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I find ourselves buying one or two Avocados twice a week.

It's one of these things that I've been wanting to do for a long time: grow an avacado plant.

  1. What is the ideal climate or exposure to sunlight that an avocado plant needs?
  2. Also what is the best way to germinate an avocado plant?
  3. Or how would you start growing an avocado plant?

The only other related thread i found was about an already growing avocado plant: How to prevent avocado from drying out indoors?


My plant started growing but wanted to let people know that it doesn't do very well in the cold weather.

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great question! I have always wanted to grow one, and have tried but nothing happens. Yet, when I clear out my compost bin there are always avocados in there that sprouted but then obviously died. Thanks for asking this. – standgale Dec 11 '12 at 3:35
up vote 10 down vote accepted

Here are a number of different methods:

The sticks and water method seems complicated. When I did it, I used a variation of Method 3 (in moist potting compost), but I started the seeds in a seal-able plastic bag of moist compost. This ensure the compost did not dry out. Transplant into a pot when the seed sprouts. I found I had much better germination rates than the various web sites suggested - perhaps I had good avocados! My un-doing is my climate - we get frosts, so they never survive the first winter outside, and I don't think they make good houseplants beyond a "one year novelty".

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I've grown one via the sticks and water method and it seemed to take ages to put out it's first root, unfortunately I didn't record how long it took, but I'd estimate 2 months. – bradley.ayers Jun 21 '11 at 10:40
We also tried to grow an avocado. It germinated fine, but it wouldn't grow more than about 12 inches tall in the original pot we had it in, and there's absolutely no chance of putting it outside in our climate. – JSBձոգչ Jun 22 '11 at 19:33
I once had one sprout in my compost bin so I think you're on to something. – Sean Aug 11 '12 at 22:58
Error 404: File Not Found for the link, can you fix it? – Marian Paździoch May 11 at 10:26

I wrap the avocado seed in wet, but not sodden, paper towel, put it in a Ziploc bag, place it in a semi-light spot (I place mine on my kitchen counter) and check every week or so to make sure the towel is still wet. In my experience, it takes between a week and a half and three weeks for it to form roots and a shoot. Then just plant it with the shoot above the soil line.

This is the only way I've ever had success. I'm on my third.

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I will give you a personal experience. The first time I planted an avocado using toothpicks it took 3 moths and no roots were observed. The second time, I did the following: using a knife, pass the knife around the seed, but mostly from the bottom, to allow the water to reach inside the seed and let the root form. This time it took 1 month, at the end of this month not only roots were performed, but also a little green stem, after that I placed it in the pot. I water it twice per week.

It usually takes 2-3 weeks for the root to be grown, but you can leave it an additional week in water, to see the green stem.

Now I have three planted avocados, and I'm waiting for the greatest one to grow a little big to fertilize it, because I heard that avocados don't fertilize alone the first time, they need fertilization, then they will continue alone.

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Awesome thanks for the detail. Any specific type of fertilizer will do (sorry i don't know much about fertilizer)? Oh how do know it's the bottom of the seed? – chrisjlee Mar 16 '12 at 18:10
Sorry for being late to answer your quest... As for the bottom of the seed, the seed top looks more oval, however the bottom is flat. As for fertilizers I'm using organic fertilizers made up of wooden ashes (sorry, don't know its name, but I'll ask and reply soon). – Zeina Mar 27 '12 at 8:11

I like the toothpicks and a glass of water method. It does take months but you can prune the roots with a razor blade to get more roots. Moderate indirect light is all they need to germinate. Once they are planted they need diffuse high light.

After reading Zeina's answer I tried it on the next batch of avocados. The trick is to find which part of the seed is "up". You need to take the inner part of the seed off the bottom end and this does speed up germination.

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I have planted avocado plant in a pot. It germinated by accident. Here in India avocado is an exotic plant. I got one avocado from farmers market and cut it and scooped the seed out. Just out of curiosity I put that seed in an pot with some soil. And after few days I saw some sprouting and a initial growth. The plant has grown about 6-7 inches and has 8-10 leaves in just over 3 weeks.

I had not deliberately made a cut to the seed, but when scooping it out I did accidentally make a small incision on it.

I am going to plant it in a bigger pot and observe what it does. Winter starts in another 3 months here...the temperatures wont go below 7-8 deg celcius. So I am hoping it will survive.

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