How to Grow Your Own Avocado Plant from Seeds
Growing up in California, long before they became trendy, I ate avocados regularly. And long before avocado toast was a thing, my friend who was in culinary school introduced us to the simple but angel-chorus-cuing combo of crusty bread, slices of fresh avocado, a squeeze of lemon, and a sprinkle of fleur de sel.
But the avocados of my childhood weren’t just for eating—with my grandmother’s help, and in a way that now reminds me of the good old lemonade adage, we turned our pits into plants. Much like growing your own pineapples at home, you can also grow your own avocado plants. Here’s how to do it, plus how to care for them.
How to Plant an Avocado Seed
Growing an avocado plant indoors is just a matter of coaxing its pit to root and sprout. It won’t bear fruit, but you’ll have a cute little new houseplant for free. Here’s how to get one started.
What You’ll Need:
- Ripe avocado
- Mason jar
- Measuring stick
- 3 toothpicks
1. Wash and dry the pit.
Once you’ve finished eating your avocado, hang onto the pit. Rinse and dry the pit so that it’s free of any residue.
2. Fill a mason jar with water.
Choose a jar that’s large enough to fit the pit. Fill with water nearly to the brim. Next, locate the broad end of the pit. This will be the side that points down into the water.
3. Press three toothpicks around the pit.
Place the toothpicks so about one inch of the avocado pit is submerged in the water. These will suspend the pit from the rim of the jar and help it stay level.
4. Place the jar in a warm, sunny spot.
Be sure to avoid direct sunlight. A window sill is pretty ideal. Your pit should start to sprout roots and a stem in two to six weeks.
5. Replenish water as needed.
If you don’t see any growth by eight weeks, start over with another pit. Once the stem reaches six to seven inches tall, cut it back by half.
6. Plant in soil.
When the roots have grown thick and the stem has leaves again, plant in soil in a pot about ten inches in diameter, leaving half the seed still exposed above the soil.
Avocado Plant Care
Avocado plants are easy to care for, as long as you follow a few tips. Keep your plant happy with these pointers.
Keep your avocado plant in a warm, sunny location.
Avocado plants thrive in sunlight. If indoors, place your plant near a large, south-facing window or sliding glass door.
Water frequently with an occasional deep soak.
Keep your avocado plant moist but not overly saturated. As with most plants, make sure the soil drains well.
Pinch the stem for better growth.
Pinch the stem back every time your plant grows another six inches or so, in order to encourage a bushier appearance.
Try planting your tree outside.
If you live in a warm-enough climate, plant your tree outside once it is big enough. In time (we’re talking many years), it might actually bear fruit.
Want to skip all this and go right to a bigger tree? You can fast forward a couple of years and buy a full-grown avocado plant instead.