The avocado (Persea americana), which is native to the subtropics and is more rarely called avocado pear or butter fruit, has long been a popular superfood due to its taste and healthy ingredients, and it is nearly impossible to imagine our plates without it.
However, the evergreen shrub also convinces hobby botanists and plant lovers with its appearance and unpretentiousness. In our guide, you can find out how you can bring real tropical flair into your living room in our latitudes.
The most important things in brief:
Successfully Growing an Avocado Plant: What is Needed?
- Avocado seeds (e.g. Hass or Fuerte variety)
- Water glass/mug or small pot (depending on the method)
- Water or potting soil
- 3 toothpicks
- a warm and bright location
What is the best way to prepare an avocado seed, and what role do the above-mentioned utensils play? You can find out all of this in the following paragraph.
Prepare the Avocado Seed Ideally
Seeds from very ripe Avocados of the great Mexican variety Hass have proven particularly effective. To get to the core inside, first carefully cut the fruit lengthwise with a sharp knife without damaging the core.
Now separate the two halves from each other with an opposite twisting motion. You can then easily remove the core from the pulp flesh with a tablespoon. Next, wash the core thoroughly under running water and carefully remove the brown skin all around.
This makes it easier for the seed to germinate and minimizes the risk of mold and rot.
What methods of cultivation are there and what is particularly important? In the paragraphs below, we explain the most popular techniques step by step.
We would like to start with the variant in the water bath.
Germinate Avocado Seeds in a Water Bath
Probably the most common germination method for avocado seeds is in a water bath. For this purpose, the bottom of the core (flattened end) must be permanently in the water until fine roots have formed.
So that the core is not completely submerged in water, carefully fix it in place with three toothpicks, which then rest on the edge of the container or cup. However, be careful not to insert the toothpick too deeply into the core and damage the plant embryo inside.
We recommend a transparent glass so that you can always see the progress and water level. The level should be about halfway up the core.
Now put the glass in a warm and bright place. After about 10-14 days, a first crack should already appear on the bottom of the core, which is getting bigger from day to day. After about a month, a stubby taproot should be visible, which is steadily growing and becomes longer and stronger.
Once a branched rootstock and sprout with leaves has formed, you can carefully plant the seed in soil.
Now that you have just got to know the popular water bath method for cultivating an avocado plant, we would like to introduce you to the soil variant, which is also very common, as an option below.
Germinate Avocado Seeds in Potting Soil
As an alternative to the germination method in a water bath, you can also place the core in a small pot with soil. If necessary, you can also use special growing soil for this.
This is usually poorer in nutrients and looser than ordinary potting soil, but this is not essential for successful cultivation.
It is important that the core with the flattened bottom is inserted about halfway into the ground. Water the soil generously and make sure that the soil stays moist at all times.
The location should be warm, bright and protected from drafts. After about 6-8 weeks, the successful cultivation is rewarded with a small sprout.
As an alternative to the conventional methods just described, you will now find out everything you need to know about special avocado seed growing kits.
These are great for beginners and anyone who wants minimal fuss growing and is willing to spend a little more money to do so.
The Convenient Alternative: Top 3 Avocado Seed Rearing Kits
If the traditional germination methods are too cumbersome for you, you also have the option of buying special propagation kits that have been specially developed for raising an avocado sprout for little money.
These are mainly floating vessels that keep the core optimally fixed in water. In contrast to the normal water bath method, there is no danger here that the germ will be injured by a toothpick inserted too deeply or that the core will remain dry because you forgot to water it.
Due to the appealing design and originality, such a seed germination vessel is a perfect gift for children or beginners in botany!
A list of some of the best grow kits will be added soon.
You can find out everything about possible mistakes in cultivation and potential causes in the paragraphs below.
Avocado Seed is not Germinating: Possible Causes
No matter which cultivation method you choose, the following generally applies; If you still don’t see any progress after 4-6 months, the avocado seed has not germinated. There can be several reasons for this, e.g. the seed may have been taken from an unripe avocado, which is why it lacks the energy required for germination.
Another cause could be that the core inside was damaged by inserting the toothpick too deeply (water bath method). It is also important that the core and the potting soil do not get moldy.
By thoroughly washing off the pulp flesh and removing the brown skin, you minimize the risk of mold significantly. You also have to make sure that the core does not dry out. Therefore, regularly check the water level and the soil (depending on the method).
Tip: If you are starting the experiment for the first time, we recommend cultivating several avocado seeds with the different cultivation methods. This increases the probability of successful breeding!
Which method is best for growing? Read on to learn all about the pros and cons.
Pros & Cons of Different Avocado Germination Methods
Getting an avocado seed to germinate is not rocket science, provided you use the right tricks and a little patience. The methods do not differ in terms of speed or the result.
The toothpick variant in water has the advantage that you can always keep an eye on the progress through a transparent cup. You have to be careful not to injure the germ by inserting it too deeply.
Furthermore, eventually, you will have to reach for pot and soil anyway. Of course, you save yourself this with the direct method in soil, but there are important points to consider here as well.
On the one hand, you cannot observe the first progress of root growth and have to wait until the sprout has fought its way up. This takes at least 6-8 weeks.
In addition, you must ensure that the soil remains moist at all times, but does not start to mold.
The most economical are the conventional cultivation methods in water or soil, but the easiest is to use one of the special cultivation kits for avocado seeds described above.
You can now see the individual steps of the instructions mentioned above, again beautifully illustrated in form of a useful YouTube video.
Video Tip: Successful Cultivation of an Avocado Seed
In the following video from the channel ‘TheKiwiGrower’, you will find helpful tips and information about avocado rearing.
The two most popular cultivation methods in a glass of water or directly in a pot with soil are particularly emphasized.
A final conclusion from our editors, summarized briefly and concisely.
With the help of our useful guide, the successful cultivation and rooting of an avocado seed is child’s play, even for beginners.
In our opinion, the traditional methods (water bath or soil) are the best and also the cheapest, since the required utensils are in most households anyway.
With special cultivation kits for avocado seeds, you have the least amount of care and time, but they have to be ordered for a small amount of money first. As an original gift idea, however, they are undoubtedly good.
You are welcome to let us know in the comments if you have any additional questions or comments. Of course, we are also happy about any feedback on our article.
We wish you every success in growing avocados!
This page was created by Micha Gengenbach. Have a look at Micha’s author page to get additional information on his background, a list of all his articles, as well as an overview on his other responsibilities on Nature Globe.