How to Start an Avocado Plant

Overview

Add an exotic touch to your home by growing your own avocado tree from the pit. There is no need to purchase a seed to grow this plant. Instead, save the pit from a healthy, ripe avocado after you have eaten the fruit. Avocado plants do not tolerate freezing temperatures, so in many locations these plants are best-suited as houseplants. You can also place the potted tree outdoors during the summer months and bring it inside before a winter freeze.

Step 1

Wash the pit thoroughly, removing any remaining fruit that is stuck to it. Cut the top ¼ inch off the pointed end of the pit with a sharp knife to help speed germination.

Step 2

Fill an 8-inch diameter pot with a well-drained, slightly sandy potting mix. Use a soil-less mix or combine ½ cup of sand with a standard potting soil. Leave a 2-inch space between the top of the potting mix and the rim of the pot.

Step 3

Plant the avocado pit in the pot, burying the bottom third of the pit in the potting mixture. The broad end of the pit will be in the soil, with the pointed end protruding above the soil level. Place the pot in a window where it receives at least six hours of sunlight a day.

Step 4

Water the soil until the excess moisture begins to drain from the bottom of the pot. Water the soil whenever the surface begins to feel dry, thoroughly moistening it each time.

Step 5

Cover the pit with humus, compost or peat moss once the pit begins to sprout, which can take up to three months. Continue to water as necessary to keep the soil moist but not soggy.

Step 6

Fertilize the avocado plant once a month after the avocado has begun growing, using a soluble houseplant fertilizer. Follow fertilizer package instructions for exact application amounts and methods.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avocado prefers humidity, and the leaves can begin wilting in overly dry conditions. Mist the plant's leaves with water one or two times per day if lack of humidity is an issue.

Things You'll Need

  • Knife
  • Pot
  • Potting mix
  • Sand
  • Humus
  • Fertilizer

References

  • University of New Hampshire: Houseplants from the Kitchen
Keywords: planting avocado pits, indoor trees, growing avocado trees

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.