How to Root Avocado Seeds

For many years, I wasn’t much of a fan of avocados.

I’d have to say my appreciation of this fruit (botanically it’s a fruit) was an acquired taste, that developed only fairly recently.

While this post includes some avocado tastiness, it also includes a fun avocado project that you may want to consider.

Today, I want to share with you how to root avocado seeds.

Even though I picked up these avocados with the express purpose of using the seeds, I had no intention of just tossing out the avocado flesh.

Hey, you need it for guacamole, right?

Actually, I think I may be the only one in my household who is a fan of guacamole.

Just scroll down for the easy recipe and after that, I’ll show you what to do with the seeds.

Guacamole
Ingredients
  • 3 Avocados
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Slice avocados.

  2. Remove seed and set aside for rooting project.

  3. Break up avocado using a fork. Gently mash to remove the lumps.

  4. Add chopped tomatoes .

  5. Add onion sparingly to desired taste. and onion. I didn't use an entire onion because I didn't want the onion to overpower the guacamole flavor.

  6. Mix well but gently.

  7. Add salt and pepper to taste and chill for at least an hour.

  8. Serve with chips and salsa.

OK. Let’s get back to the heart of this post, avocado seeds.

Once you extract the seed from the avocado, gently wash it thoroughly.

The widest end of the seed is the bottom which is also easily identified because of it’s flower-shaped discoloration. 

Also, look closely for the small seam that runs all the way around the seed.  In some cases it will be a small crack.

You’ll want to make sure you try to avoid that seam/crack during the next step.

The next step involves using toothpicks to pierce the skin of the avocado seed.

Make sure you avoid those seams or cracks in the seed because that’s where the seed will eventually open up and you don’t want a toothpick in that spot.

Insert three toothpicks at a slight diagonal around the top of the seed.

This will provide the necessary support to suspend the seed over a water source.

Any jar or glass will do.

Make sure the jar opening is small enough for the toothpicks to securely rest upon the rim.

With the avocado seed suspended in mid-air, carefully add water to the glass so that the seed is covered halfway.

Set the seeds in a window where it can get plenty of sun and not be disturbed.

I checked on the water levels every two days or so to maintain the original water line.

It will take several months before you even start to see the first signs of any rooting taking place.

During this process, if the water starts to get a bit murky, change the water (room temperature water) and use a paper towel to very gently remove any mold buildup around the seed before hanging the seed back over the water.

Now, I started rooting these seeds several month ago ( January 11, 2020).

For the longest time, I thought this rooting project was a lost cause.

Don’t lose heart, the roots should start to peek through at some point.

I didn’t start to see any signs until late February and even then, it was just a tiny little thing.

Once the roots start to break through, the seed will also start to crack right along that seam that I talked about earlier.

The crack will get wider and wider and the you’ll be able to see more of Mother Nature’s wonder, growing out from the middle of the seed.

I’ve turned this seed sideways in the photo above for you to get a better look at all the action going on at the seed center.

Now, take a look at the seed growth captured in this above photo.

I snapped this shot on April 9th, 2020.

That’s three whole months after I started.

Like I said, this takes some patience to get to some progress.

But I’m super thrilled to see all these wonderful and long tentacles.

But wait, there’s more.

In addition to the rooting out of the bottom of the seed, you’ll also get simultaneous sprouting out the top.

It’s so exciting to see all this rooting and sprouting.

About 15 weeks (April 18, 2020) after first placing the seeds in water, I checked in to find this (see photo below).

Finally, the first few leaves started to show themselves.

Now, how cool is that?

One of the things I noticed is that, at this stage, the leaves close at night.

During the day, at full sun exposure, they are wide open and then in late evening they close in.

I don’t know if this behavior will continue after the leaves get much bigger but it’s an interesting observation worth mentioning.

While humus soil (pronounced hue-muss) is recommended for potting, I’m still studying exactly when to transplant the seeds and how to care for them once their transferred from water to soil.

One source recommends, that once the stem reaches about 7 inches tall, to cut it down to 3 inches as a way to encourage new growth.

Ouch, it’s gonna be really hard for me to cut this sweet little stem down, after all the time it took to get to this stage.

Keep your fingers crossed for me and I’ll keep you posted on the progress.

Thanks for popping by.

Stay safe and be well.

See you back here next time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Rita

    Lisa, I am always so thrilled when I see your posts pop up on my email list. I know that I am going to see something interesting and beautiful. I love avocados, I don’t know if they would grow in our area, but it sounds like a good try. Looking forward to seeing what yours does!

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Thanks Rita, for your kind words.
      I really don’t even know yet, how big these avocado plants will actually get.
      A few people have asked if they’ll eventually produce avocados. I’m not sure if they will but wouldn’t that be cool?
      I suspect these are going to end up just being nice house plants as opposed to producing any little avocado babies.
      We’ll see.
      In any event, they’re fun to root and watch sprout.
      Give it a try and let me know how it turns out for you.
      Take care and stay safe.
      xoxo

  • Amanda Pennington

    I always smile with anticipatory pleasure when I see you have a new post – your photography is some of the loveliest I’ve ever seen! It’s truly vividly beautiful, but there is an intangible feeling of home, slowing down, safety and peacefulness that it evokes along with the beauty. I’m putting it badly, and it’s almost humorous to say it when you give us a peek behind the scenes on all the time and thought it takes for you to set up your still lifes, but your work is almost viscerally satisfying. You have a great gift, thank you for making the days brighter for many by sharing! It’s a wonderful break in the strange days and timely reminder of hope. Blessings!

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Amanda, that is one of the sweetest comments.
      Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know that you enjoy my creative efforts.
      You definitely describe exactly what I want visitors to take away from the work I put into my blogging.
      I’m thrilled for my efforts around here to be a “bright spot” in these strange times we’re living in.
      I hope you and your loved ones are well.
      Stay safe and thanks again for popping by.
      xoxo

  • Karen

    I literally just finished eating an avocado while sitting at my desk perusing blogs lol. I enjoy them many ways but just had this one which I cut up into bite size, doused w/vinegar and then add little S&P.

    But the main reason I wanted to leave a comment was to do with the rooting. My grandmother did this a bunch of times but rather than inserting the toothpicks as you show, she put 3 in the sides and rested them on rim of the glass. The seed was pointed side down with enough water to cover half of the seed. Once it sprouted roots, she’d pot it in soil. It made a nice leafy plant. To get it to grow fuller rather than taller she would pinch off some of the bottom leaves after it reached the height she wanted. Was somewhere around 7-10″ as I remember. It’s been years since I’ve grown any but anytime I did I was successful and I don’t have a green thumb at all.

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Karen, thanks so much for sharing your grandmother’s approach to avocado seeds.
      I’m still learning about how best to grow them so, I appreciate your input.
      I can’t wait to see how far and can take these-lol.
      Do you grown them too?
      Anyway, hope you’re safe and well on your end. xoxo

  • Marisa Franca Stewart

    We love avocados and have them every night in our salad. It’s been years since I tried growing an avocado tree. I think I lost enthusiasm when we had a beautiful lemon and lime tree that were actually producing fruit and we let them dry up and die. We were gone for 3 months and they just couldn’t survive. *sigh* So sad. One year we even paid a plant sitter to come and water them. But I’m hoping to see your trees progress on the blog and Instagram. How exciting seeing something grow right before your eyes. Hope you’re well!! Are you keeping busy with crafts and cooking?? Sending hugs.

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Oh, Marisa. That’s so sad about your lemon and lime tree. I can imagine how disappointing that must have been.
      Give the avocado rooting a try. It’s so low maintenance (other than keeping an eye on water levels).
      It does take a bit of time but I’m so glad I stuck with mine now that I’m starting to see the leaves emerge.
      We’re all good on this end and I’ve been trying my hand at a few new recipes.
      I hope you and your family are all well during this crazy time.
      Take care and stay safe. xoxo

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