Avocados are rough, dark green, pear-shaped fruits with buttery-tasting flesh and a large seed or pit in the center. The seed can be germinated to grow an avocado tree. While it does take a little time to sprout, growing avocado trees from seed is easy and can be done on your kitchen windowsill. You will be able to observe the process of the tree developing as the seed sends out roots, stems and leaves. Afterward you can plant the seed outside---if the climate in your area will support it---or indoors as a beautiful houseplant.
Germinating the Avocado Seed
Split the fruit of the avocado with a knife, being careful not to cut the seed. Remove the seed from the fruit and wash it to remove any remaining fruit pulp.
Insert three or four toothpicks, evenly spaced, around the midsection of the avocado seed. Set the avocado seed and its toothpick props on the rim of a glass with the pointed end of the seed facing up. Add water to the glass until the bottom of the seed is submerged.
Place the glass in a window where the seed will receive plenty of light. Change the water once a week. Over a period of 4 to 6 weeks the seed will split open and send out a root. Eventually the seed will also sprout a stem and leaves.
Potting the Avocado Seedling
Once the seed has put out a stem and several leaves, it's time to plant your little avocado tree.
Mix equal amounts of potting soil, coarse sand and perlite. Fill a 1-gallon pot with the soil mixture.
Plant the tree in the soil so that the top third of the seed is exposed. Water until the soil is damp but not wet.
If you live in a mild climate (USDA hardiness zone 9 and above), your avocado tree can probably be transplanted outside. Avocado trees prefer a sunny location and fertile, well-drained soil.
In colder climates, an avocado tree makes a great houseplant. Keep it in a bright but cool and draft-free location. Transplant it to larger pot if it becomes root-bound.
Water the avocado tree regularly to keep the soil damp but not wet. Feed twice a year with a good citrus or avocado fertilizer.
About this Author
Located in Jacksonville, Fla, Frank Whittemore has been a writer and content strategist for over 15 years, providing corporate communications services to Fortune 500 companies. Whittemore writes on topics that stem from his fascination with nature, the environment, science, medicine and technology.