Rooting ability of cuttings from avocado (Persea americana Mill.) seedlings declined during the first 12 months of development. Cuttings from one-year-old seedlings rooted at a similar rate to cuttings prepared from mature plants. The amount of gibberellin-like substances in the leaves decreased during this time whereas abscisic acid content increased. Application of GA to avocado seedlings induced shoot elongation but failed to maintain the initial, high rooting ability. Treatments with ABA and AM0 1618 had no effect on either rooting or elongation. During the development of roots, the endogenous Avocado Rooting Promoter (ARP) accumulated at a faster rate in juvenile cuttings than in mature cuttings.