How to Grow an Avocado Tree From a Pit
Although indoor avocado plants won't bear fruit without pollination, they make lovely houseplants, and you can always transplant your young tree outdoors once it gets large enough to produce fruit.
- Start with an avocado seed from a ripe avocado fruit. Whether it's a Florida or California avocado, a Hass avocado or a Bacon avocado, the type of avocado doesn't really matter. Try to keep the seed intact—don't cut into it with your knife to remove the pit. Wash and dry the pit, gently scraping away any green flesh.
- Submerge the seed in water. Fill a glass with room temperature water. Insert three toothpicks into the tapered top of the avocado seed, then rest the toothpicks on the rim of the glass, allowing the broad end of the seed to sink into the water while the top end remains dry. Place the glass on a windowsill, preferably in a sunny spot that is out of direct sunlight.
- Check on your avocado seed every day. Monitor the seed’s new growth and replenish the water as needed to keep the bottom inch of the seed submerged. Your seed should start to develop roots and a sprout in two to eight weeks. When the stem is about seven inches tall, prune your avocado plant by cutting it down to about three inches.
- Transfer your avocado plant to a pot filled with soil. When your avocado plant has grown new top leaves, you can plant the seed in soil. (Don't wait more than three weeks after pruning.) Look for a six-inch diameter pot with drainage holes. Fill the pot with sandy potting soil, and insert the seed in the potting mix with the top half of the seed covered and only the stem exposed.
- Water your avocado plant. Give your avocado plant an occasional deep soak, letting the soil dry out in between waterings. Yellowing leaves are a sign of overwatering.
- Allow your avocado plant to grow. Keep your avocado as a houseplant, or transplant your mature avocado plant outdoors in the spring. Keep in mind that you may have to wait until your tree is five or more years old for it to flower and bear fruit—and it may never fruit.
Grow your own food with Ron Finley, the self-described "Gangster Gardener." Get the MasterClass All-Access Pass and learn how to cultivate fresh herbs and vegetables, keep your house plants alive, and use compost to make your community - and the world - a better place.