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.

52 Comments About this Article

  • anonymous
    I would go ahead and plant it; add a little sand to the soil and a sprinkle of blood meal. My plant really took off when I planted it.

    Posted 10 months ago

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  • anonymous
    I planted my avocado tree four years ago and it stands 18 feet tall today. There are no avocados off of it. Why?

    Posted 9 months ago

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  • anonymous
    I Wuv dat da awvacado ken grow in to as much as a tree in as littles as much as tien yrs. #LOVE!!! Well i be checkin my tree erry day. IT gona grow to a big boy soon i be so proud. Wuv twees wit all me heart mateys. #german.

    Posted 9 months ago

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  • anonymous
    I used the same procedure, took two avacardo seeds ,stuck tooth picks on three sides and put each one in the water in a glass, an inch of the seed is in the water.After 3 weeks, i saw one of them had a long root of about 4 inch in the water but no sprouting of the stem has happened yet, there is a split in the seed but not all the way up yet. its been 5 weeks now. On the other one , no root has come out. so now what do i do? just leave both this way. let me know what to do now? why has one got a root and the other one doesn't got any roots.

    Posted 9 months ago

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  • anonymous
    I put my pit in water with tooth picks and it started growing roots, I planted it in a pot with dirt its growing really well, but I noticed the pit is now splitting in half. Can anyone advise on what to do. My plant now has alot of leaves and getting big.

    Posted 9 months ago

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  • anonymous
    I'm confused, what/how do I plant the cut stem, in water or dirt. Does anyone ever answer our questions.

    Posted 9 months ago

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  • anonymous
    You don't plant the cut stem. You plant the seed and the root. Maybe watch the video. Hope you figure it out. I want to try this. Too bad it takes so long to get an avocado.

    Posted 9 months ago

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  • Jim VanZant
    I followed the instructions and ended up with two gorgeous avocado plants which I now have in pots. They sit outdoors (I'm in zone 5) and I will of course bring them indoors this fall. This is their first summer. They get all day sun, and I water them every couple of days. I started these trees from the avocado seeds last winter, and placed them in a sunny window to begin rooting. I just let them root all they wanted until this spring when I potted them. The seeds had already split while they were rooting. The split seeds didn't seem to bother anything. Really easy to do. Don't get discouraged if they seem to sit in water and do nothing for a long period of time. Winter is a good time to start this process, and you'll be rewarded by spring. Wish I could post photos.

    Posted 9 months ago

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  • anonymous
    Why do you have to cut the stem? It seems like every time I do that the whole thing dies.

    Posted 8 months ago

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  • anonymous
    there are female and male avocados they have to be planted by each other , or you can graft a limb, by following on line instructions. yes it would be nice to tell the difference , if you do alot of seeds this will be possible and you can give some to other folks. Avocados are getting very expensive and where I live in Cal. trees had to be pulled because of the drought, I'm growing 6 this year. hope this helps

    Posted 8 months ago

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