How To Grow Avocado Plants From Pits in Your Apartment

How To Grow Avocado Plants From Pits in Your Apartment

The ultimate coffee shop treat? An overpriced avocado toast. But, what if you had your avocado tree to make your own at your home? If only!

There's just nothing like fresh avocado with a little bit of salt or turned into homemade guacamole with tortilla chips.

While California has the best weather to grow an avocado tree, you can start your own from avocado pits.

You can quickly turn the pits into an avocado plant and get a free houseplant out of it.

Save those pits, and here's how to grow an avocado from seed.

Find an avocado seed

Let's start with the avocado pits to grow an avocado tree. While cutting your ripe avocado, be careful not to cut the pit.

Wash the seed after removing it without damage to its brown skin. You must keep the outer brown seed skin intact while cleaning the seed.

If the remaining avocado is sticking to the seed, soak it in water for a few minutes and clean it off.

Make sure the pit is clean and completely dry with a paper towel before continuing. You're one step closer to all the avocado fruit!

Starting the avocado plant

Setting up your avocado pit

First, identify the top and bottom of the avocado pit. The top half is more pointy and slightly oblong, and it must face up as that's where the avocado sprout will come from. This step is vital to growing an avocado from seed.

The easiest way to grow an avocado tree is with the toothpick method. First, poke a toothpick to the side of the seed (don't go through it) at a slight downward angle.

Then, poke two to three more toothpicks on the other sides while keeping the pit right side up. Space them evenly. The avocado base rests on those as an avocado scaffolding.

Grab a jar of water and fill it almost to the top with water. Suspend the avocado seed from the top of the jar.

The bottom half of the pit (the non-pointy side) should go in the water. Leave the jar uncovered to leave the seed exposed and give room for the sprouted seed.

Daily care to your little avocado sprout

Put your jar with the avocado seed on a sunny windowsill with only indirect sunlight. This means there's no direct sun on the seed. Avocados love sun!

You should start to see roots and a small sprout within six weeks on the seed. The main root is a tiny taproot and more roots will grow.

If you don't see any root growth or changes within eight weeks, dispose of the avocado seed and start over.

This is why it's important to start several avocado trees simultaneously. They may not sprout or begin growing fruit.

Refill the water in the jar every few days, making sure that at least an inch of water covers the bottom of the avocado seed.

Every week, empty the jar and change the water to avoid fungus growth. Give the pit a good occasional deep soak when changing the water.

Dry the seed with a paper towel.

Growing avocados is fun as long as you check it. Place it in a spot in your apartment where you won't forget it.

When it reaches seven inches tall, cut it down to three inches tall to encourage more bushiness.

avocado tree

How to plant your avocado tree

Now that you have a few sprouted avocado seeds ready to become avocado trees, it's time to start thinking of moving your avocado pits to potting soil. The toothpick method only works to get your seed started.

If the roots are now thick and filling up the jar and after its haircut, the stem has more leaves, it's time to move the seed to a pot. Purchase a 10-inch pot for the seed and garden soil for containers.

Grab the avocado seed from the jar and place half of it under the soil (similar to its jar set up). Don't forget to remove the toothpicks. Don't add pebbles or any other material aside from the soil to the pot.

Water the avocado seed until water comes out of the bottom of the pot. Keep the soil moist, always checking every couple of days with your fingers (dry up to the first knuckle).

Make sure no water sits in the saucer. If the leaves start turning yellow, you could be overwatering.

Your seed and now officially a plant grows!

Let's talk avocado plant care

It's vital to water regularly and consistently to avoid stress on the baby avocado trees. If your pot doesn't have drainage holes, make some or switch pots to prevent root rot.

Of course, to grow avocado plants, you may also need to battle pests. Neem oil can help battle those pesky aphids.

If you see them (small bugs clutching to the leaves), spray the leaves with water and then neem oil (pre-mixed). Repeat every four days until they're gone.

Each time the plant grows six to seven inches, cut the top two sets of leaves. It will encourage branching and a bushier appearance to encourage wonderful fruits (hopefully!).

Keep the baby tree in partial shade or indirect sunlight.

Now that your avocado seeds are trees in the summer, it's essential to fertilize with a nitrogen-heavy fertilizer (look for the numbers 7-4-2).

Follow the instructions for seedlings as they don't need much. Once a month is more than enough while it is still small.

What about the winter?

Wintering baby avocado trees is important in most growing zones, except tropical Florida and Southern California, where the heat remains year-round. An avocado tree grows very successfully in those areas.

Keep avocado trees growing in colder areas in a container to quickly move them indoors right before the temperatures dip under 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

Buy a grow light to supplement the outdoor sunlight, if needed, as the plant may lose leaves.


Will my avocado trees bear fruit?

It depends! Like most fruit trees, not all of them act the same or bear fruit. They may give you fruit after a couple of years or after 15+ years when very mature and others just don't.

It can take between five to 15 years on average for an avocado plant grown from seed to give fruit.

An avocado tree grows up to 35 feet tall as it matures, making it difficult to keep it inside.

Outside of California, once the temperatures fall, the tree may die due to the cold and not produce fruit.

When growing an avocado from seed, your avocado fruit won't grow as big as the one at the grocery store.

Commercial avocados are grown in special conditions and with grafted branches to yield bigger fruit.

Keep growing your avocado plant

While avocado trees thrive outdoors in the warmer parts of the country (think Miami and California), just keep them in a container to bring them indoors during the winter.

Water your avocado plants regularly and grow them into a beautiful, lush tree in direct sunlight.

If you get lucky, you'll get delicious fruit after growing a plant from avocado seeds and enjoy your naturally grown avocado!

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