ever since i germinated a ruby red grapefruit seed, i’ve enjoyed experimenting with other seeds that cross my path. so far, i’ve had success with avocado + jackfruit seeds. it’s pretty exciting waiting to see if a seed will root & sprout. the grapefruit seed was fairly easy. i just put a few seeds in a bowl of soil and they sprouted shortly after.
in contrast, i had a difficult time with avocado seeds. i tried to place them in soil (rotted away), then tried the toothpick + water method (i was overseas, the seeds dried out). finally, i tried out the paper towel method & now i have baby avocado & jackfruit plants 🙂 read on for what materials you need & instructions describing how to germinate an avo seed.
avocado (persea americana) is grown in tropical + subtropical climates for food + aesthetics (humani, 1987). historically, avocado was significant to mayans for food, but also as a part of their culture + spirituality (landon, 2009). avos were grown in sacred gardens, and it was believed that ancestors were reborn through fruit trees, including avo trees (landon, 2009).
avocados are rich in unsaturated fatty acids, fibre, and vitamins B & E. historically, aztecs & mayans have used avocado seeds to treat inflammatory conditions (dabas, ziegler, & lambert, 2019). based on this indigenous knowledge, a recent study conducted by dabas, ziegler, & lambert (2019) found that an extract of avo seeds may have anti-inflammatory properties.
the researchers developed a compound from the seeds, initially used as a dye, natural food colouring. according to the researchers, avo seeds are likely to have anti-inflammatory properties as they are rich in polyphenols, which are natural substances with an antioxidant effect. they also have a large variety of classes of phytochemicals, which may protect health at the cellular level.
the researchers examined the interaction between the avo seed extract & macrophages, a specialized immune cell, and found that it inhibited the production of pro-inflammatory proteins by the macrophages. in addition to it’s medicinal uses, another benefit of the findings of the research is the possibility that using avo seeds, rather than tossing them out, will result in less waste (dabas, ziegler, & lambert, 2019).
things you need
- paper towel
- resealable plastic bag
- patience (lol)
- vessel to place the seed in
- when you cut the avocado be careful not to cut into the seed. i like to cut gently around the perimeter of the avo and then i twist each half to open it.
- eat the avo & then wash the seed
- wet a small piece of paper towel & then wring it out so it’s not dripping wet
- wrap the towel around the seed so that it’s covered
- place the seed in the resealable plastic bag & leave a little gap for air
- place the bag on a bright windowsill where it won’t get too much direct sunlight – i placed mine on the sill of my east facing living room window where it gets a bit of direct am sun
- after two to three weeks, roots should start growing
- at this point you can extract the seed from the paper towel bundle & place it in a bottle of water with the roots totally submerged (i used a bottle with a narrow neck as pictured below – you can also poke toothpicks into the seed to balance it on the opening of a cup/vase)
- eventually it will *hopefully* sprout & you’ll be a proud parent of a baby avo seedling
- once the roots fill the glass, it’s time to plant it in a pot
- eventually you will need to prune your avo plant to encourage branching out, typically this is when the plant reaches six to eight inches in height