Taylor A Ritz
Do you want to grow your own avocados? If you don’t live in a tropical climate then you might have some trouble, but there’s an easy solution: grow your avocados in a pot!
Can You Grow Your Avocados Outside?
You can’t grow an avocado tree just anywhere. Like most plants, avocados have specific growing requirements. Easily the most limiting factor for growing an avocado tree is cold weather. All three common species of avocado require tropical conditions to grow.
Gardening geographical locations are sorted into hardiness zones. The higher the zone number, the more tropical an area’s climate. Avocados must be grown in zones 8 through 11. Any zone lower than 8 will experience cold temperatures that will kill an avocado tree.
Can You Still Grow and Avocado?
If you don’t live in a tropical or sub-tropical growing zone, don’t despair! You can satisfy your aspirations to eat a home-grown avocado; just grow your avocado tree inside!
Tips For Growing an Avocado Tree In a Pot
- Plant the “right” kind of avocado
Some species of avocado trees can grow upwards of 80 feet. Make sure the avocado seed you plant is from a Hass avocado. Though they grow about 30 feet tall when planted outside, in a pot they will likely not reach more than about 10 feet in height.
Use the right pot
Choose a pot with plenty of drainage to prevent mold or root rot. Begin with a small pot to germinate your avocado seed, but anticipate that your avocado tree will have to be repotted several times as it grows larger. Wood or plastic pots work best.
Too much sunlight is not good
For the first 2 to 3 years of your avocado tree’s life, you will want to monitor how much sunlight your tree gets. While most fruit trees love full sun, too much sunlight can burn the stems and bark of a young avocado tree. Plan on allowing your tree 6 to 10 hours of sunlight each day. After 3 years, an avocado tree can get as much sunlight as possible to encourage growth.
Water your avocado tree properly
For the first 2 to 3 years, water your avocado tree about once a week. If your soil feels dry and appears light brown in color, water more or more often. If the soil is dark or feels wet, water less. After your avocado tree matures, plan on providing water almost every day. Water your tree in the early morning or late evening to minimize evaporation.
Fertilize your avocado tree
Fertilize your potted avocado tree in the spring, before the plant flowers. Once flowers appear, do not fertilize; this could damage the tree and prevent fruit production.
Prune your avocado tree
Pruning your avocado tree is not required but will benefit your tree. Pruning promotes growth and can even increase the fruit yield of your tree.
Repot your avocado tree
Avocado trees grown inside will quickly outgrow their pots. Approximately every other year, transplant your avocado tree into a new, larger pot so it can continue to grow. The best time to replant an avocado tree is in spring. Before repotting, water your avocado tree thoroughly. Once you’ve repotted the tree into its roomier pot, fertilize and water it again.
Harvest at the opportune time
If you’ve finally gotten your avocado tree to bear fruit, the last thing you want to do is make a mistake during harvest. Avocados mature on the tree but are not ready to eat for an additional 1 to 2 weeks later. Harvesting your avocados will depend on what species of avocado tree you have and what hardiness zone you live in. People in colder climates will typically harvest their avocados in the summer, warmer climates in the spring. Harvest your avocados when the fruit begins to exhibit small, rust/brown-colored spots.