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.

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.

Fruit Trees You Can Grow in Pots 13 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.

17 Comments About this Article

  • 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 10 months ago

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  • 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 9 months ago

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  • Sally Blackwell
    My seed has sprouted two stems. Should I seperate them or plant together? They are about 7 inches on one and about 4 inches on the second. Thanks, Pixie

    Posted 8 months ago

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  • Debbie Jimmy
    We started our seeds today in water. We live in southern AZ and really want this to work, so any tips would be appreciated. Thanks.

    Posted 7 months ago

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  • Parker Matas
    ...so how did avocados grow before humans existed? Cant I just bury the seed?

    Posted 5 months ago

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  • RHONDA CLARK
    I live in Fort Worth, TX. I started mine little tree from a seed with toothpicks in a plastic bottle. IT Sprouted for the first time in my life...lol I transplanted it to a pot outside where it gets plenty of sunlight and water it regularly. We have had a draught this summer, but as long as I keep the soil wet, the 10inch tree seems to be ok. I will bring it inside when the weather gets cooler. I will keep you posted of it's progress. I have two other seeds that have not sprouted yet. I also buried 3 seeds in a pot of potting soil, keeping them moist, nothing yet on those 3.

    Posted 4 months ago

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  • anonymous
    Does anyone know if avacado trees can be grown in N.C.?

    Posted 4 months ago

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  • anonymous
    I live in Western N.C. I have a tree grown from seed over 6 feet tall. I have it in a large clay pot. I brought it inside when it started getting cold. My girlfriend from CA visited me this summer, she said it would not produce fruit unless it was grafted. Some of her family has a avocado farm, so I am sure she was told that. I know it is one of my favorite foods, I was is such hope it would produce fruit.

    Posted 3 weeks ago

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  • anonymous
    We live near San Diego, CA in the 'Avocado Capitol of the World', Fallbrook. My gardener used to work on an Avocado farm and when he saw our attempt to grow a tree from a pit, he told me that we need to graft a cutting from an already producing tree into the new tree. He said this needs to be done before the new plant is 2 years old, otherwise it will not produce fruit.

    Posted 3 weeks ago

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  • anonymous
    Grafting a cutting of an already producing avacado tree into a new tree will cause it to start producing fruit sooner - 4 to 7 years i think. Otherwise it could take between 10 to 15 years to produce fruit by itself.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

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