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I'm having issues growing an avocado plant from the pit

Please help! :shock:

I'm not much of a green thumb, it's not something I inherited from my mother(who might as well be Mother Nature herself) and am looking for some insight.

I've tried several times to plant and avocado tree from one of the pits of the fruit. Time and time again I am not successful. To the point that I have tried to increase my chances of success by doing multiples at once. I follow the instructions making sure not to damage the pit when o remove it from the fruit delicately cleaning it off with water, putting the toothpicks in the pit about half way from the bottom in a clear container (I used plastic disposable cups this time) making sure that the lower half of the pits is submurse in the water at all times and the time portion is dry at all time in a well lit area (I had them in my window but recently moved to because my windows are not properly sealed so they were getting really cold but moved them next to my roommates lizard tank because I figure with the heating lamp they had a better chance there). One of my four pits have cracked and I can see what looks like a root that hasn't grown passed the bottom of the pit yet and one of the other pits has like an algae type film around the bottom and today I noticed some "almost microscopic slugs " in the water and on the pit.

I had recently read somewhere that you can add plant food or something like that to the water to help them grow, and I was wondering if it's too late to do that? if not, is it recommended/worth it?

And also what do I do about this slug situation, or is that pit a lost cause at this point?

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Posts: 30483
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M(11/B)

It takes at least 3 weeks to 4 weeks for them to germinate -- split and start growing a single thick root. From then on it takes another couple of weeks for them to sprout, and maybe another couple of weeks before leafing out and roots branch out. This is typical schedule in the dead of the winter in high 60's to low 70's°F house.

I've noticed that if I try to grow a pit that had been in the 2nd half of the avocado that had been refrigerated to eat later, it takes longer for them to germinate. This maybe what's happening with yours.

I don't know what the "slugs" are, but you should be changing the water about twice a week. I would take this one out and gently wash off any sliminess, rubbing between palms or with a wet paper towel. I might use a mild baking water solution and rinse well. Then clean out the cup and put fresh water in.

I prefer to use filtered water, and it's probably better to use de-chlorinated water in any case (leave an open container of water to outgas the chlorine for 24 hours).

They don't need any fertilizer at this point. All that will do is encourage green algae to grow in the water.

Personally I don't use toothpicks. I think they can spoil from the wounds. I prefer to plant directly in sandy soil mix, but sometimes when I start them in water, I use something that will lift the seed up. I think last time, I used a cut off vitamin bottle....

Greener Thumb
Posts: 801
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:20 pm
Location: Canada zone 8b

Slime around the root is perfectly normal.

Also, maybe you are going too far into the pit with the toothpicks. Just a couple mm on each side is good.

And, a good thing to do is to peal off the skin of the avocado pit. You know the dark skin that covers the pit? It is normally soft but once the pit dries, the skin dries as well and hardens.
Try to peal the skin off with you finger nails and see if that helps.

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Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: Hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Avocadoes are usually grafted they will not come true from seed because in most cases they are not self fertile. From seed it will be about 7 years before it fruits.

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