Finally, A No Hassle Way To Grow Your Own Avocado Tree!

Growing your own avocado tree is supposed to be really simple. It’s a project suggested for elementary school kids: you save the seed from a ripe avocado, skewer it with a few tooth picks, keep the base submerged in water, and BAM! Eventually you should see the seed sprout into beautiful houseplant or even your very own avocado tree.

In reality, it’s not that simple. First, it’s quite hard to drive a toothpick into the hard husk of an avocado seed. I broke at least 20 toothpicks trying. Even if you do get them driven in correctly, odds are they won’t be perfectly symmetrical, and your seed will end up dangling awkwardly in the water, if it touches the surface at all. Then there’s the chore of keeping the bottom submerged while waiting two to six weeks for the first roots to sprout. I would inevitably forget about it for a day (or five) only to realize the water’s well below the seed. No doubt UK designer Andrew Mitchell had a few of these underwhelming experiences himself, because he created a fool proof incubation system that should turn sprouting an avocado into a far less frustrating endeavor.


Image via Andrew Mitchell

Mitchell’s avocado incubator is breathtakingly simple–no stabbing yourself with unwilling toothpicks or spilling water all over yourself. The pot features a shelf with water drainage to allow an avocado seed to be submerged to the correct depth in water, while still providing space for roots to sprout.

Unlike the olive jar that I tried to use, the Incubator accepts all different sized seeds, down to 20mm in width. According to Mitchell, it also eliminates potential damage and infection to the seed by piercing it in the traditional ‘cocktail stick’ solution.


Image via Andrew Mitchell

The only bad news is that, according to Mitchell’s website, the Incubators are currently out of stock. If you’re interested in purchasing one, just register to be alerted next time there’s a crop available.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog


  • Reply September 14, 2012


    Beth, in the context of a “green living” newsletter, do you see the irony in promoting the purchase of a newly-manufactured product over the alternative of reusing already-manufactured items? And as you put it, this is a project suggested for students in elementary school… it’s not that difficult.

    • Reply September 14, 2012


      Hi Ben! Thanks for pointing that out. Yes, reusing, repairing, etc, is always best. We shouldn’t just randomly buy things we don’t need, especially when reusing would suffice. That being said, part of my job here at ET is to highlight gadgets and technologies that help people to live greener lives. For me, the traditional jar and toothpick method has NEVER worked, and so when I saw this design, I thought it might be interesting for those who’ve had the same frustration. Posts like this aren’t an advertisement for readers to rush out and BUY NOW! It’s more of a commentary on how design and technology is shifting in our world. I hope that when people come to ET, they’ll see something cool they’ve never seen before, and that will make them think about what’s possible when we get creative.

      • Reply September 16, 2012


        Hey Beth, I see your point about inspiring people to think outside the box. Thanks for taking the time to respond to my message.

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