Growing Avocado From The Seed
There is a popular internet myth that you can soak your avocado seeds in water to make them grow. Does it work? What is the best way to grow an avocado seed into a tree?
Soaking an avocado pit in water isn’t the best way to germinate your seed and produce fruit. Growing your avocado pit as an indoor plant will help produce fruit in a shorter time frame. You can also wrap your seed in a damp paper towel and leave it in a dark place to germinate.
Below we will look at the best way to start and grow your avocado tree.
Published: November 15, 2022.
Growing Avocado in Water
There are a few myths that are associated with growing an avocado seed in water.
We will examine the top myths to find out the flaws before we look at the best way to grow an avocado tree.
Suspend the seed in water
The first myth is that avocado pits suspended in water will sprout and grow into a tree. This is not true. It doesn't matter if you use the toothpick method or some kind of growing aid to suspend your avocado seed in water most of the time, it does not sprout and grow into a tree.
Some may find they do get their avocado seed to sprout, but this is the exception to the myth, not the proof that it works. There are much better ways to get your seed to germinate and grow into a tree.
Avocado Trees From Pits Will Produce Fruit
This myth is only partially false. Some have had success in growing an avocado seed that will bear fruit.
The downside is that this process could take as little as five years or as long as twenty. If your plant does bear fruit, it will not be the same quality and taste as your original avocado.
To grow a high-quality avocado plant, you will need to perform a grafted transplant. This will give you the variety of avocado you want in as little as 2 to 3 years.
Leaving the Pit In Water
The myth that you can leave the pit in water to grow its entire life is false for most at-home gardeners. If it can sprout and begin growing in only water, it will eventually become too large to fit in the container it started growing in.
All avocados will eventually mature into a tree.
If you wait until the plant becomes too large for its container, it will be at a disadvantage. It will take time for the plant to adjust to the new growth medium, and it can cause some of its growth to die off as it adjusts. It would be best to move your sprouting seed earlier before it grows too large.
This is not to say an avocado can not spend its entire lifespan in a hydroponic system. Unless you have prior experience in this type of growing system and have a setup that is capable of supporting the growing avocado plant, it will be an unnecessary hassle to accomplish in an at-home setting.
The frequent water changes and plants' growth and size over the years will make this an unfeasible option when compared to a traditional planting of the avocado.
Growing an Avocado as an Indoor Plant
If you are just looking to grow an avocado as a houseplant, we will look at two methods below to get your avocado seed to sprout and grow into a tree.
In the potted method, you will prepare your avocado seed and plant it in a medium size pot with soil to encourage it to sprout and grow. This method can be slow and can take months before your seed will sprout.
You will need to start with 2-3 avocados. You will need to collect the pits from the avocados. Be careful not to knick or damage the seed in any way. Any cuts can allow pathogens into the seed and promote disease before it can grow.
You will need to wash your pits thoroughly to remove any contaminants from them. You will then need to prepare your medium size pots by filling them approximately ⅔ of the way full.
You will then push the flatter wide part of the pit into the soil while leaving the top uncovered. If there is too much seed exposed, you can add more soil to ensure the bottom half is completely covered.
You will need to ensure the soil stays moist and will allow the roots to grow. After it begins to grow, a stem and a set of leaves will emerge from the top of the pit. It could take a month or two before you see any growth from your planted avocado pit.
Germinating your Avocado Pit
You can also attempt to germinate your pit before you plant it in the soil to grow. We will cover some of the basic steps necessary to germinate your avocado pit.
After you have removed your undamaged avocado pit, you will need to wrap it in tissue paper or a paper towel. You will need to wet the paper towel making sure it's damp but not soaking.
Next, place your pit wrapped in the paper towel in a ziplock bag or airtight container and store it in a dark place, such as a kitchen cabinet.
You will need to check on the avocado pit every day to see if it begins sprouting. Check to ensure the paper towel does not become dry. You will need to add water if necessary to keep it moist.
After your pit does sprout, allow it to grow three inches long before removing it from the paper towel and planting it in a medium size pot with potting soil. Be careful not to damage the roots and leave the top of the pit uncovered.
You may encounter issues when trying to get your avocado pit to grow. If they do not show any signs of growth after 3 months, they will most likely not germinate and grow. You will have to start the process over with a new avocado pit.
If your avocado pit becomes covered in a white slimy film, you will need to wash the avocado pit and clean the container with soapy water before continuing to attempt to get it to germinate.
If your avocado begins to smell like vinegar at any time, it is a sign that it has died. It has become infected by pathogens, and it has begun to rot. You will need to discard it and begin the process over again.
Caring for Your Avocado Tree
Once you do get your avocado plant to grow, they are relatively easy to take care of.
Avocado plants will need to be pruned twice a year. They will grow tall with no shoots if you do not prune them regularly.
If you want a bushier avocado plant, you will need to remove a few leaves every time your plant grows 6-8 inches. Doing this will encourage more shoots to grow and give them a fuller bushier look.
If you want to maintain your avocado plant at a certain height, you will need to cut it down at the main stem. This will limit its growth and give it a short compact look.
If you like the natural look of the tall and bare avocado tree, just prune it yearly and allow it to grow. You can remove any damaged or dead leaves, but try to keep at least three of its shoots growing and active at any time.
Avocado plants need plenty of indirect sunlight. If the leaves of your plant turn red, that is a sign that it is getting too much sun. You should move the plant to a shaded area to allow the leaves to return to their original color.
You should water your avocado plant regularly and keep the soil moist. Overwatering your plant can cause the roots to rot. Giving your plant an ample amount of water every other day should ensure it gets the proper amount of water without becoming too soggy.
Soaking your avocado pits in water to obtain a fruit-bearing tree can turn into a fruitless effort. It is not a proven method to get your seeds to sprout and begin to grow.
It will take at least five years before your plant can produce fruit, and it may not be the quality of avocados in the grocery store.
Planting your avocado pit and allowing it to grow in a pot with soil is the preferred method for starting an avocado plant at home. This method can take over a month for your seed to sprout.
Alternatively, you can attempt to get your avocado pit to germinate and grow before planting it in a pot with soil.
If you wish to have a fruit-bearing tree, you will need to perform a grafted transport to grow your avocado tree.