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Foolproof Avocado Propagation – Grow your own!

March 9, 2021

Avocado plant captured from above

I don’t know many people who don’t love a beautifully ripe avocado. But what do you do with the pit after enjoying the fruit? You should definitely be propagating that amazing little avocado pit if you aren’t already! This foolproof step-by-step guide to propagating your avocado will have you growing gorgeous little avocado plants throughout your home.

Perfect Avocado Pit Preparation

If you’re intending to try to grow a plant from the pit make sure that you cut into the fruit carefully to avoid damaging it. A little cut won’t affect the germination, however any cut you make will oxidize and turn brown. (See link below to my blog about how to have some fun with this!)

In order to accelerate germination and also to avoid any mold growth, we recommend removing the outer layer of the pit. There are a few ways to do this:

  1. Wash the seed to remove any fruit and allow it to soak in water for about 24 hours. The darker outer layer should peel off easily; or
  2. Wash the seed and allow it to dry for 24 -48 hours at room temperature. Once dry, the outer layer will pull away from the seed fairly easily.

Removing the outer layer using the drying (step 2 above) method is captured below.

Peeling the avocado pit for germination
Avocado pit preparation and peeling

Accelerating the avocado pit germination

There is nothing fast about avocado germination… but the good news is that the process can be accelerated. To accelerate germination, wrap the peeled pit in damp paper towel and seal it in an airtight container. (I tend to use re-usable containers or takeaway tubs – but you can also use plastic sandwich bags). Then place the sealed container in a dark, warm spot and check on it every 4 – 5 days to monitor progress and to ensure that the paper towel remains damp. I have a little germination factory under the kitchen sink, for example!!

Avocado pit germination in wet paper towel and airtight container
Avocado pit germination

Pit splitting and root growth

One of the first things that you notice when doing your regular checks is that the pit begins to split. This is the first sign of successful germination. You’ll then begin to notice the root growing from the bottom (flat section) of the pit. Keep the pit in its happy little humid home until the root is about 3-4 centimetres (2 inches) long.

Avocado pit rooting
Avocado pit rooting

Transfer Avocado pit into water or plant directly into soil

Once the root is established the pit can be transferred into water (my personal favorite as I love to watch the roots develop) or it can be planted directly into soil.

Avocado pit in water

As mentioned above, I love water propagation (hydroponics) as it brings me joy to see the progress in action. You can use absolutely any vessel that holds water and keeps the pit from falling into the water, so use your imagination! Some things I have been known to use include:

  • A small decorative jar
  • A beer bottle
  • A glass sauce jar

If you wish to make more of a statement with your propagated avocado plant, there are beautiful options out there like avocado vases or saucers to put on top of standard glass vases.

The avocado pit can be kept in water indefinitely, however we recommend changing the water every couple of weeks to keep it oxygenated. You could also add some organic liquid fertilizer to the water to promote growth – however be careful not to use too much as it could cause root burn. If kept in a bright spot, the stem and leaves will soon begin to grow.

Avocado water propagation in glass jars
Avocado water propagation in different glass jars

Avocado pit in soil

You may choose to skip the water propagation altogether and plant the rooted pit directly into soil. And this is a great option too! You don’t require much, other than standard, good quality potting soil and a pot with a drainage hole. Note that the following also applies to planting the avocado plant once the stem and leaves have grown from your water propagated plant.

Plant the pit with the flat area (where the root is growing from) facing down, and the pointed part facing up. It doesn’t matter too much how deep you plant it, or how much of the pit is showing as long as it is secure in the soil. I like leaving some of the pit visible – but that is a personal choice.

It is worth noting that once the plant has used up all the nutrients in the pit, it will naturally turn dark, shrivel up and erode into the soil. This is completely natural and means that your plant is now self-sufficient! The pit is just the initial nutrient giving vessel to help your young plant get started.

Avocado pit decomposing
Avocado pit decomposing

Have some fun!

So, you’ve had a successful avocado propagation! Congratulations! Are you ready to be more adventurous?

See my blog on two fun experiments to try.

Avocado Propagation fun – Avocado Bonsai and Pit Marking.

Give it a go…

Please, give it a go! I’d love to hear how you got on. Your success stories and your failures. I’m here to help you get a better result next time.

Get in touch!

Happy Propagating.

Avocado Topiary

Once you’ve successfully propagated an avocado (which is a fun process in itself!), it’s time to challenge yourself and have even more fun. If you’re new to avocado propagation, then take a look at my foolproof guide here. 

Topiary is a form of gardening (and I use the term very loosely here!)  that shapes plants into decorative shapes that the plant would not naturally grow into. This can be done by pruning or training the plants over time (patience is key) to achieve the desired shape. I don’t claim to be an expert, or to have even been completely successful, but creating shapes with the stem of an avocado is a fun process.

Typically, the avocado plant is not a usual specimen to practice topiary on, but there is definitely some experimenting that can be done and some enjoyment to be had.

Germinating the pit

Use our easy to follow foolproof guide to avocado propagation. You can find the blog here. Once the pit has sprouted some roots, plant the pit in a pot with a well draining potting mix. Keep an eye on the stem growth – once it reaches 15 cm (or 6 inches) it will require its first prune.  

Pruning the avocado plant 

Your 15 cm (6 inches) stem will need to be cut back by half, to create a stem approximately 7 cms (3 inches). By doing this, you are encouraging root growth as the plant’s energy will not be diverted into growing stems and leaves. Regular pruning also helps create a shorter, thicker and stronger stem. 

As avocado leaves can get fairly large, cutting them back before they reach full size will keep the plant in proportion. 

Training your avocado plant

By using copper or aluminium wire, you can train your stem and branches to grow in any direction you wish. I have tried a loop and also stem braiding, but if you are just experimenting to have some fun, you can train your plant any way you wish.   

Wrap the wire around the stem and branches to encourage growth in your desired direction, making sure that the wire isn’t too tight to restrict the stem or branches. And make sure to replace these wires as the stem and branches grow thicker, to avoid bounding them. You can then gently bend and tie the plant’s branches or stems to encourage them to grow in your desired direction or shape  

If you have given this a go, we would love to see your progress. Get in touch and send us some photos! 


Avocado plant braiding

Avocado pit marking

Avocado pit marking


As with creating an avocado topiary plant, this is a fun activity to try. Or if you want to gift an avocado tree, then writing a message on the pit is a great idea to personalise a gift! It is worth noting that, once the pit has served its purpose of a nutrient providing capsule, it disintegrates into the soil so this is a temporary feat. 

The process of pit marking can occur because any cut to the pit will oxidize and turn brown. We can use this oxidization to our advantage by gently marking out letters or shapes and allowing it to turn brown against the light colour of the pit. 

You can really let your imagination run wild here, so have some fun.  

Things you’ll need are:

  • An avocado pit (of course!)
  • A small, sharp knife
  • A design… or an imagination!

Step 1 – Peel the avocado pit by removing the outer layer (or husk

Step 2 – Decide on your design. A heart? Initials? The choice is yours and the possibilities are endless

Step 3 – Either create a template by drawing your design on a piece of paper, cutting it out and sticking it to the avocado pit as a guide where to cut. Or go with the flow and create your design directly onto the pit. Note – if you’re intending to keep your design to the top-half of the pit.  

Step 4 – To create a colour block, remove any flesh from inside the outlines made.  

Step 5 – Sit back and watch your design come alive. Any areas cut will start turning dark after about half an hour.

Step 6 – Germinate the pit as usual by following our fool-proof guide to avocado propagation blog, found here. 

Step 7 – Plant the germinated pit in soil (or keep it in water indefinitely) and display your work of art! Or gift it. Remember that the design will remain on the pit until it decomposes into the soil. This decomposition occurs naturally once an avocado planted in soil becomes self-sufficient.

Please let us know if you give this a try. We’d love to see what you have created. Send us an email or tag us on your Instagram posts.


Avocado pit marked with a heart