Avocado pit problems

smiles317(7)February 16, 2006

So I started an avocado pit using the 'submerge half pit in water and tooth pick' method about 2 months ago. The pit has split about 3 weeks ago.....and that's about it.

Should I give up and try another one using the 'put in potting soil' method? or hold out another month to see if I have any signs of life? Should i just move the pit out of water and put it in soil now?

I posted this somewhere else but lost the thread in my travels. Please help :)

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greenlarry(UK 8/9)

Ive only ever tried this once and it didnt work.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 3:43PM
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can you explain the avocado method you used, the one with the picks. will this avocados ever give friut??

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 6:38PM
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patsy_b(z8 Tx)

I used to start them this way but now I just bury them half way in good potting soil and keep it moist. You should be getting a tap root coming out of the bottom of your split seed soon after it splits. Look at it and see if you can see the beginning of a root up inside of the seed and if so just have patience.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2006 at 6:33AM
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alzypelican(z4/z5 MN)

I have started three this year using toothpicks to suspend the pit in water. Two have cracked and grown a tap root about 2 - 2 1/2 inches. One is just starting to show a green thingy growig up from inside. It has taken two months or more to get this far. I geuss I always thought it would be a quick process. WRONG!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 1:24PM
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joy4me(z6 NY)

Hi ther;
It depends on the type of avacado (Size, where it's from etc.)and sometimes the time of year you start it. I read somewhere that October or thereabout was best.. As long as the water stays clear, the pit is OK. If it turns cloudy, it's sterile and you should toss it..or if it splits in half and comes completely apart with no attachment you toss it too. It can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a few months to start. I have tried both soil and water and find the difference is really the avacado itself. Like babies, when it's ready it will come forth.LOL
Don't forget to cut the stem back when it's over 6". You can cut it back a few times. If you forget and it shoots up to a foot, that's ok..just cut back to about 3" or 4". This will result in a stronger stem as this plant gets BIG..it's a tree... and usually some branching which is benificial.
Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 3:46PM
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Ive had problems also, but now that i grow the seed in a pot inches deep, I'm experiencing a sort of cracking outside my pit when i wanted to check how my seed was doing soo, no signs of root yet. I am also using a light to keep the soil warm. Is this a good sign? Is light needed at all? Of course after it sprouts a stem, i plan to not use it because direct light is bad... but around this time November it's good,no? I'm waiting for some good answers! Thanks alot guys!!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 5:34PM
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I read somewhere (probably on GW) to cut a bit off the flat side and then submerge in water. I've had great luck doing that. As far as cutting it back at about 6", I haven't done that. Maybe I should.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 8:17AM
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I haven't heard about cutting on the seed itself. Does that speed up the sprouting?
I had three seedlings looking good - transplanted to soil from the toothpicks&water starting method. They still ahd fat seed bases. Then one day, I came home to find that hungry squirrels had dug them up and left just stems and roots. Apparently avocado pits are yummy nuts.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 1:49PM
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I started my avocado seed about six weeks ago.Put it in a small clay pot with miracle grow potting soil.I set it with all my other plants and didn't mess with it other than to give it some water.It is now about five to six inches tall and starting to leaf.I have tried the water method and never had any success.This way was very easy and it produced results.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 2:18PM
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    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 2:21PM
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The only way i have ever tried is to wet paper towels cover the seed in them and put in small baggy.Then you just put on top of regrigerator and in couple weeks it will have many roots.Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2008 at 10:35AM
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I stick them in one spot in a bed, usually forget about them, until they come up, and have pretty good luck, maybe 60% success. I have about 5 right now I need to repot, and gave 5 away last year.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2008 at 10:16PM
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That plant in the picture above is very 'leggy' for an avacado and looks like it could have used a lot more light during germination...

I start my seeds from water and have had several successes - and failures - but the most important thing to remember when water-rooting them is that the water must be changed every couple days at the very minimum and daily if you want the best possible conditions.

This is not only because the diffused oxygen within the water is constantly being evaporated out but also because once the plant actually starts to grow a lot of the sugars it produces will be leached into the water where, over time, will begin to ferment and actually kill the plant.

I have one that's about two months old on my office desk at the moment using the desk's "reading light" as it's light source and it's growing very compact and bushy - has about ten leaves but is only about 4" tall so far - but all the leaves are red. I think it's time to put it in real soil and give it some natural light to green it up. I'll try to remember to post an image tonight when I take it home... :shrug:

    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 4:13PM
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Avocados take FOREVER if you just do the water toothpick method. I tried 4 in feb and had them split by march and rot by may. Tried again with a differnt method in may with organic avocado, new method was slice top 1/3 off pit, wrap in moist paper towel and put in fridge for 24-48 hrs, then put into ziploc -i used empty mayo jar- and in cupboard -i used one beside oven cause it seems to be the warmest- i checked on in every few days to see how the root was dooing and as soon as i could see definate tap root -about 2-3 weeks- i potted it into soil, and put it under low energy high output light -1200 lums- i got a shoot about 2 inches long when i decided it was time to put it outside -i was bending towads the lamp- however i didn't harden it off just put it straight outside in mid june and i think i have killed it now. I took a look at the roots the other day and it is getting root bound in a 4in pot, but the trunk looks pretty weak and the 4 leaves it has starting have done nothing since i put it in the sun, i am just hoping it recovers from the sun shock so i will leave it for a few more months and see how it does. I ma not too worried cause after that one got a shoot i started another 4 which are in cups of dirt in the sun so they won't 'burn' when they push thier shoots up.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 6:32PM
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I remember years ago, my brother had a soda machine which used CO2 cannisters to carbonate the liquid. He had carbonated only water & used it to sprout several avocado seeds using the toothpick method (just out of his curiosity). Every seed sprouted within a week's time. Not sure why (someone with some biological know-how may be able to explain). Prior to this, success rate was maybe 20%.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 8:55PM
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I started some avocados using a damp towel and ziplock baggies, then planted them when they grew roots.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 7:05PM
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My first ever Avocado pit using the water and tooth pick method.
I got the root out the bottom come through about 3 weeks after starting then thought it was time to plant but nothing since then, the pit was a little green looking but now its very green and the split at the top is just brown and does not appear to be doing anything.

Should I leave it and wait or is this one dead?
I've added a picture for you to see

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 8:16AM
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I've had my avocado pit in water (on toothpicks) for about 5 weeks. It's completely split, with just a thick 3" root, but no sprout. Most of the skin on top is gone, the pit is yellow. It has been outside my window, with a little direct sun and a lot of indirect light. I wonder if I should just plant it in some soil to see if a shoot emerges. Would love to have it sprouted before winter, so I can take it indoors. Any suggestions, anyone? PS: This is the very first pit I've gotten to produce even a root.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 4:35PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I tried and tried to sprout avocado pits over the years and never had any luck. Having had it happen twice recently, somewhat accidentally, thought I'd share.

The first one, no memory of when I tossed a pit in this area, possibly last fall. Went to pull this and realized what it was since the pit was still attached.

So I decided to put another pit on the ground, just laying on the soil surface outside in a flower bed. After what seemed like a long time, about a month, it sprouted.

Compared to trying before, I made sure to not damage the pit with a knife when opening the fruit, and laid it outside right away, without drying out first or burying it under (which I figure is what would happen if one fell off of a tree.) No toothpick holes to invite rot.

Also, apparently squirrels aren't interested, there are several who live, garden, patrol & investigate every inch of our yard, so doubtful it escaped their attention. That's why I threw the first one out there anyway, a treat for the squirrels. Not really something that would compost, and I wasn't trying to grow avocado trees, which I don't think are hardy here (when there's actually a winter, wasn't one last year.) Now these little guys are growing on me, pun intended. I just know I'm going to dig one up and bring it inside.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 4:24PM
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Hi all! My avocado pit finally sprouted -- two shoots about equal in height. At 6.5" I cut them both back to about 3", as I want a bushy rather than leggy plant.

After reading the posts about so many problems, I've come to the inevitable conclusion that, like people, avocado pits are individuals, responding (as people do, also) in many different ways to the diverse environments in which they find themselves. I myself live in Manhattan, New York, with only a windowsill ledge available for outdoor plants (and illegal, at that!). It's an east/northeast exposure.

I've never been able to grow a plant from seedling, let alone a pit. Also, I had hacked into the pit with my knife when opening the fruit. Miraculously, in a few days, this pit had cracked halfway (not where I cut it) and had a small but sturdy root beginning at the bottom, so I decided to keep it in water by the "toothpick method" and see what happened. In a week I had a thick root about an inch long, and the root grew rapidly after that. When the root was almost 3 inches long, I put it into soil in a container.

What I didn't see for a couple of months was the sprout, although the top of the pit had been cracked open for a few weeks. I didn't give up, however, changing the water every couple of days, and was rewarded with these two sprouts. Now to see what will happen having cut them back from 6.5 to 3 inches.

I have little planting experience but figure, if it isn't decaying there could be a viable plant coming, so I waited. Also, I just decided to do what "joy4me" said she did, i.e., cut back after 6" stem is reached. Thanks for all the tips everyone -- I may be able to grow one of these yet! Will certainly update as my plant, I hope, progresses.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 1:56PM
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Clarifying the chronology of my lengthy narrative above: after keeping the pit on toothpicks in water (changed every 2 days), I put it into soil around the end of July (nothing special, just some soil left from a thyme plant I discarded). Then the root was 3 inches long and there was no sprout. It now has two sprouts that I cut today from 6.5 to 3 inches. I hope this information will be of some use. I've benefited much from everyone's collective comments.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 2:11PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

That's exciting! Thanks for the update!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 2:44PM
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So this is my first time trying to grow a avocado plant well I don't no if this is normal but the pits are turning black if submitted a picture with it

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 9:02PM
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I started my seed in sept and got a great root growing from it. it is now dec and it still has not split open but the roots are real good. is this a bad seed by chance?

    Bookmark   December 7, 2014 at 11:23AM
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I ate a lots of Avocado, buried the pits back to the garden, growing well,
but damaged by hard freeze.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2014 at 9:41PM
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