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Growing an avocado tree from seed

grow avocado from seed

Although growing avocado tree in the ground is only possible in tropical regions or in the Mediterranean area, it is easy to sprout an avocado from seed and grow it indoors.

You’ll need time before harvesting your first avocados, but the growing of this tropical tree is a joy in itself, at the same time simple and comforting. The one featured at the bottom of the page is already three years old!

Growing an avocado tree at home

Starting the avocado from seed

Let’s see how to plant the seed :

  • Avocado pit, cleaned and pointed tip up, set up over a water-filled saucer with three toothpicks.Choose one or more nice avocado pits, sizeable and that escaped unscathed from the knife opening the fruit.
  • Clean it without damaging it, with running water and remove any flesh that might still be stuck to it.
  • Dunk it in warm water, between 95 and 105°F (35 to 40°C) for a short half-hour.
  • Dry it in the sun for several hours or in a dry and ventilated place.
  • Pierce the pit with 3 matches or toothpicks around the circumference.
  • Place the toothpicks around the “equator” of the pit so that the pointed tip can face up, and the round bottom part will be immersed in water.
  • Place atop a bowl or glass so that it doesn’t touch its sides.
  • Change the water on a regular basis, usually every 2-3 days.

This is when patience may be required.

Patiently starting to grow

Avocado seed sproutingDepending on the season, it may take from a couple weeks up to several months for the seed to start sprouting! The two to the right are five months apart, with the seed “prepared” in cold, dark February.

  • After a couple weeks, the roots will have reached ½ inch (1 to 2 cm).
  • That is when you can plant the seed in a pot with soil mix and regularly water because the soil must stay moist at the beginning.

Note that in many cases, young avocado leaves have a copper-reddish hue. This stays true as the tree gets older. It’s similar to Photinia in that respect, but the effect isn’t as strong. It also depends on the avocado variety.

Avocado seed sprouted in a potAnother technique is to simply plant the seed directly in moist soil mix.

You must then water regularly in order for the soil mix to stay moist until first leaves appear.

Even though it is a bit quicker to set up, the outcome is sometimes not guaranteed.

But go ahead and try, it might work! It’s quite common to find avocado seeds sprouting out of the compost area in the garden.

Caring for avocado in a pot

Grown avocado treeAvocado in the wild or outdoors will grow into a large tree. When in a pot, it still does fine, but you have to give it lots of fertilizer and monitor watering.


Take care to ensure regularity in the watering, but without drenching the plant.

This is especially at the beginning when the avocado tree is most vulnerable.

The older the tree, the less water it will need.

Exposure for your avocado tree

It needs as much light as can be and will savor the summer sun. You can bring it out after any risk of freezing has disappeared (between May and September).

Indoors, always place it near a window. If facing full sun or if in a warm lean-in, make sure to water often so leaves don’t dry out.

How to prune an avocado tree

No pruning is required at the beginning because it would delay the first bearing of fruits. However, if you haven’t much space, go ahead and snip the tips every time a branch grows 8-12 inches long (20-30 cm). This will make the tree easier to keep in a pot, while.

After a while, only maintenance pruning to clear away dead wood and suckers is relevant.

Harvesting the avocados

The first avocado harvest will take place around 7 to 10 years later.

Meanwhile, its magnificent evergreen leafage make it a magnificent indoor plant.

  • Note: to increase future avocado harvests, it’s best to grow two different avocado varieties together. Purchase your avocados from different locations or brands to ensure you have different varieties before starting!
  • This is due to the benefits of cross-pollination

Smart tip about avocados

Try growing avocado trees with your children, it is fun and very easy.

If you have several pits at once, your chances of success increase dramatically!

Images: adobestock: Лариса Ильина; own work: Rosalyn & Gaspard Lorthiois; Pixabay: Monika Baechler
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