adventures in avocado propagation

by Kaylah Stroup

In my last apartment, I went plant wild. It was the first time since moving to the city that I had an outdoor space and I utilized the heck out of it. I amassed quite a collection of plants both large and small! (Seriously, look at them all!) Sitting on my porch, with the sun on my back, attending to my plant babies was the ultimate way to relax.

Sadly, my current apartment doesn’t offer any private outdoor space for plants. Before moving in, at the beginning of 2017, I gave away a ton of my collection because I knew I most likely wouldn’t be able to keep them alive. I kept a few of my favorites (which was still a lot of plants to squeeze into our place) and I’m still finding new ways to satisfy my urge to grow things. Most recently I’ve been learning to grow cuttings in water. They’ve quickly begun to take over my kitchen table.

January 12th

This little obsession all started on instagram. I follow a handful of plant accounts and would always see things being grown in water. I’m fairly knowledgable about propagation when it comes to growing things in dirt but water was a whole new world. I did a little research then threw some cuttings into a cute little container I found at an estate sale.  It was a success, and I wanted more… (Check out dem roots!)

We eat a ton of avocados so clearly the natural progression here was for me to start trying to grow from them. I researched, and researched. I read a ton about what a pain in the butt they are to grow, and how most fail. But with the perfect container and an avocado pit already sitting on the counter, what did I have to lose?

I poked three toothpicks into the pit, popped that into the water, and waited.

February 18th

It didn’t do much for a while, basically just sat there and looked weird, but that didn’t stop me from adding more pits to my collection. I even picked up some cute little beakers perfect for growing in.

February 24th

Finally, a little after a month of sitting in the water, my oldest one split. Eventually I was able to see some roots peeking out which was beyond exciting. I’m pretty sure I checked on how it was doing every single time I walked past the table.

February 26th

More root growth! Just seeing those roots poke out the bottom felt like a huge success.

March 3rd

Added a few more pits to the collection… Help, I can’t stop!

March 6th

A second pit has cracked open! And just look at the root on my first pit!! So awesome! That one has cracked all the way open and if you peek inside with a flashlight you can see a sprout heading up toward the top.

March 8th

A few things I’ve learned / been doing / think might help other folks…

  • Growing from an avocado tree from a pit takes a long time. It’d take years to produce fruit and if it eventually did it mostly likely wouldn’t taste the same.
  • There’s a top and bottom to the pit. The bottom goes in the water. It’s pretty easy to tell which side is which based on the shape (fat bottom) but the fool proof way is to look for the circle shaped mark – that’s the bottom and where your roots will grow out of.
  • Changing the water once a week or so is a good idea so nothing else starts to grow, the water doesn’t get funky, etc.
  • Just like any other plant they need sunshine, so place them near a window.
  • Totally not necessary to take the skin off, and doing so may damage the pit. After a few days in the water it usually gets soft and is super easy to peel off. I’m the kind of person who likes to pick at things hence why nearly all mine have been removed.
  • PATIENCE. This is seriously such a slow going thing but it’s also super easy. Just make sure they’re getting enough sunlight, don’t have gross old water, and you’re good to go!

I’m so excited to see how my plants look in another month! I currently have no plans to move them to dirt. I have enough plants growing in pots so its fun to do something a little bit different. Not to mention, watching the roots grow is just incredible. It’s really fun to be able to see that for once.

I’ll be sure to update y’all on my progress. Cross your fingers they all sprout!

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Sam March 13, 2018 - 9:34 am

I really want to grow some avo’s – not to get a tree but just for the fun of it! Sadly my entire kitchen counter space is taken up with my propogated succulents, which are hopefully going to grow at some point. Definitely think this is my next adventure… although I’m currently looking into air plants…

Kaylah March 13, 2018 - 2:39 pm

I’m sure you could find the room to squeeeeeze in a small container for an avocado…. 😛

Lauren March 13, 2018 - 9:47 am

So cute! I have been wanting to do this with my leftover avocado pits for a long time and I think you’ve given me the encouragement I need to start!

Kaylah March 13, 2018 - 10:09 am

It’s so easy, and SO satisfying. Definitely go for it! 🙂

Valerie March 13, 2018 - 1:36 pm

If you like celery and lettuce, you can do something similar. When you finish with your celery from the grocery store, just chop the bottom off and place it in a bowl filled with a little water. After a few days, you should notice new stalks starting to grow.

Kaylah March 13, 2018 - 2:38 pm

Yep, same with cabbage, carrot greens, fennel and SO many others! 👍

Carlyn March 13, 2018 - 6:27 pm

I never tried to grow an avocado before. I hope they are able to bear fruit one day.

Jennifer March 15, 2018 - 7:02 am

Once I opened up an avocado and the pit was starting to sprout! It was very weird because the avocado was starting to get old, but not nearly that bad! It is also worth noting how rare this is, I use to work for a restaurant making guac. We would pit something like 80 avocados in one day, sooo… I don’t know when I will find a sprouting pit again to jump start the propogation.

Kaylah March 15, 2018 - 8:24 am


Janey March 26, 2018 - 4:36 am

I live in a climate fairly opposite to Cleveland, so I remember seeing your blog for the first time and getting excited about an indoor plant room, but then realising I didn’t need to bring my plants inside cos it never gets very cold here. I’m glad you’re having success with your avos! I’ve got three saplings now from seeds, about 9 months old. They can do just fine in medium size pots so don’t give yours up just yet! Maybe you can plant one at the yard of a relative who owns their house and doesn’t plan on moving? Or in a private part of a public place – like the back corner of a park or a nature reserve. Just visit and water and fertilise when you need to 🙂 I’m going to keep the strongest of mine for as long as I can. Only takes about 20 years to fruit !!!

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