The Q&A Archives: How to Grow an Avocado From the Pit

Question: I am interested in knowing the best way to grow an avacado from the pit. I am a school teacher and would really like to try this with my children. Please let me know all that I need to know to grow an avacado tree successfully. What time of year? What condition should the pit be in.....dried out....fresh from the avacado....? Fertilizer? Watering? Desired temperature? When can it be transplanted into the ground? Will it even grow in San Antonio soil and climate? I would appreciate any assistance you may be able to provide.

Answer: An avocado seed will sprout slowly, but fairly dependably if you don't allow it to dry out more than a couple of days after removing it from the fruit. You can either plant the seed in a container of potting soil or you can poke 3 toothpicks into the sides and set it on a glass ful of water. Either way, place the pointed end up. In time roots will form and a shoot will grow.

Give the seedling plenty of light, the brighter the better. You will need to repot it into larger containers as it grows or it will quickly become very unhappy! Fertilize it with the low rate of a liquid plant food periodically and avoid the tendency to overwater.

San Antonio winters are too cold for most avocado types. Of the 3 types, Mexican, Guatemalan, and West Indian, only the Mexican types will have a chance of surviving outdoors in your area. They may be killed to the ground in some years but should resprout. You can transplant your avocado outdoors in late March when most danger of frost is past. Find a location where it can receive plenty of sunlight.

Good luck with your class project!

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