How Long Does It Take An Avocado Seed To Sprout (Usual Duration)
Avocado seeds sprout in about eight weeks. But the tree takes decades to mature and produce any fruit.
Avocados are one of the best summer fruits. Belonging to the Lauraceae flowering plant family, the Avocado is fondly called the alligator pear or the butter fruit. You can find dozens of Avocado varieties that differ in texture, shape, size, and color.
They have a high nutritional value and calories because of their high fat content. Growing Avocado plants from pits is both a educational and a fun activity.
If you think it takes too long to grow avocado from seeds, you are right! Let us tell you how long does it take an Avocado seed to sprout? Typically, seeds take about two to six weeks to germinate and another 2 weeks to sprout.
Following this, the plant takes a decade or a decade and a half to grow fruit, provided the conditions are favorable. However, the Avocados might not be the same quality as the parent plant. The plant’s success rate and seed germination time are often variable.
The plant thrives in USDA hardiness zones ten through 10, and you can grow it indoors and outdoors. If you reside in colder regions, you can plant Avocados as a houseplant, but they may not bear fruits.
How Long Does It Take Avocado Seed To Sprout?
Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to grow Avocados from seeds. The seeds take around eight weeks to sprout. By the sixth week, germination is done followed by sprouting.
So, instead of throwing your pit in the trash, consider using it to grow an Avocado plant. It is a fun activity, but this method will not yield fruits as there is no pollination. However, you will get an attractive and interesting houseplant.
What should you do?
Take a ripe Avocado from the store. You can pick any avocado variety you like. Cut it, ensuring you do not split the pit with the knife. Take out the seed from the fruit, wash it with water, and let it dry for two to three days.
You can start the avocado seeds in a glass full of water or loose soil mix. Both methods work well, but the sprouting time also varies with where you put your seed to germinate. The process is faster in the soil method.
Moreover, it is easier to transplant them too. Let us address the two procedures in brief and detail their germination time.
a) Growing Avocado Seeds In Water
- Take three toothpicks and insert them on the different corners around the seed surrounding the center. Ensure that each toothpick is equidistant and about ½-inch deep. The seed’s pointed end should face upwards, and the flatter portion should be positioned downwards.
- Take a glass of water and fill it with room-temperature water up to the brim.
- Insert the seed into this water, ensuring that the toothpicks rest on the glass’s brim. Hence, the seed’s flat end will remain immersed in the water, and the pointy end will be outwards to keep it dry.
- Take this glass and put it in a warm location where it receives indirect light.
- Regularly change the water in the suspended container. At all times, the seed’s bottom half should sit in the water.
- In approximately four to six weeks, the seeds will have roots and sprout in another two weeks. Roots are the first to emerge from the pit and will show at the flat end in only a few weeks. Following this, a sprout or a stem shows. Watch out for the signs of a small shoot at the pointed end. It is where the leaves will grow and develop.
- When the leaves show, you can pinch them off and discard them for the Avocado plant to develop a well-established root system and a robust stem before it directs its resources toward leaf formation.
- After the roots grow to at least three inches, you can move the Avocado seed to an eight-inch clay or terracotta pot with ample drainage holes.
- Add cactus soil or any sandy potting soil to the pot. Plant the seeds in the center, ensuring the pointed end looks upwards. The seed’s top should be level with the soil surface. However, it must not cover the stem.
- Water it well, and put it near a bright window.
b) The Soil Method
As stated, this method will show relatively faster results. Here are the steps to follow:
- Take a large container and fill it with porous soil. You can either opt for cactus mix or any houseplant potting mix.
- Place the seed in the center, ensuring that the pointed end sticks out approximately an inch over the soil surface.
- After potting the seed, water it well.
- Place it near a sunny window wherein it receives bright but indirect sunlight.
- Ensure that the soil is moist till the Avocado plant establishes.
How To Germinate Avocado Seeds Fast?
Six to eight weeks – that’s how long does it take to sprout an Avocado seed. Now the question arises can you accelerate the process? Well, yes and no. What you can do is ensure that the following conditions are met so that there is no delay in the germination:
1. Place the Avocado plant in a spot that receives warm, indirect light, ensuring the temperature does not drop below sixty degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Its roots will show at the pit’s base, but it will soon develop one or two stems at the top. Whenever the shoots show, the seed splits open. Of course, this is normal, but it will result in resource division, which might slow the germination process.
So, to keep its pace, you can prune the main shoot to approximately half when it is about six inches tall. Before and after trimming the seedling, you must wipe the pruning shears’ blade with rubbing alcohol.
3. Water frequently, ensuring an occasional deep soak to keep the plant moist but not soggy. Typically, you must water it about two to three times per week. While watering, ensure that the soil is soaked well, but before you rewater the plant, let it dry out a little.
4. If the leaves turn yellow, you are probably overwatering the plant. So, readjust the watering schedule for the soil to dry completely and not drown the plant.
Alternatively, if the leaves fall or turn yellow, it might also mean that the plant did not get enough nutrients and sun. So, make an attempt to change that.
5. If the leaves are brown, it may mean chloride burns or sat burn from the fertilizer or the minerals in the water.
6. Watch out for aphids. If you spot them, take action to remove them from plants instantly with a gentle water spray. You can also do it in the shower, sink, or outside the home. Follow it by spraying neem oil or insecticidal soap to prevent aphids from returning.
7. Avocados prefer soil with a pH between 6 to 6.5. So, if you have clay-cantered soil, move the Avocado tree to a mount where it receives better drainage.
You can use humus-rich soil, recycle old soil from the garden, or move the plant to a new location. If using old soil, remove the grasses, weeds, or stale roots that lower Avocados’ chances of sprouting.
What Does An Avocado Seed Look Like When It Sprouts?
After planting, you must inspect your Avocado seeds every four days.
Initially, you may not see any concrete germination signs. But, over time, the sprouting pit will crack open, revealing a deep split. Following this, one or more roots will show from inside the seed. Once you see the roots, you will know that the seed is sprouting.
Break this seed apart because it is its body that feeds the growing root. Moreover, the roots are pretty delicate. So, you must cautiously handle them, ensuring they do not break off.
What Month Do You Plant Avocado Seeds?
Avocados do best in moderately warm temperatures between sixty-five to eighty-five degrees Fahrenheit. Established plants can handle temperatures around twenty-eight to thirty-two degrees Fahrenheit with negligible damage.
But, do not expose the plant to freezing temperatures as Avocados like moderate humidity. All these conditions are best suited from March through June because when you plant the Avocados in summer, there is a risk of severe sun damage as the Avocados do not absorb water well while young.
Why Can’t I Get My Avocado Seed To Sprout?
Sprouting an Avocado seed is a straightforward process that anyone can do regardless of whether they have a green hand. So, if your Avocado seeds do not sprout, you have probably made one of the following blunders:
- If the temperature is too cold, the Avocado will experience difficulty growing. In some cases, they may still sprout, but it will take longer than usual. If it is cold, you can keep the plant near a furnace or water heater to keep it warm.
- If you do not soak the seed well, it will not get the required moisture level necessary to trigger germination. When do Avocado seeds sprout in such a case – never!. So, properly soak the seeds before planting them.
- Not peeling the skin also slows down the germination process. Of course, the brown skin does peel off the pit over time, but it is visually unappealing and makes sprouting challenging. Thus, we recommend removing the skin from the beginning.
- The pit will dry out if you do not close the bag well when germinating it using the damp paper towel method. Hence, it will fail to reach the ideal humidity level necessary for germination. The problem might also occur if the paper towel is not wet enough. Further, if you leave the bag near a radiator or any solid heat source, there is a higher risk of drying out.
- You might introduce bacteria into the bag if you work with dirty hands. Bacteria love the incubator conditions and breed and intervene with the germination process. Sadly, if the pit gives out an acidic smell like vinegar, it won’t sprout. So, you must discard it and start fresh.
Related: Avocado Tree Care | Best Avocado Fertilizers
Frequently Asked Questions
Ques 1. Will a cracked Avocado seed grow?
Ans. Cracking of the pit is common. Firstly, the seeds crack for the taproot to develop. Following an initial root growth, the pit begins to break open from the top end, triggering a stem or two to grow.
It results in the seed splitting open. Despite that, the Avocado seeds will sprout and grow new leaves. However, it will hold together as the new plant starts developing.
Ques 2. What sprouts first on an Avocado seed?
Ans. Typically, the roots are the first to sprout from an Avocado seed. Following this, the stems appear.
Ques 3. Can you plant a sprouted Avocado seed?
Ans. You can plant the sprouted Avocado seeds in the soil. But, it is a personal choice. While some prefer doing it once the roots are a few centimeters long, others like to wait a bit longer.
Regardless of when you do it, be cautious, as its roots are brittle and might injure easily. So, do it with a light hand to not damage the roots while transplanting.
Tip – You can plant several pits in the same pot to achieve a bushier plant.