Scenic Erie Station Village

Grow an Avocado Plant Indoors

An avocado plant. Photo credit: Matthias Oben

September 2021


If you’re looking to add variety to your indoor plants, consider an avocado tree. They’re a low-maintenance plant that grows large and can be started from the pit of any avocado you buy at the grocery store. There is one downside. If you’re hoping to harvest and eat your own avocados, it could take a while. A new plant can take as much as ten years to bear fruit. However, if you purchase a dwarf avocado tree, you’ll get homegrown fruit more quickly. Either way, avocados can make beautiful indoor trees for your apartment or townhouse.

There are two ways to grow an avocado tree from seed. You can plant it in soil or water. They both work well and whichever you choose, you begin the same way. Remove the seed (the pit) of an avocado and wash it in plain water. This step is pretty simple, but you should be careful not to damage the outer covering of the seed when you cut open your avocado.

Starting a seed in soil

  1. Start with a six to eight inch pot.
  2. Fill it with a cactus/succulent indoor container mix. This type of soil is loose, fertile, and quick-draining… and avocados love it.
  3. Add enough water to moisten the soil but do not make it too soggy.
  4. Place the seed in the soil with the bottom facing down. The bottom is the flatter end and the top is pointier. Gently push the seed into the soil so the top half remains above the surface.
  5. Keep the pot in a place that receives indirect sunlight and temperatures are between 65 and 85 degrees. Keep the soil moist but not soggy.
  6. It will take two to eight weeks for your seed to sprout.

Starting a seed in water

  1. Insert four toothpicks at a downward angle, evenly around the middle of the avocado. The toothpicks should hold the seed half out of the water.
  2. With the bottom or flat side of the seed facing down, place it in a glass or jar.
  3. Fill it to the top with water so the seed is halfway submerged.
  4. Place it in a spot that receives indirect sunlight. About every five days, or when the water starts to turn murky, replace it with fresh water.
  5. In two to eight weeks, a root will develop. Allow it to become fully established and then transplant the seed in soil as described above.

Once your avocado is established, place the pot in a south or west facing window that gets at least six hours of indirect light a day. Maintain a room temperature of 65 to 85 degrees. Keep the soil moist but not wet. As long as you’re using a quick-draining soil mix like the type used for succulents, your avocado will thrive. They can grow quite large for indoor plants, so you’ll need to transplant it to a larger pot in time.