How to Grow Avocados as Houseplants

Six Parts:Choose an AvocadoRemove the SeedUtilize the Paper Towel MethodUtilize the Toothpick MethodPlant the SeedCare for the Plant

The avocado is a fruit-bearing tree native to central Mexico. The green, pear-shaped fruit it produces is used in a variety of recipes from guacamole to desserts. The rich, creamy texture is due to a higher monounsaturated ("good") fat content than most other fruits. Avocado trees can be grown from seed, but will likely not bear fruit if not cross-pollinated. Even without fruit, avocados can make a decorative houseplant when grown from its seed, or pit. There are a few ways to grow an avocado from seed: Follow these tips to yield a houseplant from a store-bought avocado.

Part 1
Choose an Avocado

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    Pick a ripe avocado. Squeeze the fruit gently to check for a small amount of give. The avocado should be soft, but not mushy.

Part 2
Remove the Seed

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    Cut lengthwise around the avocado using a knife.
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    Gently twist both sides of the fruit to loosen the seed from the inside. Remove the seed from the fruit.
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    Wash the seed thoroughly to remove any remaining pulp.

Part 3
Utilize the Paper Towel Method

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    Prepare the seed for germination. Slice a thin piece of the top and bottom of the seed using a sharp knife. Opening the seed slightly will aid in its germination.
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    Wrap the seed in a damp paper towel.
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    Place the seed in a covered dish. Place the dish in a dark area, such as a closet, for 2 to 3 weeks.
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    Check your seed for germination. Observe the seed periodically for root growth. When the roots are 3 inches (7.62 cm) in length, the seed is ready to plant.

Part 4
Utilize the Toothpick Method

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    Insert 4 toothpicks in either side of the avocado seed, about halfway between the bottom and top.
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    Place the seed in a glass of water. Face the pointed end of the seed upward and balance it with the toothpicks on the sides of the glass, making sure 1/4 of the bottom of the seed is resting in water.
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    Place the water glass on a windowsill, but out of direct sunlight.
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    Refill the water periodically. Check the water level and refill when the level goes below 1/4 of the bottom half of the seed.
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    Observe the seed. In about 2 to 4 weeks, the seed should crack and a root should appear, followed by a stem. When the root is about 2 to 3 inches (5.08 to 7.62 cm) long, it will be ready for potting.

Part 5
Plant the Seed

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    Prepare the pot. Line a small planting pot with drainage holes with a small amount of gravel. Fill the rest of the pot with potting soil.
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    Place the seed, roots down, into the soil. Leave the top sprouts of the root system exposed, as well as 1/3 of the upper part of the seed. Pat the dirt firmly around the seed and water.

Part 6
Care for the Plant

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    Place your pot in a room where the temperature remains between 60 to 80 degrees F (16 to 27 degrees C).
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    Provide your houseplant with water as often as needed to maintain moist soil, but make sure it is not overly wet.

Tips

  • If your houseplant develops yellowing leaves, it is being over-watered. Avocados are susceptible to developing root rot from overexposure to water in the soil.
  • If your seed does not crack and develop a root within 2 to 3 months, discard it and try the same method with a new avocado seed.
  • You also may try planting the seed directly, rather than rooting it. Peel off the seed's brown coating. Plant the seed in a small potting container with drainage holes and a 10-10-10 potting soil. Leave 1/4 of the top of the seed out of the soil. Keep the soil moist, but do not overwater.
  • Transfer your plant to a larger, deeper pot when it becomes too tall to stand upright.

Things You'll Need

  • Knife
  • Damp paper towel
  • Toothpicks
  • Drinking glass
  • Small pot
  • Gravel
  • Potting soil

Article Info

Categories: Indoor and Patio Plants