How to Start an Avocado Plant from Seeds


Avocado trees where first discovered in South America and used as a Mayan food source. European explorers used avocado fruit as a butter replacement. Eventually, avocados migrated to the United States in the 1800s. Today, most avocados in the United States are grown in California or Florida. Avocado trees are grown as houseplants in climates that are not favorable for outside growth. New avocado plants are started from seeds every two to three years since the old avocado plants are usually tossed out when they grow too large.

Things You'll Need

  • Avocado
  • Water
  • Wooden toothpicks
  • Small glass
  • Container
  • Potting soil
  • Remove the seed from the avocado fruit. Wash the pit in lukewarm water to remove any residue.

  • Insert three to four wooden toothpicks in the seed halfway down the sides. The pointed end is the top and the broad end is the bottom.

  • Place the seed in a small glass filled with water with the bottom in the water and the toothpicks resting on the glass rim.

  • Place the glass in a sunny window with bright light. Add water to the glass as needed to keep the lower portion of the seed in the water. In a few weeks, small roots will appear growing in the water. Tiny leaves will soon develop growing from the top.

  • Remove the toothpicks from the seed when the roots are 2- to 3-inches long and the main stem is growing from the top. Plant the seed in a 6- to 8-inch container filled with potting soil. Place in an area with bright, indirect light and keep the soil moist.

Tips & Warnings

  • Feed the avocado plant every three months with 10-10-10 fertilizer. Transplant whenever the avocado plant outgrows its current planter.
  • Toss out the avocado seed if it fails to sprout within two to three months. The seed has failed to germinate and you will need to try another one.

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  • Photo Credit avocado image by Sergey Goruppa from avocado image by Alex Karmanov from
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