Learn How to Grow Avocado from the Seed. Avocados are one of the best fruits that can be eaten all year round. They’re highly nutritious and contain healthy unsaturated fats. What’s better than movie night nachos with creamy guacamole or an avocado and chili salad? The next time you’re using avocado to prepare a meal keep the pits so you can grow your very own tree. It’s a relatively easy and fun educational project for children too.
There are different ways you can grow an avocado tree. This guide will show you three different methods on how to begin.
The Toothpick Method
The toothpick method has been around for many years but you might be wondering “does it work?” Well, yes! It’s quite easy too.
Step 1 – Remove Pit
Simply purchase an avocado and remove the fresh and delicious fruit from around the pit. If you’re using a knife do not cut too deep to remove it. Wash the pit with fresh water to discard any excess food as that could lead to mold. Gently rub with your fingers to prevent the brown outer layer from peeling because that is the seed covering.
Step 2 – Find the Top and Bottom Ends
Some avocado pits have the shape of perfect spheres. You need to find the bottom which is where the roots will grow from and the top is the area, you’ll see the sprout as it develops. To find these parts the top is a bit pointier and the bottom is flatter.
Step 3 – Use Toothpicks
Before piercing the pit it’s important that you locate the two parts as the bottom will be placed in water for the top to sprout. Use at least three toothpicks to stick firmly into different parts around the pit in a downward position.
Ensure the picks are evenly spaced as they will be supporting the bottom over the water. You can fill a cup with water, use a jar or other stylish glasses made to hold the seed and make things easier.
Step 4 – Place Seed in Water
Find an area in your home that has some stream of sunlight per day. This could be a place on your window sill or balcony. Using a clear container will allow you to see the roots as they grow and show when the water needs to be changed.
Do not leave the pit in the water for over a week as you’ll notice it will begin to get foggy. Extra foggy water means you’re in for mold, bacteria, and fungus which can damage your tiny sprout. Changing the water every few days is best to prevent having to restart the entire process.
Step 5 – Be Patient
If you’re really as excited as I was to have an avocado tree, waiting for the seed to sprout can feel like ages. It will take approximately 4 to 8 weeks to see a sprout so take your time to enjoy the process and be patient.
The first thing you’ll notice is that the top of the avocado pit will appear to be dry and create a crack. The brown layer will then shed itself. The crack will then spread to the bottom of the pit and tiny taproots will emerge.
Those taproots will grow to a fine length and with time a sprout will stick out. Never allow the taproot to be too dry. That would initially cause your sprout to die.
Step 6 – Add to Soil
As your plant continues to develop as soon as the stem reaches approximately 15cm cut it to 8cm. Now you might be thinking cutting a new sprout is crazy, but doing this actually encourages new growth. As it grows to the 15cm height once more pot it in soil thick with humus. Avocadoes enjoy direct sunlight so place the pot on your balcony, windowsill, or kitchen counter with an open window.
Step 7 – Hydrate Your Plant
Now when the sprout has been removed from the glass or jar of water, always hydrate the plant. Do not drench the roots in water but pour just enough to keep the soil moist. If the leaves become yellow this could be a sign of overwatering and you would need to place the pot outside in the sun for a couple of days.
Step 8 – Trim Top Leaves
As the avocado plant grows up to 12 inches trimming the top two sets of leaves will boost the plant system. This will encourage the plant to produce additional side branches and leaves, resulting in a bushier appearance.
Growing Avocado Trees in Soil
Growing an avocado tree from the seed in the soil first is way more practical and easier.
Step 1 – After retrieving the seed, cleaning and drying it, find a pot that is approximately 25cm in diameter or smaller for seedlings.
Step 2 – Fill your pot with soil up to the Rim line that is located inside. If the pot you’ve decided to use has no rim line, then fill up to ¾ of the pot with soil.
Step 3 – Water the soil to add moisture before adding the pit to the flower pot. If the seed is added when the soil is too dry it may take an eternity for the pit to sprout or never.
Step 4 – Find the top and bottom areas of the pit. The most pointy area should be right side up and the base that is flatter should be turned downward in the soil.
Step 5 – Give the pit a few twists to wedge it into the soil (hence the importance of the dirt being moist to prevent the brown layer from ripping). Ensure that you water the soil every few days. The seed should be halfway covered with dirt as the pointy end is where the sprout will appear from. Let the sprout emerge from the crack naturally and as time passes it will develop its first set of leaves.
Growing Avocado Tree from Bags
Many gardeners have tried this method of beginning to grow an avocado tree from scratch. Presently no one has created a name for this method of growing trees but it has shown some great results for other plants as well.
Step 1 – After you’ve cleaned your avocado pit with clean water, allow it to dry for a couple of days in a dry and dark corner at room temperature.
Step 2 – The brown skin will soon appear shriveled making it easy to peel. You may use a spoon or knife to remove it smoothly. Be careful not to damage the tiny disc at the base as it is the most important area of the avocado pit. When this is done, it will help to speed up the process of germination.
Step 3 – Get a few paper towels and damp them with water but not to the point that it’s dripping. Place the paper towel in a Ziploc bag and place the bag on its side. Lay the avocado pit in the bag on its side also. Zip the bag a little more than halfway to allow airflow, then place the bag in a safe and dark spot. It should be easily accessed for you to check every 3 to 4 days.
Step 4 – Keep the towels a bit damp and soon you will notice signs of germination as the seed cracks and roots come out. Resist breaking the seed as it contains the nutrients that allow the delicate roots to grow.
Step 5 – When the roots are at least 3 inches long then your seed will be ready to plant in an 8-inch flower pot that has drainage holes. This method could take up to four weeks for the roots to develop.
Step 6 – Avocados enjoy direct sunlight so keep the pot in an area that is less shaded. You can also add compost and pinch back the top leaves to boost new side shoots to appear.
Getting Rid of Bugs on Your Plant
As your avocado tree grows perhaps, you’ll notice that it’ll start to attract bugs. Hey, even aphids think avocado is tasty. To wash them away you’ll simply need to use a spray bottle with water or a hose for a minute or two. This won’t hold them off forever but using a mixture of dishwashing liquid, neem oil and water will do the trick. Do this every few days to keep your plant pest-free.
All three methods mentioned work quite well but you may be wondering which is the best to try. Take into consideration that the toothpick method would be a great science experiment for students and even adults.
The more natural process of growing avocado directly in the soil is the most used method. The bag germination method is like a gardener’s life hack. In my opinion, the bag method works way faster and still produces great results. However, all three work quite well, and I know regardless of the one you choose, you’ll get satisfying results.
Other Plants To Grow
- How To Grow Garlic
- How To Grow Green Onions
- Growing Ginger Organically
- How To Grow Carrots
- How To Grow Lettuce
Get discounted copies of my cookbook here.
Fortunately, because of the ads on our website, readers and subscribers of Healthier Steps are sponsoring many underprivileged families.