Avocado seed won't germinate, what's the problem?

Avocado    Pennsylvania, USA

By way of illustration to a user back in February, I tried my hand at germinating an avocado seed from a store bought fruit. The picture is dated 2/6 and the original post can be found here:


I must rather sheepishly admit that my avocado seed has failed to germinate and I wonder if anybody might be able to tell me why. I suspect that it was too cold but perhaps I am missing something. I put the glass with the seed in a dark cupboard above the refrigerator where the temperature is about 72°F and I also changed the water regularly. After several weeks, I dipped the seed in a small amount of rooting hormone to see if that had any effect. Nothing. I left it a bit longer in the glass and was excited to see that the seed coat began to crack a little (see pic), but still no roots. I left it another few days and read a little more and saw that some people have success by simply putting the seed in with one of their house plants by covering it 1/3 of the way with soil. The seed is now residing with one of my palms in some fresh potting mix.

Any thoughts on what went wrong? Or may this seed still surprise me? I am now desperate to have an avocado plant

Posted by: Lindsay McMenemy (2 points) Lindsay McMenemy
Posted: March 28, 2013


You're doing fine. It may still surprise you. If it's not rotten, there's hope. Avocados are stubborn and can sometimes take months. I've started dozens of them... and had dozens fail as well. Sometimes they take months to root. I've noticed that "Hass" avocado pits seem harder to start than those of the larger Florida varieties - though they'll still start. My advice? Have a party, make about 6 avocados worth of guacamole, then plant all the pits. Heck... try 3 in dirt and 3 in water... and I guarantee you some will come up. I've done it both ways with good success.

Posted by: David Goodman (67 points) David Goodman
Posted: March 29, 2013

Lindsay McMenemy commented,
Thanks David. It actually is a Hass seed. I happen to absolutely love guacamole so there may well be an avocado fest in my house very soon.....
over 9 years ago.

Lindsay McMenemy commented,
I took your advice and tried both Hass and a larger Florida type - the seed was very big. It took several weeks but the Florida type finally germinated and is now safely potted up. The Hass never did germinate but I'm very happy - thanks!
over 9 years ago.

David Goodman commented,
Good for you!
over 9 years ago.

It isn't very common, but depending on the source location some avocados are exposed to radiation to pass international trade laws. If they are treated with gamma rays then they will not sprout. Not all areas do that, but if they are from Central or South America you should be ok with germinating the seed.

Posted by: Kathryn Fiedler (72 points) Kathryn Fiedler
Posted: April 1, 2013

Lindsay McMenemy commented,
Interesting. I did not know that. I will make sure I am careful with my selection - thanks Kathryn
over 9 years ago.

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