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.


7 Answers 7


There are a number of different methods in the link.

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".

  • 3
    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. Jun 21, 2011 at 10:40
  • 2
    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. Jun 22, 2011 at 19:33
  • I once had one sprout in my compost bin so I think you're on to something.
    – Sean
    Aug 11, 2012 at 22:58

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.


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.

  • 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, 2012 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, 2012 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.


The ideal climate to grow avos in is sub-tropical - ideally 15-30 degree centigrade temperatures - but you can go lower and higher. The thing is that avocados do not like freezing weather - most types (including Hass) die when frost hits, but a few types are quite a lot hardier.

Varieties with better cold tolerance include Fuerte, Reed, Bacon, Zutano (among others - i've ordered these, roughly, by how good the fruits are). Bigger trees are more frost tolerant, but you will struggle to find varieties which survive under -3c.

More sunlight = faster growth, but its not lack of light that kills them, its cold weather and wet roots - good drainage is a must.

As at today, all the other answers ignore some key facts - 1. An avocado grown from seed will not be the same as its parent type. 2. It might never bear fruit, it could take 20 years to bear fruit, but a minimum of 7 years. 3. The "correct" way to grow an avocado is to graft a cutting of a known variety onto a plant grown from seed, or, better, Zutano rootstock. It is probably possible to grow an entire plant from a cutting as well. 4. Unless you have extremely variable weather, you need 2 types of avocados for fruiting to occur - an "A" and "B" type, each which opens its flowers as male and female at different kinds. New Zealand is a bit unique in as much as weather is so variable you can often get away with 1 plant, but multiple plants will provide better yields.

Provided they are exposed to sunlight, good drainage and lots of non-chlorinated water, Avo trees should grow ok indoors, but for even a slim chance of getting fruit you will need a very large pot and probably an avocado on dwarf root stock - even then, the chances of yielding fruit are slim.


In the spring or even in summer:

If it isn't spring or summer go ahead and do this anyway because many a forgotten seed will sprout when the time is right without any extra attention as long as it is the right climate for growing avocado trees.

  • remove outer skin (easily done by letting it dry for a couple days)
  • cut off top 1/3 (horizontal-smaller end is the top) with a sharp clean knife (be careful not to split the seed in half vertically exposing the kernel in the center)

  • plant cut side up in garden location where it will have lots of sun and in rich well drained soil with the top just below the surface

  • keep it watered


  • avocado seeds you grow in water undergo shock when making the transition from water to soil and possibly indoors to outdoors and do not always survive
  • started outdoors in soil will produce a good sturdy trunk from the start
  • and yes, in just four or five years it will produce fruit -it most likely will not be the same as the seed from the parent tree but do not let that discourage you - it can be better!
  • I have sprouted many avocado seeds on purpose & by accident. Currently have two nice little tree-lets in the yard. As babies, they do die back at least a little bit when the overnight temp falls near freezing. But that doesn't happen often here. The bigger of my 2 avocados is at least 10 yrs. old & a little taller than me because occasional pruning. In contrast to Carol's amazing tree(s), my guy has never yet shown a fruit or a flower .. though other avo trees do bear fruit very commonly in my neighborhood. So my point is - fruit in 4 or 5 yrs.from seed? Sorry to say, not in my experience.
    – Lorel C.
    May 12, 2018 at 21:05

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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