I’m sure you’ve all at least heard of people growing avocados from the leftover pits of whatever variety you bought at the grocery store. You may have even tried it yourself, but did it succeed?

Avocados first. There are lots of ways to do this, here are a few of them:

Many people try skewering the pits with toothpicks and putting them in a sunny window with the base in a bit of water. Plants can be started this way, but it can be difficult to manage. First, it’s best to start with an avocado that is so mushy it is nearly moldy. If you are going to start them in water with toothpicks sticking out of the sides to keep the pit suspended, the fat end goes down, and most people have the best luck if they remove the tough outer skin at the bottom so the roots can emerge more easily. It’s important to keep the bottom covered with water, so you have to keep an eye on the water level.

Some people have better luck planting the pit, pointy end up, in potting soil so it is only half buried. Others struggle to keep their pits wet enough, and have opted to wrap the pits in damp paper towels and close in a plastic zipper bag and place in a warm spot. Others use potting soil dampened in a zipper bag. Or you can just bury the pit entirely in the pot.

Some people swear pits germinate best in the dark, and place theirs in a warm cupboard. Whatever method you choose, they can take easily six weeks or longer to germinate, so be patient. The pits and plants need to be kept warm and damp throughout the first bit.

People have been known to grow full trees this way, but unless you live in an area that is warm all year round, you’ll want to bring them in during the winter because they don’t survive freezing weather.