How to Grow an Avocado Tree

After a long winter, the season of sunbathing, flowers blooming, and avocado seeds germinating is finally here. Avocados are summer fruits that are full of flavor and rich in beneficial nutrients. Now is the best time of the year to grow an avocado tree!

There are several ways to grow an avocado tree out of a pit. They include:

  • Toothpick method
  • Soil/Compost method
  • Wet towel method
  • AvoSeedo method

The key to successful germination, though, comes from first knowing what steps will lead you there. Read below to learn how the transformation of your avocado seed to an avocado tree will work.

1. Grow An Avocado Tree With the Toothpick Method

Step 1: Remove and Clean the Seed

Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. Rinse the pit with cool water and blot it dry with a paper towel. You can carefully peel the pit for faster germination.

Step 2: Insert the Toothpicks

Before placing the toothpicks into the seed, you’ll want to locate the “top” and bottom” of the seed. The top, or more pointed area, is where your seed will sprout. The bottom, or more flat area, is where the roots will grow from. Gently but firmly, push three to four toothpicks into the thickest width of avocado until you feel they are stable.

Step 3: Position Your Seed Over a Cup of Water

Carefully pour water into the cup, but just enough so that only half the seed will be submerged. Place the seed over a cup of water narrow, enough to hold the toothpicks in place. Only the bottom half of the seed should be touching the water. Adjust the water levels as needed.

Step 4: Let Your Seed Receive Sunshine

Place the cup in a window where it will receive plenty of sunshine, then let photosynthesis take its course! To prevent any mold from forming, be sure to change your water every week or so. Keep in mind that it’ll take about three to eight weeks before you can expect to see any sprouting. Patience during this period is key! Roots will begin to grow at the base and a stem sprout will emerge from the top. Soon you will grow an avocado tree!

Step 5: Plant Your Seed

Once a sprout appears and reaches 6 inches, then you’re ready to transfer it to a pot full of soil or put it directly into the earth. Don’t forget to gently remove the toothpicks before you do this! Read about what not to do when growing an avocado tree in a pot.

Avocado trees do well with soil that is low salinity and has plenty of drainages. A 50/50 blend of topsoil and coir works well for these trees. You won’t need to fertilize the soil until you’ve had your tree for a year. When that time arrives, use a 10-10-10 fertilizer, twice a year, for the tree’s benefit.

If you decide you want to grow an avocado tree in the ground, make sure you live somewhere the temperature never drops below 50 º F. Otherwise, keep it in a pot so that you can move your tree inside when the temperatures get cold.

Step 6: Care For Your Tree

Water your avocado tree enough so that the soil is always moist, but not saturated. Once your plant has reached 12 inches, you can pinch off the top two sets of leaves. Doing this will make the plant grow shoots from the side which will aid in even more leaves. You can repeat this for every 6 inches of growth.

Advantages and Disadvantages:

+ It is cheap.

+ You don’t need any fancy equipment.

– The toothpicks pose a health hazard as they can be ingested by toddlers.

– If you forget to refill water, the pit will dry out and die.

– It is not easy for kids to insert the toothpicks.

2. Grow An Avocado Tree With the Soil/Compost method

After removing and cleaning the pit, fill a plant pot with soil or compost and gently press your avocado seed in, until it is about halfway covered, then water until moist. Check the soil every few days to see if it needs more water. After two to eight weeks, a sprout will come out and a thick little root will be pushing down into the soil. You can put your avocado tree outside if the weather is suitable.

Advantages and Disadvantages:

+ It is cheap.

+ Don’t need any fancy equipment.

– Have to carefully check the water level, as the pit can dry out or get moldy.

– You don’t see how the roots develop.

3. Grown An Avocado Tree With the Wet towel method

Wrap a cleaned avocado pit in a damp paper towel. Place it in a dish and cover it. Place the dish in a dark area for three to eight weeks.

Observe your pit from time to time to check for germination. Also, change the paper towel from time to time and make sure it is always damp. When the roots are about three inches long, the pit is ready for planting.

Advantages and Disadvantages:

+ It is cheap.

+ You don’t need any fancy equipment.

– You can’t observe the germination of the pit.

– Often the pit starts to get moldy and dies.

– You may forget about your pit.

4. Grow An Avocado Tree With the AvoSeedo Method

The AvoSeedo is the best method to grow an avocado tree out of a pit. AvoSeedo is a small boat made of plastic that has an indentation with a hole in it. It builds on the idea behind the toothpick method.

How do I use AvoSeedo?

After cleaning the pit, insert it with the wide part facing down. Place the AvoSeedo in a large bucket filled with water. Because of its high displacement and low weight, AvoSeedo will always remain at the water’s surface; AvoSeedo will lower as the water level lowers. See how it works here.

After 3 to 8 weeks the pit will start to germinate. Like with the toothpick method, the sprouted seed can be transported to a larger, permanent container as soon as the little tree has a few leaves.

Advantages and Disadvantages:

+ You can drastically reduce watering intervals with no risk.

+ Damage to the pit is eliminated because you do not have to puncture it.

+ It is easy to use.

+ Its nice design mimics an avocado.

+ You can watch every step of the germination.

– The AvoSeedo may not fit in every jar.

– The AvoSeedo isn’t free but will last for many years as it is made from durable plastic.

And there you have it! You’re on your way to having your own avocado tree! Keep in mind that this is a long term commitment! It can be between 3 and 15 years before you’ll see any avocado fruit on your tree. What does help is having several trees growing together as this aids in pollination. There is also no guarantee that your efforts will grow an avocado tree that produces any avocados. What is nearly guaranteed, though, is that your efforts can offer you a sense of accomplishment and a new experience!