Picture of Growing Avocado Plants From Seed

I love avocados and growing things, and found this to be a fun, simple way to grow beautiful-looking plants from the stones (pits) left over from making guacamole or avocado dip. It takes a while for a stone to grow into a tree, but you’ll have a beautiful houseplant pretty quickly.

There are two ways to start out your seeds:

  1. Perched over a cup of water (like the photo demonstrates)
  2. In dirt / soil (which grows faster than the water method)

You'll need:

  • Avocado seeds, rinsed from your last avocado meal
  • Toothpicks and jars for the water method
  • Dirt, gravel, and pots, trays, or garden space

Step 1: The Seed - Water Planting

Picture of The Seed - Water Planting

This particular seed had sprouted inside of the avocado before I had even eaten it. Be careful to not cut any deep gouges when removing the seed. Clean it very well so there are no more bits of avocado flesh left on them (like there happens to be in this photo).

If you are using the toothpick method, stick three toothpicks in the side of the seed about halfway down. You want half of the avocado to be under water. Set it on the rim of a glass or jar and fill it up. The "bottom" is the fat end. Easy enough, right? Refill the water as it evaporates and keep the avocados in a bright window or outside. They will begin to sprout after anywhere from a few days to several months. One of my avocado seeds took three months to sprout, but I've never had one not sprout eventually. When roots begin to fill the glass, transplant the whole deal carefully into a pot.

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rafaeln815 days ago
Should I keep the water of avocado seed warm by give it heat a little from FAN HEATER(CERAMIC FAN HEATER ), when I use the Water Planting method. Because I live in Norway and it is cold for it. please I need an answer.
werdna17 made it!25 days ago

I recently just got into gardening and I find it's a blast! Simple idea, but I like it. Can't wait to see it grow -Andy

mgarvin1 made it!1 month ago
Ready to graduate to a bigger pot!
SteveG114 months ago

I have done this with 4 plants put them straight in to pots and they take off real well but I need to know witch fertilizer to use as one of my plants leaves are not looking to good

thos5556 years ago
I'm not sure if this would work with Avocados, but it might be a neat experiment to try. My friend grows hops for home brewing beer and these have the same "problem" of not yielding anything for a few years. He was able to trick the plants into flowering by putting them in the refridgerator two different times for about two weeks long each time while they were still infants. This fooled the plant into thinking it had experienced two winters and he got a decent yield in his first year.
This works really well. I did this last summer with my second attempt at growing, the fridge tricked the plants and I yielded 3 very meaty fruits from the young plants. Brilliant. This year I'm doing 25 stones and I will do the fridge thing again - happy growing guys
I've heard of forcing blooms this way, but a double-whammy is brilliant!
ngreen1 thos5554 years ago
My dad actually does that with various plants. The last one I remember was the Christmas Cactus. He didn't get the bloom he wanted so he put it in the fridge for about 3 days, then set it outside. In about 4-5 days, little buds began to appear!
AlissaSueK (author)  thos5556 years ago
I'm definitely going to try this out, thanks!
Interesting concept. I don't think if it would work with avocados since they're native to tropical climates and really don't like the cold. Perhaps alternating between full light and 60 - 70% light every 2 weeks or months would achieve the same thing. I'll have to try that with my plants.
That's interesting! I have often wondered how one might go about speeding the maturation cycle of some plants. Have you sampled your friend's product? How is the taste with the locally grown hops vs commercially produced hops beer?
marialanger8 months ago

Skip the toothpicks, just plant the seed. Be patient; it works.

My problem is that my initial branch is about 30 inches tall and although it has leaf buds on top, it hasn't sprouted any leaves. It just keeps getting taller. I'm tempted to pinch off the top, but really would like to see some leaves first.

OldBird5111 months ago

Nice Instructable... I am now just starting to try to grow one... I found a used drinks container and found that the seed would sit in it if you invert the top into the cup.. add water and now waiting ..


i have planted my seed in water for the past four weeks but not sprouted so can i place that seed in dirt!

Taarna Hendrix made it!1 year ago

After a month and a half, our little avocado showed signs of life, and since then it's been growing like mad. This picture was taken 2.5 weeks ago ^^

Thank you for the instructable, we'll probably end up planting more of them


Well, we planted our seed this afternoon and now we play the waiting game :)

I have a concern about the state of my soil. At first i used potting soil i got from my local hardware store, but it remained really soggy and soon developed these nasty mushrooms. I set my pot outside to try and dry the soil out, but the mushrooms still persisted. I just repotted my avocado in some local soil mixed with perilite to aid in drainage, but it turns to this sandy, muddy mush and wont drain very fast when i water it. Should i just keep the sandy stuff i have, or try some more soil from the bag? Any suggestions?
ella8682 years ago
When planted in dirt, does the fat end go up?
Looking at those leaves, the pale yellow against green veins, is that normal? They look nitrogen deficient.
GrooveBass6 years ago
My mom has 3 of these plants in Iowa. Very cool. If anyone knows if you can do this with other fruit seeds, like peaches or mangoes, please message me and let me know. thanks :)
Just ran across this 'ible. I have successfully grown lemon trees and mango trees but I started the mango tree in dirt. Buried the concave side down, (mango), about half of the height of the seed. It sprouted a beautiful bronze set of leaves followed a few days later by another set in a cross or X shape. The leaves later turned green. My lemon seeds were started in moist paper towels in a plastic bag on a window sill till they sprouted. Both the mango tree and the lemon trees have beautiful shiney leaves. I am growing them outside here in the Pacific Northwest which has been having most mornings at about 9c or low 50 degrees f and seldom gets above 16c to 20c or mid to high 60f tho there were a few days in the 70s f. So far they have been doing ok. They make beautiful decoratives but they can be made to bear fruit if grown inside. As an aside, check out youtube for "Bob Duncan: growing lemons in Canada." For peaches, freeze the pits for a month or so, crack the pit slightly and bury it very shallowly in planting medium. Most trees grown in cold winter states need to be froozen for a certain # of hours. Check out that info on a botony web site or maybe on you tube. Good luck.
rich603 years ago
I have done this before a few times, however when they get to around 12 months (or soon after) they always seem to die on me.
I've always started them off in the water first.
You should try cutting off the the first set of leaves that grow.
romaine4 years ago
It is really nice to encounter this here. I have a avocado tree (grown from seed) that's about 13 years old and has moved house with us 4 times now.
The tub it is getting now is the biggest ever, I hardly can lift it by myself.
The tree is about 2,5 meters high and has a perimeter at breast height of some 30 cm.
Thanks for the instructable.
Does it fruit??
neetz3 years ago
haha! love this! i did this before and it grew a lot, until it fell of my shelf and the stem broke!
astraley3 years ago
My sister in law makes guacamole fairly often and i got a seed from her so now i will try this and see if it works. Thanks for sharing this instructable!
I just started my first pits today! I put two in the kitchen window. Here's hoping for some sprouting soon!
I'm still waiting for mine to sprout! Day 9 and no sign of life yet.
sunevesor3 years ago
how do you prune the top?
I tried germinating 2 avocado seeds a few months back.. failed. :( Guess i'll need to try my luck again.
Fanny Fink4 years ago
I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw your tips on the home page of instructables because I have been just given an avacado seed from my mother. It is a good surprise. (Absolute serendipity actually!) But we already planted it under the ground in a pot. (Fat side is at the bottom. But the top of the seed is also under the ground a bit.) shall I take it from there and put in a water filled jar?
thanx in advance
 To water my avocado plant, I simply take a plastic bottle, fill it with water and stick it with the opening down in the soil. That way the plants gets water and you don't have to think about watering it all the time. Just fill the bottle when emty. Works great for me, my plant has just past 1 meter:)
Thanks so much for this tip. I want to try growing one again.
That's a good idea
This is something that has been tricky for me. With several failures. The avacado usually rots via the water method. One time I found one that had some rootlets and a bud inside a ripe avacado, and I tried saving that but it also began to turn brown the very next day. Others tell me how easy to grow, so I know I must be doing something wrong, but learned sometimes you can't give up.
Totysheep4 years ago
Uhm, Avocados turn into huge tree's. I don't think you'll be able to get fruit unless you bought a dwarf tree or something from a grower. But it's always nice to have a tree around the house I guess.
Mekasia5 years ago
I have started several avocado pits with the "zip-loc" method. Clean the pit, fold it in a paper towel, lightly dampen the towel, place it in a zip-loc bag, seal it, and place it in a window sill. Check it every few days, and orient it properly when the sprout appears. Usually in less than 2 weeks you have a 3+ inch plant that is ready for potting. I generally have plants over 3 feet tall in about 6 months like this.
joeymmeezz5 years ago
 kool thanks
purpleman5 years ago
 I grew one about two and a half feet tall in a year.  I recently read though that you must graft to get any fruit, and even then it takes seven years to bear any fruit.  Either way I think they look cool.
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