The next time you make avocado toast, save the seed. Though it sounds like the kind of thing you might try in fifth-grade science class, you can actually sprout that thing and grow an avocado tree at home. And maybe—if you’re lucky—you’ll harvest a few creamy green fruits. Here’s how.
1. Extract the seed.
Carefully remove the avocado seed without cutting or breaking it. Wash the seed to remove any slippery residue, and dry it thoroughly.
2. Pierce the seed.
Holding the avocado seed upright, wedge three toothpicks around the circumference of the seed at a slightly downward angle. (Not sure which part of your avocado seed is which? The top is the slightly pointy end, or the part of the pit that faced the stem when the pit was inside the avocado.)
3. Soak the seed in water.
Fill a tall, clear glass with water. Place the avocado seed in the glass with the toothpicks resting along the lip of the glass. The bottom of the seed should be submerged in the water while the top stays dry.
4. Let the seed sprout.
Place your glass in a warm spot out of direct sunlight. Change the water every couple of days to stave off any mold or bacteria growth, and add more water as necessary to make sure the bottom of your avocado seed stays submerged. Within 2 to 8 weeks, you should start to see the sprout’s tail. Stay diligent with the water—you don’t want the sprout to dry out.
5. Trim the sprout.
Once the sprout tail grows to 6 or 7 inches, trim it in half to encourage new growth.
6. Prepare to plant.
Once the sprout grows to 6 or 7 inches again, it’s time to plant it. Place the seed in a 10-inch-wide pot filled with humus-rich soil, leaving the top half of the seed exposed.