Avocados are an excellent choice for the home gardener who wants to grow their own houseplant from scratch. And not only are they very easy to germinate, but in a relatively short period of time it's possible to go from a pit to an attractive houseplant. Because of the ease of growing an avocado plant, it can be a fun and educational indoor project for children and adults alike.
Slice open the avocado and carefully remove the pit. Be conscientious when opening the avocado as to avoid inadvertently cutting into the pit. Wash the pit under running water and gently scrub away any remaining residue by hand. Wipe it down with a paper towel and set it aside to dry overnight.
Insert four toothpicks into the chunkiest, widest point of the pit. They should be equidistant from one another and inserted approximately 1/2 inch into the pit. The purpose of the toothpicks is to suspend the pit in the water while allowing a portion of the pit to be exposed to the air.
Fill a small, clear glass jar with room temperature water. Suspend the pit on the rim of the jar making sure that the more pointed side is exposed to the open air. The rounded half of the pit should be submerged in water. Add more water if necessary.
Place the jar in a well lit area that receives partial sunlight to allow for germination. A sunny windowsill is an ideal location. Change the water every day or two in order to prevent mold or bacteria from building up. The outer layer of the pit will ultimately begin to slough off and within about four to six weeks roots should begin appearing. Leaves will follow a short time later. When the seedling has several sets of leaves and a sizable root system, it will be ready to repot.
Prepare the seedling to be planted in potting mix. Take the avocado plant out of the water and piece by piece remove the toothpicks. Fill a terra cotta pot three-quarters full with fertilizer enhanced potting mix. Dig a small hole into the center of planter and gently place the avocado seedling into the opening. Cover the roots with potting mix and water the plant occasionally so that the soil is consistently kept moist. Place the plant in indirect sun.