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How to Root a Cutting From an Avocado Tree

avocado fruits on a wild avocado tree image by Lars Lachmann from

An avocado tree in full fruit is a beautiful and mouth watering site. Find an established tree and, after asking permission; cut a small green branch. The best time to take the cutting in early spring when the tree is beginning to put its energy into new growth. Rooting an avocado tree cutting is preferable to planting a seed because avocados do not produce true to the seed. By propagating a new tree from a cutting you are sure to get a clone of the parent tree.

Cut a green branch tip at the place where it attaches to a larger, more mature branch. Look for a branch that is 3 to 6 inches long with one to three immature leaves on it. Cut the branch, also called a scion, at a 45-degree angle using a pair of sharp pruning shears.

Roll the cut end of the avocado cutting in a soft wood hormone rooting powder. Hormone rooting powder can be found at many home and garden stores.

Fill an 8- to 10-inch pot with potting soil and peat moss. Look for a pot that has one or more drainage holes in the bottom to allow water to drain through when watering.

Make a 1- to 2-inch hole in the center of the pot. Use a pencil or dowel that is slightly larger than the avocado scion.

Place the bottom 1 to 2 inches of the cutting into the planting pot. Press the soil down around the cutting so that it stands up on its own.

Water the pot so that the soil is damp all the way through. Water will begin to drain out from the bottom when the cutting is sufficiently watered. Set the pot in the sink for an hour to let the excess water drain through.

Drive four bamboo sticks into the corners of the pot. Select sticks that are 3 to 6 inches longer then the avocado scion.

Place a clear plastic bag over the pot and secure it around the base with a rubber band or wire. This will create a mini greenhouse around the cutting.

Place the potted cutting on a sunny windowsill or covered porch. Check it every 3 to 5 days. Water when the soil begins to feel dry to the touch.

Watch the cutting for sings of new green growth. This can take 5 to 7 months to occur. When new growth appears on the cutting it means rooting has taken place, you can move it into a larger pot at this time.


It is a good idea to plant several cuttings. Success rates for rooting avocado cuttings can be as low as 3 in 10. If you plant more, your chances of success increase.

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