Grow an Avocado Tree




About: Travelling since 2013. I'm currently in Australia for some reason. --- I’m Calvin Drews, and I love to learn, experiment, invent, create, repair, and generally just do things myself. A sort of modern jack o...

I think plants are pretty cool... so I decided to share my love of plants by submitting an Instructable on growing your very own avocado tree. This is a pretty simple process, but if you have any questions please ask me.

I do not have any photos right now of the finished tree because I cannot travel through time. I will submit sideshow on the growing tree when it starts growing.

What you need:
Styrofoam cup
4 toothpicks
A spoon
Something that will cut a Styrofoam cup
...and water .-

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Step 1: Find a Seed

Avocados are potato sized greenish-black fruits (I think they are fruits). The best time to harvest a seed from an avocado is when it is ripe. If the color is Purple, green or purple-green, it is not ripe. If it is greenish-black in color it is ripe and you can harvest a seed from it.

To harvest the seed, simply cut the avocado in half ( widthwise or lengthwise,it does not matter) and GENTLY scoop out the seed (with a spoon, dork). Be sure not to severely lacerate the seed in the process of cutting the avocado in half.

Step 2: Tooth Picks

Insert your toothpicks in four main directions around the middle of the seed. The toothpicks should not go inside the seed any further that 3mm.

It should look like this:

Step 3: Containment

Now take your Styrofoam "Joe" cup and cut out a little bowl about 1.5 to 2 inches from the bottom.

It's difficult to explain so... Do it like this.

Step 4: Very Important!

This is very important! Make sure you put your avocado seed bottom first in the cup! If you do not put it in this way it will not grow. The bottom of the seed has a sort of circle-stem thing on it.

The tooth picks act as a stand to keep the avocado from touching the bottom of the container we just made.

Step 5: All Done

Put you seed in a place where it does not get to cold and has lots of light. Now you can fill the container with water. The water level should always stay right up to the tooth picks so you should check on it often and top off the water when evaporation lowers the level.

Completely change the water every week or so -- Bacteria and fungi will either kill the seed or stop its growth.

Well I can't say "have fun" because this is very boring, watching a plant grow is not 'hi-speed action'.

Oh, when it grows roots and a few leaves, you can plant it in a Terracotta pot with potting soil.



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68 Discussions


Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

No, those are vegetables. I think plants that produce flowers are fruits. The exception is for plants which self-pollinate (i.e: have male and female flowers). Wait... Watermelons are vegetables? Guesses are bad...


Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

All plants and parts thereof that you can eat are vegetables (I'm pretty sure that "poisonous vegetable" is an contradiction). Fruits are the parts of plants that contain the seeds. Therefore, all fruits are vegetables, but not all vegetables are fruits. Pumpkins, tomatoes, eggplants, etc. are all fruits. We are conditioned to think only of sweet things as fruits, like apples and oranges, but those are only one kind of fruit.

The fruit provides nutrients to the seed(s) inside, much like the white of an egg does for the yolk if it has been fertilized. That's why many of them are sweet: sweet = sugars = energy for the seed.

Someone might argue that "seedless fruit" is an oxymoron, and that therefore, things like bananas and seedless grapes are no longer fruits. These ARE fruits, but we have interfered with their development so that we only get the yummy edible part and not the not-so-edible seed that the yummy part was intended for!


Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

The avocado is classed as a nut. It contains proteins and fats, unlike most fruit and vegetables.


7 years ago on Step 5

Here's something that I think should be mentioned to those interested in growing avocado plants : if you're a pet owner, DO NOT grow avocado plants indoors, or where your pet can get to them. Personally, my cats have a UNDYING habit of chewing on any living foliage they can get their teeth on. Avocado leaves are VERY POISONOUS to cats and dogs. If you're not cautious, you could find yourself with a very hefty vet bill as a result -- or worse, a dead pet. Nobody wants that.

Just looking out for all the animal lovers who happen to also be plant lovers :]

Fred da Bunny

9 years ago on Step 1

lol u sound like a CSI with the word lacerate in there.


11 years ago on Step 5

Which way do you plant it? Is the thing growing out the bottom of it a root or a stem?

3 replies

Reply 9 years ago on Step 5

Where the bottom of your plant is in the cup (if you follow this growing technique) are the roots, and what sprouts from the "pointier" end should be the leaves.


Reply 10 years ago on Step 5

Thanks for the link! Great info there. You can also do like I did to prevent water-logged roots. I start many of my plants in 12 oz. plastic cups with several small holes punched in the bottom. A good mixture of potting soil with lots of vermiculite or shredded packing peanuts help keep the starter soil well aerated, then I place the plastic cup inside a yogurt or other small plastic container to catch the drained water. This way after your plants get started and leaves and roots are well established you can just pop it out of your plastic cup and transfer to a bigger pot with well-drained, rich soil. The peanuts or vermiculite help the roots grow so they are not crowded or bound up. Thanks again!


Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

i used to grow dwarf bananas... they are fun and easy to care for. i used to grow them in big pots inside my house in front of south facing windows and would take them out in summer. you want to have several going so to create a protected center. the thing to remember is that baby shoots need shade and will burn in direct sun. if you consider their native habitat, the older shoots cover the young ones and protect them from the sun. cheers, wl