to bear fruit, and some never do. But in the meantime, you’ll have a beautiful tree to enjoy.

40 Comments About this Article

  • anonymous
    I had a seed sprout in my compost pile what a shock it was.

    Posted 2 months ago

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  • anonymous
    i have four avacado seeds in a wine glasses i water them every day with warm water how long does it take for them to start sprouting does any one know

    Posted 1 month ago

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  • anonymous
    I hope someone can shed a little light on this for me. I started an avocado pit in a glass of water about 9 weeks ago. It has a sprout about an inch tall. But absolutely no roots! Is this common? Anyone had this happen before? I'm a little miffed at what to do if no roots appear!

    Posted 1 month ago

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  • anonymous
    My plant is slightly less than 6 inches tall but already has 7 leaves. Should I cut it in half or not - I'm worried that I will kill it and it seems to be doing so well !

    Posted 1 month ago

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  • anonymous
    They are slow growing, frustrating plants. Be patient with them, when their ready they'll do something.

    Posted 4 weeks ago

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  • anonymous
    Yes cut it in half.

    Posted 4 weeks ago

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  • anonymous
    Does anyone ever answer these questions?

    Posted 2 weeks ago

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  • anonymous
    I'm with "anonymous" from 3 weeks ago. My stem is just over 6 inches and all the leaves are on the upper 2 inches of it. I don't want to kill it by cutting it in half.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

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  • anonymous
    Hello, so I am a fellow visitor/comment-or on the site, but I've done a lot of research on avocado trees, and my plant has grown a bit so maybe I can answer some of your questions! "all of a sudden the leaves started turning brown at the ends and drying out": "If leaves turn brown and fry at the tips, too much salt has accumulated in the soil. Let water run freely into the pot and drain for several minutes" info found at californiaavocado.com/how-tos/your-own-avocado-tree Fuzzy Seed: my plant had a few fuzzies on it when it started. The roots still have a few fuzzies and I think it's just a sign that it's growing, because mine has been growing quite well despite the fuzziness. Wineglass Seeds: if you've waited more than 6-8 weeks, try another seed. 2-6 weeks is more typical. No roots, just sprout: The first thing that should come is the root. So maybe your seed is upside down. I don't know for sure though; I'm not an expert, just a first time seed grower like the rest of us.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

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  • anonymous
    Afraid to cut: I cut mine when it was exactly 6 inches. I was also scared, but it made the stem much much stronger, the roots grew a lot more, and now it has sprouted another branch with more leaves. Cutting it will only make it stronger by redirecting it's growing power into the root and stem.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

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