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.

36 Comments About this Article

  • anonymous
    I have been following these directions to grow my avacado seed. My seed is in a jar full of water and It grew a root which I cut in half about 4 weeks ago. It has grown 4 new roots. The stem has grown and it is 5 inches tall. I was wondering if I should cut that stem in half?

    Posted 2 months ago

    Flag this Comment
  • anonymous
    You don't cut the roots in half, you leave them, it's the stem that you cut in half once it reaches 6 inches.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Flag this Comment
  • anonymous
    I have been growing an avocado tree for about 6 months now and it was doing good and all of a sudden the leaves started turning brown at the ends and drying out, but there is a new start coming out of the top of the tree. I haven't changed anything about the tree. It always been inside when it gets sun and and watered regularly and never over watered. What could i do to prevent the leaving from die even more or the hole tree die?

    Posted 2 months ago

    Flag this Comment
  • anonymous
    One of my pits all of a sudden are covered with a moss-like fuzzy covering on the bottom. Is this normal or should I toss it.

    Posted 4 weeks ago

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

    Posted 4 weeks ago

    Flag this Comment
  • 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 4 weeks ago

    Flag this Comment
  • 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 3 weeks ago

    Flag this Comment
  • 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 2 weeks ago

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

    Posted 1 week ago

    Flag this Comment
  • anonymous
    Yes cut it in half.

    Posted 6 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.