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 is just part of the fun. Here’s how to start:

  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.

See 4 Fruit Trees To Grow in Containers 12 photos

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:

  • 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.

9 Comments About this Article

  • LucyT
    wonderful article. I learned from an expert if you buy a grafted tree (mine was only $25) that it will bear fruit in 3 to 5 years! my tree is 14 foot tall and in the 4th year and has baby avocadoes on it! i bought the LULA avocado tree as the Haas was not available here in New Orleans. BUT i did plant 2 Haas seeds and they are 4 foot tall now! Happy Planting!!!

    Posted 12 months ago

    Flag this Comment
  • GlennP
    Avocados varieties do not come true from seed. Every seed is a new variety, so if are wanting a haas for example, you will need one that is a grafted haas. With that said, it is fun to start new trees and see what new variety you are lucky to have.

    Posted 11 months ago

    Flag this Comment
  • Suzy Holman
    I've been doing this for years, and have a small avocado forest in a large pot. What zone can they stay outside all year?

    Posted 7 months ago

    Flag this Comment
  • Jessica Eyler
    Growing my avocado tree was really hard. I had to put the pit into a pot with some garden soil in it and put it in my garden in full sunlight (I live in southern CA). Now I have a 6" tree in less than a year. wow, tough. I don't know why we think we need to poke the pit with sticks and all this other work.

    Posted 4 weeks ago

    Flag this Comment
  • Yolanda
    I am starting my new garden and a fruit I love is passion fruit. How can I plant one of them to get the fruits?

    Posted 3 weeks ago

    Flag this Comment
  • Monika Sofia Thornton
    i hack the pits with a knife to get them out of the fruit before serving. that seems to be enough of a split in the stone to get it going. Every pit so far that I put in soil randomly has sprouted, inside our outside. My trees grow at least a foot per year, but I have not had one enough time to see fruit yet. They sure are beautiful plants...

    Posted 3 weeks ago

    Flag this Comment
  • HGTVMallory
    That's how I remove the pits, too. Works every time. I haven't tried to regrow from it, but it's on my to-do list.

    Posted 3 weeks ago

    Flag this Comment
  • Genevieve Buck
    I am in Gallup New Mexico., And we have such extreme weather changes. Never know what kind of weather were going to have. It does get extremely cold here. For most of the year. to high of elevation 7,000 . So it very hard to get any thing to grow. No matter how much I try. I just switched to Fescues grass to see if it will grow. All the fruit tree just die. I gave up , and settled for what ever starts growing on it own. Always end up with Chinese Elm. Seems like the only plant that will grow.,, But I am a die hard and keep trying. All I end up with growing rocks.

    Posted 3 weeks ago

    Flag this Comment
  • Jane Akshar
    I live in Egypt and bought a packet of 6 advocados in 2007 I planted the stones direct in soil, 4 grew. 2 grown in a shady area are about 6 foot but the 2 grown in sunny area are 25 foot and 15 foot, they flowered last year and this year have fruit. I have to wait and see what they taste like

    Posted 4 days ago

    Flag this Comment

We Recommend...

12 Easy Edibles

12 Easy Edibles

Fill your family garden with these easy-to-grow, kid-friendly fruits and vegetables.

See Also: