How to Grow An Avocado Tree At Home

Avocado Tree Tout Getty 7/31/20

Did you know that it’s entirely possible (even simple) to grow avocados in a pot? Here are the avoca-dos and avoca-don’ts of growing your very own tree: 

Avocados 101

Cooking dinner shouldn't be complicated

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An avocado is a berry (yes, a berry!) that contains one large seed. The fruit, which grows on avocado trees, likely originated in south-central Mexico between 7,000 and 5,000 B.C.E. 

With a mild, buttery taste and thick, creamy texture, the avocado works well in all sorts of dishes—from breakfast to dessert.  

Related: How to Store Avocados So They Last Longer

Where Do Avocados Grow Best? 

Though you can grow the evergreen avocado tree pretty much anywhere, it thrives in sunny locations with warm temperatures. 

When Are Avocados In Season? 

Avocado on tree Getty 7/31/20

It depends on where you live and where your avocados originated. Avocado trees in Mexico bloom and produce fruit four times a year, so Mexican avocados are essentially in season all year.

In California, where most U.S. avocados are grown, the trees only bloom once a year. Californian avocados are abundant in late spring and early summer.

How Long Does It Take to Grow Avocados? 

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Be prepared to wait. If you grow your avocado tree from a seed, you probably won’t see actual fruit from five to 10 years. 

If you’re starting with a small plant, you may see fruit in just a few years. 

Related: How to Grow a Pineapple From a Pineapple

How to Grow An Avocado Tree

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You really only need two things to grow an avocado tree: an avocado pit (the large seed in the center of the fleshy part of the fruit) and patience. 

To grow an avocado tree with the bare minimum: 

  1. Remove the pit. Wash it and let it dry for 48 to 72 hours. 
  2. Stick four toothpicks into the avocado pit, about ½-inch deep, around the circumference of the seed. 
  3. Place the seed—top pointing up—into a glass of water. The toothpicks should suspend the seed on the top of the glass. The bottom should be submerged in water and the top should be dry. (Tip: The top of an avocado seed is slightly pointier than the bottom. This is the part that will sprout, so it’s important to position it correctly on the glass). 
  4. Keep the glass in a warm area with low sunlight. Refill the glass as needed, making sure the bottom half of the seed stays wet and the top half stays dry. Roots and a stem should appear between two and six weeks, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac. When the stem reaches six or seven inches, trim it to about three inches. 
  5. When the stem reaches six or seven inches, trim it to about three inches. Once the stem has regrown to its full length, plant it in potting soil in a medium-sized pot. The top half of the pit should remain exposed. Place in a sunny spot and keep watered.

Easy enough, right? Well, it’s a bit trickier than it sounds. If you don’t position the seed just right above the water, it likely will not germinate. 

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Lucky for us, AvoSeedo exists. This little $10 gadget simplifies the process and increases the success rate of germination. The reviews speak for themselves: 

“Though skeptical, this is exactly what we needed to finally grow an avocado plant. We tried the toothpick and solo cup thing numerous times and we always had issues. (Cats got it, forgot to add water, tipped over, etc.),” says one happy customer. “This little boat is the best idea and soooo easy to use. Tip: Use a deep enough container for the roots to grow, we used a 6 in deep tupperware bowl and it worked wonderful. We stored it on top of the fridge so it got a little extra heat and was away from the cats. Recommend to anyone who wants to try growing avocado. We are ready to plant our first one and start the next one.”

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“The AvoSeedo gives even the neophyte gardener a green thumb,” according to another. “The concept is ridiculously easy—even easier than the DIY method of toothpicks and a glass. Both methods work and we’ve done both, but this one is a more colorful (select the color of your AvoSeedo “boat”) charming (the flag is fun and the avocado-shaped “boat” is, too), and effective (as the water evaporates between changing, the AvoSeedo simply floats down to that level; toothpicks stay stationary on the container’s rim. Also, you can grow multiple pits with this method engaging more users.)”

How to Care For An Avocado Tree

Avocado in pot sunny Getty 7/31/20

Sun: For the first few years of your tree’s life, monitor how much sunlight it gets. Too much sun could burn the stems. After about three years, you can allow the tree as much light as possible. 

Water: Water your tree once per week for the first three year (or more if the soil feels dry). Once it has matured, water daily. 

Repotting: Plan to repot your tree into a larger container every two or so years.

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