Seeding and Propagation/Damaged seeds


Here's something that I just thought of.

How damaged can a plant seed be and still germinate?

I learned that to germinate an avocado easily, stick some toothpicks in it so it floats in a jar of water.

Putting toothpicks into the seed obviously damages it to some degree, right?

But it still germinates.

So, how damaged can a seed be til it's considered dead?

Just curious.

Hi Kayla,
Thanx for your question.  The embryo of an avocado seed is buried deep inside the pit.  Sticking toothpicks into the seed to hold it in the water does not harm it at all.  Most of the pit of an avocado seed is nutrient and not the actual living embryo so you will not be damaging the seed.  I hope this helps.

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Tom Alonzo


I have been growing plants from seeds for at least 20 years. I have grown literally hundreds of different kinds of vegetables, trees, shrubs, annuals, perennials, tropicals, some cacti, water plants, iris, rose, lilies, cannas, etc. I enjoy starting from seed.


I've been growing my own seeds for 20 years with indoor propagation equipment I built myself. I am also an Allexperts volunteer on the perennial forum. I have completed the Master Gardener course through the Kansas State University Extension. I have experience with a wide variety of seeds and I have also read through Norm Deno's books on seed germination.

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