OK, I've got the pit in water and it will be many months before anything can be done and years before it produces fruit, but I read an article on wiki-how and number 14 (the last line) has me confused..... has anyone ever grown an avocado tree and if so, why would it not produce fruit grown this way?
1 Cut into the avocado carefully, so as not to injure the pit located in the fruit's center. Carefully remove the pit, and set it aside. Use the avocado meat to create the tasty dip/topping known as guacamole.
2 Wash the avocado pit gently, removing all avocado flesh. Do not remove the seed cover which is light brown in color.
3 Holding the pit "narrow" (pointed) side up, stick four toothpicks into the middle section of the pit at even intervals, to a depth of about 5 mm.
4 Add water to a small, slender container (preferably glass) until it reaches the very top rim. Your container's opening should be wide enough to easily accommodate the full width of the avocado, but not too wide.
5 Set your avocado pit (with inserted toothpicks) on the top rim of the container. The toothpicks should sit on the rim of the container, while keeping the pit only half-submerged in the water. Make sure the pointed side is up while the rounder end is in the water or your avocado will not grow.
6 Set the avocado-topped container in a temperate, undisturbed place - near a window or other well-lit area - to begin the rooting and growth process.
7 Change the water every 1-2 days. Do this to ensure that contaminants (i.e. mold, bacteria, fermentation, etc.) do not hinder the avocado sprouting process. Ensure that the base of the avocado always remains moist and submerged in water.
8 Wait patiently. The avocado takes several weeks to begin to root. Over the next 2-3 weeks, the avocado's brown outer layer will begin to dry out and wrinkle, eventually sloughing off. Soon after, the pit should begin to split open at the top and bottom. After 3-4 weeks, a tap root should begin to emerge at the base of the pit.
9 Continue to water the plant accordingly. Take care not to disturb or injure the tap root. Continue to allow the avocado pit time to establish its roots. Soon, the avocado will sprout at the top, releasing an unfolding leaf-bud that will open and begin to grow a shoot bearing leaves.
10 Plant the baby tree. When the roots are substantial and the stem top has had a chance to re-grow leaves (after at least one pruning), your baby avocado tree is ready to be planted in soil. Remove the sprouted pit from the water container, and gently remove each of the toothpicks.
11 Use a 20-25 cm terracotta pot filled with enriched soil to 2 cm below the top. A 50/50 blend of topsoil and coir (coconut fibre) works best. Smooth and slightly pack the soil, adding more soil as needed. Once the soil is prepared, dig a narrow hole deep enough to accommodate your avocado's roots and pit.
12 Carefully bury the avocado pit in the soil such that the top-half of pit shows above the surface of the soil. This ensures that the base of the seedling trunk doesn't rot under the soil. Pack the soil lightly around the pit.
13 Water your plant daily or enough to keep the soil moist. Avoid over-watering to the point that the soil becomes muddy. If the leaves turn brown at the tips, the tree needs more water. If the leaves turn yellow, the tree is getting too much water and needs to be permitted to dry out for a day or two.
14 Continue to tend to your avocado plant regularly, and in a few years you will have an attractive and low-maintenance tree. Your family and friends will be impressed to know that from an avocado pit, salvaged from your guacamole recipe, you have cultivated and grown your very own avocado tree. (Note: The fruit you get from a tree grown in this manner will almost certainly not be edible.)
15 Alternatively, plant the pit in a pot, during the warmer months and wait for 3-4 months for the plant to sprout.