How To Grow Avocado Plants From Pits in Your Apartment
The ultimate coffee treat? Overpriced avocado toast. What if you had your own avocado tree to make at home? If only!
There’s nothing like fresh avocado with a little salt or made into homemade guacamole with tortilla chips.
While California has the best climate for growing 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 avocado pits to grow an avocado tree. When cutting your ripe avocado, be careful not to cut the pit.
Wash the seed after removing it without damaging its brown skin. You must keep the brown outer skin of the seeds intact while cleaning the seeds.
If the remaining avocado sticks to the seed, soak it in water for a few minutes and clean it.
Make sure the pit is clean and completely dry with a paper towel before proceeding. You are one step closer to all avocado fruits!
Assemble your avocado core
First, identify the top and bottom of the avocado pit. The top half is more pointed and slightly oblong, and it should be facing up because that’s where the avocado sprout will come from. This step is essential for growing an avocado from seed.
The easiest way to grow an avocado tree is the toothpick method. First, poke a toothpick into the side of the seed (don’t cross it) at a slight downward angle.
Then, poke two to three additional toothpicks on the other sides while keeping the core right side up. Space them evenly. The lawyer base rests on these like a lawyer scaffold.
Take a water pot 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-pointed side) should go into the water. Leave the pot uncovered to leave the seed exposed and make room for the germinated seed.
Daily care for your little avocado sprout
Place your jar with the avocado seed on a sunny windowsill with only indirect sunlight. This means that there is no direct sun on the seed. Avocados love the sun!
You should start seeing roots and a small shoot within six weeks on the seed. The main root is a tiny taproot and other roots will grow.
If you don’t see any growth or root changes within eight weeks, discard the avocado seed and start over.
This is why it is important to start several avocado trees simultaneously. They may not germinate or start producing fruit.
Refill the jar with water every few days, making sure at least an inch of water covers the bottom of the avocado seed.
Every week, empty the jar and change the water to prevent the proliferation of fungi. 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 out. Put it somewhere in your apartment where you won’t forget it.
When it reaches seven inches tall, cut it back to three inches tall to encourage more bushes.
How to plant your avocado tree
Now that you have some sprouted avocado seeds ready to grow into avocado trees, it’s time to start thinking about moving your avocado pits to potting soil. The toothpick method only works to start your seed.
If the roots are now thick and filling the pot and after its haircut the stem has no leaves, it’s time to move the seed to a pot. Buy a 10-inch pot for seeds and garden soil for containers.
Take the avocado seed from the pot and place half of it under the ground (similar to its pot set up). Don’t forget to remove the toothpicks. Do not add pebbles or any other material besides soil to the pot.
Water the avocado seeds until water comes out of the bottom of the pot. Keep the soil moist, always checking every other day with your fingers (dry to the first knuckle).
Make sure there is no water in the saucer. If the leaves start to turn yellow, you may be overwatering.
Your seed and now officially a plant is growing!
Let’s talk about avocado plant care
Regular and consistent watering is essential to avoid baby avocado tree stress. If your pot does not have drainage holes, make some or change pots to avoid root rot.
Of course, to grow avocado seedlings, you may also need to control pests. Neem oil can help fight those pesky aphids.
If you see them (small insects clinging to the leaves), spray the leaves with water and then neem oil (pre-mixed). Repeat every four days until they are gone.
Each time the plant grows six to seven inches, cut off the first two sets of leaves. This will encourage branching and a bushier appearance to encourage wonderful fruit (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-rich 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 as long as it’s still small.
Overwintering baby avocado trees is important in most growing areas, with the exception of tropical Florida and southern California, where the heat remains year-round. An avocado tree grows very well in these regions.
dungeon avocado trees growing in colder regions in a container to quickly move them inside just before temperatures drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
Purchase a grow light to supplement outdoor sunlight, if needed, as the plant may lose leaves.
Will my avocado trees bear fruit?
It depends! Like most fruit trees, not all act the same or bear fruit. They can give you fruit after a few years or after 15+ years when they are very ripe and others just don’t.
It can take between five and 15 years on average for an avocado tree grown from seed to bear fruit.
An avocado tree grows up to 35 feet tall as it matures, making it difficult to keep indoors.
Outside of California, once temperatures drop, the tree may die from the cold and fail to produce fruit.
When you grow an avocado from seed, your avocado fruit won’t grow as big as the one from the grocery store.
Commercial avocados are grown under special conditions and with grafted branches to produce larger fruits.
Keep growing your avocado tree
While avocado trees thrive outdoors in warmer parts of the country (think Miami and California), simply keep them in a container to bring indoors during the winter.
Water your avocado plants regularly and grow them into a beautiful, lush tree in direct sunlight.
If you’re lucky, you’ll get delicious fruit after growing a plant from avocado seeds and enjoy your naturally grown avocado!