If you’re looking to learn how to grow avocado from seed, then you’ll find this article quite insightful. While it’s easy and rather straightforward, it will take a while until you see your first fruit. Miss a few steps and you’ll have to wait even longer.
Furthermore, being tropical plants, Avocado (Persea americana) plants don’t tolerate very low temperatures. For the best results, grow avocados in USDA zones 8 -11. If you’re outside these zones and want to grow outdoor, do it in spring so your avocado gets established well before cooler winter months arrive.
Thankfully, I’ve included all the steps to follow to successfully grow a nutritious avocado tree at home. You’ll also learn some important tips to help you keep your avocado tree in top shape and guarantee a bountiful harvest.
Let’s get started, shall we?
How to Grow Avocado from Seed in Water
Step 1: Eat delicious avocado
Purchase a healthy-looking avocado from your nearest farmer’s market. This step is important because you don’t want a diseased fruit. Besides, you can validate its palatability and flavor by eating the mother fruit.
The best avocado fruit is rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. According to the CDC, Avocados are loaded with nutrients such as dietary fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, and folate. If you’re satisfied with the quality of the avocado consumed, move to the next step.
Step 2: Remove and clean the pit
The avocado seed, also known as the pit, is encased in a hard shell and comprises up to 20% of the whole fruit. To prepare the seed for planting, begin by carefully removing it without any damage. Next, you want to thoroughly wash it clean.
Washing serves two purposes; the first one is that it removes any extra fats that could cause unexpected rots (although rare) and secondly, it helps with the initial softening of the shell.
Step 3: Piece the Seed (pit) with toothpicks
Since you’ll need to partially submerge the pit in a glass of water for rooting to take place, we need to find a way to support the seed on the rim of the glass. The best to achieve this is to use a couple of toothpicks.
Begin by piercing three or four toothpicks in the seed about halfway down the sides. Make sure the toothpicks are inserted at 45 degrees’ angle about one-third of the way down from the pointed end.
Step 4: Place the avocado seed half-submerged in a glass of water
Next, fill a small glass with water to the brim and place the seed in the glass, flat end down, so the toothpicks rest firmly on the brim. The toothpicks should be supporting the seed so that the pointed half is out of the water and the bottom half is in the water.
Alternatively, you can fill the glass halfway and then place the avocado pit partially submerged. Fill the glass of water until the seed is half submerged. This option gives you more control over the level of water.
Step 5: Regularly change the water
Remember to change the water regularly to avoid the accumulation of impurities or bacteria which could infect the pit. You can do this either weekly or after every two weeks.
Step 6: Germination
After three to six weeks a small root should appear from the flat end, and there should be signs of a small shoot at the pointed end. Tiny leaves will develop and grow on this shoot.
You can give the new shoot another one or two weeks for the main stem to emerge and develop before you transplant the seedling in a container with houseplant potting soil.
Step 7: Transplant the avocado seedling
Transplanting involves planting your seedling into a bigger pot filled with coarse, well-drained potting mix. Plant the seed so that the pointed end is about an inch above the soil surface. Keep the soil moist at all times until the avocado plant is established.
However, it’s important to avoid either overwatering or under-watering since the former will cause soft stems and curled avocado leaves. While the latter will cause dry leaves which will eventually fall off as the situation deteriorates. If you are unsure how to properly water your potted plants, refer to this handy guide.
At this point, I’d like to mention that it’s also possible to skip all the other steps and plant your avocado pit directly into the soil as advised in this section.
How to Care for Avocado Plants in Pots
You can use the following tips to keep your avocado tree in top shape and guarantee a bountiful harvest.
Fertilizer Application – Fertilize your avocado plant preferably after every three months will a balanced standard houseplant fertilizer. If you can manage a slow-release fertilizer the better. The rule of the thumb is to make sure the fertilizer has a higher Nitrogen ratio in comparison to Phosphorous and Potassium.
Light and Space - Avocado plants require good, indirect light. While patios and balconies are all acceptable points to place your plant, it’s important to provide them with plenty of growing space because ultimately avocado plants grow into trees. This will also require larger growing pots.
Watering – As already mentioned, good quality water applied in the right proportion is very vital for avocado plant growth and development. Always water when the top of the soil feels dry to the touch to avoid overwatering and depriving the roots of oxygen. When watering, thoroughly soak the entire root ball until you see water coming out from the drainage holes.
Pests Management – Avocado plants are prone to insects, such as thrips, mites, and whiteflies. Visible signs of damage can be brown spots on leaves or scarred fruit. Read the articles hyperlinked to learn how to control the corresponding pest.
You’ve just read the 7 steps on how to grow avocado from seed and the easy care tips.
If you’ll forget everything else, remember this - water the plant often enough to keep the soil moist but not wet. Wet soil will result in curled leaves and soft stems. While dry soil will cause dry leaves that eventually fall off.
Additionally, save the featured graphic in this post with a summary of all the steps so that you can refer to it as often as possible.