My daughter and I have been trying to grow a tree from an avocado pit for a few weeks, and I’d say we’ve only had marginal success. We’ve successfully gotten a taproot to grow from the bottom of a pit and the outer shell to crack, leading us to believe a tree may sprout at some point. However, we’re still not sure this attempt will be our final attempt.
Incidentally, a little research uncovered some critical errors in our tactics. I don’t even think we submerged the bottom side of the pit on the first attempt, which would explain why no taproot ever grew. We haven’t changed the water nearly enough and I don’t think we submerged enough of the seed in water, initially.
We loosely followed the instructions a quick internet search revealed, but by no means has this been a scientific process. It was our “marginal success” that inspired further research. That glimmer of hope we may actually be able to make this work encouraged us to fine-tune our process.
Growing a tree from an avocado pit
Growing a tree from an avocado pit is a relatively simple process, however, there are some nuances as I mentioned above. Following the steps below, can help give your avocado pit its best chance for success.
- Carefully remove the pit from an avocado without cutting it.
- Gently rinse all of the avocado fruit off the pit without removing the brown skin (or seed cover) on the pit.
- Identify the top and bottom of the avocado pit. The flat end is the bottom where the roots will begin growing and the pointier end is the top where the sprout will begin growing. The bottom of the pit will need to be submerged in water, so it’s important to determine which end it is before moving on to the next step.
- Poke three or four equally-spaced holes into the pit with a sharp knife.
- Poke toothpicks into the holes, angled slightly downward so that the bottom third to half of the pit will be submerged and the remainder will be suspended above the water.
- Place the pit in a glass of water with the bottom submerged. A clear glass is ideal so root growth is visible later.
- Change the water every five to seven days to prevent bacteria and fungus growth.
- Sprouting can happen as quickly as 2 weeks but is more likely to take as long as 8 weeks. Have patience and look for these changes:
- The avocado pit will dry out and form a crack, starting at the top and extending all the way around. The outer skin will begin to flake off.
- The taproot will begin to emerge at the bottom of the crack.
- The taproot will grow longer, and eventually, a sprout will emerge through the top of the crack.
- Cut the stem in half when it reaches 6-7 inches tall to encourage new growth and a bushier tree.
- When your tree grows to 6-7 inches tall again and its roots are at least 3 inches long, pot it in a rich humus soil in an 8- to 10-inch pot, leaving the top of the seed exposed.
- Place your potted avocado tree on a sunny windowsill and water it frequently enough to keep the soil consistently moist.
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Enjoyed reading your article. I hope you have lots of fun watching your seeds grow. When I was much younger, I had a “green thumb”. Now… not so much. I couldn’t even remember which end of the pit should be up, and which one went in the water. Thank you for saying that. The only luck I had was 3 years ago. I planted three seeds in a pot. 1 sideways, 1 point up, 1 point down. Not sure which one grew, but I have a avocado tree that’s made it to three years old. I turn 75 this year. (Should I live so long) and my daughter is 51. So, enjoy when you can.