How to Grow Your Own Avocado Tree

Take an avocado and slice it neatly in half to reveal the meat and the seed (or pit).

Use the avocado to garnish a salad or make guacamole. The possibilities are endless!

The best way to remove the pit is to slice the knife down on it, stick it, twist it, and pull up from the flesh of the avocado. Works every time!

Make sure you wash the seed well. It will be sitting in water for a few weeks and there is the chance of growing funky things. We're hoping for a plant, not penicillin!

Stick a toothpick in the pit about 1/3 of the way up the side, deep enough that you can pick up the pit by the toothpick. Be sure the POINTY END of the avocado sticks up! (the root will sprout below)

Do this again on the opposite side of the pit. You can keep the toothpicks straight or angle them up slightly.

Place a total of 4 toothpicks in the pit equidistant for each other - you'll see that this produces a nice, solid way to suspend your seed in the dish.

Viola! If you've angled your toothpicks slightly upward you'll find that the seed sits down in the bowl a little better which will make it so you don't have to fill the bowl to the brim with water.

A little closer view. Again, the pointy end is on top. The plant will sprout from here.

Next fill the bowl with water until the seed is about halfway submerged (shameless plug for the Giants... Hum Baby!)

I think I may add a bit more water, or lower the seed to submerge it a bit more.

Place your seed in a sunny windowsill, preferably in a cat free area!

And there you have it. Now the waiting game begins. But the avocados will be well worth it!

It should take 4-6 weeks before your pit splits, the roots start growing from below, and the green shoots of your tree begin to emerge. Make sure to keep it watered every other day. No water, no life!

Please note that not all trees sprouted from avocado seeds will bear fruit. The best way to get homegrown avocados is to buy a grafted tree at a nursery, but they cost money - avocado pits are free!

Regardless, this is a fun activity to do with your kids if you've got a rainy day in the forecast that coincides with a hankering for some chips and guac.

Once the plant has sprouted and established, pot in a container with good drainage and fresh soil so that it can fully begin to develop and get to the point of potentially bearing fruit.

...or just keep it growing in water. I've had plants grow for years like this and they're a nice accent to any kitchen space.


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