How to Grow an Avocado Tree Indoors—Plus How to Care for It

All you need is an avocado pit and these indoor growing tips.

Growing anything from seed takes time and effort. However, growing an avocado tree from a pit indoors is not only fun but easy. There are two ways to grow an avocado from seed: in soil or in water. Both methods work well, and the method you choose is totally up to you. Here's how to get started, plus the best growing conditions for avocado plants.


Avocado trees (Persea americana) can grow indoors in any hardiness zone, which makes them great low-maintenance houseplants. However, it can take up to 10 years for the tree to bear fruit in its natural growing conditions, and it can reach over 40 feet tall when grown outside. So don't expect your plant to reach that size or bear fruit. (The container it's planted in will restrict its size.) Instead, think of your indoor avocado tree as a houseplant that doubles as decor.

How to Plant an Avocado Seed in Soil

little avocado tree in a flower pot on the white background

Planting an avocado seed in soil is the less popular method, but it's just as effective as growing the pit in water. The only con to this method is that you do not get to see the roots emerge. However, you'll be able to skip a step since the seed is already in the soil, and you don't need to use toothpicks to support the seed as it breaks dormancy. (Just don't forget to water daily in the beginning.) Here's how to get started.

Remove and Wash the Pit

To grow an avocado plant, you will first need to extract the seed from the fruit. Luckily, the avocado seed is huge and easy to take out. Remove the flesh around the seed without damaging it. Wash off any of the flesh still attached. It's OK if some of the brown skin on the pit comes off.

Prepare the Soil

Avocados grow best in slightly acidic soil (pH of 6–6.5) with good drainage. Fill a 6- to 8-inch pot with a drainage hole with a cactus/succulent indoor container mix. This mix is formulated to be loose, fertile, and quick-draining for plants preferring drier soil conditions, like avocados. Add enough water to moisten the soil but do not make it too soggy.

Plant the Pit

Depending on the variety, avocado pits can be oblong or sphere-shaped. Regardless of shape, all pits have a top and bottom. The top is the slightly pointier end and is where the plant stem will emerge. The flatter end is the bottom, where the roots will emerge. It's essential to place the pit with its bottom end down into the soil.

Gently press the bottom of the seed into the ground so that only half of it is still visible above the soil line. Keep the pot in an area with temperatures between 65 to 85 degrees where it will receive indirect, bright light for at least six hours.

Water Often Until It Sprouts

The soil needs to remain moist but not soggy for the seed to break dormancy. Check the plant daily to ensure the soil is still damp. It can take two to eight weeks for the pit to sprout. You will see the seed start to crack—this is a normal part of the avocado seed growing stages. Once the seed sprouts and roots have formed, you can follow the care guidelines below.

How to Grow an Avocado Seed in Water

avocados and avocado plant in water

Sprouting an avocado seed in water is the most popular method for growing avocados. It's fun to watch the seed's long taproot emerge from the pit, and it's reassuring to see the seed growing. But you'll still eventually need to move your budding plant to soil. Here's what you need to do:

Remove and Wash the Pit

Remove the pit from an avocado and wash off any remaining flesh. Don't worry if some of the brown skin comes off, but try not to damage the pit.

Identify the Root End

The avocado pit will either be oblong or round, depending on the variety. The slightly pointier end is the top of the pit, and the flatter end is the bottom. The bottom is the root end and is the part that will be in the water.

Prep the Pit With Toothpicks

Insert four toothpicks at a downward angle into the pit, spaced evenly around the circumference of the avocado seed. The toothpicks will help hold the seed half out of the water while the bottom half (the root end) is submerged. Of course, the toothpicks need to be long enough to extend past the circumference of the glass jar or container you choose to use for rooting.

Place the Seed in Water

Place the seed on top of a jar or glass of water. Although you can use any water-tight container, clear glass works best because you can easily see when roots start to grow and when you need to add water. Place the jar in a sunny, warm spot that gets at least six hours of indirect light.

When the water begins to look murky, change it. You will need to change the water every five days to a week to prevent mold, bacteria, and fungus growth. The seed will crack when the roots and seedlings emerge. Keep the water topped off because the taproot will need to remain submerged at all times.

Plant the Rooted Pit in Soil

You can grow your avocado in water for a little while, but you will need to pot it in a soil mixture to accelerate the growth once there is a visible root system. Fill a container with a cactus/succulent mix. Next, spread the avocado's roots out and gently pack soil around the pit. Leave the top half of the seed above the soil line.

Water the Plant Regularly

Water gently until water runs from the drainage holes and place the pot on a drainage dish. Set it in a south or west-facing window, out of direct sunlight. Once the plant is established, continue to water once the soil has dried out and follow the care conditions below.

Best Avocado Growing Conditions


To keep your plant happy indoors, place the tree in a south- or west-facing window where it receives a minimum of six hours of indirect sunlight.

Temperature and Humidity

Avocados grow best in temperatures between 60 and 85 degrees. The plant thrives in a high humidity environment. Place the plant on a tray with pebbles and water to help increase the humidity, or use a humidifier if your home's climate is dry.


Although avocados like high relative humidity, they do not like soggy soil. Plant them in a quick-draining mix and allow the soil to dry in between waterings. The best method for watering them is to do a deep soak once a week or as soon as the leaves show signs of wilting. Make sure you use a container with a drainage hole to drain the water out of the soil.


Avocados only need a general-purpose fertilizer, like 10-10-10. Apply as directed every couple of months, and do not fertilize too frequently or heavily.


Pinching back leaves will help the plant's stem stay strong and give the plant an overall bushy growth habit. When the plant reaches 12 inches tall, trim the tip and top leaves right above a growth node. This will encourage healthy lateral growth. As the plant grows, you may need to stake the stem to help support its weight and keep the stem from bending over or snapping.

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