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Growing an Avocado Tree - and how to get a tree that produces avocados
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Growing an Avocado Tree From a Seed
How to get a tree that produces avocados
By Will Brokaw

Growing an avocado tree from a seed might be fun, but in order to grow one that produces fruit you should buy a tree that has already been grafted.
If you want to grow your own avocado “seedling”, you can easily do it (indoors) for fun.

To get started, save the seed from your next avocado. With the pointy part of the seed facing upward, stick 3 toothpicks around the “equator” of the seed. Then rest the toothpicked seed on the top of a mason-jar opening, and fill the jar with enough water to submerge the lower part of the seed. ( The California Avocado Commission website has step-by-step instructions with a good picture explaining exactly how to do this.)

Put the seed/toothpick/water-jar contraption on a windowsill, and watch your avocado plant grow in the coming months.

Will my avocado tree produce avocados?

“Ungrafted” trees (like those grown inside from seeds) rarely produce fruit. In order to have an avocado tree that produces fruit, one must graft the seedling. Since the process of grafting involves mixing the tissues of the seedling with those of a producing tree, it is often just easier to simply buy a grafted tree from a reputable nursery.

Can I graft my own tree?

Avocado grafting requires precise weather conditions and therefore a successful graft yield is often low - even for professionals.

Why should I plant a non-producing avocado tree?

Avocado trees provide a spacious and uncluttered canopy within the foliage. Also, avocado branch growth patterns lend very well to tree climbing. For these reasons alone, a non-producing avocado tree is no waste.

Can I plant an avocado tree anywhere?

A Brokaw Nursery professional, in the process of grafting young avocado plants.
California varieties of avocado only grow well in a Mediterranean climate, which limits them to California's central and south coasts. However, in an avocado-appropriate area, avocado trees can grow to be robust evergreens that are more beautiful than fruit bearing trees, since avocado flowering tends to cause leaf drop and yellowing.

Where can I find more information on growing avocado trees?

For reasonably detailed information on avocado tree planting and care, please see UC Riverside's Avocado Website and The California Avocado Commission website.

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