How to Grow an Avocado Tree from an Avocado Pit


How to Grow an Avocado Tree from an Avocado Pit at The Hungry Mouse

I said it the other day: I have gardening on the brain.

Now, being summer, we eat a lot of avocado-based stuff at The Mouse House. Guacamole. Avocado salad. You get the picture. Which means that we wind up with a lot of avocado pits rolling around in the kitchen.

Did you know that if you plant those pits, you can actually grow your own avocado tree at home? Even though trees rooted like this rarely bear fruit without help (more on that in a little bit), it’s still a ton of fun to plant your own tree and watch it grow.

And if you have kids, this is a great project. Here are detailed instructions for how to root and plant a tree from an avocado pit. All you need is an avocado, a little water and a few toothpicks, a sunny window, and a whole lot of patience.

Avocado trees grow best in warm, sunny places, but you can keep one quite successfully for many years in the right indoor environment. They can grow to between 20 and 40 feet, but are quite happy if you keep them pruned indoors.

I’ve managed to grow several trees over the years just like this. I usually wind up giving the saplings to folks as presents.

Here are two that I grew a few years ago, when I had a large rooftop garden. I started them on my windowsill in the winter, then moved them outside when the weather got warmer. (They’re the two in front.)

Avocado Trees at The Hungry Mouse

Not every pit is guaranteed to root, so you may want to try two or three pits at once, just in case.

Equipment List

1 avocado pit
4 toothpicks
1 small glass or ceramic dish, about the size of a custard cup

Yields: 1 avocado tree sapling, with patience and a little luck

How to remove the avocado pit

In case you aren’t sure how, here’s how to remove the pit from an avocado.

Cut a full circle longways around the avocado. Twist it apart.


The two halves should separate neatly.

How to Grow an Avocado Tree from an Avocado Pit at The Hungry Mouse

Whack the pit with a sharp, heavy knife so that the blade bites into the pit just a little bit.

How to Grow an Avocado Tree from an Avocado Pit at The Hungry Mouse

Twist the blade and the pit will come right out.

How to Grow an Avocado Tree from an Avocado Pit at The Hungry Mouse

Do something really yummy with the avocado…

How to Grow an Avocado Tree from an Avocado Pit at The Hungry Mouse

…then clean off your pit. Scrape off any avocado that’s still stuck to the pit.

How to Grow an Avocado Tree from an Avocado Pit at The Hungry Mouse

Rinse it off under cold water, then wipe it off. You want to be sure you’ve removed all the avocado. The pit is going to be sitting in water for a few weeks, so you don’t want anything funky to start growing in it.

How to Grow an Avocado Tree from an Avocado Pit at The Hungry Mouse

When you root the pit, you want to do it pointy side up. The stem and leaves will sprout out the top. And the root will push its way out the bottom.

How to Grow an Avocado Tree from an Avocado Pit at The Hungry Mouse

Stick toothpicks into your avocado pit

Grab your toothpicks.

How to Grow an Avocado Tree from an Avocado Pit at The Hungry Mouse

Push one toothpick into the side of the avocado pit. You want to get it in far enough so that you can pick the pit up by the toothpick.

How to Grow an Avocado Tree from an Avocado Pit at The Hungry Mouse

Do this with the other 3 toothpicks. You want them evenly spaced out, like this:

How to Grow an Avocado Tree from an Avocado Pit at The Hungry Mouse

Keep the avocado pit well watered

Place the avocado pit over your dish, so the toothpicks are resting on the rim of the dish and the pit is suspended over the center.

How to Grow an Avocado Tree from an Avocado Pit at The Hungry Mouse

If it’s not sitting well, wiggle your toothpicks around a little so they’re tilted up slightly, like this:

How to Grow an Avocado Tree from an Avocado Pit at The Hungry Mouse

Fill the dish with water so that the avocado pit is about halfway submersed.

How to Grow an Avocado Tree from an Avocado Pit at The Hungry Mouse

How to Grow an Avocado Tree from an Avocado Pit at The Hungry Mouse

Change the water every day or two, so that the pit is constantly sitting in water.

How to Grow an Avocado Tree from an Avocado Pit at The Hungry Mouse

Keep your avocado pit on a sunny windowsill

Set the dish on a sunny windowsill. Keep an eye on it, and replenish the water frequently.

How to Grow an Avocado Tree from an Avocado Pit at The Hungry Mouse

Remember: Until you plant your avocado sapling in soil, you need to keeping the pit in water at all times. No water, no tree.

How long does it take for an avocado pit to root?

For the first few weeks, your pit won’t really do much. It will just sit there, looking very much the same as the day that you first propped it up. You may start to despair. After all, you’ve been changing the water for days, so, what gives?

Well, Nature, as they say, takes her sweet time.

Then, after about three weeks or so, the top of the pit should begin to split open. (Nature is also kind of imprecise…this can take up to six weeks to happen.)

Over the next few weeks, a stem will shoot up, the first leaves will begin to grow, and roots will begin to force their way out of the bottom. In a few more weeks, you should see more leaves.

The whole process will generally take about 3 months, give or take.

When to plant your avocado seedling

When your tree is maybe 7-8 inches tall, nip off the top few leaves. (That’s right…pinch them off. It will encourage growth and help the tree branch out.)

Grab a 10-inch pot with a saucer and at least one drainage hole in the bottom. Fill it about an inch from the top with potting soil.

Dig a shallow hole in the center of the soil (just deep enough so half the pit is covered). Nestle the bottom of your avocado sapling in it, root-side down.

Cover the pit halfway with soil, so half the pit is still exposed. Press down firmly on the soil to secure it. It should be standing up straight, at attention.

Pour a little water into the pot gently, because the soil hasn’t settled yet. And…you did it! Set your tree in a sunny window. Keep it watered, and watch it grow!

Tips for caring for your avocado tree

Where should I keep my avocado tree?
Avocado trees like warm, sunny spots. If your tree doesn’t get enough light, it will get leggy (i.e. all stem, few leaves). Depending on where you live, you should be able to keep your tree outside in a sunny spot. If the temperature ever drops below about 45 degrees F, bring it back inside.

How often should I water my avocado tree?
Water it enough to keep the soil moist, but not muddy. You never want your tree sitting in a puddle of water once you’ve potted it.

If your leaves start to turn yellow, it’s a sure sign it’s getting too much water. If this happens, stop watering it for a few days until the soil dries out a little.

Should I ever pinch off any leaves?
Yes. When your tree is about 7-8 inches tall and ready for potting, pinch off the top few leaves. This will encourage your tree to branch out and be nice and bushy.

Will my avocado tree bear fruit?
Now, if you grow an avocado tree, it’s unlikely that it will ever bear fruit.

From what I’ve gathered from my (admittedly uncomprehensive and unscientific) research, you need to graft a piece of a fruit-bearing tree on to your seedling. I’m an avid and enthusiastic kitchen gardener, but sadly my botanical knowledge ends there.

If anyone knows more about this, by all means, pipe up!

Send me your pictures!

Like I said, this food project is a ton of fun—especially with kids.

Let me know if you give this a whirl! If you send me your pictures, I’ll post them up here—along with a note—so folks can share your experience. (Who knows? Maybe we’ll grow an online avocado grove…)

Happy gardening!


How to Grow an Avocado Tree from an Avocado Pit

Here are detailed instructions for how to root and plant a tree from an avocado pit. All you need is an avocado, a little water and a few toothpicks, a sunny window, and a whole lot of patience.

Save Recipe


1 avocado pit
4 toothpicks
1 small glass or ceramic dish, about the size of a custard cup


  1. Remove the pit from your avocado.
  2. Rinse it off under cold water, then wipe it off. You want to be sure you’ve removed all the avocado. The pit is going to be sitting in water for a few weeks, so you don’t want anything funky to start growing in it.
  3. Hold your avocado pointy side up. (The root will push out the flatter bottom side.)
  4. Push one toothpick into the side of the avocado pit. You want to get it in far enough so that you can pick the pit up by the toothpick.
  5. Repeat with the other 3 toothpicks. You want them evenly spaced out.
  6. Place the avocado pit over your dish, so the toothpicks are resting on the rim of the dish and the pit is suspended over the center.
  7. Fill the dish with water so that the avocado pit is about halfway submerged.
  8. Set the dish on a sunny windowsill. Keep an eye on it, and replenish the water frequently if it evaporates. Change the water every day or two, so that the pit is constantly sitting in water.
  9. For the first few weeks, your pit won’t really do much. It will just sit there, looking very much the same as the day that you first propped it up.
  10. After three-six weeks, the top of the pit should begin to split open. Over the next few weeks, a stem will shoot up, the first leaves will begin to grow, and roots will begin to force their way out of the bottom. In a few more weeks, you should see more leaves. The whole process will generally take about 3 months, give or take.
  11. When your tree is maybe 7-8 inches tall, nip off the top few leaves. (That’s right…pinch them off. It will encourage growth and help the tree branch out.)
  12. Dig a shallow hole in the center of the soil (just deep enough so half the pit is covered). Nestle the bottom of your avocado sapling in it, root-side down.
  13. Cover the pit halfway with soil, so half the pit is still exposed. Press down firmly on the soil to secure it. It should be standing up straight, at attention.
  14. Pour a little water into the pot gently, because the soil hasn’t settled yet. And…you did it! Set your tree in a sunny window. Keep it watered, and watch it grow!

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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie serves as an Associate Creative Director at PARTNERS+simons, a boutique ad agency in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.


  1. What a great post 🙂 I’ve always wondered if avocado pits could be planted 🙂 Definitely would like to hear more about the grafting process as well – the markets charge crazy prices for them here!


      • You made a big mistake. It takes a while for them to come in. I have an avocado tree that hasn’t had any fruit for more than 7 years and now just recently I had more avocados on it than I could do with em! As a matter of fact, I’m giving away some to family because the neighbors got wise to it and stole some! Patience is a virtue!

        • Yes, I live in South Africa and we are always told that an avocado tree grown from its large seed can take up to 7 years before u see fruit grow on it…. so its a long time to wait but if u dont mind and love avo’s then its worth it! :o)

          • i’m from South Africa and have a 5yr old tree planted from seed – looking so healthy and it has fruit but alas! fruit are about the size of small plums. What can i do to encourage more growth ?

              • I lived in Florida where my mother-in-law had a 30-foot Florida Avocado tree. I planted one and sure enough 7 years later it started to bear fruit. It was about 20 feet tall by then. I had it in a pot until about 6 feet or so – about 5 years. I planted it about 10-15 feet from a canal that ran behind my house. In two years it shot up like crazy. The first crop yielded about 200 pounds of fruit! No kidding. Now trying to grow one in San Diego. I think I’m going to graft this time.

                • I’m thinking your San Diego effort should do well. I remember visiting there in summers (in 60’s) – specifically in Mt. Helix – lots of avocado tress in front yard, and back ‘yard’ was a lime grove. Awesome!

                • Tony, in which part of the county do you live? In Eastlake much of the soil is as hard as sandstone. One of the google sites mentioned peeling the seed and wrapping in a very damp paper towel and putting the covered container in a dark place for a week or so. Then the seed and roots should be ready to plant.

                • When I lived in San Luis Obispo in the seventies there were avocado trees growing wild in one of the creeks and I know there are many avocado trees in San Diego which is further south and therefore much warmer.

                  I had just started some seeds, but didn’t check for direction before planting so I put them in pointy side down. Now I have to start over.
                  What great information and I am so glad to know they will bear fruit in a few years.

            • While the fruit is still small (as small as possible), thin out the least viable fruit so that half the fruit or less remains. The tree will direct its energy more vigorously to these remaining avocados.

            • With any plant you can generally pluck off some of the smaller fruit before it grows, and leave the ones you want to get bigger. by pruning off the smaller fruit the tree no longer has to use its energy on say 5 small avocados, instead it can work on growing 3 medium or large sized avocados.

            • I am in SA too… Wait 2 more years! They won’t fruit next year but you’ll see a vast improvement in year 7!!

            • Plant an additional tree. Sometimes you do not have another close enough to pollinate. The trees produce much better with cross pollination

          • I’ve grown 3 avocado trees just by sticking the seed right into the potted soil, leaving the top of the seeds uncovered. The growing process didn’t take but a few weeks. It was 2′ tall in about a month or so. Didn’t know about pinching off top leaves. Thanks for the info.. Unfortunately I had extensive back surgery & couldn’t take care of them. Naturally they died. 🙁 Gotta start over now.

          • growing fruit from pits make a wider range for more strong and genetic fruit – rather than buying a tree which was grafted. its really healthy for the environment and species of tree too.

            • We have a tree from seed and it did take seven years our neighbor told us the trees from pits produce a hardy tree. Our soil here is clay and we have to always add cow manure to it for nutrients and our grass clippings. Avocado’s love mulch as well. They need support when they are smaller winds will knock them around too much. And water at least a few gallons a day in the summer maybe more. I grow my pits right into my mulch bins (no cover) and the trees just pop up. They love fruit and vegetable scraps.

        • It’s a lot simpler than the initial post though! Just put the pit in a pot of soil about 3cms below the surface and keep it watered. Then wait 3 months. No problem every time! Ditch the toothpicks!

          • T
            he easiest way to start a seed is to take a plastic coke (soda) bottle cut it around the neck where the tapered edge goes straight, turn the top upside down in the bottom add water then put the pit in it fat side first ( setting on the drink hole . make sure the water goes up to and touches the bottom of the seed place it in a sunny window . check water weekly add when needed. in a few weeks it will be on its way!

          • Thanks John! I was wondering about that. I was just running around like crazy looking for toothpicks. I will try it your way and see what happens.

            • I’m 50 years old and I still like to see things grow! However, I think I will start one in a pot as well to curb my impatience. Great ideas and advice from all!

        • Chris, this is great news! I thought that surely the tree must bear fruit without grafting otherwise how did they survive in the wild?? I’ll keep at it with my one and look forward to the fruit I’m the future. 🙂

        • Do you live in the South where you can leave your tree outside all year? I would have to bring mine in during the cold months and I’m wondering if it would produce fruit if I do it this way?

        • Hi, just curious as to where you live? I live in the UK so it’s cold and I’m not expecting any fruit on mine but this gave me hope!

      • I have a avacado plant that I grew from a seed, I planted it in a pot in soil it is now around four feet tall and is starting to put out branches, I live in an area that does’nt get real cold the temp. stays around 50 degrees and above but not real hot I want to plant it outside so what do I do. Thanks so much for your help in advance

      • What is all the shouting about? Don’t you know that answering in capital letters is extremely rude and almost guarantees no one will read your contribution.

      • hello there, thankyou for that, but what is a screen enclosure? Also, in your experience can people grow fruit bearing avocados in the UK ? – if done indoors or in a conservatory or greenhouse ? thankyou and God bless 🙂 x

    • no need for grafting, after 5 years the tree will bear flower, the same goes for any fruit bearing tree (some take as long as 25 years to bear fruit) grafting is a tecnique used in bonsai to strengthen a certain tree that has poor rooting or weak rooting e.g grafting orange onto a lemon trunk as the roots for the lemon are bttr.

      • I’m here in florida and have had a flower bearing apple tree for the past 13yrs. (the flowers are pretty though) But no fruit! I guess mine will go the full 25yrs. before it yeilds any fruit! 🙂

        • Shawna, It sounds like you need a pollinizer for your apple tree. In order for apple trees to bear fruit, another apple tree of a different variety is needed. Of course, the trees have to bloom at the same time. You have two options. One, if you know the variety of the tree in your yard, you can get online and find an apple pollinizer chart that matches varieties which best suit each others pollination needs. The other option is to plant an ornamental crab apple. The reason crab apples are used is the longevity of the bloom; making it a good pollinizer for many different varieties. It is best to plant it within fifty feet of your tree.

          Now, if you have plenty of insects, bees and like (pollinators). Then your tree should bear fruit.

        • Shawna, It sounds like you need a pollinizer for your apple tree. In order for apple trees to bear fruit, another apple tree of a different variety is needed. Of course, the trees have to bloom at the same time. You have two options. One, if you know the variety of the tree in your yard, you can get online and find an apple pollinizer chart that matches varieties which best suit each others pollination needs. The other option is to plant an ornamental crab apple. The reason crab apples are used is the longevity of the bloom; making it a good pollinizer for many different varieties. It is best to plant it within fifty feet of your tree.

        • I had the same problem with a Meyer lemon tree. Go to Lowe’s or Home Depot and Miracle Grow just started making a food for fruit trees. I used it and this year I had over 30 BIG lemons on it! I swear that stuff works! I only used it every other month or so. Good Luck!

        • I bought an “Anna apple tree. It is supposed to be able to grow in Florida. It looks like a Charlie Brown tree now. It needs a certain amount of days of 40 degrees or less temp in winter. I wonder if watering it with ice cubes would help?

          • I live in no. Florida and grow apple trees. I have Anna apple but you also need a second apple variety suited to Florida to produce apples. Otherwise you just get flowers. My second variety is a Golden apple. Go to a local nursery, not Lowes, and see what they have. Lowes type stores don’t necessary carry what will produce in your area. And about the ice cubes…in case you weren’t joking about that…that won’t help. The flower buds need the chill hours, not the roots. That’s why it’s important to go to a local nursery to find what will grow in your exact area. And apples really only do well in no Florida. Central and south just don’t get enough chill hrs for apples to produce.

        • Fruit and some nut trees need a certain number of “cold hours” before they can set buds for fruit. There are some varieties that are more suitable, but growing apple trees in FL is going to be tough proposition. SE GA is zone 5 and has some similarity to North FL areas and only 2 apple types are recommended –Anna & Dorsett Golden. Also note that most apple trees require pollination from another variety that shares same blooming cycle. Also several apple types (Stayman, Mutzu, Jonagold have sterile pollen) Bottom line is contact your county agent and avoid wasting your time if it simply isn’t going to work…



        • Hey Mike – It would be much easier and nicer to read your posts if you were able to not post in all caps. All caps makes it very difficult to read your post and also makes it seem as though you are yelling (in type on the internet, all caps usually means that the poster is yelling/angry about something). Also, in graphic design I have learned that it is more difficult for people to read and interpret text that is in all capital letters.

          You seem to have a very strong opinion about grafting, yet you state that you are just starting out at this as a hobby. Since you are just starting out I think it may be a good idea to keep an open mind. Why not try grafting a few plants and growing a few plants the old fashioned way, or the way suggested on this blog? Then you can see the results for yourself.

          I know this post is old, but just a few suggestions. It’s just difficult for people to take someone seriously or want to help them on the internet when they seem to be yelling/angry and start out a post by saying something like “WRONG!!!”.

          Just a few internet tips, and maybe planting tips for you. I’ve been around the “internet-block” quite a few times and find that my experiences are much more enjoyable if I stay pleasant and open minded 🙂

          • Mike,

            I don’t mind your all caps…it’s YOUR post, so display it as you please and don’t think twice about those who are trying to correct you. They are in the wrong. Sure would make it a lot nicer if OTHER posters weren’t so judgmental.

            Getting back to the topic, I am going to try planting one in a pot without the toothpicks.

            Happy planting to all.

            • Mike~ I didn’t even read your post because it IS in all caps.

              Yes, it WOULD be nice if OTHER posters weren’t so judgmental..

          • Don’t automatically assume, that a person typing in all caps is doing it out of ignorance or wanting to shout. Some have eye related problems and caps is the only way that allows them to see the writing clearly, or for that matter reading. Tolerance among people starts at home 🙂
            From someone who been around the Internet since the beginning of time (me)
            Follow your own advice and stay pleasant and open minded.

            • You are overlooking the fact that the all caps were in reply to another comment. If he were unable to read mixed-case text, how did he read the comment he is replying to? Also, bad vision doesn’t explain the triple exclamation points after “WRONG”. The most likely explanation is that he’s trying to convey hostility or anger.

              By the way, you can almost always make the font bigger if letter size is your reason for preferring all caps.

          • I’ve been planting avos in cal. and Hawaii for 30 years, and I think if you have the space and time, plant seedling and grafted trees. use seeds from the best avos you have eaten. the grafted trees will give you fruit right away and you know what you are getting. the seedlings will take 5-10 years, and it’s a gamble, because avos don’t usually self pollinate (every seedling is a new variety) but you may get the best avo on the planet. most of them will not be great, but at least edible, and you can always whack them off at 2 ft. and graft on to the sprouts from the stump. my very best avo in every respect is a seedling.

            • Best idea I’ve heard out of everything I’ve read! Simply cut half of them off when they are 2 ft tall and graft them them on to the other half!

            • Saw in a show a while ago, the Avo growers use grafting to make sure the fruit is the same. Growing from seed, you never know what type of fruit you will get. I’m wanting to grow the tree to also use the leaves in place of Bay Leaves.

      • I will be doing this with my grandson Garrett Teeters. We live in Iowa, so will have to be sure to bring it in with my other plants in the winter. He said he wanted to try this, so here we go!!

        • Mom, Avocado trees can get pretty BIG (40 ft is not unusual). So, unless you plan to continually trim the tree you’re in for ‘upgrading’ to a very large and tall house.

    • I’ve got 5 in jars,&1is sprouting roots 7″ long from the dull side.But not ta from pointy side.That sounds backwards from your instructions. What do I do now,just keep in water until…?Also I would like more info re grafting w/ the seedlings. Anyone know how to do this?
      Also,what’s best way to grow seeds from organic tomato plants? I’ve got a lot of plants,but not sure how to separate them,so I get little cherry tomatoes! Any guidance would be appreciated.

    • You do not have to do the think with the toothpick at all!!…I did that and waited and waited got tired of waiting and threw it outside and Wallah!…a plant came out, now I have 15 growing, I live in Florida and they are doing ok so far!!..just throw them on a sunny spot now I have one that’s pretty tall about 3 feet and I see like flowers on top of it (like a tittle crown ) so I’m thinking this one is going to have the fruits!!..I have one more like that and the others don’t have it, so I think I have to graft those and like somebody said here, you just go on YouTube and there you see how to do the grafting, which is not hard at all!!…good luck!!

    • I have several seeds on my window sill. One is ready to plant, a couple more are growing, but the rest I think are duds. Aught to be interesting to see if this will work. I don’t have great luck with plants. 🙂

    • Hey umm, I just had mine in water for a couple days ad the roots are already starting to come out the bottom, is it possible? And could I have gotten an avocado that is growing fast? Or what?

      • Yeah, it just depends on how far along it was when it was in the avocado. I had one recently that was already sprouted when I opened the avocado! Delicious guacamole, and obnoxious waiting period bypassed. Win.

      • I lived in Michigan 35 yrs ago and grew an avocado tree. With the toothpicks to start. It was three feet tall when I moved to Wyoming 2 yrs later. No blooms but such a nice tree in my living room. I didn’t try to transplant and let it die after about 3 yrs. I was too busy with work and babies. I’m trying again now in Oklahoma. I say do it and enjoy!

    • I drive my family insane doing this every time I purchase avacados! I now have an avocado tree that is almost 3 feet tall! I had 2, but gave one away last summer to a friend who kept admiring mine…it took my 30 years to finally get an avocado pit to grow this big after many, many tries and I am quite proud of this little tree. I am up north so hopefully IF I transplant it outside it won’t die.

    • Do you take the skin off the avocado mine feels separate from the bulb? We live in NJ can I bring it in when the weather gets colder…thanks for the into.

    • Post is great, but all what is happening to my experiment is vice versa.
      I placed the seed with the pointy side up. 4 month later it split at the bottom and root started growing in the water. Nothing happening on the top.
      Any comments please :)))

      Thank you,

  2. I was doing a little reading up on this, and one of the sites I found said that they won’t bear fruit in the first 3-4 years, but may after that, and that also, keeping a few trees/bushes near each other will help with pollination hopefully leading to more fruit.

    Thanks for the post!

  3. OK, this I would think be very fun to try. Just not so sure how to make the holes for the toothpicks without an accident.Would the tiniest drill bit in my husband’s drill work?

    I bet the tree is very fragrant.

    Great article- Jessie xox

    • Thanks, Bunny!

      And, oh gosh, you can just push the toothpicks in by hand. (No drill needed!) The pits are relatively soft when they’re fresh. Kind of like walnut meat.


      • I’ve read a lot of articles on this & all state to put toothpicks in & sit in water. This is not how mine happend! I threw a pit in my garden, it took root & 3 years later, I have a tree that is about 4 feet tall. I have put the soil it grew in, into a pot & brought it inside during the winter, the cold NJ climate would kill an avocado tree. This is my tree’s 3 summer & is sprouting new leaves & branches.
        Also, grafting is not necessary, as it does not occure in nature, however, as another reader posted, if you have other trees, keep them close to help pollenate & let nature do it’s thing.
        I spoke w/ some folks at the Rutger’s Agricultural Dept. & they informed me that not all seeds will grow fruit bearing trees… you tree may take up to 7 years before you can even find out if you will get fruit, so be patient 🙂
        Most importantly, Enjoy!!

        • I put three avacado pits in a pot barely deep enough for them so the tops stuck out and they all sprouted. After I pinched the tops off, they started to get bark on the trunks. They are 4 feet tall and when the third one gets tall enough, I plan on trying to braid them together to form an indoor plant that looks nice. I will keep it to a short 4 feet if possible and hope for something to get it to flower. I give it indoor plant food and it does well.

          • @ Cheri: Now what you described doing by braiding the 3 together sounds so neat! I’d love to see a photo of that and I want to give that a try now. hummm avacado cheese burgers tonight….::))

            I just started a seed with toothpicks in water a week ago but after reading here I realize I have the seed upside down. I guess I’ll go and turn it over in the water…? Sound like the right thing to do??

            A long time ago my Mother grew an avacado tree right in a metal coffee can and it grew quite tall ~~4′ and was a nice looking house plant. Great site here! Dee

        • Natrona, so there is not a 100% chance of any given tree bearing fruit, and it may take up to 7 years to know if the tree will fruit or not?

          I LOVE avocados, and my husband and I bought a home in NW Houston 2 years ago & planted a bunch of fruit trees in our back yard. We had 2 Avocados the 1st year & 1 died, so we bought another & that was a cold winter & both died (they were about 3 ft tall & one had a few fruits when we bought it, but they all died). Our Pears, Peaches , and citrus trees all are doing well…. not sure where we went so wrong w’ the Avocados, but I just had the urge to start one from a seed.

          If I keep it in a pot inside (and start another one) do you think there is a chance of keeping it alive and getting fruit from it in 5-7 years?

    • The pit is soft if it is fresh. You know like you just used the avocado for dinner. So the toothpicks poke right into the pit. It’s easy, no need for drill.

    • Thanks, Doug! (See, I knew it wasn’t just me!)

      I’m ridiculously fond of trying to plant the seeds that come out of the things I eat–as nonviable an idea as that usually is.

      Right now, I have a bunch of pits from prune plums that I’m going to try to get to sprout. I have *no* idea if it will work (but you know you’ll hear about it if it does…)


    • Jessie, is there a reason you can’t such as you live in an apartment? Even in an apartment or dorm room having a tree is easy. If you keep it in a pot it won’t get very big and you can carry it with you. My sister has a lemon tree that she puts on her balcony in the summer and brings it in in the winter! Go on and try it.

    • Thank you!

      Ya know, I’ve never done it with potatoes, but I feel like you can cut a potato into chunks, stick the chucks in the ground, and they’ll sprout. (Anyone? Anyone?)

      I did, however, grow a few sweet potato plants a zillion years ago.

      I left a few sweet potatoes on the counter (not in water, just out on the counter) until the eyes sprouted, then planted the potatoes in pots. They make a very pretty, vine-y type plant (the leaves of which, if I remember correctly, are utterly poisonous).


      • about the potatoes….. take your potatoe that you buy at the grocery….. stick toothpicks in it and stick it in a jar of water just like the avocado’s, it will sprout and grow in the jar of water:) if your potatoes have eyes… toothpick’em and stick’em eyes down in the water and you will not be able to stop it…

        • You don’t even have to go through that much trouble. Potatoes are easy to grow. Whenever I buy a bag of potatoes in the grocery store, I usually end up with a few that sprout before they can get eaten. When I am peeling them, I try to work around the eyes, cutting a bit of potato off with the peel, with an eye in the center. Then I lay the peels on top of some dirt with the eye upward and cover them with a small layer of dirt. Before long, the eyes will sprout into plants. After a few months, the leaves will start to die back, and then it is time to dig in the ground for the new potatoes. Only yesterday, I dug up a pound or two of potatoes from peelings I had planted in a container about six inches deep.

          • By the “eye”, do you mean the sprout? So you just cut a little bit of the potato off with the sprout and then put some of the peeled skins around that piece and cover with dirt? Sorry, not much of a green thumb here….

      • The easiest way to grow potatoes is in old tires. Fil a tire with good potting soil mixed with compost and put whole seed potatoes onto the soil. Place another tire on top and fill half full with soil mix. As the plants grow, stack tires on top and fill with soil so that the plants stay just above the top of the soil. As each tire gets filled, where leaves had grown, potatoes will grow. Once you have 4 or 5 tires high, stop stacking and just let them grow. Once the plants die off, just lift off the tires and enjoy your crop without having to dig them up.

        • [email protected]

          Dinah, I’ve heard that the tires are not good to plant food in.

          • You can just plant the potatoes in a 5 gallon bucket. When the leaves start to die off then, dump the bucket out and then you have your potatoes! 🙂

      • Sweet potato leaves are edible, Jesse. In salad or cooked, say braised or steamed. There’s a bit of debate about carrot leaves though, perhaps quantity is a factor. Some tropical trees like Leucaena have edible leaves, but less than half of the diet, so as to not build up the toxin–thus a bug can’t thrive eating the tree.

      • On the advice of a master gardener, I planted chunks of potato, each with at least 1 eye, by setting them on top of the ground. Then I covered them with 8 inches of spoiled hay. As they sprouted and grew above the hay, I continued to add hay up to the leaves. I harvested lots of potatoes along the tall stems. BTW, harvesting was a snap, and I didn’t need to wash off a lot of sand. Also, it was easy to harvest small new potatoes, and leave others to grow larger.

        One other bit of knowledge: P. Allen Smith said on a recent show to NOT cut potatoes into chunks because you leave them vulnerable to diseases to easily attack the potatoes. I didn’t have any problems, but if you do, then this might be the solution.

  4. I tried this two years ago and it was great watching it root. Wish I had seen this posting then! Anyway, I tried rooting several ways, in water and right in potting soil. The water worked quicker. After rooting I transplanting the pit in potting soil and keep inside until the weather got warmer, then I sat is outside on the deck. The plant “was” so beautiful, but unfortunately died. What did I do wrong????

    • Hey Donna,

      Thanks for stopping by! Sorry to hear about your tree! I totally agree: They’re so pretty.

      Hmmm, ya know, this is the part of gardening that always gets me. I wish I could tell you what went wrong. :/ Unless it got some kind of pest or mold, the only thing that comes to mind that you might have watered it too much. I know they don’t like to sit in water. That or it didn’t get enough sun. I’ve killed a few in my day–always because I lived in apartments that didn’t get proper light.

      Sigh. Let me know if you get one going again and we’ll keep an eye on it.


    • It may have died because the sun is too harsh for a plant that’s been indoors. You have to ease them outside. Start with a couple hours in the shade in the morning and slowly work until its in the shade all day, then add in partial sun in increments until tis fully aclimated.

    • I had a tree for a couple of years. It was about3 feet tall. Then my cat thought it was a great litter box… it didn’t last very long after that. Maybe a passing animal thought the same thing with your tree.. Just a thought.

    • If you never try anything, how do you learn anything? I have had numerous avocados come up in my vegetable garden because I throw avocado seeds in my compost, so they can’t be that difficult to germinate as they have survived the composting process. Give it a try.

  5. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now, and your post reminded me! I will do this. This weekend. Or tomorrow. Or as soon as I eat that avocado I have! Great pics!

  6. When I was in middle school I did a science fair project on growing avocados and tried many methods. The one I had the most success with (the tree grew to about five feet in our house before we had to plant it in my sisters yard) was growing it in soil in a warm dark place. It was the only tree that really took off, at least in my trials. Granted, it was winter and quite snowy, so my water trials were no doubt affected by the lack of warm sunshine.

  7. I did this as a project when I was a kid. I used one pit and it grew into a lovely tree with very nice fruit. It took about 6 years before we had good fruit, it was many years ago so I can’t remember exactly how long it took. It was a pitty I lost my tree when my parents sold the property! However, it is an asset to any garden if you have the space for it. Many thanks.

    • I hope I can get reply from you, since you have posted this article 5 yrs ago. I am trying to grow avocado from pit. I am doing this under cold season, 16C, and summer will start in September. It has been 2.5 month and 1 out of the 3 jars I have gotten root but no leaves or stem. I have the following questions: is the delay for roots or leaves due to weather? One of the jar is plastic, does this affect Sun light reaching the pit? The jar that yielded root is shorter in length compared to the other two. Does this matter? Do I wait for stem and leaves to come before potting on the pit that has roots? The longer the root is growing the less it has space in the shortest jar, will this be okay or I have to transfer it in a longer jar? Thanks for this article and I hope I hear from you.

  8. Found this article at

    Instructions things you’ll need:

    Sharp knife
    Moist paper towels
    Bowl of ice

    Tips & Warnings:

    You can find special grafting rubber bands at an agricultural supply store in your area. If there isn’t one, an everyday rubber band will do.

    Don’t let the bud sticks or T-cuts dry out during the grafting process. Each graft is best done one at a time, rather than making several T-cuts in the rootstock branches first.

    1 Select budwood from a healthy, productive avocado tree. The best buds are located near the ends of branches that are 1/4 to 1 inch in diameter.
    2 Cut 6-inch lengths of healthy branch tips that each contain several buds with a sharp knife. Take six to eight cuttings, wrap them in damp paper towels and lay them in a bowl of ice to keep them cold and moist.
    3 Make a T-shaped cut on a branch from the rootstock tree, about 12 inches from the trunk. The long part of the T should be about 1 inch long. Make a shorter, crossing cut that goes 1/3 of the way through the branch. Twist the knife slightly to slip the bark away from where the two cuts meet.
    4 Go back to the bud sticks you cut and placed in the bowl. Choose a healthy bud, and cut it from the stick beginning 1/2 inch below the bud and ending 3/4 inch beyond it.
    5 Bring the bud back to the rootstock. Slide the long end of the bud wood into the long part of the T-shaped cut, matching the bud to the horizontal cut in the T.
    6 Wrap the budded graft with a rubber band, securing it above and below, but not actually on the bud. Repeat Steps 3 to 5 in different areas of the tree until you’ve used buds from all the bud sticks.
    7 Remove the rubber bands when the bud unions have healed and buds begin to open, which should be within three to four weeks

    Read more: How to Graft an Avocado Tree to Produce Avocado Fruit |

  9. I’m growing an avocado pit now; it’s still in the water stage but it’s going very well. The root on my plant is about four inches long but a stem hasn’t come out of the top yet. This was helpful as to how to proceed with pruning it and transferring to a pot which I will do later on. Thanks!

  10. great pictures! I am in the process of growing 5 of them right now… It’s only been 2 weeks, but I had a question, how do you know if the pit is rotten and won’t grow?

  11. Hi! I am growing an avocado right now! I have tried probably 15 times in the past and this is the first one that has worked. I moved the pit to soil after the roots started growing, but when I was removing the toothpicks, I accidentally cracked the pit. I thought I may have killed my plant. Once it started producing a stem, though, there were actually 2 stems growing. Is this normal? They are about 4 or 5 inches tall right now. Should I transfer one of these stems to another pot or leave them together for a little while? I feel so clueless…any help would be wonderful!

    • @ Lauren:: Oh neat you have conjoined twins. That would be a nice photo to look at and have in the avacado photo gallery::)))) I think I’d leave them together if it were mine. ~Dee

    • Hi yes I have had success to but it was getting very frustrating. I tried four of the small huss ( I think that is what they are called, total disaster), Then I got a large green one from Guatemala and Whala fine white roots, and then a nice big tree came out and seven pretty leafs on it. Now the fun stuff, then I got to look at the Internet and found your website so know I’m going to try major surgery and lop of the top leafs and plant it out in a large pot, and set it out side hoping we are finished with the cold weather, as l live in Winnipeg Canada, wish me luck as I keep an eye on the weather. Wow did I hit you’re sight at the right time. Thanks Jim.

      • I agree, Jim – the large light green ones (Slimcados) do grow the best! I have 4 plants growing right now, and 3 more pits started in water. Have only had one pit so far that did not sprout. They sit on a table in my living room window and love the sunshine. Not much of a “green thumb”, but these plants do seem to grow well for me.

  12. Hello 🙂
    I never had any success rooting avacados until I tried using an organic pit. I think many conventional fruits and veggies are sprayed to make them not put out roots.

  13. I’ve thrown potatoes that had sprouted into my compost pile and the next year I’ve harvested potatoes! You can buy seed potatoes from garden supply places, then cut them into pieces and plant them too. Right now I have some small potatoes from my compost pile sitting in a paper bag waiting for them to sprout then they’ll go back in the compost pile and next spring I should have potatoes again. I’ve also grown avocado plants since I was a little kid. My aunt had one in a mayonaisse jar of water that was about 6 feet tall!

    • If you have a problem with pests, don’t cut the potatoes before planting. You will have fewer problems planting them whole.

  14. Useful and mostly accurate info. An avocado tree can produce fruit, if it has the right conditions, it’s thriving, and there are multiple trees near each other that are flowering. It just takes at least 3-5 years. I love avocados, though, and I think it’s worth the wait. I am in 8th grade, and currently growing my own avocado trees. I hope my tiny tidbit of info was helpful! 🙂

  15. We had an avocado plant living on water for over a year, a few months ago we put it on dirt, noticed that the pit started to dry out but the tree hasn’t drop any leafs and them remain healthy looking and as big as 81/2 inches!!. I could send you pictures too! cheers!!

      • Hi, My avocado plant is about 2 yrs old. The seed is also drying out (dying). I was THINKING that MAYBE, the seed feeds the plant. Some plants do work that way. The two one-yr-olds’, that I have, seeds are still looking good, right now. Good luck to you & have fun! I am. 🙂

    • i did the same thing then took the skin off and put it directly into the soil 2 months later i have 3 stems growing, i was so excited.

  16. My daughter and I started 3 seedlings and after they sprouted, etc. and she had gone back to school for the fall, they finally got large enough to plant. So, I planted them all in ONE pot hoping to eventually ‘braid’ them like you see ficus trees done sometimes. But, I haven’t really done that, but they are all 3 thriving!! We live in KY so the winters here are probably too hard (most years) to have a tree outside but I am hoping to get my deck covered in about a year and by then, I’m hoping my ‘triple tree’ will be large enough to roll out there for the summer and then back in, in the winter. I am going to try to keep it pruned and hope that the 3 of them will bush out and be a beautiful ‘homegrown’ tree!! I have a terrible green thumb and when she wanted to do this, I just saw another recipe for disaster. But, between that and the Poinsettia that my son’s girlfriend gave me several years ago (and the orchid she gave me last spring!) I have actually now had 3 successes in a row!! Well, the Orchid and Poinsettia made me hopeful for the Avocado!!

    I can post pictures of it too. Just don’t ‘blog’ so I don’t have a site to do that.

    • Hi Mari,
      Maybe I should’ve said, Mari w/the Greenthumb. 🙂 It sounds like you are doing GREAT. You’ve come up with an awesome idea, braiding the three stems together. I’ve always loved those braided plants I see in stores. I would sure like to see yours, if you’d post it later, please. I plant ANY & EVERY seed and ANYTHING rooted I come across. I found three Japanese Maple Tree sprouts, about 1 1/2 inches long, including the root. I’ve had them for about 2 yrs, they’re about 6 inches tall, now. Have fun!

    • I have 4 nice avacodo plants that I started from seeds. They are all in one medium Sized pot.
      The tallest one is 20 inches. My question is……Is it too late to trim the tops so they will be bushier? If it’s ok how much can I trim off? I intend to keep them as house plants(sunporch) My thanks to anyone who can help me.

  17. I’m up in Alaska and am just starting my tree. My friend has a few he’s been growing for the past 4(?) Years and just got his first real fruit. I cannot wait till I get mine. How old are your tree’s? Thanks for putting up this site. Good luck with all of your gardening.

  18. What a great idea! I am raising my 7 year old granddaughter. This would be a great project for us to do together! We had avocados last night for supper and I still have the seeds. We will start today! Will keep you posted on our progress! Thanks!

  19. How to Graft Avocado Trees

    The large seed inside an avocado can be used to graft avocado trees. The small seedling you will use to graft is known as a scion. You can either create scions from avocado seeds or cut them directly from avocado trees. Grafting avocado trees from seeds is most successful during the spring months, and yields trees that produce avocado.

    Step 1
    Place four to eight toothpicks in the avocado seed. Fill a small dish with warm water. Hang the avocado seed in the center of the dish, using the toothpicks as support. Place in a partially-sunny location. Repeat with each avocado seed.

    Step 2
    Empty the water dishes weekly. Allow the avocados to sprout roots and grow seedlings.

    Step 3
    Transfer the seedlings to potting soil when they are approximately 1 foot tall. Allow the seedlings to continue growing until it is a minimum of 2 feet tall.

    Step 4
    Select your strongest seedling to use for your grafting base. This seedling should be the largest and sturdiest one of the seedlings grown from the avocado seed. Cut all the leaves and growth off of this seedling, leaving you with a bare, strong center stem.

    Step 5
    Cut one of the other seedlings at the base with a knife. Make a 45-degree angle-cut at the base of the seedling stem. Cut a small incision in the grafting base branch (from step 4). Insert the scion into the branch joining the two areas that were cut.

    Step 6
    Wrap grafting tape around the two plants to join them. Repeat steps 5 and 6 with up to four scions on one base.

    Step 7
    Water regularly and keep the plant in an indirect light location. Allow the scion to join to the main plant for 3 weeks. Remove the tape.

    Don’t add liquid fertilizer to the water mixture when sprouting the avocado seed. Don’t tape the scion too tightly and stunt the growth.
    Things You’ll Need

    2 to 4 avocado seeds
    Small glass dishes
    Sharp knife
    Potting soil
    Grafting tape

  20. Man, I wish I would have seen this just a few month ago. Our curriculum told us to do this, but didnt tell us how long it would take, so after looking at if NOT changing for about a month, I gave up and threw it away. I just guessed on how to get it started, as I had done it with a potato many times (and I was EXACTLY right on ALL of it). Patience is the key I guess. :/ Thanks for sharing this.

  21. I’m growing three avocados plants right now, and they took about 2 1/2 month to start after I place the seeds in water, I will like to post the pictures here but I don’t know how, I already have one in a pot and is growing very fast, it’s on the window but ill will move it out to the back yard tomorrow. It’s a very fun project to do.

  22. I am so disappointed….I did not read the line about the trees not bearing fruit. What is the point of an avocado tree if it does not bear fruit. I have had great success and have 12 growning now. I do not know if there is any point keeping them after reading this 🙁

    • Don’t be discouraged! Re-read the comments – with that many plants close together several people have had fruit bearing trees… and you can graft – it’s not difficult. As for the benefits of having a plant that may not bear fruit… Remember basic science? Plants help keep the air in your home clean – they also produce fresh and life giving carbon monoxide. Not to mention the best thing yet – there just darn right pretty! And that feeling of success for making something grow “from scratch” – it just feels good ….. And then of course you get bragging rights ….. you have successfully grown a tree – my goodness – you’re giving something back to the environment instead of take, Take, TAKING! Be proud of yourself and enjoy it….. 😉

      • Plants capture Carbon Dioxide, the stuff you exhale (and so called “greenhouse gas”. Then, through photosynthesis, they give off the byproduct, Oxygen. Carbon Monoxide is a toxic byproduct of fuels. “Just sayin”

    • Don’t be discouraged! Re-read the comments – with that many plants close together several people have had fruit bearing trees… and you can graft – it’s not difficult. As for the benefits of having a plant that may not bear fruit… Remember basic science? Plants help keep the air in your home clean – they also produce fresh and life giving carbon monoxide. Not to mention the best thing yet – they’re just “darn right” pretty! And that feeling of success for making something grow “from scratch” – it just feels good ….. And then of course you get bragging rights ….. you have successfully grown a tree – my goodness – you’re giving something back to the environment instead of take, Take, TAKING! Be proud of yourself and enjoy it….. 😉

      • Great idea growing from seeds,altho I don’t think “Carbon Monoxide”is something these plants give off,im sure you meant “Oxygen”

    • CC I have been reading this post, and many times I’ve read that fruit could produce in as little as 3-5 years, but mostly 7 years. It is helpful to have several trees within the same proximity so they will pollinate each other. Avocados are so scrumptious that the wait will be worth it. Good Luck

  23. You can eat sweet potato leaves. The young leaves contain protein and vitamins. I split a sweet potato in half and plant in a hanging basket just for that. I use the leaves in stir fry. Can grow inside all year ’round but will not grow outside until temps reach/stay 65 degrees.
    Hope to help.

  24. I planted mine about 6 weeks ago and it’s got a big white root growing out the bottom that’s about 1.5 inches long. However, it has no leaves. Should I plant it now or keep waiting?

  25. Hi,
    I planted an avocado pitt after seeing one in a Bruce Willis film!! But checked up on line to see what do do after it had sprouted leaves and your site gave all the info I needed.
    So its gone in a pot today in the greenhouse (as I understand they like humidity as well). So wish me luck. I’ll let you know how it’s getting on at the end of the summer

  26. I had a great time doing this project at home. Well I am Puerto Rican and my family that comes over are shocked that I have grown a avocado tree in my home ..they keep saying that u couldnt grow a tree only in warm or hot weather. Guess Wat I’m in Chicago..

  27. I’m going to try this again, the 1st time I didn’t have enough patience. I have a question, does it matter if I use a plastic bowl? I always use glass to grow my Ivy cuttings (& root them). I just don’t know if it matters if you use plastic or if I have to use a glass or ceramic bowl?

    • I’m not sure the bowl makes a difference as much as keeping fresh water in it…it requires oxygen to grow and will use up what’s in the initial water within a few days, depending on the size of the bowl it’s in (less water = less oxygen).

  28. We LOVE guacamole! I serve it quite often and have tried growing a tree for a pit many times
    over the years with varying success. I wanted to share that leaving an avacodo pit in your prepared guacamole will keep the dip from discoloring. It stays nice and green right to the bottom of the bowl.

  29. I used to live in Ventura County, CA where avocados are grown in abundance. As I understand it, avocados will grow just about anywhere as long as you stay on top of it. In Ventura County, there is a lot of moisture coming off the ocean and seeps in as far as Fillmore, CA., where there are many groves of avocados and are very healthy. Those of you who are trying to grow their own, “patience” is the key to anything you grow. I went straight to the dirt process, keeping half of the seed exposed and set it in my windowsill. The trick to this method is keeping the soil slightly moist and then I “tent” it with a zip lock bag over the top of the small pot it’s in. This acts as a humidifier and helps with the process. Once I see the bud of the stem, I’ll take the bag off and let nature do its thing. BE PATIENT!

  30. This is a cool article. We grow all types of seeds in our house, for fun, and the kids love it too. Our home grown Avocado tree is a couple of feet now, using pretty much the method described above. It took 3 months to produce a root though, so patience is required. You can also take the skin off, it helps some seeds to grow if they’re been stubborn. If you want fruit, there’s no need to graft, you just need another flowering avocado plants nearby. Oh and you can grow these plants in the UK as well….. we are!

  31. I’ve grown a few avocado pits over the years; your information is so comprehensive that anyone should be able to do it. Thanks so much. am trying another one. Ann

  32. Over the years I’ve tried this experiment. I now have one five ft avocado tree planted in my back yard and its flourishing. I also have a second pit ready for planting in a pot. Thanks for the tip on pinching back the leaves. Its a scary task since I’m so proud of the little plant but I can understand how it would better the plant.

    As far as producing fruit, I’ve read you need two trees to cross pollinate. With my limited botanical knowledge, I guess we will find out in about 5 or six years!

  33. I have started mine but am extremely confused it has begun to split apart but, there is a white root at bottom and the beginning of a green sprout at top what should I do as this is the third one that I tried and so far succeeding I thank you in advance for all you help

  34. My current avocado is still in the living room (I live in Washington State) and its about 7 feet tall……..I have another sprouting because I did not pinch soon enough so the large one is very crooked.

  35. I have 4 pits sitting in water in my kitchen window right now. All but one has roots coming out of them (one even has 2 roots coming out) but none of them have sprouted on top yet. One pit’s root is starting to get to big for the container and soon will either break or push the pit out of the water. Do I go ahead and plant it in soil without anything being sprouted on top? Please help me figure this out. Thank you so very much!

  36. I put 3 seeds in a pot w soil, heavily watered, all of a sudden 2 months later i have 3 stems growing, i was so excited, i am now gonna transplant them to their own pots. I did not know about the pinching off process, so i will be doing this to. i have a real good green thumb and am excited to watch these grow over the next few years or so. thanks for the info on this site.

  37. I put my seeds right into a pot already on my kitchen table by the window, I have two growing i want to know if i have to take it outside slowly putting it into the sun or can i just place it outside? Do I do direct sunlight or indirect sunlight.. I live in Calif it gets 103 or better in Bakersfield Thank you Barb

    • Afternoon Barb…Yes you have to take them outside gradually. This is called ‘Hardening’ them. It would be like living in a fine Hotel for 5-yrs then you were forced out to camp for a season…Shocking to the system 🙂

      Place them outside in a covered area. Dabbled sun, a stir of a breeze, and mid-morning is best to start them off in. The temp is not to cold or to hot at this time. Don’t leave them out all day in the beginning, 2-4 hours a day is best for the first week. You have to love Spring. By summer time there shouldn’t be any problems.

      Remember to check water often. It’s water schedule inside will be different from it living outside. Depending on your zone (dry heat vs. wet heat…I’m dry, very dry) the humidity given will depend on its thirst.

      I live in No. NV Virtually no humidity with summer days up to 105 degrees and dry air/winds. Shade is not plentiful were I live LOL. So if you don’t have much where you live you will need to be creative (but that is the fun part!)

      Have Fun and I hope all turns out just fine for you.

  38. I have been growing my avocado pit for a while (I live in Minnesota). A couple of weeks ago one of the parts separated and I was happy I will have my tree. A little seedling started shooting up, but now the top of it is brown? I didn’t change anything with it? Is it dead? should I start a new pit or is there still hope?

  39. What I did instead of planting the seed straight to a pot filled with soil, I slowly added a spoonful of dirt to the water it was sitting in. I did this daily for two weeks before putting in a pot and it was my most successful attempt at growing avocado trees!
    Try it! 🙂
    Happy plantings!

  40. I didn’t read all the comments but I DID read your post. My avacodo “tree” started out as a sprout from a pit we threw in our compost. I just took it and threw it in a pot. My fiance kind of laughed at me and said it would never grow. That was in the spring. It is now full summer and it stands about 6-8″ high with SOME leaves. I water it every day, as I read they like “tropical weather” an I live in the desert. I never did anything else special to it. I DID read, however, that it WILL bear fruit, only it will take 15-20 years. I’m hoping my grandchildren might enjoy that some day…who knows. It’s still a beautiful plant!

    • I have been growing Avocados for years. The truth is that most avocados will NEVER bear fruit, those that do will likely not have fruit you will enjoy eating. Typically it is seven to eight years to see fruit, but can be more. You can graft at any time, and it is a relatively simple procedure. Getting wood from a bearing tree that you like might be more difficult. Go to for an exhaustive list of avocado types, quality, etc.

  41. When I was little bitty my planted an avocado pit. I was like 4 or 5. We did get some fruits from it and never had it grafted. Then she forgot it outside and that took care of the plant. I have a few now that are a couple years old and for now they are just pretty but hopefully I’ll get one to fruit.

  42. I’ve grown a few trees without the “water” stage. I’ve simply put the pit in good soil and kept it well lit and well watered!

  43. We had a huge avocado tree when I was a kid but it never bore fruit. My dad had a green thumb and grew a lot of the food we ate. He said that you need a male and female avocado tree to have fruit. Ours was a male.

  44. Seeds provide foor for all plants tosprout and grow. Once they sprout leaves photosyntehsys should take over to convert sunlight energy into sugars and nutrients as long as the plant gets minerals and nutrients and water fromthe soil it is in. Is your lant still just in water or have you transplanted it to soil?

  45. Unfortunately most avocado varieties are hybrids which means that a vast majority of their fruit is sterile. So if you want to do this you need to find an heirloom variety. If you are able to do this, good luck!

  46. I have been growing avacado pits since the late ’70’s. Had a great one that went off to college with me! Some root, some don’t but I always have one I. The window sill. I’ve even just pushed a pit down into the dirt of an existing houseplant and been lucky. Mine are leggy though so I will try the pinching off of the first leaves next time. Thanks for the tips!

  47. I live in Washington State about 50 minutes south of Seattle and we don’t have warm weather until July. I planted my avocado pit in November on Thanksgiving. We had avocados in the salad so I thought I’d try to grow a tree. My avocado pit grew little finger-like things after 3 months and started to split open. I added water every day from my Brita water pitcher to keep the water to the rim of the jar. Whenever the jar started growing algae, I switched to a new clean jar. It took until March for real roots to sprout. The top started to grow a tiny green shoot around May. Now it’s almost August and my tree is about 4.25 inches tall. So, keep in mind, if you live in a cool climate, it will take twice as long for your avocado to grow. I’ve been very patient and it has been worth it. So exciting to see it slowly sprout. In the past month we’ve had weather in the 70s and 80s and on nice days I put my plant outside in direct sun for 3-4 hours, making sure the water is still high in the jar. In the last month it has grown exponentially, from about 1 inch high to 4 inches high! I’m hoping my tree will be 7 inches by September so I can pot it in soil before it’s been an entire year in the water. I grew one of these as a kid with help from my mom so it brings back some memories. :o)

  48. I put a seed in water a year and a half ago and the plant is almost four feet tall. It is doing well I move it indoors in the winter and back out when it gets warm out. It is the first seed I have got to sprout. Just hoping one day it will produce fruit.

  49. It even works in Germany, both ways..put a pit in my garden and next year tree was there..
    took it out, put it in a pot and gave it to a friend. This is now 2 years ago and it still grows at her the pot on the kitchen window shelf.
    I take pit peel of before planting, it helps during splitting time. No fruits so far…..but I guess in warm regions it should work when you put two together, outside…

  50. Hello!
    I have been planting avocado’s as houseplants for years. When I moved back to India I thoght my mom …an avid gardener,with avery green thumb…would love to see one grow. So I germinated a pit. My mother was so excited. She would admire it all the time and show it off to her friends. after a few years I suggeste to her that we should plant it in the ground. Lo and behold the seven year tree began to bear fruit. But we move from the house and had to leave the tree behind. My mother passed away and the tree was forgotten.
    One day I thight to mysrlf let me try it again. and I did eight years ago. Would’nt you know it I have a tree full of beautiful avocados!!!!
    Try it people it works.

  51. I have tried so many times! My 2 current avocados each have one long root, one is 9cm long! but neither has a sprout yet. There have been a couple fruit flies on them, and I kill them as I see them, but I was wondering if the flies somehow killed the sprout and that’s why it isn’t growing? Or do I just need to give them more time? HELP! Thanks!

  52. I recently pulled about 30 avocado treelings from out compost piles. I gave them away to friends and strangers. Apparently they sprout like weeds if you have a compost pile and a mature 60 yr old avocado tree. I have pulled out some and put them into pots. At first they wilt and go into shock a bit, but after several days they perk up and start growing again. I do live in California, so it is probably easier to grow them here.

  53. Esther, I have two avocado seeds sprouting right now and that is exactly how they look! They’re split open but with roots and stems growing inside. As long as you are gentle when you handle them (changing the water, planting them, etc.) they should be fine. 🙂

  54. I started 4 pits in June, but I listened to mom and put them in water wrong side up, I thought it looked wrong at the tome, but you can’t disagree w/ mom… So I was checking out your post to see how long it should take to get results. I’m taking a chance that 1 of the 4 will sprout, I cleaned the jars and flipped em over!

  55. I have 2 saplings about 1-1/2′ and they are leggy (no leaves up the stalk, only about 7 or 8 at the top). Did I understand one post to say, you pinch the top? Does that mean, pinch all the existing leaves off?

  56. My family has one from seed and it is covered in fruit but I am under the impression it is because is gets hot enough on the texas coast and that it will not fruit in cooler climates

  57. I tried growing avocados and I pretty much did what you instructed. I was told that it wouldn’t produce avocados just as you said, but they were wrong! We had beautiful big avocados on our trees in a few years. They tasted just as good as the ones used for seed, maybe even better!
    Living in Hawaii has its benefits!


  58. I was wondering. My seed did not have any leaves, just a very long root. If I still plant it will leaves finally start coming out? thank you. I have enjoyed this info.

  59. The person who waters the plants in our office just told me it can take 13-15 years for avocado plants to bear fruit. However, here in Southern California, one woman who works at my office has had success by throwing the avocado pits down the slope by her house and allowing the process to take place naturally. She’s grown two trees (both of which bear fruit) in this fashion.

  60. I have always kept a planting pot in my kitchen and will bury an avocado pit any time on looks good. I water in any time I water the rest of my house plants. I don’t mark the date I planted them I just am pleasantly surprised when I get a plant sprouting up! This summer I have four in one pot. Time to transplant them. The pot will be too small for all four trees. They are already about 18 inches tall. The problem I have had is the larger of the leaves will get brown spots and get crunchy. I don’t have bugs on them or any other of my plants. I will just snap of the bad ones but I can not seem to figure it out. Any ideas ? I don’t ever expect to get fruit from them but they are nice looking house plants.

  61. i am not good at remembering to water so started my avacado by putting the pit in dirt not buried just about half in then covering it after it was well soaked then put it in the shade this is my first try and now have a 7 inch sapling its kinda cool. still want to know though if it is self pollinating

  62. I have not done this for to many years. I had been given a beautiful deep purple avacado, it was great. The pit is round and when it sprouts I will be really happy…it is a process, yep. It is warm here in the Hawaiian Islands and I should have super results…will let you know later.

    Mahalo Nui Loa, Loke 😉

  63. Of course the planted avocado seed will produce fruit.
    Where do you think avocados come from?
    You need a male and a female tree of the similar specie of avocado. There are a couple different species.
    The flowers from the female plant mature, are pollinated by various garden pollinators (wasps, butterflies, bees, moths) that visit both male and female trees. Sometimes this can be accomplished by the wind, so the male and female trees need to be in close proximation.
    Sounds a lot like high school biology, doesn’t it?

  64. Had an avocado tree that finally started to produce fruit on it and the neighbors stole the avocados! I was so mad and was only able to get 22 avocados from it! They stole like 8 of them! It has been more than 7 years and it finally produced fruit!

  65. if you let an avocado overripe to the point where tan spots appear on the outside, often times the pit has already taken root inside the avocado (Harris Teeter avocados do this better than lower quality grocery store avocados). If you do this, cut the pointy end of the avocado in half like the tutorial says, and remove as best you can, leaving the meat at the bottom (rounded end) of the avocado. Now carefully remove this part keeping in mind there may be roots in there you dont want to rip off

  66. I wish I had found this sooner. I came across how to do the whole process a few months ago and started one. No were on the directions I used did it say the seed would split so I thought it was bad and I threw it out. What a waste… guess now I know.

  67. Many years ago I stuck toothpicks in 1 avocado seed and placed it in a glass. And it took off! So I planted it in a large pot. I didn’t know I was supposed to prune it so it only had one skinny stalk. It was about 3 feet tall with several leaves near the top when a 2 year old neighbor came by and broke it in half. For some reason I remained optimistic that it would grow back even though there weren’t even any leaves-just a brown stick coming out of the dirt. Over a year went by and I still had my stick in the mud (hee-hee) not doing anything. Then one day a new branch began growing from the side of my brown stick, about 1 inch from the top! After several years it had several branches and many leaves-it was absolutely the most gorgeous house plant I had ever had : ) Then an unexpected rare freeze hit. It did what the 2 year old little boy hadn’t managed to do : ( Ever since then (about 36 years ago) I have tried and tried to start a plant from the seed of an avocado with no luck at all!! Hopefully I’ll have some success after reading all this good information!

  68. I live in an apartment, and do not get much sunlight. Does anyone know if the avacado will sprout in artificial light? I just put mine in water today, and was going to leave it under my stove top light.

  69. Thanks so much for this article! My daughter and I just started our first avocado pit and are excited to track its progress in the next few months. Fingers crossed that it roots 🙂

  70. We bought a grafted avocado tree and it grew to be really big but never bore fruit! Maybe one or two is all we got off of it. So we got disgusted and bought some more avocado trees. THEN all three of them bore fruit, and the original tree had so many we had to prop up the branches for fear they would break!! So apparently the cross pollination is a very important part of fruit bearing. The two new trees aren’t even the same kind of avocado as the original tree but that didn’t matter, it just needed company and then it had more fruit on it than we could believe.

    I’m going to try grafting avocado seedlings from our original tree because it has the best fruit of all of them, and we want to be sure to have more trees like it if the old tree ever dies. Thank you for the instructions on the seedlings: it’s very helpful!!

  71. I did everything as instructed except I did not pinch off any leaves. My plant is about seven inches and has nice green leaves. Should I pinch off leaves now or is it too late?

  72. Hi there! I found this post in June and started some pits on my windowsill. I got one to root and sprout but had to toss the other two. I spent the summer adding to them and now I have 2 that are ready to plant and 3 more with roots and a small sprout started!! The original plant has a massive root structure that grew in the water though and I’m wondering if I should bury all of the roots deep, or just coil them up below the pit when I plant it? I was given a small plant earlier this year that was already in dirt but I overwatered it and killed it ;-/ I’m so scared to plant my beautiful trees as I’ve worked so hard to grow them from scratch! Any pointers or hints would be much appreciated!! Also, my largest one is around 10 inches tall and has at least 6 large leaves on it, what leaves (if any at this point) should I pinch off? New growth or the big ones?

  73. So, my boyfriend and I just had a big party and had four avocado pits left over from some tasty guac. I pinned this website a few months ago and gave it a try. Being a broke college kid…I don’t have toothpicks and I don’t have many cups to spare. I did have two ugly margarita glasses a friend’s weird mother gave me, so I used sewing pins (big crafter) and ugly margarita glasses to grow my avocado. I’m waiting ever so patiently for my stem to pop out.

  74. I was cutting back my garden this afternoon and put all the clippings into a compost bin. When I opened the bin, I discovered an avocado tree growing inside. Apparently, I had put an avocado pit in there over the summer (the guacamole was amazing!) and it spouted in the warm moist environment of the bin. My tree had well established roots but had been ‘reaching’ for sunlight and so grew well over 20″ tall. I’ve moved the tree to a pot and will bring it inside as nights get colder. Given the height, should I clip the stem to encourage branching or should I leave the leaves?

  75. What should I do if my pit splits all the way apart? It was already split when it was in the avocado. I put it in water with toothpicks, but I’m not so sure it’ll grow. Help?

  76. I just started my avocado plants this summer, I made guacomole and wondered if I planted the pits anything would happen. Now I have 3 plants!! But what I am wondering now after reading some of the posts is I live in Wisconsin right next to lake Michigan and would I be able to years down the road plant the tree in my yard and not have to worry about the winter?, because I can’t see pulling a ten foot tree out every summer at some point it would have to be too big to do that. Also If you’ve started a plant in the climate your from won’t it adjust somewhat?
    just wondering 🙂

  77. So, unless I missed something in the replies, nobody has mentioned this.

    I used to live in Northern San Diego County, in California. No beach for me, I lived in the foothills of the mountains… exactly where about 1/3 of the nation’s avos come from. Every little two lane highway is surrounded by citrus and avos… and this is what I learned there.

    Plant the avos on the hillsides, where the ground is rockier and drains really well. Plant the citrus on the flat patches of land. They don’t “graft” their avo trees at all. But they do NEED the citrus trees (oranges). That’s how they pollinate. Something about the bees going back and forth between the two is what makes the spark. Beneath the orange trees, for a month every year, you will see millions of white box hives that have been brought in to do the job.

    Don’t know if this really helps. But, if I were going to hope for my avocado tree to bear fruit… I would start with bees that can cross pollinate from something else.

    Good luck!

    Oh by the way… a neat little fact: Avos don’t begin to ripen till they are picked or fall from the tree. A rock-hard one, straight from the tree will ripen to perfection in about 36 hours if left on the counter in a crumpled brown paper sack.

    • So… I was reading more of the replies.
      They cant survive repeated overnight hard freezes. Maybe the occasional frost would be okay. That’s what they get in Cali. When the weather gets crazy there and a freeze is expected, they use smudge pots to keep the groves warm.

  78. I found my advocate pits had already sprouted while they were covered in the compost pile. These may have been there covered through at least one winter in the mid west. They grew to about 18 inches tall while in pots this summer, and now I hope I can keep them alive indoors this winter. Just a nice surprise to find int the compost!!!

  79. I am a beginner, well I planted the pit once before and I was quite proud. It had grown to about 4″. I placed it outside on the patio to get some sun and when I went to check on it (to bring it back inside) I found bits and pieces of the pit that the squirrels had left after their picnic!

    So I started over. I have 2 that I moved from water into its pot. One is doing really well and the other is just a 12″ stem with tiny leaves trying to come on. I think from the suggestions I will trim it back. ?

    I have 2 more pits in the window in their water. One pit has 5 growths coming from it? Will they all become trees and move into one tree? It is such a fun experience and lots of fun to share with others. I really do hope they produce the fruit because we all love the Avocado!

  80. Avocado seeds do not grow because the ones that produce fruit are cut from the fruit producing tree. They are all hybrid as one would say. …and for many, many years all of the haas avocados you’ve had have been from the same mother tree. 🙂

  81. I have never ever been able to get an avocado pit to grow but I thought I would try again and lo and behold, I have two with good roots on the windowsill. The third one has been there a few weeks less. My question is this: after reading this wonderful article, I should be seeing a bud growing out of the tops. Instead I have roots but no tops. Is this normal? Will they eventually sprout up? Help!

  82. If you want your tree to bear fruit you have to prune it back in the late winter or early spring before it’s usual fruiting season in the summer. The first year it flowers it will not bear fruit, only flowers. The following year it will have small fruit, and then normal after that. Other people on the internet say that pruning is bad for one reason or another. From actual experience with truck-loads of avocado from around my house, if you don’t prune, you don’t get much fruit.
    However, I am from Hawaii where every avocado pit that I have ever planted eventually bore fruit. I don’t know about in the rest of the USA. It rarely never gets below 70 degrees in Hawaii, so I am sure that will have something to do with the growth cycle. Avocados do not naturally grow in temperate zones anyway.

  83. Well then don’t grow a Haas avocado from those plantations (california). Get another kind, like those from Florida, Mexico, or local farmer’s market.

  84. I have three small saps… Different age, non of them are growing right. I think. All of the leaves that do grow are very tiny, green but tiny with no new branch growths. Just leaves around the main stem. I live in cen texad even though its nov. Its still very warm and sunny.. I dont know what is wrng with these trees. Is it poor soil or maybe poor water, too much water?

  85. My avocado pit, sitting in water, with the requisite toothpicks, has sprouted a very thick root, but no stem. The last time I started an avocado pit, after a few roots appeared, the stem and two leaves appeared and I dutifully pruned them. But not this time. What do I do?? Thanks!

  86. I threw 4 pits from different kinds of avocados into a pot with my jacaranda tree. One actually popped up within a month or two! I have no idea what kind, though. We also planted 5 different avocado type trees from a nursery in Miami. I’m not sure what kind of cross pollination will occur with differing trees. I just hope some bloom at the same time for cross pollination. We should have avocados from May through February! What will we do during March and April. They were 3 feet tall in July. Now they are 4-5 feet tall already! Even my mystery avocado from random pit!
    I’m now looking for a Florida avocado that turns purple with smooth shiny skin when ripe. Any ideas where to find this avocado either tree or fruit? We are in Martin County Florida and are eager to find this smooth purple avocado.

  87. Sounds like none of you have considered using either hydroponics or aeroponics to cut that grow time down. I haven’t either but I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work. I expect it would simply be a matter of replacing the “plant in soil” step with “use *ponics here”.

  88. I’m going for it! Wish me luck. I’ll get back to you guys in 3 months to let you know how everything is. Can’t wait to see my tree bear fruit so I can make the best guacamole in the land!

  89. I live in Washington DC, and tried to sprout two avocado pits in September. Nothing happened. I gave up in November. Thanks for your column. Now I know why: I had the pits upside down.

    However, it’s now New Year’s Eve. I can’t put the plants outside, and the house I’m in has an open Florida room; the Southern windows face that room, and so get no sun. The jalousies in the Florida room are open, and the temp gets near freezing at night. Can I fool it with indoor lighting? Will it hurt if I put it near a light that’s on 24/7? The South windows in the kitchen are shaded by the roof of the Florida room, and cool enough that when I put a cup of bacon fat in the window, it went from liquid to solid in half an hour.

  90. I grew one last year but I left it out side too long and the temp dropped too low.

    I was really getting attached to it so I’ve been starting other seeds since then. I’ve got about 6 started in water for almost two months and nothing is happening.


  91. Hi! I’ve planted an avocado tree and it’s growing like crazy. Unfortunately I’ve forgotten to pinch of the top leaves, so now I have one tall avocado (about 15 inches). Do you think it’s better to cut it in half or just pinch of the top leaves?

    Thanks! 🙂

  92. I’m getting good at growing my Avocado trees!
    I’ve gotten pits to put down a tap root, but still had many many false starts because of different living situations. BY False start, I mean they died in less then a year of growing due to me moving and trusting others to care for them.. one year a few dried out, another year someone left a door open in winter and they cold shocked to death (were probably to dry to protect themselves anyway).
    But this past year I’ve achieved my best yet! I started the pits about this time last winter, then they spent the spring summer and fall on the south deck. I’d bring them inside for weather below 45 degrees.. Over the winter now, they’ve found a home in a south facing window next to my bed.
    I’m impressed at how well they’re doing! My best one has multiple huge foot long tropical leaves. Sideways, the things got a 2.5 foot wing span! It’s BEAUTIFUL. I really should make a video or post some photos.

  93. I rooted avocado seeds in water before and they grew well but I didn’t plant them. I have another one that I just put into water yesterday. This time I am going to plant it. I have a wonderful south facing sunroom on my house and as soon as it warms up a bit it will be going out there. I will come back and post pictures.

  94. I have an avocado pit that has been in the water for about 2 months. It has a root on it about 4 inches long but there is no stem in sight. What do I do?

  95. Nice neighbours. But if you have any left, consider YOUR donating to a church or an aged care home and show the neighbours what you are made of

  96. I know how to make an avocado tree fruit – I saw it on Gardening Australia and it was a tree grown from seed.
    You make two half circle cuts through the living tissue of the tree bark about one metre (3 feet) from the ground using a pruning knife to stimulate the tree by making it think that it is dying which encourages it to flower and fruit to save its’ life.
    The cuts are to be made one above the other 2mm (1/8th inch) deep, the purpose of which is to impede, but not entirely stop, sap flow. The second cut is made on the other side of the tree about two finger joints below the level of the first cut. That leaves a small amount of tissue through which some sap can flow. It seems like drastic action but it may produce ther required result – he didn’t say definitely. The cuts will heal and seal quickly and not affect the health of the tree.
    Hope this helps people.

  97. Does anyone know how far apart you should plant the trees from one another? I have 4 of them and I’m hoping I can get them to bear fruit by planting them by each other?

    • It depends. If you plan on keeping them pruned fairly short (6 feet or so) then you can plant them about 5-6feet apart. Most varieties can and do get very very large so be sure to consider how much light and air flow each one will get and you should be fine. .

  98. I have two avocado trees growing in pots…started in water….now about a foot and a half to two feet tall. Started in Ma now in Fl. still thriving..also have two pineapple tops about ready to go into a pot.

  99. Hi, I have been growing pit in large see through plastic container. Have done the tooth pick etc. The root is now almost toughing bottom of long container. Nothing popping up from the top side? What should we do??

  100. I’ve grown avocado pits from childhood and still do it as I was taught. I allow the outside skin to dry and separate from the seed for a few days before suspending in water with toothpicks as you described, except I use a tall brown glass or plastic jar (like an instant tea jar). They seem to sprout quicker without the outer skin. At least for me anyway.

  101. I started avocado seeds just as you said to. Toothpicks in the sides in a small bowl of water…………………..patience!!!! They sprouted and I put them in small pots of dirt. One in a regular pot the other in a small clear plastic cup. They grow about an inch a day! It’s amazing and so much fun to watch. I can’t seem to throw away the seeds now when I buy avocados. I feel like I have to grown each one of them!!!! (^: Such a wonderul project. You just need patience when starting them in the water!

  102. I have a 1.8 gallon betta tank on my office desk, and I regularly leave my ivy leaf junctions in the water, as they root super fast due to the nutrients from the fish food/waste. I decided to try the avocado pit. I stabbed the side with an open paperclip, and have it propped half in and half out of the tank water. It’s been 4 days and it’s already splitting. Fingers crossed!

  103. hi i have growing 2 tree from a seed they are 3 ft tall now and have two babys that are 12 in tall i just want to have some fruit on them and need help on how to graft them if you can whan they are babby or when they are big now the 3 ft ones are 3 years old so any body know how to to the grafting and a vido of it i think they are buitfual tree to grow

  104. I have been enjoying growing avacado trees have 12 seeds sitting onthe counter and 5 have roots one is 12″ tall and ready to plant. It is fun. takes along time just to be patient and keep changing the water

  105. Re: Grafting

    The only reason to graft your avocado with piece from a fruit bearing tree is to get true Haas avocados. The grocery store avocados are all from grafted trees that were bred to produce a very large fleshy fruit, so we could all enjoy lots of creamy green flesh without buying lots of avocados. These trees are hybrids of two or more avocado species, so the seed from the fruit doesn’t breed true. When you plant the seed, the tree you get is one parent tree or the other instead of the same variety you ate. These trees should produce fruit just fine after they reach maturity in 5 to 8 years, but the fruit will be smaller, usually harder and with less flesh. If you want your trees to fruit, make sure they get lots if sun, plenty of water (let the soil dry out, then soak it really well and repeat), and fertilize them regularly. When the tree flowers, put it next to another flowering avocado to cross-pollinate and give it a high phosphorus fertilizer to promote good flower and fruit production. Nitrogen will give you lots of good green top growth, but fruit and flowers need other nutrients.

  106. I have been diligently attending to my avocado pit and it has grown quite nicely but has taken so long! I never gave up, however, and today I am planting my budding pit!! So excited to get to this point. It is a lengthy process but so rewarding when you get to this point!

  107. I’m so glad you posted a time frame for the pit to start sprouting! I though I was doing it all wrong and threw out the pits after a week or two of nothing. I’m going to try again and just leave it be. Thank you!

  108. I have a. Avacodo right now suspending but its split and not sprouted . I just learned it takes time to sprout after it has split ty

  109. Great post. Like Cindy I was glad you included a timeline for growth because I was quite worried all my seeds were duds! I’ve been tending to a windowsill full of avocado seeds for the last couple of months and have had a few successful root sproutings so far. Here’s a photo of my latest one (named Fred 1):

    I will definitely be checking back to follow your planting instructions!

  110. Great Site, wonderful pics. I put two pits in water 6 days ago, they already have roots sprouting. Is this unusual? I would like to grow some nice plants. What do I have to do to get them to bear fruit, indoors. I live in an apartment, where the morning sun shines directly in, Thanks

  111. […] Grow an Avocado Tree This experiment requires a little patience. Ok, it requires quite a bit actually, but the results are pretty cool. We’re assuming you have at least one avocado lying around, so whip up some guacamole and save the pit for this awesome little growing experiment. Kids will love watching the seed sprout roots in the water and once it’s potted, they’ll have the start of their very first garden. […]

  112. YEARS ago, Chi-chi’s used to put the pits they used every day in wax paper bags with instructions on how to do this. That was back in the 70’s and 80’s…

  113. I was excited with the idea of growing an avocado plant, so I followed the instructions. I used two pits, each in its own container. However, I did this in February and so far no sign of any change. Actually, the only thing I see is the pits getting “moldy”, with black little spots on them. I feel quite discouraged and thought of tossing the pits away. Should the water be replaced every so often or just added to the existent?

  114. Wow I didnt think this was possible. I love avocado and have a few a week. I will start right away. 3 months is a bit too long though. Has anyone else tried it? How long does it take?

  115. I’m wondering if I should pinch off the flowers that are forming on my avocado house plant. It’s about 3 years old. Do the flowers take away energy from the leaf growing process? Also, I know I need to repot. What’s the best kind of potting soil to use?

  116. I had success with my first avocado pit using the water method. But, I learned that planting it with part of the pointy end not covered by the soil, works faster, so my new pit will start in a pot with my backyard compost as the soil. My original tree was lush and lovely but began to have dark spots on its leaves and then they curled up, turning brown and fell off. I found out that my tree was sufering from a fungus called anthracnose. It’s easy to fix using a garden systemic used to cure diseases in roses like black spot, rust and powdery mildew. I hope my poor sad denuded tree will recover. I like the idea of a lot of sprouts getting friendly and fertile!

  117. Did your plant live? The same thing happened to me. I had a 7 inch tall tree and when I replanted it into a larger pot, half the original pit broke off. Did yours live?

    Does anyone else know if mine will?

  118. I’ve had three avacado pits in water for about a month. One of them had the top split open not long after I put it in water, but has yet to have anything sprout out of it. I just noticed today that another has split on the bottom, but not on the top. Lastly, the third one hasn’t split open anywhere.

    Two questions. 1) Is it normal for them to split open but not sprout? 2) Is it ok to split open on the bottom?

    I’m trying to be patient, but I’m also concerned about the one that split open on the bottom.

  119. Thanks so much for this post! I live in Florida and recently moved into a home on a canal. One day I was on our small dock admiring the water with my 4 yr old and what we thought might be a coconut came floating up to us. Being the curious sort we plucked it out of the water and brought it into the kitchen. Turns out it was the biggest Avacado I have ever seen! Thanks to this site we were able to root the seed. It took about a month but sprouted beautifully. Transplanted the new plant into a large pot and put on our patio. 4 months later we have a leafy tree about 4 feet high! I can’t believe how fast it’s growing and how healthy it is.
    Question though, the main trunk has just split into two branches at the top. Is this normal? I’m not sure when we should move the tree from the patio to its final spot in the yard. Also I’m not sure where to plant because I don’t know how big it will get. Anyone know what kinds of Avacado might come floating up to me in Florida?
    Thanks for the advice. This plant is exceeding all expectations!

  120. The squirrel I feed every day left a half-eaten avocado from my neighbor’s tree lying in the wild half-shaded part of my backyard. I found it there lying on the ground; it had sprouted very quickly. I put it into the ground with just a little dirt around it and put a plastic half-gallon jug over it to protect it during the winter. I watered it by hand occasionally. When spring came, I put it into the ground in my sunny front yard. A year later (it is spring now) it is four feet tall and gorgeous. Its growth rate indicates that it will be at least six feet tall by the end of summer, if not taller. I did not prune it or pinch off the leaves or in any way mess with it other than to put the plastic jug over it and water it infrequently.

  121. I started a few pits a month ago, and only one has rooted, but gone wild. I will try snipping off the top leaves today and plant t. Quite excited to see new life started- and have gotten friends on a “plant our avocado leaves race!”- game… Thanks for your informative info.

  122. When I was a very young child my aunt & cousin grew a 6 ft. tall indoor avocado tree in a mayonnaise jar. I’ve grown small ones every since and right now have two seeds ready to go in water. My last one I gave away to a friend. They are easy to grow and if one doesn’t work it’s not a big deal. Buy another avocado and try again.

  123. Hey there! I currently have 4 avocodo plants growing in the classroom and about 1 ‘ tall. Have trimmed them back and they all appear very health but just one problem. As new leaves grow, the older ones to some degree start to dry out on the edges. Have been snipping them off. The drying part of the leaf, is this normal?


  124. Brilliant post. I started this a couple of weeks ago. What’s happened now with the biggest one is it’s actually splitting COMPLETELY from the bottom. I can see everything starting to come out – roots and leaves and all, they’ve just yet to come to the surface.
    My experience though: the water was rotting extremely quickly, even with frequent changing. Two days ago I had a look at the brown “peel” on the outside of the pit and it was completely loose and decomposing, so I picked off the whole peel – it was rotten in some places and like paper in others – so now I have two white pits with veins all over them and the rotting water problem has completely stopped.
    Excited about getting these planted!

  125. Grafting is only necessary if you have commercial interests in avocados. Grafting helps to maintain consistent size, appearance, texture and quality. It might also speed things up a bit. But for the home grower, it’s not necessary.

  126. Thank you to everyone for all the great info. I have about a dozen seeds sprouting. I read on one site that it was helpful to cut the top and bottom of the seed off to help encourage sprouting, I did this and it works. The seeds I cut sprouted sooner, but I would not cut the top, it does not look that nice. I also had one that got lost in the back of the frig so it was riper, it started to sprout. I am excited to plant my first seed. It is now an inch tall and I needed to know when and how to plant once it had sprouted.

  127. I never got results with the pit-in-water method, but 14 years ago I just plunked an avocado pit in the ground near my front entrance. The tree grew higher than the house (we had to trim it shorter last year as it was blocking all the light from my daughter’s room) and has been giving us lovely, tasty avocados for the past 9-10 years.

    One advantage to living in the subtropics 🙂 .

  128. Do u have to root the avacado pit inside? Can u do it outside too? I live in AZ so it gets pretty hot but my place faces north so I dont much sun coming in my windows.

  129. I did this YEARS ago, but I don’t remember why I don’t have the plant anymore. I’m trying again with ‘John’s’ suggestion of planting the pit right in the soil. Sounds like an easier way to do it, you won’t have to transplant it later. Keeping my fingers crossed.

  130. I planted 3 avocado seeds directly in the soil and they have all sprouted. Unfortunately I am in Canada and will never be able to plant the tree outside and will therefore never have fruit. It was a great experiment though. They are just starting to grow in a pot on the window ceil in my kitchen.

  131. I was looking for easy ideas on growing for my family daycare and I saw this. We tries it and the root is just now coming out of the bottom. The kids I care for are 3-5 years of age and are very interested in the process. Thanks for the idea and instructions

  132. Loved your post so much that I started 4 seeds about 4 weeks ago. One of my seeds has a root about an inch long coming out the bottom, but nothing out of the top. The others seem to be doing nothing. They are all in the same environment. Mason jars, tooth picks, full sun, 60 – 85 degrees for weeks here in South Carolina. Is it normal to have nothing coming out the top? Should I start some more seeds? I and my son have 25 yrs to wait. They will go in the orchard when large enough.

  133. Ok I live in Indiana andI’d like to know if you think an Avacodo tree would survive our winters? I’d love to grow one.

  134. My Avocado has only produced a 4 inch root, no sign of a stem, should I plant this seed this way or just wait for the stem?

  135. Used to do this as a kid… tried recently but hadn’t read this post yet… so it’s in a jar of water with the 4 toothpicks to suspend it but NOT upside down like you mention… as a result it is growing roots from the top, that point down into the water… but no stems. Should I turn it over at this point or will leaves/stems come from the bottom of the seed? If I turn it over now, the roots will be pointing up! I have about 4 roots, ranging from 2″ to about 4″… HELP.

    • Fig,

      This is really interesting that the seed sucked up water from the pointy narrow end and fed the seed so roots sprouted at the side out of the water! I don’t think anyone here has ever tried that, but I doubt the plant will sprout leaves and a stem underwater. I would flip the whole thing over and gently point the roots downward into the water away from the pointed narrower end of the seed, and it should sprout.

      Interested to see some photos of your upside-down pit though!