What NOT To Do When Growing an Avocado In a Pot

Taylor A Ritz

Growing an avocado tree in a pot can be a great way to better control conditions for your plant. Letting your avocado tree mature inside can allow you to home-grow avocados in colder climates than the plants could usually survive. 

Last week we discussed helpful tips for growing your avocado in a pot. Following those instructions will lead you on the path to successfully growing your own avocadoes.

This week, we’re focusing on what not to do when growing avocado trees in a pot.

Tips For Growing An Avocado Tree In A Pot

Don’t leave your tree in the cold.

While time spent outside may be good for your pot-planted avocado tree, do not leave your tree outside if it is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Even just one night spent in temperatures below 50 can kill your avocado tree. Depending on what species of avocado you are raising, their temperature tolerance could be even worse than that; some trees cannot survive in temperatures below 60 degrees.

Don’t leave your tree in direct sunlight.

Whether your tree is inside or outside, you want to monitor how much sunlight your tree is getting. While older avocado trees love as much direct sunlight as they can get, avocado trees that are less than 3 years old can suffer burns on the stems and leaves. This will result in stunted growth and can lead to a lack of fruit production.

Don’t leave your tree in the darkness.

While too much sun can be problematic for a young avocado tree, not enough sun is potentially worse. If you choose to keep your avocado tree inside, make sure you set it up by a window, preferably one that faces East or South. If your house does not receive much sunlight, you can consider utilizing a grow light.

Don’t let your tree branches hang below the base of the tree.

If you let your avocado tree’s branches hang below the base of the tree there is a good chance they could snap in windy weather or heavy rain. When fruit grows on these branches, the weight of the avocados will also likely cause the branches to break. If your avocado tree begins to grow long branches, tie them to a stake or to the trunk of the tree to provide support.

Don’t keep your avocado tree near other diseased plants.

This one is probably obvious, but if other trees or plants become diseased, move your avocado tree away from them. Avocados are not very disease resistant. Luckily, one of the best benefits of growing avocados in a pot is that the plant is completely mobile.

Don’t use garden soil.

Garden soil does not drain well, so you shouldn’t use it in a pot. Garden soil can become saturated with water, causing mold and root rot.

Don’t overwater it.

Even if you use the right kind of soil for your avocado tree, too much watering can also lead to mold and root rot. If the soil in your avocado pot is still wet, don’t water it until the soil dries out. 

Don’t over-fertilize it.

Over-fertilizing your avocado can cause irreparable damage and prevent your tree from producing any fruit. Many experts advise waiting until your avocado tree is 2 to 3 years old before fertilizing and after that adding fertilizer about once a year.

Don’t make it too heavy.

Large pots full of wet soil can get heavy very quickly. Add to that the weight of a maturing avocado tree and you may find yourself unable to move your tree inside and outside as weather permits. Try not to fill your pot with too much soil or water before moving it.

Don’t plant it in the ground.

It may be tempting to plant your avocado tree in the ground, but unless you live in the correct hardiness zone and are raising a species of avocado tree that thrives in your area, I wouldn’t recommend it. You may spend years raising an avocado tree in a pot only to plant it outside and have it die overnight when temperatures drop.