Plant Care 101: Avocado Trees

How to Care for Your Avocado Trees

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The Richness of Avocados

From toppings on toast to guacamole, avocados are the star ingredient in a number of your favorite dishes and recipes. And though store-bought avocados suffice, there’s nothing like the home-grown version of your favorite superfood. And how to get your very own? Avocado Trees.

What’s great about these powerful trees is that they’re fairly hassle-free and low-maintenance. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a green thumb, either. You can still ensure these trees thrive, right in your backyard or garden. Check out our tips and tricks for Avocado Trees and their care – it’s as easy as 1-2-3!

Scouting the Area

Fresh Avocados, Coming Up
Fresh Avocados, Coming Up

Indoors

First, find an area that receives at least 6 to 8 hours of direct afternoon sunlight daily. After you’ve found the best location for your Avocado Trees (more than one tree is best!), take them out of their shipped nursery container and plant them in containers that are twice the size of their root balls. Ensure the containers you use for planting have drainage holes, as these will help to keep the plant from catching root rot. However, you must make sure you dispose of any standing water in your containers’ saucers to avoid fungal growth.

Outdoors

If you’re planting multiple trees outdoors, leave approximately 5 to 8 feet of space between your trees and other structures. Dig a hole that is two to three times wider and deeper than the container it was shipped in so that your roots have space to get established. It’s that easy!

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Care Must-Haves

The Hass Avocado Tree
A View of the Hass

So, Avocado Trees boast no-fuss maintenance, but proper care prepares them for a lush life. Your tropical fruit will need frequent, deep waterings once or twice a week, with enough time between waterings to let the soil dry out a bit.

Also, avoid fertilizing trees their first year, because fertilizer can burn the roots and cause damage.

And we said Avocado Trees are effortless, right? The only time you will need to prune your tree is during late winter or early spring to get rid of dead wood. If you want to maintain a certain height, trim your tree lightly by cutting the tallest, protruding branch off the tree.

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More Planting Tips

Like we mentioned above, one of the great perks of Avocado Trees is that they can be planted in a container or in the ground. Again, if you’re planning on container planting, make sure that you place your pot-planted Avocado Tree in an area that gets a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight each day, preferably in front of a large window with direct afternoon light.

If you’re planting in the ground, choose an area on the Southern side of your home with well-drained soil. And it’s no problem if your soil needs work – you can amend the soil with sand or other gritty matter to soak up the moisture. Remember: you should plant your avocado tree in an area that gets 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day.

Indoor Avocado Trees
Avocado Trees, Indoors or Out

Pollination for Avocado Trees

Ah, the power of pollination. Your mature Avocado Trees may grow millions of green flower clusters during the flowering season, clusters with both female and male organs. However, these male and female clusters do not work at the same time. Though the Hass, Cold Hardy and Day Avocado Trees are all self-fertile (meaning you’ll get fruit with just one plant), more is always better for a bigger bounty of fruit.
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Harvesting the Bounty

Harvesting Avocados
Harvesting Avocados

It’s time to reap the rewards of your planting with your own superfood! The harvest months are the most exciting time to have home-grown fruit.

Hass Avocados are ready to harvest as early as February, and their harvest can extend as late as September. By contrast, Cold Hardys usually ripen between November and March.

Last but definitely not least, Day Avocados are harvested from July through September. However, it depends on the weather in your area, their fertilization, and the bearing pattern of the tree.

Avocados have to be harvested by hand, by the way. If you do not pick the fruit, they will not fall off the tree and will never ripen.

But your Avocado Trees can be used as a sort of storage unit for your delicious fruit for as long as eight months. The longer the fruit stays on the tree, the richer the taste – just don’t leave them on too long. Check out the chart below for more information on our favorite cultivars, and pick a few trees of your own today!

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Avocado Type Growing Zone Mature Height Year to Bear Annual Growth Spacing Full or Partial Sun Characteristics
Hass 9-11 Outdoors 4-11 Indoors 15-20 ft 3 to 4 years Slow 5-8 ft Full 6 to 8 Hours Oval shape with pebbly thick skin and pale green flesh. Skin turns from green to an almost black hue once ripe.
Cold Hardy 8-11 Outdoors 4-11 Indoors 15-20 ft 4 to 5 years Slow 5-8 ft Full 6 to 8 Hours Oval shape with smooth and thin green skin. Yellowish-green flesh.
Day 9-11 Outdoors 4-11 Indoors 10 ft 3 to 4 years Fast 5-8 ft Full 6 to 8 Hours Club-shaped avocado with smooth green skin.