Plant Care 101: How to Care for Avocado Trees

Blair Brown — Mar 31, 2022

From toppings on toast to guacamole, avocados are the star ingredient in your favorite dishes and recipes! And though store-bought avocados are great, there’s nothing like the home-grown version of your favorite superfood. Learn how to plant, care for and harvest home-grown avocados below!

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!

Avocado House Plant Care

First, find an area that receives at least 4 to 6 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. And be sure to dispose of any standing water in your containers’ saucers to avoid fungal growth.

Growing Avocado Trees 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's 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!

How to Care for Avocado Trees

Avocados

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.

Avocado Plant Care

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, 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.

Avocado Tree Pollination

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 don't work at the same time. Though the Hass, Cold Hardy, and Condo™ varieties of avocados are all self-fertile (meaning you’ll get fruit with just one plant), more is always better for a bigger bounty of fruit.
Avocado Harvest

Harvesting Avocados

It’s time to reap the rewards of planting 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 Hardy Avocados usually ripen between November and March. Last, but definitely not least, Condo™ 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. If you don't pick the fruit, they won't 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 varieties of avocados, and pick a few trees of your own today!

Avocado Type Growing Zone Mature Height Years to Bear Fruit Annual Growth Spacing Sunlight Characteristics
Hass 9-11 Outdoors 4-11 Indoors 15-20 ft. 3 to 4 years Fast 5-8 ft. Full (6 to 8 hrs.) 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 Fast 5-8 ft. Full (6 to 8 hrs.) Oval shape with smooth and thin, green skin. Yellowish-green flesh.
Condo™ 9-11 Outdoors 4-11 Indoors 8-10 ft. 3 to 4 years Fast 5 ft. Full (6 to 8 hrs.) Club-shaped avocado with smooth, green skin.

Don't forget to shop our entire collection of avocados for more inspiration! Plus, check out our Tips for Tons of Avocado Fruit.

FAQs

Do you need 2 avocado trees to produce fruit?

Our varieties of avocados are self-fertile, meaning you’ll get fruit with just one plant, but planting multiple avocados together is recommended, as it’ll increase your fruit harvest.

How long does it take for an avocado tree to bear fruit?

This will depend on your specific avocado variety and the growing conditions, but our varieties typically bear fruit within 3-5 years.

Do avocado trees need a lot of sunlight?

Avocado trees prefer full sun locations. They’ll need about 4-6 hours of direct sunlight each day to thrive, so be sure to pick a sunny spot for them to grow!

Blair Brown

Blair is the Content Marketing Manager at FastGrowingTrees.com, and though she's not your traditional gardener, the planting world is definitely growing on her (pun intended!). She's enjoyed digging into plant care and maintenance and growing her plant collection, especially with exotic indoor varieties.

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