Avocado is a fruit of the plant Lauraceae family, which includes other popular fruits like guava and bay leaf. It is native to Mexico where it was used by ancient Aztecs in their cooking long before Europeans arrived. Later on, Spaniards brought avocado to India (where it’s called “butter fruit”) and later again to North America. If you have a ripe avocado fruit with a pit in the middle, it is easy to germinate an avocado seed. Keep reading to learn how.
How to germinate avocado seed?
- Wash the seed and remove all pulp with a spoon or your fingers. Leave as much as you can; it will help to prevent the seed from rotting quickly.
- Put the avocado pit in a small jar and cover with water up to 1/3 of the pit.
- Put the jar in a warm place (room temperature), which means not in direct sunlight. You may also keep the jar in a closed container with warm water, e.g., in the bathroom cabinet above the sink or on top of your fridge where it’s usually warmer than other places.
- Change the water every day to avoid it becoming stagnant and thus promoting bacterial growth.
- After 2 weeks, you will notice a bud emerging from the root end of the seed. Notice also two new leaves on the top of the avocado pit—these are called cotyledons. If you don’t see them after a week or so, try gently shaking your jar to see if they fall off—you may need to plant them right away to ensure plant survival.
- After 4 weeks, your avocado seed should be fully germinated and ready to pot into a small planter with soil to grow an avocado sapling. If you do this, keep watering the plant regularly—avocados are native to humid climates similar to South Florida or Cuba’s, so don’t let it dry out.
When should I germinate my avocado seed?
The best time to germinate avocado seeds is in late autumn or winter when temperatures are lower than during other times of the year. If you plant it too early, the warmer weather may cause your seedling to die. However, if you don’t want to wait that long, just keep the jar with the pit covered in water in a room that is heated 24/7 or where you go regularly.
Experience shows that if the avocado pit has just fallen off the fruit, it may take much less time for germination. The same applies if you have bought an avocado seed in a pet store—they are sometimes kept warm enough to sprout quickly.
Pit germination is a relatively easy way to grow avocado indoors in places where there are no naturally growing trees. You can also plant your germinated pit outdoors in the summer if you live in a warm climate and keep it indoors during winter when it’s cold. Just be sure to take the seedling out of direct sunlight once it gets big enough to handle.
Apart from the standard method of growing an avocado plant described above, you can try rooting the seed in water for propagation purposes. If you choose this option, make sure that if you cut the pit into half to root it in water that you put some fleshy part of it down, i.e., with the (usually) lighter-colored side on top. You can also try cutting a thin rectangle off the fleshy end and planting it in soil with the flat, cut side down—it may grow roots better this way. Regardless of which method you choose to use, make sure to keep an eye on your plant for any signs of stress such as browning leaves or the pit rotting, at which point your avocado plant needs attention. You may also like to read this article germinating seeds in paper towel in House I love.