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How to Grow an Avocado Tree From an Avocado You Get at the Grocery Store (Two Methods)

Casey is an avid gardener and homesteader with years of experience managing Mother Nature.

Avocado trees are one of the easiest plants to start from a seed and require little maintenance as they grow. I love growing avocado trees using the pits from avocados I get at the grocery store. They are great houseplants and hard to kill. Avocado trees require minimal maintenance and little water. I first learned about growing avocado trees from a magazine for kids. It was advertised as a fun activity for parents to do with their children because it was so easy to do.

This is a great activity for adults to do for fun or to do with children. You can watch the process of growth from seed to tree. This could also be a fun activity for teachers. Students could grow an avocado tree as an experiment to accompany lectures about the life cycle of trees and the different stages of growth.

There are two different methods for starting an avocado tree seedling. In this article, I'll show you both methods and the steps to take once your seedling has taken root.

My Avocado Tree To Be

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The Water Method

Method #1: The Water Method

Supplies

  • Cup
  • Toothpicks or nails
  • Water

Many blogs about growing avocado trees will first point you to this method of starting a seedling. People love this method because you can see the entire process of a new life beginning starting with the forming of roots. The pit in the picture above was planted using this method. If you are using an avocado pit from an avocado you used for eating make sure you clean the pit before planting.

Step 1: Take your pit and stick three toothpicks or nails all around it. I use nails because I never buy toothpicks. You only need to push it in a tiny bit.


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Step 2: Place the nailed pit on top of a cup (pointy side up). I use disposable cups so I can toss it once I'm done.

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Step 3: Fill the cup with water until the water level submerges the bottom of the pit. This gives the pit continuous water to encourage roots to grow.

Step 4: Place the cup in sunlight and wait. Over time you should see the pit start to form a crack around the middle. This is a sign a root is starting to grow. The crack will grow larger as the roots grow downward. Once roots have formed you should transplant the pit into a pot of dirt.

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If you want something fancier than a cup you can try this instead.

Method #2: Dirt

This is my preferred method for growing avocado trees.

Supplies

  • Pot
  • Dirt
  • Water

For this method fill a small pot with dirt. Place the avocado pit into the dirt (pointy side up), pushing down a bit to stabilize it. Then, water the pit enough to keep the dirt moist. Occasionally, water the pit to prevent the dirt from getting dry. Put the pot in a sunny spot and wait.

You'll see the same thing happen as with the water method. The pit will crack as the roots begin to grow. In my experience, my pits have grown roots significantly faster with this method.


Photo Of My Pit I Started In June 2017 Using The Dirt Method

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After You Have Roots What To Do?

If you used the water method after you get roots you should transplant the pit into a pot of dirt. Once the plant is in dirt enjoy watching your tree grow! If you chose the dirt method, watch your tree grow. If you used a small pot (the size of a cup or smaller) you might want to transplant the tree into a bigger pot to give it room to grow. Avocado trees thrive with very little water. They grow best in tropical climates and don't need much water.

Steps Of Growth Once Roots Have Grown

When you first see the pit crack open, a white root will slowly grow downward. Eventually, you'll see the first specks of green growth as the tree stem forms. The crack will grow wider and wider as the stem gets bigger and thicker. Once you have roots and a stem, you will see the tiny seedling grow pretty fast in its early stages. Eventually, you will have a tiny tree. As the tree grows larger you will need to transplant it into larger containers to give it room to grow. Once your tree is around 12 inches tall start periodically pinching the top leaves off. This will encourage the tree to bush out instead of staying twig-like.

The following pictures are of my avocado tree started in June 2017 and stages of growth.

June 26, 2017

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July 10, 2017

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July 16, 2017

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August 17, 2017

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Transplanting To A Bigger Pot September 7, 2017

The clam shells are to keep my cats from sleeping in the pot.

The clam shells are to keep my cats from sleeping in the pot.

December 28, 2017 (My One Year Old Kept Destroying My Nice Clam Shell Cat Deterrents.

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I usually start my pits in warmer weather. I've found that tiny avocado trees enjoy being outside during the warmer months and thrive in the heat. Usually, in the Tennessee winters, my trees stall in growth for the winter months. It gets far too cold for them to be outside so I move them inside to sit in the kitchen window. When spring returns I move my avocado trees outside where they thrive and grow much better in the warm sunlight.

One thing I should note is where you get your avocado from determines whether it will grow fruit. If you get yours from a chain grocery store it probably won't. Those are bred so they will grow a plant but the plant will never produce fruit. If you want a pit that will grow fruit you will have to buy pits from reputable gardening sources specifically stating their avocado tree pits will grow trees that will fruit once they are old enough.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Casey White