Avocado tree not producing

Fruitless Avocado Problems – Reasons For An Avocado Tree With No Fruit

Although avocado trees produce more than a million flowers at bloom time, most fall from the tree without producing fruit. This extreme flowering is nature’s way of encouraging visits from pollinators. Even with this excessive blossoming, there are several reasons for a fruitless avocado. Read on to learn why there is no fruit on an avocado tree as well as additional information regarding an avocado that won’t produce fruit.

Reasons for an Avocado Tree with no Fruit

There are several reasons for a fruitless avocado. First of all, grafted trees usually begin to produce fruit in 3-4 years while avocado seedlings (non-grafted) take much longer to produce (7-10 years), if at all. So one reason why an avocado won’t produce fruit is simply because it is not a mature grafted variety.

Also, avocados planted in USDA zones 9-11 can bear fruit, but if you are in a chillier region, the tree may survive but never set fruit. Additionally, avocados will often produce a heavy fruit set one year and in the successive year produce a much lighter set of fruit. This is called biennial fruiting.

The most likely cause for no fruit on an avocado tree is its flowering pattern. Avocados have a unique flowering behavior called ‘protogynous dichogamy.’ All that this cumbersome phrase means is that the tree has both functional male and female organs in each flower. Over a two-day period, the bloom opens first as a female and on the following day as a male. Each opening of the flower lasts about half a day. To further complicate things, avocado flowering patterns are divided into two groups: “A” and “B” type flowers. Type A flowers open as females in the morning and then as males, while Type B blooms open as male followed by female.

Temperature plays a part in how well the synchronized blooming pattern is accomplished. Optimal temps for flowering are 68-77 F. (20-25 C.). Higher or lower temperatures can alter how well the tree is pollinating.

How to Get an Avocado to Set Fruit

To encourage pollination, plant more than one tree. Plant rootstock grafted seedlings rather than seeds you have started on your own.

Be sure to fertilize avocado trees with a nitrogen rich fertilizer in the late winter to early spring and again in early summer. From April through June (Northern Hemisphere), refrain from feeding the trees with a nitrogen rich food which will only encourage foliage growth rather than fruit production.

Avocado trees do not need or like heavy pruning. If you need to prune out dead, broken or diseased branches, try to avoid cutting or damaging branches with buds or flowers.

Keep the tree consistently watered; water deeply to soak the roots and then let the soil surface dry before watering again. Depending upon the temperature, this may mean daily or weekly watering.

Answers to Questions
by Dr. Mary Lu Arpaia and Dr. Ben Faber

Questions on avocado culture

  • Planting
  • Fertilizing
  • Watering
  • Grafting
  • Growing from seed
  • Pollination & Fruit Set
  • Fruit drop
  • Frost damage (Article)

Other questions

  • Climate requirements
  • How many different kinds of avocados in the world?
  • How can I tell when my avocados are ripe?
  • How long from planting till I get fruit?
  • How many fruit from a mature avocado tree?
  • How many years will a normal avocado tree produce fruit?
  • I’ve just planted an avocado grove. How many years before it becomes profitable?
  • About holes and black spots on the fruit
  • Sooty mold problem
  • Brown spots on leaves
  • Leaves fell off when I moved my tree inside for the winter
  • Black spots (looks like a mold) on bottom side of the leaves
  • Small fruit with black, mushy bottoms
  • What’s the creamy-white foamy looking stuff that grows on cuts?
  • Pruning
  • How large will my avocado tree get?
  • Growing avocados in a greenhouse
  • Growing areas in California
  • Cocktail, cukes and finger avocados
  • Where can I send my questions?

Planting

The avocado is a shallow rooted tree (most of the feeder roots are in the top 6″ of soil) which needs good aeration. They do well if mulched with a coarse yard mulch. Current recommendation is to put approx 1/3 cu yd per tree when planting. When applying the mulch, be sure to stay about 6-8 inches away from the trunk of the tree. They like the soil pH around 6 – 6.5. If you can, plant your tree in a spot protected from wind and frost. Also, avocado trees typically do not do well planted in lawns so try to plant your tree in a non-lawn area.

  • When should I plant my avocado tree?
    Avocado trees like warm ground. Ideally, they should go into the ground from March through June. If they go in during the summer there is always the risk of sun damage because the trees can’t take up water very well when young.
  • How big a hole should I dig?
    As deep as the current root ball and just as wide as the width plus a little extra so you can get your hands into the hole to plant it. Don’t drop the tree into the hole, the roots don’t like that, ease it into the hole. The avocado root system is very sensitive and great care should be taken not to disturb the root system when transplanting. If the tree is root bound, however, loosen up the soil around the edges and clip the roots that are going in circles.
  • Should I put some gravel, crushed rock or planting mix at the bottom of the hole?
    No. Do not put gravel or anything else like planting media in the hole. The sooner the roots get out into the bulk soil, the better the tree will do. Planting mix creates a textural difference between the root ball and the bulk soil and causes water movement problems. Remember, there are 5 million acres of tree crops in California planted without planting mix.
  • I have a heavy clay soil. Should I elevate the tree in a mound for better drainage?
    Yes, good idea. Make the mound 1 to 2 feet high and 3 to 5 feet around. Put down 20 pounds of gypsum spread around the base of the tree and mulch the area with 6 inches of woody mulch keeping the material about 6-8 inches away from the tree trunk.
  • What do you mean by a “coarse yard mulch” and where can I get some?
    Redwood bark will work and maybe cocoa bean husks and shrededed tree bark. Need something that is woody and about 2 inches in diameter. Coarse yard mulch is available at some garden supply centers. Be sure it is COARSE, not fine, yard mulch – and disease-free to prevent introducing diseases to your tree (like root rot). Another source of coarse mulch would be a tree trimming operation, like Asplundh or Davy. They usually have material that has been pruned from the tops of trees and doesn’t contain any diseased roots. Just go through the yellow pages looking for tree services.
  • How much sun is best for my tree? Full sun, morning, afternoon?
    Full sun is best.

Fertilizing

As far as fertilizing, the recommendation for young avocado trees is 1/2 to 1 pound of actual Nitrogen per tree per year. You can spread it out over several applications as long as it totals 1/2 to 1 pound of Nitrogen. The other important nutrient for avocado trees is Zinc. A general use home fertilizer that is used for houseplants normally should work. You may once a year wish to feed in some zinc if the fertilizer you are using does not have zinc. The major nutrients that the avocado tree needs are NPK and Zn.

  • I use an organic avocado food labeled 7-4-2. I do not see zinc listed. What does NPK mean?
    NPK means Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium. So in your 7-4-2 fertilizer you have roughly 7% Nitrogen, 4% Phosphorus and 2% Potassium. There are organic fertilizers that contain Zinc (Zn) but you’ll have to look for them, it need not be labeled “avocado food.” I am surprised that a fertilizer labeled “avocado food” would not contain Zinc.

Watering

When watering the tree, it is best to soak the soil well, then allow it to dry out somewhat before watering again. Of course, like most plants, you don’t want the tree to get too dry! The rule of thumb for mature trees is about 20 gallons of water a day during the irrigation season. Seedling will require quite a bit less than that, of course. At planting the trees can hold about 2 gallons of water in their rooted volume. Depending on the weather, they might use 1 gallon of water a day along the coast. Typically the trees need to be watered 2-3 times a week. As the roots reach out into the bulk soil, more water can be applied and frequency of watering diminishes to about 1 time per week by the end of a year. Check the soil before watering, to make sure it has dried somewhat. If the soil from around the roots can still hold the impression of the hand when squeezed, it still has enough water. To help you calculate the amount of water for a small tree, you can look at the irrigation calculator at: http://www.avoinfo.com I believe it is located in the grower section.

Grafting

Avocados are not easy to graft so my first suggestion would be to take the trees out and purchase the varietys you want from a local nursery. If, however, you want to graft onto your existing trees, I would suggest you hire someone who does this on a regular basis. If you live in an area where avocados are being grown you should be able to locate someone with this skill by contacting a local avocado grower. Another option is to contact a nurseryman and see if they know anyone who works with avocados. A local arboretum might also know of someone. In California you might try contacting the California Rare Fruit Growers. You might be able to reach Rare Fruit Growers through their state web site at: http://www.crfg.org/

If you are determined to try grafting yourself, check the following site to see if they have a pamphlet that you can purchase about grafting avocados. http://danrcs.ucdavis.edu
For grafting, Dr. Mary Lu Arpaia, Extension Subtropical Horticulturist, suggests the following manual: Propagating Avocados: Principles and Techniques of nursery and field grafting. Publication #21461.

Growing from seed

It is possile to grow an avocado from seed, just don’t let it dry out. Be aware that the seed is the result of cross-pollenation so the resulting tree will be different from the tree the fruit came from. For example, if you plant the seed from a Hass avocado, the resulting tree will be a cross between a Hass and something else… it will NOT be a Hass! Also, keep in mind that avocados planted from seed take anywhere from 5 to 13 years+ before they flower and produce fruit. When I start an avocado from seed I usually take it right from the fruit, I cut about 1/4″ off the tip of the seed with a sharp knife, and place the seed in a pot with potting soil with just the flat/cut top of the seed showing above the soil. Keep it moist and wait… (time to germinate varies).

Pollination & Fruit set

The avocado flowering patterns fall into two groups: “A” type and “B” type flowers. A type flowers open female in the morning and male in the afternoon, B type are male in the morning and female in the afternoon. The question many people have (and which has not been fully answered yet) is, should I plant a “B” type avocado with an “A” type avocado to help with good pollinization?
It is widely accepted that fruit production can be helped with the presence of another avocado variety. Temperature during bloom can also influence fruit set. Optimum fruit set occurs at temperatures between about 65 – 75 F. Cooler or warmer temperatures are less ideal. Under some conditions you may get a fruit from a flower that did not pollinate properly. These small, elongated fruit will often fall from the tree on their own, but if they “hang on” you can pick them and eat them. These fruit are called “cukes” but are sometimes marketed in stores as “Cocktail” or “Finger” avocados

Fruit Drop
The avocado tree typically can produce up to about one million flowers but will only typically set about 100 to 200 fruit per tree…..or in other words, 1 fruit in 10,000…. Sometimes they will set fruit but then drop them when they are pea to walnut size…again this is typical. What can be done to minimize fruit drop of good “fertilized” fruit. Well, avoid stressing the tree, that is don’t under or overwater the tree. There has been research in Israel which suggests that fruit retention is also facilitated when there are other avocado varieties present to provide cross-pollination and that these crossed fruit have a higher tendency to stay on the tree. There is also some indication that overfertilizing with Nitrogen during the early fruit stages can also somewhat influence this practice, although this data is not overwhelmingly convincing. I would suggest not to fertilize with nitrogen from about April through mid-June, or apply very low amounts during this time.

  • Recently my tree has been dropping small size avocados. It appears as if the stems are being damaged somehow. What’s causing this?
    When fruit drops from natural causes it will normally form an abcission line on the stem. However, the new avocado thrips will also feed on the stem and cause fruit drop. The pest damage and the natural fruit fall occur at the same time, so it is hard to distinguish the two unless an inspection is made of the fruit for the thrips. They would be found on the fruit, under the callyx. By the time this information gets to the person, the damage will have already been done. When fruit gets to about 2 inches in size it is out of harm’s way. Next year a spray of sabadilla during fruit set and a second spray about 2 weeks later should control the damage if it is caused by thrips.

Frost Damage

See Article

Other Questions:

  • What are the climate requirement of an avocado tree?
    The avocado tree is a native understory tree to the humid and semihumid tropics. It seems to do best at moderately warm temperatures (60 – 85F) and moderate humidity. It can tolerate temperatures, once established, to around 32 – 28F with minimal damage.
  • How many different kinds of avocados in the world?
    Keep in mind that each seed planted results in an avocado tree very different from the parent tree. For example, you plant a seed from a Hass avocado… the seed is the result of cross-pollination and the resulting tree and fruit will be very different from its parents. Since this is the process by which new varieties are discovered, there are literally thousands of named varieties of avocados (and untold unnamed ones in the wild). In fact, there is a lady who has volunteered to go back through the literature and compile a list of named varieties for us, so far she has over 1000 varieties in her database! However, there are really only a small number of commercial varieties being grown for sale today, the main one being Hass.
  • How can I tell when my avocados are ripe?
    Avocados do not “ripen” on the tree, that is, they do not get soft while on the tree. Once you pick an avocado, it takes about 7 to 10 days for it to soften when left at room temperature. You can speed the process up slightly by placing the avocado in a bag with some other ripe fruit (like an apple) or slow the process down by keeping the fruit in the refrigerator.
    As far as knowing when it is ready to be picked, it is hard to tell from the outside when an avocado is mature. What the industry does is called a “dry weight” test which gives you an indirect measure of the oil content of the fruit. If the oil content is too low, the fruit is not ripe yet and will shrivel or stay rubbery insted of getting soft. I suggest you pick a couple of fruit and try to ripen them. If the fruit shrivel up or seem rubbery insted of soft, they are not mature yet. Keep picking fruit every few weeks. Note on the calendar when they soften insted of turning rubbery. Also, note the taste of the fruit. The oil content of the fruit usually increases through the season and there will be a certain point when it tastes “just right.” That date will usually vary somewhat due to climate conditions… and some years will be better than others. Some varieties can also reach a point where they have too much oil and some will turn rancid (although many types fall from the tree before reaching that point).
    The Hass avocado typically ripens in February and is good through June or July. These dates depend a lot on where you live and climate conditions. Some years you can pick larger fruit as early as December and they will ripen up. Up in Ventura County, fruit can remain on the tree and still be good into August and September.
    Varieties that ripen other times of the year (dates based on our plot in Irvine, Ca):
    Reed: June – Sept
    Pinkerton: Nov – Jan
    Fuerte: Dec – March
    Lamb-Hass: May – Aug
  • I just planted an avocado tree. How long before I start getting fruit?
    This depends on several factors. First of all, are you purchasing a tree from a nursery or growing a tree from seed? If purchasing a tree, you can probably expect to see your first fruit 3-4 years after planting the tree. If growing from seed, it can take anywhere from 5 to 13 years before the tree is mature enough to set fruit. When the tree does flower, expect a lot of flowers to fall from the tree without setting fruit. This is natural.
  • How many fruit will a mature tree produce in one year?
    It is possible for an avocado tree to produce 200 to 300 fruit per tree once it is about 5 to 7 years of age. The avocado however, alternate bears. This means that the tree may produce a large crop one year, and then will produce a small crop the following year. There are lots of variables which will influence this.
  • How many years will a normal avocado tree produce fruit?
    As far as I know, an avocado tree will continue to grow and produce fruit until something kills the tree. The origional Hass tree (1926) is still alive and producing fruit. There are some wild trees in Mexico that are over 400 years old that are still producing.
  • I’ve just planted an avocado grove. How many years before it becomes profitable?
    Typically breakeven is about year 5 but it all depends on cost of water and land, variety, and price paid for the fruit at a conventional yield. You can check out the economics section on the following web site. UCCE Ventura: http://ucceventura.xlrn.ucsb.edu/
  • What do the frequent holes and black spots under an avocado’s skin mean? Are those bruises and ok to eat? Or are they rotten spots that must be cut out?
    You pose an interesting question which is difficult to answer without having a picture of exactly what you mean. The avocado fruit can have black spots and small air pockets under the skin due to mechanical damage during handling…these can be due to the fruit being impacted or compressed when partially ripe. The fruit can also develop brown semi-hard spots under the skin which can also be due to a decay organism. The organism is similar to one which may attack bananas, mangos and a range of other fruits. To my knowledge however it does not produce any deadly toxins so that if you excise the affected area of the fruit it should be safe to consume.
  • What can I do about a sooty mold problem?
    If it is sooty mold, a fungus that is superficial and is growing on insect exudate from mealy bug or apids, the key is to control the insect. The sooty mold can be just washed off. scales and aphids are controlled by controlling ants. For more information and photographs, visit the IPM web page at: http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/selectnewpest.avocado.html
  • What is causing the brown spots on my leaves?
    The brownish spots on the leaves is probably a symptom of the persea mite. This little creature showed up in California several years ago and caused a lot of problems including complete defoliation of some trees. The pest has been less and less a problem, probably because some natural predators have started controlling it. Still, if the leaves get a lot of spots on them and start falling off, you might want to try a soap spray or mite spray on the leaves.
  • My leaves turned brown and fell off when I moved my tree indoors for the winter.
    There’s a couple of things that confront a tree going from outside in. One is to insure adequate light intensity. Make sure it is in a bright environment. It shouldn’t be in a direct southern exposure, because then it can burn, but as much light as possible without facing the burning rays of the south. Secondly it doesn’t like the high/dry heat of a house. Don’t exceed 80 degrees and make sure the container doesn’t dry out. Occasionally spraying the leaves with water will help.
  • My avocado tree has gray/black spots (looks like mold) on the bottom side of the leaves along the veins, and the leaves have started to drop.
    This is a case of persea mite. The mites have left and the leaf is about to fall. Hose the underside of the leaves with a good strong stream of water or try a soap spray or mite spray on the remaining leaves.
  • Our avocados get “cuke” sized and then form black, mushy bottoms before falling off the tree. What causes this?
    Unfortunately, this sounds like avocado bud mite. It has been a problem in So. Ca. for the last 3 years and is likely a result of the odd weather we’ve been having. There are currently no proven control measures for the problem. It is caused by a miniscule mite that feeds on the forming bud, causing the distortion. A narrow range 415 oil sprayed pre-bloom may help, but thorough coverage is required. If your tree is too large, it may be possible to spray just the lower portion of the tree in order to get some fruit.
  • What’s the creamy-white foamy looking stuff that grows out of the bark where there are cuts, or small branches have died and dropped off?
    It is just sap coming from a wound. It dries that sugary white, fluffy stuff.
  • When is the best time to prune avocado trees?
    Avocados can be pruned any time of the year, but there tends to be less vigorous regrowth if it is done after cold weather in the winter, sometime around February. Click here to view a video on Pruning Small Avocado Trees by Dr. Piet Stassen.
  • How large will my avocado tree get?
    Growth is reflected in rootstock, variety, soil depth and texture, windiness, irrigation and pruning. Columnar types (like Reed and Bacon) can ultimately get to be the same size as umbrella types (like Hass), but will take up less room. Both types can go to 35 feet in 30 years. Pruning can keep the trees to a manageable size, under 15 feet, but pruning must be done on a regualr basis, such as in peach.
  • I want to grow avocados in a greenhouse. What variety would you suggest?
    First of all, be aware that you will have to prune your tree to keep it small enough for your greenhouse. I have seen a tree in Chile that was at least 60 feet tall. But don’t worry – I think for your purposes you can keep them pruned to around 12 – 15 feet. You will probably need to prune the tree several times a year but the major topping should be done in the winter time.
    Now, as to variety or kind to grow – there are 100’s of avocado varieties for you to consider. Given the fact that you want to grow this in a greenhouse you might want to go with a less vigorous variety. The ‘Gwen’ avocado is a green skin variety that produces a smaller tree. I have seen 12 year old trees that are about 15′ tall without pruning. The tree is semi-compact with an average width of approx 10 feet. The fruit in California matures around March and will hang on the tree to approx May/June. Another variety which produces summer fruit is the ‘Reed’ which is also a green-skin variety. This is a vary upright colummar tree with a smaller average width. I have seen these trees successfully maintained at below 15 feet. The fruit of this variety in my opinion is excellent, especially in late summer (approx 16 – 18 months after flowering). You could also consider the ‘Pinkerton’ (green skin, early season fruit) which tends more to be a spreading shorter tree. The ‘Hass’ (the variety that turns black when ripe) is a moderately vigorous spreading tree. A new variety is the ‘Lamb Hass’ which is also an upright tree. It produces fruit that also turns black when ripe. The fruit matures late spring through the summer.
  • What areas of California are most hospitable to avocados?
    Most areas of Southern California are suitable for avocados except for the mountains and high deserts wher it gets too cold and too dry for fruit set. Outside of Southern California, it depends on the climate. Cold is most often the problem one faces in other parts of the state. Still, I know there are home growers with avocado trees in and around San Francisco. There is also an area along the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains where avocados are being grown in Fresno and Tulare Counties. Growing areas in Southern California include:
    • San Diego County
    • Orange County
    • Los Angeles County
    • Riverside County
    • Western San Bernardino County
    • Ventura County
    • Santa Barbara County
    • some parts of San Luis Obispo and Santa Cruz Counties
  • I want to know about an avocado known as the “cocktail” or “finger” avocado.
    The small, pickle shaped fruit are called “cukes” (as in cucumbers) by many in the avocado industry and result from a flower that did not pollinate properly. These fruit will often fall from the tree on their own, but if they “hang on” you can pick them and eat them. Some varieties are more prone to producing “cukes” than others and occasionally avocado growers will harvest them and market them. When sold, they are often labeled “Cocktail” or “Finger” avocados.

Dr. Mary Lu Arpaia. Extension Subtropical Horticulturist, Kearney Agriculture Center, Parlier, Ca.

Dr. Ben Faber: Farm Advisor. Soils and water, avocados and subtropicals, Ventura County, Ca.

Direct questions to:

How to grow avocados indoors: Go-to methods that bear fruit

Oh, the elusive and seductive avocado–who hasn’t seen an avocado pit on toothpicks dangled over a cup of water and wondered, “does that really work?”

The answer is yes! It’s entirely possible to sprout an avocado seed at home, and with dedication and care, to grow an avocado tree that grows up to bear fruit one day. Read on for some comprehensive background on everyone’s favorite savory fruit, and how to grow avocados indoors.

History of Avocados

The avocado, Persea americana, traces its lineage to south-central Mexico, in the neighborhood of between 7,000 and 5,000 B.C. This, however, was a wild variety that wasn’t cultivated until several millennia later. Ancient avocados have been discovered in Peru, buried with Incan mummies as far back as 750 B.C.(1) That means humans have been loving avocados for close to three thousand years. And who could blame us?

We aren’t entirely certain when cultivation of the avocado began in Mexico, but it could have been as early as 500 B.C. The first time “avocado” crops up in the English language is 1696, but Spanish conquistadores were the first Europeans to stumble upon them in their travels to Mesoamerica.

Avocados in America

Right around the turn of the 20th century, a handful of nurserymen and farmers began to take an interest in the commercial cultivation of avocados in California. One of those men, F.O. Popeno enlisted a man named Carl Schmidt to explore Mexico City markets for a suitable species of avocado.

Of the 25 species sent to California for cultivation, one stood out above all others: the green-skinned “Fuerte.” The California avocado industry was built on this cultivar until in 1972, it was surpassed by the Hass avocado.(2) This variety had many advantages over the Fuerte, the most notable that a tree could produce fruit in only a few years time and those fruit shipped exceptionally well. This is the avocado that has conquered the world market.

Every growers dream. Yum! Image: Kim Starr

Varieties of avocados

Because most of us have only experienced one or two avocado varieties at the most, it may come as a shock to learn that there are, in fact, over 50 known varieties.(3) Most of these are far-flung and extremely localized to their native region.

Growing to over 20 feet, most commercially grown varieties of avocados are not suitable for growing indoors long-term. For indoor cultivation there are a number of dwarf varieties with mature heights between 8 and 16 feet. The dwarf varieties of avocados include ‘Gwen,’‘Wurtz,’ ‘Lamb Hass,’‘Holiday,’ ‘Reed,’ and ‘Little Cado.’

Unfortunately, it is exceedingly difficult to come across these varieties at a local nursery outside of California, Florida, and Texas. There are some online sources for small, established trees that will send them through the post, so don’t despair. For those bound and determined, there are options, but for anyone who wants to experiment, there are always grocery store avocados that come complete with viable seeds. More on that below.

How to grow an avocado indoors

There are two ways to grow your own avocado tree. Avocados can be grown from an avocado pit harvested from a grocery store avocado, or they can be grown from nursery stock. An interesting fact to bear in mind is that nursery-grown avocados are not grown from seed, but are cloned from mature trees. What that means is that they will mature at a much more rapid rate than a seed, which will spend many years developing.

Start a seed in water like this.

Growing an avocado from seed

Growing an avocado from seed is easier than most people imagine. The first thing to do is to rinse the seed clean. Next, using three toothpicks, suspend it, broad end at the bottom, over a glass of water filled so the seed is submerged to around an inch, with the top exposed to air. Place the glass in a warm spot out of direct sunlight.

After six weeks, roots and a stem shoot should begin emerging from the seed. (If nothing has happened after eight weeks, toss your seed out and try again with another one.) Continue to change out the water in the glass and wait until the stem is between six and seven inches long. Cut it back to three inches and wait for it to sprout leaves.

Once you have dense roots and healthy-looking leaves, it’s time to transplant into a pot. Find a pot ten inches or larger in diameter with good drainage holes– terra cotta is a great choice for avocados. The most important thing to provide an avocado plant is good drainage. They have very shallow root systems and can easily be killed if the roots are saturated for more than a couple of days.

Use a sandy potting soil designed for cacti or citrus– something loose, fertile, and well-drained. You can find this type of potting soil at most local gardening centers, or on Amazon here. Some coarse stones placed in the bottom of the pot can be helpful with ensuring good drainage, too. Loosely fill the pot almost to the top with potting mix and hollow out a hole deep enough for the avocado seedling’s roots. Spread the roots out and gently pack soil around the pit, leaving the top of the seed above the soil line. Water gently until water runs from the drainage holes, wait for it to stop, and then place the pot into a drainage dish in a south-facing window.

From here on, the instructions will be the same as if you started with a nursery-grown tree.

Growing an avocado from a young tree

Growing an avocado tree purchased from a nursery or online is obviously going to be easier than growing from seed. However, these are delicate plants that require very specific conditions to flourish and eventually bear fruit.

Plants that arrive through the mail must be planted immediately, while nursery plants may be fine in the pots they come in, if they are appropriately sized. The larger the pot, the likelier the plant will start growing vigorously right away.

If you must do so, plant or transplant the young tree into a large pot with good drainage. Use a potting mix designed for cacti or citrus and never bury the trunk any deeper than the part that flares out at the base. If a young nursery tree is root-bound, rough up the root ball a bit to untangle or fray roots before planting. Place the pot in a location where it receives full sun.

Caring for avocado trees

Temperature and Light

Avocados are sensitive plants with some very specific requirements. They do best in warm temperatures, ideally between 60 and 85 degrees fahrenheit– which makes them excellent indoor plants. They enjoy full sun and may benefit from a bit of supplemental light during the winter months.

Water

Avocado trees cannot handle too much water. In fact, overwatering is the number one cause of death for potted avocado trees, so don’t overdo it, and always check the moisture level of the soil before watering. This is particularly important in the first year as the tree is getting established. Yellowing leaves are usually a sign of overwatering. If it looks like your avocado tree is yellowing, let it dry out for a few days.

The best method for watering an avocado plant is to do a deep soak once a week, or as soon as the leaves show signs of wilting. The best policy is to check in every day with a plant to see how it is doing. Watering in winter can be especially problematic, as the water in the soil evaporates more slowly in cooler months, any excess can result in root rot. Once this begins, it is very difficult to save the plant, so best to avoid it by watering sparingly.

Another problem avocados in both pots suffer from is the accumulation of salts in their soil. If the leaves are turning brown and curling/drying at the tips, it’s a sure sign of this. There are two ways to deal with mineral buildup in soil. The first is using only rainwater to water your avocado tree. If this isn’t an option, then use distilled water to flush the soil by letting water run freely into the pot (over a sink) while it drains continuously for several minutes.

Pruning and Staking

Cutting back plants can feel mercenary, but the truth is that it stimulates bushy new growth that is stronger and more robust than single-stemmed growth. Always use tools that are sharp and cleaning order to avoid introducing bacteria or disease.

When an avocado seedling reaches twelve inches or so, trim the tip and top leaves off, cutting just above a growth node. This will encourage healthy lateral growth. Once lateral stems are six to eight inches long, trim the new growth at the tips off.

Pruning in this fashion is only advisable in the first year as the shape of the tree is being established. After that, only prune once a year in autumn or winter when the tree isn’t adding much new growth. Once a seedling is over two feet tall, staking it will help to support its weight. A piece of bamboo makes a perfect stake, just drive it into the soil near the base of the plant and tie the stem loosely with a twist-tie or piece of twine.

Fertilizing

In the first year of an avocado tree’s life, a fertilizer for citrus trees can help it establish. Apply a citrus fertilizer as directed every couple of months for the first year, but don’t do it too frequently or heavily. Avocado trees benefit from ten percent nitrogen, phosphorus, and potash along with six percent magnesium.

Spraying with copper, zinc, manganese, and boron (trace elements) every couple of months in spring and summer for the first four years will help your tree get to the point where it can bear fruit. When your tree begins to set fruit, increase potash fertilization to fifteen percent.

Moving potted avocados outdoors

Unless you live in Southern California, Florida, Hawaii, or deep Southern Texas, there isn’t much change of leaving an avocado outdoors year-round. However, as long as your summers are warm and sunny, you should be able to set your avocado trees outdoors through the warm months.

For a potted avocado that has never seen the light of day directly, break it in gently by first placing it in an outdoor location that receives filtered sunlight. After a day or two, move it to full sun and it will likely thank you with vigorous growth. Pay closer attention to it outdoors than you might normally, as the soil can dry out much faster in the open air.

There are a few fungal diseases and pests that can affect an avocado tree, none of which are very common. If you detect anything afflicting the leaves or fruit of your avocado tree, diagnose and treat the issue as soon as possible.

When will my avocado bear fruit?

The honest truth is that the odds of an indoor avocado bearing fruit are not great– it’s by no means impossible, but growing avocado fruit is a long term commitment. That said, the growing method used will have the most significant effect on when indoor plants bear fruit.

Avocados grown from seed will not bear fruit until they’re at least a decade old, and may take even longer than that. Trees planted from a nursery will produce much more quickly, beginning at about three or four years old. While it may be tempting to go straight to a nursery grown avocado, consider growing from seed to learn how to care for one first. That way, when your nursery tree arrives, you’ll be fully prepared to give it the care it needs to thrive.

Harvesting Fruit

When your plant begins to set fruit, it may set a huge number at first. It will most likely drop a large number of these fruit, so don’t panic–it’s perfectly normal. Additionally, unlike many fruit trees, avocados do not ripen on the plant. Once the fruit reaches a mature size, pick one and let it sit on a shelf for a few days. If they shrivel up or never become soft, it isn’t time. Pick another couple of fruits every week until they ripen. At that point, pick as you desire and leave what you don’t want on the tree.

Whether or not your avocado tree bears fruit, you will have a unique and beautiful houseplant that will impress your guests. However, if you take your time and treat your tree right, you will be rewarded with the rarest of homegrown fruits, avocados. Which anyone would agree is well worth the effort.

Sources:

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Hass Avocado Tree

The Most Popular Avocado on the Market

Why Hass Avocado Trees?

The popular, tasty Hass, now home-grown and ready to enjoy much sooner than seed-grown fruit. Supermarket trips are a thing of the past when you’re growing your own Hass Avocado Tree at home. And because the Hass is so expensive in stores, you save time and money.

Best of all, our Hass Avocado fruit’s unique flavor tastes better than store-bought. You’ll save hundreds of dollars, especially since you can expect your tree to produce fruit year after year for 40+ years. The Hass’s creamy inner flesh is delicious for everything, from classic uses in salads or guacamole to cooking and complementing the ever-popular avocado toast.

For best results (and to take the guesswork out of growing), we’ve taken hardy avocado rootstock and grafted it onto a cutting from a mature avocado tree, proven to produce delicious fruit. We’ve done all the work in our process, which results in robust avocado growth. Outdoors, this fruit-bearing tree will reach heights of 15 to 20 feet and a width of 5 to 8 feet at full maturity. But when it’s container-grown, it will reach a height between 5 to 7 feet, allowing easy harvesting.

Why Fast-Growing-Trees.com is Better

  • Seed-grown trees could take up to a decade to produce fruit, or never produce avocados – with our Hass, you can enjoy avocados now.
  • Your home-grown Hass Avocados will produce the same delectable taste, season after season, since we’ve grafted our trees for consistent results.
  • You’ll save time and money since you no longer have to buy store-bought fruit.

So, is there anything better than your own avocados, grown right from home and ready to enjoy? Order your Hass Avocado Tree today!

Planting & Care

1. Planting: Although partial sun will suffice, to produce avocados in abundance, make sure you choose a planting area that gives your Hass Avocado Tree full sun. Spacing with the Hass is important as well. Give your avocado tree about 15 feet of space from other trees and plants.

The best months for planting are typically March through June, depending on where you live. Dig a hole twice as large as the tree’s root system, carefully plant the tree and cover the roots. Tamp the soil down around the tree’s root system to remove all air pockets. Using a small diameter wooden pole, stake the tree with a garden stake and tie the tree to the pole loosely using cotton twine. Finally, apply 3 inches of bark chips around the tree to help with moisture retention and prevent the growth of weeds.

2. Watering: When planting, water your young avocado tree to be sure it is sufficiently hydrated. Otherwise allow the soil to dry between waterings. A thorough watering once weekly is generally all your avocado needs, however.

While the roots prefer to stay on the dry side, avocado leaves love humidity. Indoor Avocados will do best if misted daily, especially when you are running heat during cooler months. You can also use a humidifier or fill your pot’s saucer with rocks and add water; place your plant on the rocks ensuring the bottom of the pot is above the water line.

3. Pruning: Prune the Haas avocado lightly to maintain appearance or to remove damaged branches during the first few years after planting. Pruning should be done in the spring.

4. Fertilizing: Fertilize the Hass Avocado tree in the spring, summer, fall and winter, after the tree has been planted for one year using a well-balanced fertilizer.

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Avocado Trees

Avocado trees

Avocado trees are tropical evergreen plants with large leaves. The fruit is creamy and delicious with many health benefits. Avocado trees grow well near the coast. The ocean tends to regulate winter and summer temperatures. This is why commercially in Southern California, trees are grown mostly in cities such as San Diego, Santa Barbara, Malibu, Oxnard, and Ventura. As well as micro-climates such as Temecula. They also grow well in mild climate areas such as Beverly hills, Malibu, Santa Monica, Venice and Long Beach.

In order to protect trees from sunburn and sun damage in the Summer. Plant avocado trees where they will receive the morning sun and afternoon shade in Los Angeles inland areas of Glendale, Burbank, and in the San Fernando Valley. Also plant trees near a wind break where its windy in the Winter. Cold temperatures can be fatal to trees.

Avocado trees are not self-pollinating. Use a B cultivar such as Fuerte to pollinate popular A varieties such as Hass. In fact, Hass is the most popular avocados at American grocery stores today.

Plant trees in well drained soils. Keep soil moist but not wet. Do not water too frequently. Deep water newly planted trees once or twice per week. Fertilize with citrus and avocado food. Prune to maintain size and shape in the winter when it is cooler.

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Avocado Trees by Everglades Farm

Growing your own avocado trees is a healthy, convenient way to cultivate home-grown food and add additional greenery to your garden. These fruit-bearing trees (yes, an avocado is a fruit!) can take a lot of time to grow, but are well worth the wait – avocado trees need a lot of sunlight and less water than other fruit trees. Avocado trees grow best in warm climates, including Florida, California, Hawaii, or Texas – those in colder or wetter climates will have a harder time growing avocado trees.

Why Should You Plant Avocado Trees?

Avocados are truly one of the best foods out there for your body! Avocados are full of good fats, known as monounsaturated fats, which help keep you full and protects against heart disease. There are so many wonderful uses of avocados too: guacamole obviously, avocado toast, milkshakes, slices on your salad, as an oil, the possibilities are endless!

Sometimes it is difficult to find avocados that are just right in regular supermarkets like Walmart, and many stores like Whole Foods sell their avocados at astronomical prices. This is why many buyers choose to purchase one of our avocado trees – ripe avocados right in their backyard!

Avocado trees are also excellent first- time trees for beginners or even veteran gardeners. As long as you follow the instructions given by our Everglade Farms experts, after a few years you will more avocados than you know what to do with!

How to Plant Avocado Trees At Home:

Most at-home growers start their avocado trees from scratch, using the pit. There are advantages to growing an avocado tree that way, but for those who do not want to invest that much time, Everglades Farm is here to help! We have grafted our starter avocado trees from fruit-producing Choquette or Simmonds variety trees. Every single avocado tree comes with a 3-gallon plastic container for easy growing.

Here are some tips on growing your brand new avocado tree:

  • The best time to plant your avocado tree is between March to July
  • Plant the avocado tree so that the feeder roots are about 6 inches into the ground
  • Place your tree so that it has a minimum of 6 to 8 hours of sunlight, either direct or indirect – it cannot bear fruit with a lot lots of sunlight!
  • Overwatering is a big problem for avocado trees – make sure that you follow only the recommended amount of watering a day, which is two to three times a week.

How Many Avocado Trees Should I Have?

There is no right or wrong answer to this, but make sure that you have enough room for all of your avocado trees to grow. By having multiple avocado trees in close proximity you allow for cross-pollinating. Avocado trees are self-pollinators, but their male and female organs are not online at the same time. However, because avocado trees need a lot of space, multiple trees should be planted anywhere from 5 to 10 feet away from each other.

Ready to take the plunge and buy some avocado trees? Let Everglades Farm be your go-to source for advice and high-quality avocado trees!

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