Growing an Avocado Tree: Is it Possible at Home?

This past spring, my wife and I suddenly developed a new love for growing things. We had dabbled with a small garden and a few porch plants in the past, but all of the sudden, we desired all the plants. Trips to Home Depot and Lowe’s were a nightmare for our wallets, as we couldn’t resist all of the new, leafy, and colorful plants.

It’s one thing to purchase a plant from a garden center and watch it grow. Of course, this also comes with its challenges. I had tried unsuccessfully to maintain care of various bonsai trees over the years (perhaps a subject for another time), and several other plants we had attempted to keep alive suffered from over- or under-watering among other things.

Armed with our new-found experience in growing things indoors and outdoors, I decided to venture out and try something new- growing a tree from seed. But not just any tree. I wanted to do something with the leftover avocado pits from our frequent consumption of guacamole, so I did a quick search online, only to discover that it didn’t seem too difficult to sprout an avocado from a pit.

So on April 6th, I did it. After enjoying some delicious guacamole and saving an avocado pit, the first step was to get a tall, open-top container. I used a Mason jar. According to the guide I found online, it was as simple as putting toothpicks in the side of the avocado pit and placing it on top of the water-filled jar, and then wait.

The avocado pit approximately one week after placing it in the jar

So I waited.

A week went by, and the pit began to split open! After 10 days, I could see growth inside the split! It was pretty amazing to observe, because I had basically left it alone for over a week, only topping the water off a few times.

The plant is visible inside the pit after 10 days.

It wasn’t long before the root began to drop, just like the online guide said. It was exciting to go into the kitchen to see how much more the root had grown.

Day 22. The root begins to drop!

After an entire month in the jar, the plant began to grow up and out of the pit. The root also split into two sections!

Day 30. The plant is almost out of the top, and the root split into two sections.

Three days later, the plant was visible. After over a month of waiting, the baby tree finally emerged from the pit!

Day 33. The brand new avocado seedling emerges from the top of the pit.

A week later, I finally began to see small leaves form as the tree grew taller.

Day 40. The avocado tree now has brand new leaves.

Once the leaves emerged, it was only a matter of time before the tree was ready to be moved into soil. The online guide said to wait until the plant was about 6 inches tall before moving to a container. I had to use a pot, since avocado trees are not hardy in cold temperatures, and as the winters here in Southwest Virginia can be very cold, the plant got moved into its own pot.

Day 46. The tree gets its own pot.

I kept the pot indoors after this for a few months, and the tree produced several new leaves and continued to grow taller.

Day 103. A happy plant.

It has now been almost 6 months since I placed the pit into the jar of water. The plant has been growing happily ever since, producing new leaves along the way. I have had one issue so far with some leaf browning, which began when I put fertilizer pellets in the pot. Avocados are sensitive to high salt concentrations in the soil, which I didn’t know, but apparently the fertilizer I used had too much salt, which caused some of the oldest leaves to brown and fall off. To remedy this, I returned the pot to our front porch (it had been inside since it began to sprout), where I was able to more thoroughly water the plant and allow the water to run through and out the holes in the bottom of the pot.

The tree also had to adjust to the full sun after being indoors, but it has begun producing new growth again, so I hope these solutions will allow it to be happy! Here’s what it looks like now (you’ll notice the browning leaves at the bottom as well as the new growth at the top:

Day 156. Now a survivor of salt issues, the tree is producing plenty of new growth again.

So now I know you’re all wondering, will it ever produce fruit?

The answer is yes. Of course it may take 7 to 10 years before this tree could produce fruit, and that’s assuming the correct pollinators are around when the time comes. Oh, and additionally, the fruit may not be the same as the avocado that the pit came from. Grocery store avocados are grown on trees which have been grafted from existing trees, as this ensures consistency in size and flavor, as well as a shorter waiting period before the graft may produce fruit.

Nevertheless, even if I have to wait many years for my own avocados, this has been a really fun adventure. I’ve learned a lot about caring for plants and I enjoy watching the tree continue to grow.

If you would like future updates on the tree and its status, I have been continually updating this Twitter thread with updates, and I’m planning to continue updates. Who knows, if Twitter is still around in 7-10 years, perhaps you’ll even see its first fruit!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this small glimpse into what’s been going on in my life. I hope to provide a more thorough update on other life events in the future, but I couldn’t resist wading into the waters of New Steem to share a fun post about growing things.

I encourage you to try growing something. It’s so much fun. Just do a quick online search, and you can discover how to grow almost anything.

Oh, and if you are curious, this isn’t the first time I’ve grown a tree from seed. Just ask my lemon tree.

I’d love to hear from you below, so leave a comment and I’ll do my best to get back to you!

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