I have had some uninspiring success growing avocados from the pit, by suspending them in a glass of water using toothpicks. Recently, I had set aside several pits to do the same, but didn't get around to putting them in water for over a week. Now the pits don't seem to be sending down roots or sending up shoots at all.

Is there a maximum amount of time that an avocado pit may be allowed to sit/dry out prior to being put in water for growing?

  • How long have they been in water for, and what are the coldest temperatures where you are doing this ? The process can take a long time (months) sometimes.
    – davidgo
    Jul 14, 2016 at 2:38
  • I am aware that it can in some cases take a very long time for the pit to sprout or to root, but my main question was how long one can go between removing the pit from its fruit and starting it in water. Jul 15, 2016 at 22:18

2 Answers 2


Be careful not to remove the brown skin on the pit – that’s the seed cover.

Some avocado pits are slightly oblong, whereas others are shaped almost like perfect spheres – but all avocado pits have a bottom (from where the roots will grow), and a top (from which the sprout will grow). The slightly pointier end is the top, and the flat end is the bottom. In order to get your pit to sprout, you will need to place the bottom root end in water, so it’s very important to figure out which end is the ‘top’ and which is the ‘bottom’ before you go piercing it with toothpicks.

Place seed half-submerged in a glass of water

And set on a quiet windowsill with sunlight. It’s helpful to use a clear glass so you can easily see when roots start to grow.

Many guides say sprouting can take anywhere from 2-4 weeks, but in my experience, it usually takes at least 8 weeks to get a sprout,

you can leave the pit out aslong as it doesn't dry out to much, you must keep the conditions right.


Starting 4/2022 I removed the outer brown skin after drying them out and suspending them by toothpicks in a clear glass in sunlight. Through experience I have three new avocado plants growing outdoors due to a different way I did it. Plant the pit without the skin on completely covered in potting soil. I did this and it worked as long as the pit was completely under the soil so the pit would not spoil. I don’t dry my pits out any longer than three weeks. I’ve noticed dark spots/areas showing up on them if I keep them longer than that. The ones with dark areas on them never made it to the transplanting stage.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.