How to Plant Avocado Seeds


The avocado, also known as the alligator pear or butter pear, is an easy tropical fruit to grow. Avocado trees take time to grow and produce fruit, and the key is to germinate the pit in water before planting it. According to, after planting the tree takes at least seven years to produce edible fruit. To speed up the process, buy a young tree from a nursery. To grow well, avocado trees need lots of sunlight.

Things You'll Need

  • 20-oz. jar
  • Toothpicks
  • Gallon-size pot
  • Soil
  • Vermiculite
  • River sand
  • Compost or fertilizer
  • Put several toothpicks in the upper part of the pit, which is the avocado's seed. Germinating the seed in water will greatly increase the chances of growing a tree. The pit can be planted in the ground, but it may not germinate as well.

  • Fill the jar with water and set it in a sunny area. Place the avocado pit on top of the jar with the bottom of the pit in the water. Keep the pit like this for three to six months until roots sprout, adding water when needed. Let the roots grow about 2 inches before transferring into soil. If the roots sit too long in water, they become weak and won't grow properly.

  • Plant the pit in one-third compost, one-third vermiculite and one-third river sand in a pot. Bury just the roots and the bottom part of the pit in the soil. Water and put the pot in an area that receives at least six hours of sunlight a day. Bring the plant inside during the winter.

  • Transplant the tree when it reaches 2 or 3 feet if you live in USDA hardiness zones 9 to 11. Dig a large, deep hole deeper and wider than the pot the tree is in. Place the tree in the hole and add the soil from the pot, then fill the hole in with soil and compost. Water deeply and slowly so that the water goes deep into the soil. Fertilize once a year with compost or with 1 to 2 tsp. of balanced fertilizer. Water your tree only when the surface soil has dried out.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are planning to move, transplant the tree into a larger pot instead of putting in the ground. Avocados grow best in USDA hardiness zone 9-11.
  • According to, an avocado tree grown from seed will be very different from its parent variety. Fruit from a tree grown from seed tends to have different flavor characteristics than its parent variety, which is why most avocado growers graft their varieties, rather than grow them from seed.

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