How to Grow an Avocado Tree from Seed in Water

How to Grow an Indoor Avocado Tree from Seed in water

How to Grow an Avocado Tree from Seed in Water

When you cut open an avocado to eat, do you think about planting the pit?

Give it a try! Some classrooms even grow an avocado tree as a science experiment – it’s easy. (80% of seeds grow, which is a great success rate.)

Here’s how to grow avocado seeds in water, step by step, with photos.

If you love avocados, of course you need an avocado tree as an indoor plant.

Can you grow an avocado tree from a store bought avocado?

avocado in shopping cart

Yes, you can grow an avocado tree from a store bought avocado. Try several different types and sizes of avocados to compare their growth.

An avocado tree grown indoors will probably never produce fruit. It is only decorative. But it usually takes 10 years for a tree to mature to bear fruit anyway. And they only produce fruit every 2 years unless they are grafted.

An avocado tree is beautiful with glossy leaves. It’s a great addition to your home decor, even without bearing fruit.

How long does it take to grow an avocado from the seed?

In 5 – 8 weeks you will see the roots and a sprout from the avocado seed in the glass of water. Follow the instructions, and in a few more weeks you can plant it.

Prune the tree properly, and you’ll have a lovely plant for your home. It grows about 30″ per year.

Can’t wait? Buy a starter tree* that’s 2 – 4′ tall and grafted. It will produce fruit in three or four years instead of 10.

(Pay attention to the star rating and comments when buying live plants online.)

If you live in a climate zone where you can plant avocado trees outdoors, your local nursery will have them available.

What you will need to start the avocado seed.

what you will need to grow an avocado from seed

This is what you need to begin to grow your avocado seed:

  1. Avocado
  2. Paring knife
  3. Clear glass wider in diameter than the avocado pit (so you can see the roots growing)
  4. Three wooden toothpicks
  5. Water

{Want the official kit to grow an avocado seed in water?}

AvoSeedo Avocado Tree Growing Kit with Pot*

The avocado seed boat floats in the water so it’s easier to set up. No toothpicks! Perfect for kids wanting to do a science experiment.

Includes a plastic pot for planting your seed. (Make sure you choose the transparent one so you can watch the roots grow in the water.)

Comes with instructions in a lovely box, perfect for gift giving.

Step 1: Remove the seed from the avocado.

cutting pit or seed out of avocado

The pit or stone in the middle of the avocado is the seed. The brown skin on the pit is the seed covering, the outer shell.

First, wash the avocado skin.

To increase the chances of success in growing your avocado tree, it’s a good idea to take a few minutes to wash the avocado skin with dish soap first. The act of slicing your avocado open can carry microorganisms that can cause disease from the skin to the seed.

Next, remove the avocado seed.

woman in pink apron cutting open avocado
Woman cutting open avocado properly with kitchen knife.

Cut open the avocado as usual. Try not to damage the avocado seed while cutting.

Once the seed is removed, clean off any avocado fruit and wash it, too. Use a sponge with water and a touch of dish detergent. This is to clean the shell of any microorganisms as well.

Now peel the avocado seed covering off.

advocado cut open with seed covering inside avocado
Avocado cut open with seed covering in avocado.

It’s important that you don’t damage the seed while peeling the avocado covering off. It can be difficult to remove the seed shell, depending on the type of avocado and how you cut it.

Sometimes you’re lucky and the seed covering sticks to avocado instead of the seed.

If you have difficulty, see How to Peel an Avocado Seed for the easiest way.

Step 2: Insert three toothpicks.

The purpose of the toothpicks is to hold the avocado seed in place over a glass of water.

put 3 toothpicks in avocado seed

How to know which end is up on an avocado seed

No matter the shape, all avocado seeds have a top and bottom. It’s important to put the bottom in the water for it to sprout! The pointier end is the top, where it sprouts. The flat base is the bottom, where the roots grow.

How to insert the toothpicks

Push the toothpick in about 1/2″, an equal distance from each other around the center of the pit. Insert the toothpicks in a slightly downward angle, so the bottom 1″ of the seed is in the water when you put it in the glass.

{Don’t want to insert toothpicks?}

Set of 3 Avocado Seed Boats

No need for toothpicks. Just set your avocado seed in the boat and float it in your own container. (Make sure it’s transparent so you can watch the roots grow.)

Step 3: Put it in a sunny window.

avocado seeds in glasses of water

Avocados require full sunlight, so put them in a sunny window where they will get 4 – 6 hours of direct sunlight a day. Don’t let them get too hot or too cold. Keep under 110°F or it will die. They prefer temperatures between 60 and 85°F.

Just a note of caution: ALL parts of avocado (the tree, the fruit, the seed) are TOXIC to animals – like your pet dog, cat and especially bird or lizard. Keep your seed & your avocado tree where they will NOT eat it. For more information visit ASPCA.

Step 4: Change the water regularly.

When you see the water in the glass is cloudy, it needs fresh water. You should change the water or top it up so 1/2 of the seed remains in water every 3 – 5 days. This will prevent mold, bacteria and fungus growth. NEVER allow the pit to totally dry out or the plant will die. It should always be in about 1″ of water.

Step 5: Watch it grow.

avocado plant growing from seed in water
  1. When the top of the seed dries out and forms a crack, this is normal. The brown seed cover will fall off, just dump it out and change the water.
  2. The crack will go all the way to the bottom, and a taproot will appear. This happens at 3 – 8 weeks, so be patient.
  3. After the taproot grows and spreads, a sprout will peek out of the top of the pit. This takes a few weeks.
  4. When the sprout has grown 6″, cut the top (dominant leaves) off by clipping it just above the lower level leaves, which will probably cut it in about half. This will encourage root growth and more off-shoots for bushiness.

Step 6: Plant it in soil.

avocado plant grown at home in pot
  1. When the avocado seedling has grown to 6″ once again with mature leaves and roots, plant it in a 10″ pot with drainage, using potting soil. Only put 2/3 of the pit in the soil. Allow the top to be above the dirt.
  2. Give it a regular watering every 5 days and once in a while a good soaking. It shouldn’t be overwatered because it will get root rot. Don’t let it dry out either, but it shouldn’t be saturated, just moist. If the leaves yellow, it means it is being OVER watered.
  3. Avocados require regular pruning to get the bushiness that looks so lovely. After every 6″ of extra growth, cut off the top (dominant) leaves. (So, when it is 12″, 18″, 24″, etc.)
  4. As it grows taller, you can transplant the avocado plant in larger pots, but just go the next size up to control healthy growth. The best time to repot is in the spring, when it starts to grow. Outdoors an avocado tree can grow to 20′ but indoors it will grow to 7′ at most, depending on the size of the pot & sunlight. You can keep it smaller with pruning.

If you live in USDA Zones 10-12, or a region without frost, you can plant your avocado tree outside. It needs well drained soil with lots of sunlight.  Remember that it can grow over 40′ tall with a canopy of 20′. The roots don’t grow very deep in the ground (about 6″), so it’s a good idea to cover the ground with mulch. When watering, soak the area and then wait 3 days to let it dry out before watering again.

Download the booklet!

If you download the “How to Grow an Avocado Tree from Seed” PDF booklet, it will be easy to locate when you need to refer to the step by step instructions to prepare your avocado seed, and have them handy again later when you’re ready to plant your seedling tree.

It’s free.

how to grow an avocado tree optin booklet

Want more? See this avocado seed grow from day 1 to day 127.

Growing AVOCADO Tree Time Lapse - 127 Days

avocado tree grown in water from seed
It’s your turn!

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