Growing Avocado Seeds – How To Plant An Avocado Pit?
You can grow avocado from seeds in two ways. Either put them directly in the soil or let the seed sprout in a moist environment, develop roots, and then plant them in the soil.
Avocados are one of the most delicious and nutrition-rich fruits of summer. Who doesn’t like adding a few creamy avocados to their dishes? If you have been wondering how hard it would be to grow an avocado, know that it is easier than you think.
So, next time when you use fresh avocado on your toast, in your salad, or in your guacamole, don’t throw away the seed. Once you know how to grow avocado from seeds, growing avocados is also a fun thing to do.
You can help the avocado seed germinate by keeping it in a moist paper towel. Once you see the roots, place them in the soil and let the plant grow. Or you can skip the germination step and plant the seeds in the topsoil, care for it as needed, and wait for it to grow.
The only downside of growing avocado from seeds is that it needs a lot of patience as it takes almost 5 or 7 and sometimes even 13 years for your avocado tree to start producing fruit.
Avocado trees when planted in optimum conditions have been known to live hundreds of years. Understanding a few basic avocado care tips can easier the process on.
How To Start An Avocado Seed?
You might have heard about the popular toothpick and water method to grow avocados. We are not talking about that method here as it is fussy, unreliable, needs more effort and can sometimes even rots the seed.
There are several ways to germinate avocado seeds other than that as well.
For such methods, you don’t need many items at hand. With just a few household supplies will do the trick. The germination rate is quite high with this method.
Growing avocado seed is a slow process and it does not also guarantee a fruit as its parent plant. When you grow an avocado from seeds it will not produce trees that are identical to its parent tree.
Also, the avocado variety can take as long as 8 to 20 years to bear fruits, only if you are lucky enough to have a tree that produces fruit. Commercial growers use grafting methods for avocado trees that bear fruits within 2 to 3 years.
So, let us look at how to grow avocado from pit:
a) Sprouting the pit without water & toothpicks
If you are growing avocado as an indoor plant, you can try this method for a pretty plant to decorate your home as well.
- Clean the avocado seeds under warm, running water. Use a soft brush or cloth so that all the flesh is removed. You can also peel off the skin as much as possible as it will reduce the possibility of the seeds infecting while germinating.
- Cover the seeds in a paper towel and slightly add moisture to it. Care should be taken to wrap them loosely. Put them in a plastic bag or a closed container.
- Keep checking the pits on a weekly basis. If you see any signs of damage or rotting or a foul smell, clean the seeds and put them in fresh paper towels.
- The seeds will gradually crack open. When growing avocado seed, you will observe thin white roots that sprout from the seed. Since the roots are delicate, be careful while dealing with them.
Know that no two sprouted seeds look alike. Do not worry if you see the roots growing in all different directions. When the roots grow around 3 inches long, it’s time to grow the avocado seed in water. At this stage, you can also plant them in soil.
b) How to grow avocado from seed in water?
Avocado seed can take 1-2 months to sprout. Ideally, you should start with more seeds than what you need as there are chances of some seeds may die in-between the process.
- Take a plastic bottle and cut its top portion. Place it on top of the glass jar.
- Place the sprouted seed inside the jar with roots pointing downwards. Keep adding water until the half bottom of the seed is fully covered with water. The roots should be covered with water at all times as they grow.
- After a few weeks, you will notice the stems and leaves coming out of the seed. This is how to start an avocado seed and see it turn into a beautiful plant.
- Keep them in a bright and sunny place, but not in the direct sun per se
- Though avocados like sunlight, when growing them in water, you need to keep them out of direct sunlight, or else algae will start growing in the water.
- If you spot algae occasionally, clean the glass jar and change the water.
- It is recommended to replenish the water on a weekly basis. You must also add a little all-purpose liquid fertilizer monthly.
Planting The Avocado Seed – Next Step To Follow!
So, the next question is how to plant an avocado pit that has sprouted? Fill the pot halfway with potting mix and then gently place the seed in the pot. Be careful to not break the roots.
If your roots have become longer than 3 inches, you can cut them short with sharp scissors as they won’t fit into your pot.
The scissors should be cleaned with rubbing alcohol or bleach. Make a bleach solution by adding 4 teaspoons of bleach for every quart of water and keeping the scissors in it for at least one minute. Some say that doing this can produce a bushy plant.
While growing avocado seed if you are unable to distinguish between a root and a shoot, then you should place everything under the soil surface.
Once you place the seed in the soil, gently press down the potting mix and add more mix if needed. Leave the top inch of the seed above the soil. If there is no stem, you will notice that one will start growing.
Can You Put The Avocado Pit Directly In The Soil?
Yes, the avocado pit can be directly planted in soil. Read below to find out how!
How To Plant A Avocado Seed In The Soil?
If you want a healthy and full-grown avocado tree, it is best to plant them in the soil as planting them in the ground will let them flourish better. The seeds that have tiny cracks on them are mostly the first ones to germinate.
If you live in regions with warmer climates, just plant some avocado seeds in soil or a container and keep watering them regularly. It takes around three months for the seedlings to grow into plants.
You can either plant the seed taken from fresh avocado or use sprouted seeds or you can even start with a tiny avocado plant.
Place the pits in the soil at half the length of the seeds. Ensure that the top part of the seed is pointing upwards, and the top tip should be covered with soil lightly.
Since avocados like direct sunlight and well-drained soil, always keep the soil filled with moisture, but never let it get soggy. Also, make sure to keep the pot in a sunny and warm spot.
Ideal Growing Conditions for Avocados
When growing avocado seed, ideally they should be planted in March through June. Since these trees don’t absorb water well while young, planting them during the summer is always risky because of sun damage.
Make sure to plant them away from sidewalks, in a non-lawn area. Plant them in a location safe from wind and frost as well.
Avocados are shallow-rooted trees with most of their roots in the top 6 inches of the soil. So, they need good aeration. They have a very sensitive root system, so care should be taken not to disturb it while transplanting.
We now know how to grow avocado from seed, let’s move to some of the conditions that will help them thrive well:
Avocado trees thrive on a lot of sunshine. Plant it in a spot where it can receive at least 8 hours of sunlight every day. These trees grow best and produce more fruits in full sunlight.
Young plants should be kept in partial shade; their leaves can sunburn if kept too much in direct sunlight when getting established.
If indoors, place them on a sunny windowsill. It is best to move them outdoors when the temperature is 45°F or warmer.
Avocado trees prefer loamy, rich and well-draining soil. The soil should be aerated and there should not be excess water as soggy soil leads to root rot. Avocados like the pH of the soil to be between 5 and 7. It should be acidic to neutral as they are sensitive to alkaline soil.
Add a layer of mulch around the tree as it will help the soil retain moisture and also protect the root system. Just make sure to keep the mulch around 6 inches away from the base of the trunk as it can suffocate the roots or cause collar rot.
Avocado trees benefit from infrequent and deep watering. It encourages deeper and stronger root growth. Before watering deeply, wait for the soil to dry out.
Avocados need frequent watering during summer months when temperatures are hot. Young trees also require more frequent watering to establish themselves.
Every 5 to 10 days they should be watered generously. Mature trees need around 2 inches of water every week. The potted avocado if moved outside in dry and warm weather needs water more frequently. Water deeply but less often so the roots are forced to grow to reach the water level.
Temperature and humidity
Avocados do their best at moderately warm temperatures with moderate humidity. These trees can be grown well in USDA hardiness zones 9-11. They are frost-sensitive and love temperatures between 50 – 85°F.
Once established, they can tolerate temperatures of around 28 – 32°F with minimal damage. Always avoid freezing temperatures.
Fertilizing an avocado tree during growing periods will help encourage healthy growth and fruit production. Start fertilizing in the late winter to early spring and feed until the fall.
Nitrogen is important for avocados, so make sure to choose a fertilizer with high amounts of nitrogen. They also need a little bit of zinc, so your fertilizer should also contain zinc.
Common Doubts About How To Grow Avocado From Pit
Q. Do you have to peel an avocado seed before you plant it?
Ans. Yes, peeling off the skin of the pit helps speed up the germination process.
Q. Which side is up on an avocado seed?
Ans. When you are thinking of how to grow avocado seed, you should know that the broad end of the avocado seed is the bottom. The pointed end is its top.
Q. How long does it take to grow an avocado from a seed?
Ans. It can take anywhere between 5 to 13 years for the tree to mature and produce fruit.
Q. Will the avocado tree produce fruit for sure?
Ans. There is about a 20% chance that your planted avocado seed will produce fruit in the future when it becomes a mature tree.