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how to grow a

You’ll need to start by removing the pit from the avocado carefully (without cutting it), and then washing it clean of all the avocado fruit (often it helps to soak the pit in some water for a few minutes and then scrub all the remaining fruit off). Be careful not to remove the brown skin on the pit – that is the seed cover.

Avocados are one of the wonderful fruits of summer. High in nutrition and flavor, nothing signals the start of summer like a zesty lime guacamole dip with tortilla chips. The next time you’re making guacamole or slicing an avocado for a salad, try saving your pits to grow into avocado trees. It’s surprisingly easy to grow your own avocado tree from seed, and it makes a great educational project for home and classrooms. Check out our handy-dandy guide below, complete with photos, to learn how to grow an avocado tree from seed.

Some avocado pits are slightly oblong, whereas others are shaped almost like perfect spheres – but all avocado pits have a ‘bottom’ (from where the roots will grow), and a ‘top’ (from which the sprout will grow). The slightly pointier end is the top, and the flat end is the bottom. In order to get your pit to sprout, you will need to place the bottom root end in water, so it’s very important to figure out which end is the ‘top’ and which is the ‘bottom’ before you go piercing it with toothpicks.

Step 2 – Locate the ends

Take four toothpicks and stick them at a slight downward angle into the avocado seed, spaced evenly around the circumference of the avocado. These toothpicks are your avocado scaffolding, which will allow you to rest the bottom half of the avocado in water, so therefore the toothpicks need to be wedged in there firmly. I recommend sticking them in at a slight angle (pointing down), so that more of your avocado base rests in the water when you set this over a glass.

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And the best part is that it doesn’t require a ton of effort to grow an avocado tree indoors. All you have to do is hold on to a leftover pit and grab a few basic supplies to reap the benefits of this delicious fruit. Plus, this simple (and affordable) gardening project is fun for kids to try.

Place the pot in a sunny spot and water lightly but often. The goal is to keep the soil moist but not sopping wet, California Avocados recommends. You can place the tree outdoors in the summer as long as temps stay above 45°F. Occasionally prune your plant (every 6 inches or so) to encourage fullness.

Supplies You’ll Need

Grab a few toothpicks and water to enjoy this pretty houseplant.

5. Once the stem grows out again, plant the pit in an 10-inch pot filled with rich potting soil. Now it’s time to let your avocado tree grow, grow, grow!

2. Suspend the pit broad end down in a drinking glass or jar. Fill the container with enough water to submerge the bottom third of the seed, the Missouri Botanical Garden advises.