How to Start Avocado Trees From Seeds in a Container


Landscapers prize the avocado tree (Persea americana) for its lush, shade-producing growth. Chefs love it for its dark green fruit filled with green-yellow, buttery flesh. Avocado saplings can be bought in many garden stores and nurseries, but starting a tree by germinating a seed at home is much cheaper. A tree grown from seed will start producing its own harvest of avocado fruit a decade after the seed was started.

Step 1

Remove the seed from the avocado fruit. Rinse it thoroughly under running water to remove any clinging pieces of avocado flesh. For the best results, dig the seed out of the fruit right before you are going to plant it. Avocado seeds rarely last longer than a month once they're dug out, according to Purdue University.

Step 2

Pour an inch of gravel into the bottom of a pot. For the best results, use a large pot that measures approximately 10 inches in diameter and 12 inches in height.

Step 3

Fill the pot with a standard commercially prepared potting soil mix. You can also make your own potting soil by combining equal parts of garden loam, peat moss and perlite or sand.

Step 4

Cut 1/2 inch off the pointed end of the avocado seed. This makes the seed germinate faster, according to the University of Florida.

Step 5

Plant the seed and orient it so the cut end points upward. Bury the seed halfway into the potting mix with the top half exposed to the air.

Step 6

Water the pot. Apply moisture once a day or as needed to keep the top 4 inches of the soil moist. The seed will typically sprout within two months.

Things You'll Need

  • Pot
  • Gravel
  • Potting mix
  • Knife
  • Avocado fruit


  • "Growing Trees From Seed: A Practical Guide to Growing Native Trees, Vines and Shrubs"; Henry Kock, et al.; 2008
  • University of Florida: Avocado Propagation
  • Purdue University: Avocado
  • University of Nebraska: Start Avocado Seeds
Keywords: start avocado trees, grow avocado seed, plant container avocadoes

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.