Silly avocado question from little girl

srburkApril 19, 2005

My daughter wants to know why the avocado pit we've had suspended in water for three weeks won't sprout. I have no luck with them. Have I accidently used a sterile hybrid or something? Should I have waited longer? I seem to remember my mother did this all of the time when I was young and it was easy......

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dannie(3b NWO Canada)

It takes a long time for it to sprout. If I remember right the one time I was successful, the pit splits and grows from the inside..something like a bean. Try putting it lower in the water so that it senses the moisture. Hope that helps.


    Bookmark   April 19, 2005 at 8:33PM
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Heh, Last year I went on an avacado binge- both eating and planting. I thought I did pretty good getting 5 out of 7 to sprout. The last 2 that sprouted were NOT started in water. Rather, I planted them directly in the pot. If memory serves, it took about 3-4 weeks before the seed split. I planted the seed, flat side down and left about 1/5 above dirt level

    Bookmark   April 22, 2005 at 1:12PM
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I never had any luck with the water method. If you are not going to plant them in the soil, they will sprout in peat with the baggie method. Just make sure the pits are free of debris.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2005 at 9:30AM
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Be patient. Make sure you have the point up and water at least half way up the seed. Change water periodically so it doesn't get smelly. If it can be in the sun each say to warm up, that might help.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2005 at 10:03AM
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Definitely give it some time, & change the water every day.

I've sprouted quite a few of them & while some sprouted within days, some took a month or more.

But do change the water daily.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2005 at 11:55AM
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cam99(z5 Ontario)

Aha! I just started an avocado yesterday, and I have the wrong end in the water. Thanks Kev56 and socks12345 for setting the record straight on which end goes in the water.

I gave up on the last avocado for the wrong reason. Here I was thinking that it was a dud, when really, it was me!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2005 at 8:44PM
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Turtle_Haven_Farm(Z5 NY)

We did that in class when I was a kid. The teacher had us stick toothpicks in the bottom of the avocado, 3 to a seed, so it sat on a tripod. Then we put it in a pan and filled it with water so the water was only halfway up the bulb. Worked every time!!! Good luck! - Ellen

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 2:57PM
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donwebbuz(9 tx)

I have sprouted many avocado pits the thing that I do is first rinse the pit and if possible take the cover off and expose the naked pit next I rinse it in peroxide to kill any bacteria the I use a sandwich bag and put it inside with a moist paper towel and seal it and leave it under the sink where is cool and dark and within a week it begins to send out roots,
also avocado prefer temperatures between 60 and 80 to sprout and do not overwater your plant you will rot it water it once evey 6 days
e mail me for some pictures that I got for six different tree

    Bookmark   October 19, 2007 at 2:40PM
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I tried planting my seed in soil in a pot outside and the first night something turned the pot over and ate it...I guess the raccoon or whatever it was was mighty hungry or maybe they are a treat to them...anyway if you put the seed outside to sprout they might be dinner for some animal !

    Bookmark   December 11, 2007 at 10:26PM
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I read somewhere to cut off a bit of the bottom and then do the toothpick and water thing. Ever since I've started doing that, I've had great success getting them to sprout (now after they are sprouted is a different story)

    Bookmark   December 22, 2007 at 8:31AM
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zachslc(6 Salt Lake City)

I pit one in a peat moss/perlite mix and it took almost 6 months to sprout. Now that it has sprouted the stalk is growing about 1/8 inch a day.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2007 at 11:20AM
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I started some in September which have not yet sprouted, but I won't give up and think they will do it when the days get longer.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 8:44PM
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Not silly at all! I'm hardly a little girl (34) and I sprouted my first avocado before Christmas. It was fascinating to watch. In fact, my fascination cause me a big, looooooooong problem! I don't know if this matters, but I had been using distilled water in a baby food jar with the pit suspended by tpix. Nothing. Nada. Not even a HINT that anything was happening.

Then when I changed the water one time, I used rainwater. That seemed to be the trigger. This thick white root came out first, then the top of the pit cracked. That root kept coming, and coming. Due to my laziness/over-interest in the root system, I put the sprouted pit in a quart mason jar. There must've been some serious food in that rainwater since the root grew nearly 1/2 inch a day! By the time I got to finally potting it, the root was nearly a foot long and there was this looooong sprout that looked like a thick spaghetti noodle bouncing all over the place. Geez......

It's still in it's pot, and it has healthy green leaves at the tip of the sprout! We'll just have to see what happens.

Since my boyfriend has an addiction to avocados, I have plenty of pits to plant. 5 are in baby jars with rainwater right now, one of them is just about ready to send out it's root. What I'll do with the ones that sprout, I'm not sure, but I know NOW to get those little buggers in a pot right away!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 12:42AM
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I sprout mine in a pot; buried about 3/4 of the pit. Continuous moisture and patience are the keys. My oldest one is a small tree (literally) in my living room. We have 8 foot ceilings, and it has grown to the top and then some!! The branches are propped in the corner, growing over the top of the armoire, and draped over the curtain rod. Too bad they have to get a lot bigger to fruit!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 3:57PM
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butterflydiva(z9 CA,USA)

My sons sprouted about 15 pits a few years ago. we just wet a paper towel, wrap it around the pit and put it in baggie. Then we threw them on top of the fridge and forgot about them for a few weeks, in about 2-3 weeks we had tons of sprouted pits. We experiment with many fruit/veggies like this. Bad thing is they all died when we transplanted to pots, cause we're no good at potted plants. It gets way too hot here and we tend to forget to frequently water. :(
we do have a young avocado tree about a year old that my son grew by just sticking a pit in the ground without my knowledge!LOL What can I see the boy loves his avocados and desperately wanted his own tree(our neighbor has a huge 40+ yr old tree that drops plenty on our side of the yard, so all our avacadoes are fee from aug thru oct, but he just wants his own tree). too bad he stuck it right under a young apricot tree, killed the apricot but the avocado is looking big and healthy! lol

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 7:50PM
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concretenprimroses(4B NH)

I think that some of them are duds, picked too soon or something. The ones that work best have already split a little.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 10:14AM
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Avocados take FOREVER if you just do the water toothpick method. I tried 4 in feb and had them split by march and rot by may. Tried again with a differnt method in may with organic avocado, new method was slice top 1/3 off pit, wrap in moist paper towel and put in fridge for 24-48 hrs, then put into ziploc -i used empty mayo jar- and in cupboard -i used one beside oven cause it seems to be the warmest- i checked on in every few days to see how the root was dooing and as soon as i could see definate tap root -about 2-3 weeks- i potted it into soil, and put it under low energy high output light -1200 lums- i got a shoot about 2 inches long when i decided it was time to put it outside -i was bending towads the lamp- however i didn't harden it off just put it straight outside in mid june and i think i have killed it now. I took a look at the roots the other day and it is getting root bound in a 4in pot, but the trunk looks pretty weak and the 4 leaves it has starting have done nothing since i put it in the sun, i am just hoping it recovers from the sun shock so i will leave it for a few more months and see how it does. I ma not too worried cause after that one got a shoot i started another 4 which are in cups of dirt in the sun so they won't 'burn' when they push thier shoots up.

my suggestion is, make sure you are getting pretty ripe fruit when you buy them, ripe enough that you should be using them in the next few days. Also if the intention is growing the pit i suggest 'certified organic' there is some chanec that other ones may have been sprayed with something that inhibits the pit from germinating -like they do to tomatoes- and finally the fridge method, i was getting frustrated till i learned that. I have a friend who has a 13yo avocado house plant and that one was started using just the cup toothpick method so it WILL work eventually, i have just found the other method is faster.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 6:40PM
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Thank you socks12345 and shelleyinmi, great advise!
I am particularly intrigued by the rain water idea.
To date, I have tried to sprout somewhere around a dozen pits, resulting in Avocado trees ranging from about six to as much as eighteen months of age.
Mine have all gone outdoors as soon as they developed an actual seedling, once outdoors they have done wonderfully.
My largest (pics available for fellow enthusiasts) is now taller than I am from it's perch in the 30 gallon pot I have it in.
I intend to collect some rain water as soon as it rains again and have moved my most recent attempts to south facing window...Thanks for advise!

P.S. Any of you ever attempt soft wood cuttings on a Crape Myrtle?

Excellent Site!!!

C J in Largo

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 9:32AM
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