How to Grow an Avocado

You may be familiar with the image of an avocado pit balancing on some toothpicks on a jar in someone’s kitchen. While this is a popular method, not everyone has toothpicks at home, but that doesn’t mean you can’t grow an avocado pit at home. We’re gonna walk you through the steps to turn your avocado pit into lovely houseplants, and if they last long enough, they may even bear fruit after many (10-15) years.

When you next eat an avocado, remove the pit, being careful not to pierce the skin and damage the seed. Clean it thoroughly and soak it in water overnight, this’ll help to soften the brown skin. After 24 hours, you’re going to want to gently rub that brown skin until it peels off. If it doesn’t all come off right away, that’s okay, don’t force anything, it’ll eventually come off when it’s ready.

 

The first part takes a lot of patience. You’re going to wrap your avocado pit in a damp paper towel, and put it in a sealed air-tight container. The paper towel should be just damp, and not dripping wet. Put the container in a dark cupboard, preferably in a warm location in your kitchen, and do your best to forget about it. In warmer months, it’ll be good to check on it once a week, to make sure the paper towel doesn’t dry out. Keep an eye out for any mildew forming, and just gently rinse the pit, and replace the damp paper towel.

Eventually, the seed will begin to split, this can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 4 or 5 months. Temperature has a huge impact here, but some avocados simply need more time than others. Soon you’ll notice a root starting to shoot out the bottom of the crack. It’s important that once you notice this, to move on to the next step, otherwise the root will grow bent and make the next step more difficult.

 

Avocado rooting in water in a mason jar

Getty Images / Moment / MAIKA 777

Using an inverted bottle top, or any funnel-shaped vessel, balance the pit with the roots in a glass of water. Watching the roots extend down and start producing new roots along the way, can be a great experience. Once there are enough roots, the avocado will start sprouting upwards, and eventually form leaves. Avocados can last an extremely long time living off water, but feel free to transfer it to soil once it reaches a few inches high.