Starting an avocado plant from seed is a fun project to do with kids and an inexpensive way to get a pretty new houseplant. Avocados originated in South America and were introduced to the United States in the early 1800s. This fruit is high in heart-friendly monounsaturated fat and cholesterol and sodium free, making it a healthy snack, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one avocado contains 60 percent more potassium than a banana. Next time you eat an avocado, save the seed and see how easy it is to grow a plant from it.
Starting in Soil
Fill a 6- to 8-inch clay flower container with a houseplant potting soil to within 1 inch of the rim. Water the soil just until it is damp.
Place the flat end of the avocado seed in the soil so the pointed end is about 1 inch above the surface of the soil. Press the soil around the seed to hold it in place.
Set the container in a sunny location such as in front of a south-facing window. The seed needs plenty of bright indirect light and temperatures of 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Water the seed consistently every other day or so just to keep the soil moist. Use a spray bottle or watering can with a small spout so as not to wash the soil away from the seed.
Starting in Water
Fill a clean glass jar with water to the rim. Insert three to four toothpicks spaced evenly around the middle of the avocado seed.
Place the flat end of the seed in the water with the toothpicks resting on the rim of the jar to hold the seed up. The pointed end of the seed should be halfway out of the water.
Place the jar in a sunny windowsill where the seed will receive bright indirect light. Add water to the jar as needed to keep it full as it evaporates.
Watch for roots to appear from the flat end of the avocado seed and a tiny shoot to emerge from the pointed end in about three weeks. Once the main stem grows to about 6 inches and leaves begin to appear, plant it in a container with potting soil so the pointed end of the seed is just below the soil surface.
About this Author
Residing in Southern Oregon, Amy Madtson has been writing for Demand Studios since 2008 with a focus on health, pregnancy, crafts and gardening. Her work has been published on websites such as eHow and Garden Guides, among others. Madtson has been a childbirth educator and doula since 1993.