How to Grow Avocados – Just imagine if you could harvest avocados yourself from home or in your yard. Avocado is a green tree that grows tall, can provide shade and produce healthy fruit for you. Imagine it is in your yard, very lucky if you can grow evergreen plants like this. Every time you are dripped with fresh, soft and healthy fruit. Don’t be too influenced by people saying that avocados must be in high places with cold climates. We also grow avocados in the lowlands and they grow well and produce fruit.
Avocados can be made into a variety of drinks, smoothies and as a substitute for jam for some toast, this is really amazing, growing it yourself and it turns out to be fruitful, really unexpected. Not only planting on land like a farmer with acres of land, just plant it in your yard or in a pot because avocados can also grow well in pots.
All About Avocados
If you have ever thought about growing avocados but were then influenced by the thought that planting avocados is impossible and impossible to succeed. Try reading this article, maybe this will change your paradigm and re-generate enthusiasm for you to like planting fruitful plants including avocados.
Here we will talk about everything about avocados, from how to grow avocados, maintenance, types of avocados, how to grow them, including climate and care, all of these are important for those of you who want to succeed with your avocado tree.
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Origin of Avocados
If we look at the history of the avocado tree in this world, this tree apparently grew originally in Mexico, from Central to South since 7000 BC. One type of avocado that is very much in demand until now is hass avocado. This avocado plant was first developed in southern California around the 1930s, but at that time hass avocado was not very successful and was not marketed on a large scale until the 1970s. But now that avocado development has been very good and many harvests are everywhere, most of the world’s avocado supply is now cultivated in Mexico, California, Chile. Well, by looking at the success of this avocado planting, of course it can give us ideas and enthusiasm to try it, at least for personal and family consumption. Only by planting two avocado trees behind the house, we can meet the needs of our own family, this is if the avocado tree is planted and cared for properly.
If you like this tree and want to grow it, read on. We will describe at length about how to grow avocados, climate, and avocado care to be able to produce maximum fruit. Ok, let’s get started!
Avocado Tree Varieties
Since we are going to learn how to grow avocados and everything about avocado trees, I want to say that there are many varieties of avocados. Maybe we often hear avocado hass, and we often find it in fruit shops. In fact, out there, there are many other varieties that we don’t see very often. The reason may be because it is very susceptible to rot, so it cannot be marketed properly to various places because it can be damaged in transit or because of a small harvest or because of other things. However, despite all that, if we want to grow it in the yard, this is not a problem at all and we can harvest and enjoy various types of avocados with various flavors and incomparable enjoyment.
Ok, we will dive into and see more deeply about the various varieties of avocado in this world. But before all that, let’s first get to know or discuss two groups of avocados, which we call type A avocados and type B avocados.
Type A vs Type B Avocados and Cross-Pollination
The type A and type B are distinguished by the shape of the flower, so there are many varieties with this shape flowers and there are also many varieties with that shape flowers (that have different shapes or different from type A). So, in general there are two types of avocado flowers, type A (some varieties) and type B (some varieties). However, it is mentioned that there is also one type of avocado that has flowers with a shape like type A and type B at the same time and these are called types A and B.
Well, each group of avocados falls into type A or type B. For example, Hass is type A and Fuerte is type B. Well, to be able to produce a more optimal harvest, avocado type A and avocado type B (different types) must be planted close together. The female flower of the type A avocado opens when the male flower of the type B avocado opens, and vice versa. If it is like this, then the success in the formation of fruit will be more. Pollination of avocados is done by the wind, but bees are also done and mostly done by bees.
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This must be understood by many avocado farmers to be able to produce a lot of fruit and the harvest will also be large.
Indeed, planting avocados does not have to have a partner tree for successful fruiting. We plant only one stem, it can also bear fruit by wind pollination. But for optimal results it should be like that. However, there are also avocado varieties that must be planted close to other types in order to bear fruit. For example Pinkertons avocado, it is very dependent on partner trees, like it or not you have to plant it side by side with type A avocado or vice versa. So, we recommend planting avocados close to different varieties, for example type A planted close to type B, this will guarantee a much larger harvest.
From this information we know that planting avocados should be two different stems so that the results of both are maximized. If you have a lot of land, this is a breath of fresh air for you. But if you don’t have a large area, just plant it in a pot with a distance side by side with other types will provide great benefits for the formation of more fruit.
Popular Avocado Varieties
Below we will mention and explain some of the more popular and easy-to-find avocado varieties for those of you who want to grow them. But as you know that there are still many other types of avocado that are unique and different in many ways with this type of avocado. For example from the taste, fruiting time, or tolerance to wind.
Well, instead of explaining all the avocado varieties here and spending a lot of your time for reading, I will explain specifically on another page. Check out the 20 avocado varieties you can grow. You can see between them of course there are differences in terms of growth, stems, bark, tree size, fruiting age, growth zone, and others.
Avocado tree that is easy for us to grow and we also name it is the Hass type, this is the oldest, large, and very productive avocado tree. Besides Hass, other types that you can easily get are Fuerte and Sir Prize. This is an avocado plant that functions as a stem for cross-pollination for Hass avocados so that more fruit is formed and of course the results will be a lot too.
Type A Avocado
Avocado varieties that fall into type A are: Hass, Stewart, Pinterton, Lamb Hass, Gwen, Reed, Carmen Hass, Mexicola, and Holiday. Among all these varieties, the most common and well-known are Reed and Hass. Reed avocado is round like a softball and tastes delicious, it needs less water compared to Hass. So, if there is little water in your area, you can prioritize reed varieties for planting.
If you are looking for a variety that is very resistant to freezing cold, you can take the Mexicola variety. Mexicola is a cold-resistant variety in this group A. While Gwen’s variety is as delicious as Hass, it’s buttery in texture and just as nutty. But the fruit is bigger and the stem is smaller. We are eager to grow them all and want to see a variety of avocados drop in our garden.
Type B Avocados
Avocado varieties included in type B are: Fuerte, Zutano, Bacon, and Sir Prize, also including Whitshell, a very sensitive variety and can grow well in a greenhouse.
The Fuerte variety is a very popular one from group B and it is very much planted together with Hass avocado, so they both get perfect pollination and produce lots of fruit. Fuerte is a widely commercialized variety, just like Hass.
If we compare between type A and type B, some think that type A is more profitable, not too juicy like type B avocados, avocados in type A also have a better taste, taste and are denser and contain lots of healthy fats.
But not all of them from group A are better. There’s also avocado from group B which is better, it’s a sir prize. Sir prize has a nice texture, and the taste is also very similar to Hass, but the advantage is that the fruit is larger and the pits are smaller, resulting in a fairly thick flesh. This is amazing! Sir Prize is a type of avocado that is very thick in flesh in all commercial varieties available. This is the advantage of avocado in group B.
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Both Type A and B
So, there is one avocado variety that is known as a special variety, it has flowers with type A and type B. This is called The Wurtz or “Little Cado” and it is the only type of dwarf avocado available. It has a fast growing cycle. Good fertility, fast fruiting compared to any type of avocado. It is only grow about 10 to 15 feet tall. While other types of avocado can grow up to 80 feet.
If you decide to grow avocados in containers, then this variety is your best bet. About how to grow avocados in containers? Don’t worry, all about how to plant avocado, how to care for avocados and others, we will complete the discussion in this article.
Some Varieties of Avocado that are Cold-Resistant
Here are some avocado varieties that are resistant to cold temperatures, we will mention them and their types.
- Mexicola Grande: (type A) cold-hardy to 18 to 20°F
- Fantastic aka Pryor: (type A) cold-hardy down to 15°F
- Joey: (type B) cold-hardy down to 15-18°F
- Bacon: (type B) cold-hardy to about 20-22°F
- Opal aka Lila: (type A) hardy down to 15°F for brief periods but otherwise 22-25°F
- Winter Mexican: (type B) tolerant of routine temperatures in the mid to low 20’s
- Brogdon: (type B) cold-hardy down to 24°F
- Fuerte: (type B) cold-hardy to 30°F
- Wilma aka Brazos Belle: (type B) cold-hardy down to 15-18°F, grows quite well in drier places with low humidity.
Note: We mention as cold-resistant plants, this is when they are already growing and forming. This is when your avocado plant is about 3 years old or so.
Growing Avocados from a Pit vs a Nursery Tree
What is the best way to grow avocados? Is it growing from seeds or from plants that have grown in a nursery? You must have seen pictures or videos on the internet about avocado seeds being pierced with toothpicks on several sides and partially submerged in water (propped up on a glass), and after a while they started sprouting shoots and roots, and boom! it’s be an avocado tree.
It is seems very easy doesn’t it! but I want to say that this is not as easy as you think, and we do not recommend you to grow avocados like that, you will fail more than succeed. Even if successful, it will take a very long time to grow and become a big tree. Still not enough reasons, let me mention the reasons that this method is not suitable for you.
The first reason why we don’t recommend growing avocados from seed is because of the long growing time. Sometimes when it bears fruit you no longer live in that place. Avocados grown from seed can take around 10 to 15 years to bear fruit, which is a long time, isn’t it!
Moreover, you hope to be able to harvest avocados from your own home soon. If you buy avocado seeds that are ready to be planted in a nursery, you can wait about 2 years or three years and they will bear fruit.
Note: You can plant from seeds, but you have to know how to connect the shoots of your avocado plants with avocado shoots that have already fruited. It will also bear fruit quickly because what grows is part of the fruiting avocado (which is taken from the stem that has already fruited). But we do not recommend this, you better take the safe path by buying it at a trusted avocado nursery.
In addition to the long fruiting time, the avocado fruit that you grow from seed is sometimes also disappointing from the side of the fruit, it can taste bad, unsatisfactory fruit shape and other shortcomings.
Meanwhile, the seeds provided by farmers at the nursery have been made into quality seeds. This could be with a grafting system, connecting avocado stems with avocado stems that are already fruiting, and they certainly choose a quality type of avocado to be used as entres.
So, the safe and best way for those of you who want to grow avocados is to buy them at a plant nursery. You can buy avocados with a size of 20 inches, 40 inches or one meter or two meters, depending on the funds you provide. You can easily plant them and they will bear fruit quickly and you’ve trimmed a lot of time, especially if you buy avocados that are a year or two old at the nursery.
Where to Buy Avocado Trees
Ok, if you have decided to buy it at the nursery, we will direct you to find good and quality plants. You can visit your local plant nursery and ask about the seeds you need. If they don’t have stock or it’s out of stock, ask when it’s available again, or ask their contact so you can easily contact them at any time.
Apart from that, there are other ways you can take. You can order avocado plants online. You can visit Amazon or online stores such as fourwindsgrowers store. They have lots of choices and a variety of avocado varieties, take you time for choosing one. But you have to remember that the tree you buy online will be smaller in size because this is to minimize shipping costs.
These are the Requirements for Growing Avocados
What is the right place and the right climate for avocados? Some places that are suitable for growing avocados are California, Florida, Hawaii, southern Texas, and other sub-tropical climates with similar geographical conditions. Avocado plants do not like frost or prolonged heat. It needs a warm climate with moderate humidity. So, some of these states are suitable as locations to build your avocado garden.
For more information, read on in this article, we will explain about soil conditions, fertilizers, water, how to grow avocados and mulch. Likewise reviews on how to grow avocados in containers and their transfer indoors. We will explain all of this below.
This plant is great for growing in slightly warmer areas, the ideal temperature for growing avocados is 60 to 85 degrees F.
So, this temperature is important so that it can grow and develop optimally without any obstacles. If we plant it in a warmer place such as in the lowlands, it can also grow but needs extra care, especially in terms of fertilizer and watering.
Avocado plants do not like hot areas or with temperatures above 90 degrees F. On the avocado leaf or on the underside of the leaf there are small cavities or gaps called stomata, these are the mouth of the leaf or the organ for the leaf to breathe. Leaves are very important because these are the tools for photosynthesizing or breathing plants. Apparently, at temperatures above 90 F, the stomata holes begin to close making it difficult for the plant to breathe and in turn it is difficult to develop, difficult to bear fruit.
But this also depends on how much the plant has grown, and how big the stems are. Generally, a large avocado can survive even in hot climates, but it will not bear fruit.
Avocado varieties that are very heat resistant are Mexican and Mexican Hybrid varieties, Lamb Hass, Reed, Mexicola. While the Hass and Fuerte varieties are very heat resistant varieties. If there is an occasional heat wave, you can protect this tree by using protective equipment such as a protective cloth, besides that extra watering is also necessary and can help it survive the heat. You can also water the soil and around the stems to provide moisture to the roots.
How about the cold? Is this a problem for avocados?
If the avocado is already growing and developing, it can survive the occasional frost with minimal damage (low temperatures range from 20 to 30). Each avocado variety has a different ability to resist and survive cold weather. The most frost-resistant avocado varieties are the Mexican and the Mexican Grande (they survive 18°F though). While the Mexican hybrid, Fuerte, bacon, they can withstand 26°F.
Avocado plants with Hass variety, a Mexican-Guatemala hybrid, they are sensitive to temperatures below 30 degrees Fahrenheit. So, now you know what varieties you can grow in the heat and the best avocados that can withstand cold temperatures.
Avocado is a fruit tree that does not like prolonged freezing temperatures, even if it does not destroy them, but freezing temperatures can adversely affect the fruit. You can help protect them by using an ice blanket or plant cover on cold nights. This will help the young avocado plant to survive. As for the roots, you can use a thick layer of mulch at the base of the stems, this will prevent freezing of the roots in case of frost.
USDA Hardiness Zones for Avocados
Ideally avocado plants grow well in zones 8 to 11. But that does not mean that in other zones avocados cannot be planted. This is why I first explained about the best temperature for planting avocado trees above.
Perhaps the point of zones 8 through 11 is a good location and does not require extra care to grow avocados and avocados can bear fruit well.
Avocado Tree Soil
The best soil conditions for growing avocados are sandy loam with low acidity, this is around pH 6 to pH 6.5. We know that almost all plants like soil that is well drained or has good drainage, this also applies to avocado plants.
This is a tree that loves water, but it will be damaged if it is submerged in water, including if its roots are submerged. So, if you plant it in slightly clayey soil, then you should make a mound of soil on the stem to prevent water from pooling there. Making this mound is effective in dealing with this excess water because the avocado root system is very shallow.
Don’t plant avocados in hollows of soil that can stagnate water, this will immediately kill your plants. Indeed, avocados like sandy loam soil, but they can also be planted in various types of soil, it’s just that you have to be able to keep the roots moist and know when to water them.
Water is an important thing to keep from your plants. If this plant does not get enough water, it will affect its growth. It can be said that water is one of the important requirements that must be met, but don’t overdo it because this can also damage the plant, causing root rot.
How much should you provide water? This is highly dependent on temperature, climate, tree age and soil conditions. If your avocado tree is planted on sandy soil then you have to water it often. If your soil is in the area of the spectrum with clay soil, then reduce watering so as not to soak the roots in water.
Young avocado trees usually need to be watered 2 times a week, but you have to see how the soil conditions are. Prick your finger into the soil and feel the condition of the soil, if it’s still wet, you don’t need to water it. But if it is dry, you can increase the watering. If your plant is large or about a year old, you can water once a week unless you plant it in a hot area.
Mulch is important for this plant. You can add organic mulch to the stems, in addition to preventing weeds, this can also prevent the stems and roots from freezing in frost. Mulch from red bark, or from straw a few inches off the ground, this will protect the shallow root system from freezing.
In addition, all the fallen leaves can be piled on the stems and can be used as mulch as well. In addition to using red bark, you can also use plants such as comfrey, yarrow, or fava beans as organic mulch.
If it’s your first time planting, or just planting an avocado tree, don’t immediately use traditional NPK fertilizer, but simply add compost, or worm casting as organic material to provide freshness and nutrition to your plants. You can add in holes around the stems or in the soil around the stems as mulch.
Now, after the avocado tree grows well, you can add a balanced slow-release fertilizer, once a year or twice. You can also add home-made compost tea, if you have one, you can also add manure in the holes that have been made around the tree with the hole distance from the tree about one meter or 80 cm. Then fill it on top with soil or other organic waste.
How to Grow Avocado Correctly
This is the explanation you have been waiting for, but it is very important to know and understand all the explanations about temperature, climate, soil, and what varieties are cold-resistant and heat-resistant so that you can choose the right type and can produce lots of fruit.
- Follow the step-by-step how to grow avocados below, and master the technique.
- Choose a location that is exposed to the sun, protected from the wind and cold in winter.
- Follow the spacing between avocado trees, the recommendation is about 15 to 20 feet between trees.
- Some sources say that avocado trees are best planted in the spring.
- Dig a hole slightly or twice as big as the root ball but not too deep.
- After inserting the roots into the hole, backfill the hole with excavated soil, mix with some compost and worm casting, keeping the balance (don’t overdo it).
- If your soil is a bit loamy, try planting the roots slightly above the hole a few inches. Keep the root ball above the soil level about 2 inches, then make a mound of soil around the stems to cover the plant roots. This is great for preventing the soil from getting wet for a long time.
- When new to planting, do not add NPK, but simply add leaf litter, compost, and worm casting. It is also good to dilute the B vitamins and water them on the rootstock, this is useful for preventing stress during avocado plant transplants.
- Provide stake support for the first year or for the first two years so that the plant is not easily blown by the wind or broken.
Growing Avocados in Containers
How to grow avocado in a container? Is it possible to grow avocado trees in containers? Of course it is possible and you can plant it. But you must know in advance that planting avocados in pots will not be able to produce as much as the avocados you plant in the field.
When you plant avocados in pots, you must choose the right pot in terms of size, the right avocado variety and the type of soil that is suitable for use in containers. As we have said above, that the avocado that is suitable for planting in pots is the Wurtz variety or dwarf type that bears fruit quickly. In addition to the Wurtz variety, there is one more variety that is suitable for growing in pots, this is Gwen.
Choose a large pot so that the roots can grow freely and the plant can grow well. In addition to using large plastic pots, you can also use homemade containers made of wood. You just need to make a square or cube box with wood and put soil in it. The bigger the pot, the better for avocado tree growth. If in a large container, make the wheels so that you can easily move it into the room when winter comes.