Think only avocados come from California? Think again. They can grow right on your own avocado tree. Many people think avocados are difficult to grow anywhere but in warm climates. Yet, avocados will grow just as well inside the home and can be placed outside during warmer months. Purchase an avocado from a grocery store, follow a few steps to prepare and plant the seed, and start growing your own avocado tree. (Those in USDA growing zones 8 to 11 can enjoy their tree outside all year long.)
Cut open an avocado. Remove the pit from the center. Wash the avocado pit with cool tap water to remove avocado fruit remains. Dry the pit with a towel.
Push three toothpicks 1/2-inch deep into the thickest width of the avocado pit.
Fill a glass three-quarters full with lukewarm water.
Place the pit in the top of the glass of the water. The toothpicks will rest on the rim of the glass and keep the avocado suspended--only the base of the pit should be under the surface of the water. The base of the pit should have at least an inch of water covering it at all times. Add water whenever the water level recedes.
Place the glass in a sunny window location. In three to six weeks, the pit will split and a stem and roots will emerge.
Pinch off the top sets of leaves when the stem reaches 4 to 6 inches tall. Wait another two to three weeks for new leaves and roots to sprout. At this point, the pit is ready for planting.
Fill a large flowerpot--8 to 10 inches across--with potting soil. Press a small hole in the center of the soil. Place the pit roots in the hole and firmly pack soil halfway up the side of the pit; the pit's upper half should remain visible above the soil line.
Water the tree gently with a steady stream of water. Keep the plant watered so that it appears moist, but never so moist that it appears muddy.