How to Grow an Avocado Tree from the Seed

Avocados taste great on a slice of bread, in a salad, and as guacamole. Learn how to turn your avocado pits into plants.

Three avocados with one sliced in half.

Step 1: Remove the pit (seed) from a ripe avocado and clean it

The first step is to remove the avocado pit without breaking or cutting it. If you’re using a knife, be extra careful because it’s easy to damage the seed.

Then, clean the seed under warm running water. While you’re cleaning it, be sure you remove all of the residue and flesh. It can also help to let the seed sit in water for a couple of minutes beforehand.

When you’re cleaning the seed, be careful with the seed cover. It’s the brown skin that’s wrapped around the seed. You don’t want to ruin it.

Step 2: Wrap the seed with a damp paper towel

Once your seed has been cleaned, wrap it in a damp paper towel. It’s important to make sure the paper towel is damp and not drenched. This will help keep the seed moist.

Step 3: Put it in a food storage bag and place it in darkness

After you’ve wrapped the seed, put it in a food storage bag. Find a dark area to keep it, such as a cupboard, and make sure you leave the food storage bag open.

Within two to four weeks, you’ll notice roots growing from the bottom, and the top will begin to sprout. You’ll also find that the top of the avocado pit will form a crack that goes all the way to the bottom.

Step 4: Plant it once the root is 3 inches long

When the roots are 3 inches long, your avocado seed is ready to be planted. If the roots are longer, trim them back to 3 inches because this will encourage growth.

To plant your avocado seed, use a pot that has a drainage hole because they grow best with good drainage. For soil, an indoor potting mix works well.

Step 5: Keep the soil moist

The soil should be moist and not drenched. It’s also important not to let the soil dry out. That means watering your avocado plant at least two or three times per week.

If the leaves begin to turn yellow, that means it’s being overwatered. That’ll be a sign to stop watering it for a couple of days.

Keep your avocado plant in a location that’ll give them full sun. They love light.

While avocado trees that are planted indoors may not produce fruit, keep taking care of it, and within 10 years, you might get something.

The toothpick method

Another common method involves the use of toothpicks. The majority of the steps are the same. However, the difference is the germination process.

After cleaning and drying the pit, take the following steps to use the toothpick method:

  1. Fill a cup with water.
  2. Insert three toothpicks halfway up the side of the pit. Make sure they’re on different sides.
  3. Locate the wider end of the pit. This is the bottom, and it’ll point down towards the water.
  4. Place the seed in the cup of water, so the bottom half is submerged. The toothpicks will hold it in place.

In two to four weeks, roots and a sprout will grow. Then, you can repeat the steps for planting it.

Frequently asked questions

How long does it take to grow an avocado?

If you’re growing from a seed, it can take five to thirteen years to produce avocados. The quicker route is to purchase a tree and plant it. That’ll give you avocados in three to four years.

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

Yes! By allowing the avocado pit to germinate, you can grow an avocado tree.

Should I get a dwarf tree?

If you’re growing an avocado tree from the pit, a dwarf tree will give you a better chance at bearing fruit.


Growing an avocado tree at home is more for your enjoyment than producing fruit. Any ripe avocado seed will work. The most important part is to ensure that you don’t damage it. It’ll take many years to grow, but it’s a fun experiment to do.

More resources:

Featured image courtesy of Canva.

Portrait of David Em.

About David Em

David Em is the founder of Nola and Luna, the destination for home improvement and decor. He launched Nola and Luna to share DIY how-to’s, inspiration, reviews, shopping guides, and expert advice to help you create a beautiful home.

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