The Q&A Archives: Avocado Plant

Question: I am trying to grow an avocado plant from a pit. Do I peel the pit, which end is put in water, and how long should it take?

Answer: You can sprout an avocado seed by placing three toothpicks or straightened paperclips into the seed, an equal distance apart, right at the widest part of the seed. It should look like spokes of a wheel if you've inserted them properly. The toothpicks will help suspend the pit so it's half in and half out of the water. I use a regular drinking glass, suspend the pit by placing the toothpicks on the rim of the glass, and filling the glass with water so the bottom half is immersed in water. The widest part of the pit is the bottom, and a sprout will emerge from the tip after about three weeks if you keep the water level constant, changing the water every week to help keep it clean. It's not necessary to peel the brown covering off the pit - it will dry out and fall off on its own. When the glass fills with roots and the sprout develops two sets of leaves, you can plant it in a container filled with moistened potting soil. Bury the roots and all but the top half-inch of pit, where the sprout has emerged. The remaining part of the pit will decompose eventually. When the sprout reaches 10-12 inches, pinch out the top to promote a bushy plant, or leave it alone if you want a tree with a single trunk. Good luck with your avocado project!

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