How To Go An Avocado Tree From A Seed

Avocado trees can be propagated from their seeds, an easy and cost-effective process. Growing an avocado tree from a seed has been a long-held tradition across many cultures, with some avocado families even keeping seeds from their favorite avocado varieties for generations. If you’d like to launch your own avocado tree growing adventure, here are a few important steps.

Begin by having a ripe avocado on hand. Cut it in half with a chef’s knife and spoon out the pit. Clean the seed and keep it away from moisture until you’re ready to plant. The seed must be dried in a nut-shell-like state to ensure it’ll remain viable over time. It’s best to stick a toothpick into the seed and suspend it on the rim of a cup or jar. This will help keep the seed vertical and let moisture escape, without plunging it into the water.

Next, grab a bucket of potting soil and fill a pot about three-quarters full. Slip the dried seed into the soil so that the pointed end faces downward, about half an inch deep. Place it in a bright, warm spot away from direct sunlight, like a windowsill, where the temperature can remain consistent.

Keep the soil damp and mist it regularly. After a week or two, first signs of life should show, in the form of roots and leaves. Eventually, transfer it to a slightly larger pot and continue to monitor it through maturity — a process that can last anywhere between four to twelve months. A fully grown avocado tree can survive many decades and produce edible fruit.


Fertilizing an avocado tree is an important but often overlooked step in successfully propagating one. As they’re large and heavy-cropping trees, they need to be fed with a specific type of fertilizer. Look for one with a higher concentration of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, as these three nutrients play a crucial role in the plant’s growth, overall health and productivity.

Avoid over-fertilization by running a soil test before deciding how much and when to fertilize the tree. If the soil looks exhausted, make sure to replenish the deficiency. Fertilizing once a month at the base of the tree is recommended, making sure to wash away any fertilizer residue regularly.

Alternatively, if the soil is in good shape, then consider a slow-release fertilizer emulsion. It’s much more efficient as it avoids run-off and saves time looking after the tree. Simply add the mixture to the soil and the ingredients will slowly sink into the ground and feed the tree over a long period of time.


Pruning is important to avocado trees as it helps cut down the competition for resources and enables the soil to reach the roots effectively. It also encourages fruiting and eliminates deadwood or diseased branches.

The best tips for successful pruning are to always use clean, sharp tools and to cut any dead, dying, or infected branches in the tree. Be sure to make all cuts close to the branch collar and avoid lifting them too high. Doing this will promote general fruit production and maintain the overall good health of the tree.

On the other hand, if the tree seems to produce too much fruit, than you should cut down any extra branches. Make sure to follow the pruning rule of “one-third”: removing no more than one-third of the canopy annually. This will reduce the stress on the tree and allow for the flowers and fruits to properly develop.


Transplanting an avocado tree may be necessary if you feel the tree needs more root space, or if the pot has worn down. However, it’s best to wait until the tree is at least four years old until attempting to move it.

When transplanting, choose an appropriate pot for the size of the tree. Drill holes in the bottom for proper drainage, then fill in soil and sand, creating a mixture. Dig around the tree, shading the root system as much as possible. Cut the main roots carefully and make sure to replant the tree at the same depth as before.

After transplanting, water the tree thoroughly and apply a light layer of mulch, then water twice a week. If necessary, tie the tree to a stake for extra support, so that it can better adjust to the new spot. Remember to keep the tree out of direct sunlight, otherwise it can heat up quickly.

Controlling Pests and Diseases

Avocado trees are vulnerable to various pests and diseases, many of which can cause significant damage if not properly treated. Preventing infestations is key, and some tactics include regular pruning, fertilizing, ensuring adequate drainage, and irrigating properly, either with drip emitters or soaker hoses.

In case of an attack, monitor your tree closely to identify any suspicious signs. Common pests to watch out for include fungus gnats and aphids, scale insects, whiteflies, and spider mites. Treat them with a combination of organic and chemical methods — first use natural controls like neem tree oil, insecticidal soap, or garlic sprays, then move on to chemical means when necessary.

As for diseases, keep an eye on avocado brown streaks, the avocado canker, rotting, and root rot. Regular pruning practices and avoiding runoff are some preventive tactics to consider. If the tree shows any of the above conditions, treat them right away with fungicidal and microbial elements, as well as organic fertilizers.

Harvesting and Storage

Once they’re fully grown, avocado trees can remain productive for many years. When ripened, pick the fruits from the tree and check for their maturity. Avocado fruits will stay fresh for up to four days after harvesting if kept at room temperature. Extending the shelf life is possible by storing the fruits in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

That said, careful harvesting and storage are essential for preserving the fruits’ quality and preventing any damage to the tree. Discourage your family and pets from picking from the tree at random as this can provoke infestations, diseases, and other forms of damage.

Avocado Grafting

Grafting is another popular way to produce and propagate avocado trees. It offers more control, a greater variety of avocados, and a faster harvest, as well. Grafting involves the careful technique of attaching a desirable scion or a young shoots of one variety to the rootstock of another type. This union enables both elements to form a single tree.

The method requires specific tools, materials, and methodologies, and a lot of experience. But if done right, it can potentially boost the overall yield and broaden the selection of fruits available for harvest. Moreover, it can ensure the tree’s health and longevity, as the union naturally “guards” the sensitive scion from various scratches and wounds.

Avocado Propagation from Cuttings

Propagation from cuttings is a widely used method for producing avocado trees. As a first step, identify healthy, mature branches from an existing tree. Cut about a 5-inch piece from the outer part of the branches and dip its end into rooting hormone. Plant it in the soil, then water and mist regularly. Keep the cutting in a warm, well-ventilated spot, safe from direct sunlight.

Young branches take anywhere between 8 weeks to 3 months to develop roots, so patience is key. Once they appear, make sure the tree receives enough water (once or twice a week) and fertilizer in order to grow. The younger the branch is, the faster the tree will produce its first set of fruits.

The Benefits of Growing an Avocado Tree from a Seed

In summary, growing an avocado tree from a seed can be a rewarding and exciting experience. In addition to having a fully grown tree in your backyard, you’ll gain an appreciation for the fruit, an understanding of its growth cycle and plenty of time outdoors. Plus, you’ll have the assurance that the tree you’re growing is organic and the fruits it produces will have maximum nourishment.  

Most importantly, while you’re ensuring the health of your tree and stalking its development, feel free to dream of a day when it’ll bear bounty of avocados that you can enjoy with your friends and family.

Gordon Wesson is an environmentalist and author who lives in the Pacific Northwest. He has been writing for many years about topics related to trees, the environment, and sustainability. In particular, he is passionate about educating people on the importance of living in harmony with the environment and preserving natural spaces. He often speaks at conferences and events around the country to share his knowledge with others. His dedication to protecting our planet makes him one of the leading voices in his field today.

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