Learning how to plant an avocado tree in your garden can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Imagine picking a fresh avocado grown in your backyard and then using it in your morning breakfast. If this sounds like heaven to you, then you’re in the right place! A lot of steps go into making this dream a reality. Here, we’ll go over the best practices for planting an avocado tree, including where to grow it, the best soil, and more to help you along your avocado planting journey. Keep reading to learn all these great things!
Pit Vs. Plant?
If you’ve Googled the question, how to plant an avocado tree? you might find a bunch of resources for germinating an avocado pit.
While it can be a neat science experiment to turn that store-bought avocado into a house plant, growing a full avocado tree from a pit is quite difficult. If you’re more interested in planting an avocado tree that produces fruit, then you’ll be much better off starting from an avocado plant.
Not only is buying a pre-grown avocado plant easier, but you’re shaving off years so you can get to your harvest faster.
Where to Find Avocado Plants?
If you’re ready to take the plunge into avocado farming, you’ll need to find a healthy plant first. You can purchase avocado plants from a variety of retailers. I suggest you buy an avocado plant online, which has never been easier!
Not sure which type of avocado plant is for you? Read up on the different varieties of avocados to figure out which avocado is right for your garden.
How to Plant an Avocado Tree
You’ve purchased your avocado plant and have your gardening tools and gloves on standby. Now you’re probably wondering, how do I plant an avocado tree?
Before you get your hands dirty, you’ll want to consider a few key factors. This guide will help you along your journey to planting an avocado tree.
When to Plant?
If you’re wondering how to plant an avocado tree, the second thing you’re probably wondering about is when to plant.
Avocados love moderately warm temperatures with just a bit of humidity. If you have an established tree, you find that it pretty much tolerates temperatures of around 28 Fahrenheit to 32 Fahrenheit with minimal damage.
If you’re planting an avocado tree that’s young, you’ll want to make sure that there are no freezing temps in the future to hinder its growth.
Another caveat to consider is that young avocado trees are susceptible to sun damage. If you’re planting an avocado tree too late in the season, you’ll risk hindering growth with the intense sun rays.
Plant too early, and you’ll be worrying about frost. Make sure you’re planting an avocado tree during that sweet spot in spring before it gets too hot but after cold nights are a thing of the past. Depending on your climate, aim to plant your avocado tree between March and June for optimal growth.
Where To Plant?
Now that you’ve figured out when to plant, it’s time to consider where you’re going to grow your young avocado tree.
Choose a location that will receive plenty of sunlight. If you can, try to plant your tree in a dip or valley to protect against the wind. You can also do this by planting an avocado tree on the south side of your yard.
Keep in mind that you’ll need to plant your tree up to 10 feet away from buildings and up to 30 feet away from other trees. You’ll want to ensure that your young tree will have lots of space to spread its roots and thrive.
Luckily, young avocado trees have relatively shallow roots that tend to stay in the top 6 inches of soil. This means you can save your back by digging a relatively small hole for planting.
The size of the hole will depend on the current root ball, so plan to dig a hole that’s just a bit larger than that. Make sure that you have room for your hands to fit in the hole without disturbing the roots. The tree’s root system is very sensitive at that age, so put extra care into this step.
If you find that your young tree is root-bound, carefully loosen up the soil around the exterior. You can also clip the round roots that are going in circles. This helps make the transplanting process easier on your young tree.
Best Soil for Avocados
Avocado trees love a well-draining soil that’s rich in organic matter. If you find that your soil doesn’t drain well, you can incorporate sand or elevate the tree on a mound to increase drainage. The soil must be well-aerated since soggy soil will lead to root rot.
You’ll also want to make sure that your soil has a relatively high acidity level. Avocados do best at a pH level between five to seven and are also very sensitive to alkaline soil. If your soil is lacking acidity, try to incorporate some compost or sulfur to increase the pH content.
If you want to add an extra layer of protection to your young tree, then add a layer of mulch around the base. Not only will you be helping the soil retain moisture, but you’ll be shielding your tree’s roots from any pests that may interfere.
If you decide to add some mulch, make sure you maintain a distance of six inches from the base of the trunk to avoid suffocating the roots.
You’ll want to make sure you purchase a mulch that’s woody and measures around two inches in diameter. Anything with redwood bark, cocoa bean husks, or shredded tree bark will work perfectly.
Fertilizing your young tree can help encourage healthy growth and even increase fruit production.
Avocado trees love anything with lots of nitrogen, so keep this in mind when purchasing a fertilizer. You can also use citrus tree fertilizer since both trees benefit from the same components.
If you’re not sure how much fertilizer to use or how often to fertilize, a good rule is to use one pound per year spread out through several applications.
One of the most common questions that come up when wondering how to plant an avocado tree, is how often do I water it?
Your avocado tree will benefit from infrequent, deep watering, so try to aim to water two to three times per week. Watering this way will help your tree’s roots grow deeper and stronger.
A good method to abide by is to water your tree, let the soil soak up the moisture, then continue watering. If you place a handprint in the soil and it stays, then your tree has enough water.
When you notice the roots are starting to reach into the deeper soil, you can apply more water but change the frequency to only once per week. As time goes on, you can water less and less since mature trees only need around 2 inches of water per week.
Pruning your avocado trees can yield different results depending on the season. If you prune in the spring, you can help invigorate your tree and encourage new growth. Pruning in the winter helps to control the tree’s size and shape, which allows them to grow more abundantly in the spring.
To prune your avocado tree, start with the longest, most unruly branch first, then work your way in every year. Make sure you’re never removing more than one-third of a branch when you prune your avocado tree.
Your avocado tree is planted firmly in the ground following the above steps, so what happens now? Here are some things to expect after you plant your avocado tree.
How Tall Will My Avocado Tree Grow?
If the conditions are ideal, you can potentially see your avocado tree grow to great heights. Some exceptionally tall avocado trees have grown up to 70 to 80 feet! A more realistic growth expectation for your tree is around 20 to 40 feet if cultivated in proper conditions.
How Quickly Will My Avocado Tree Grow?
Did you know that by planting an avocado tree purchased from a nursery, you’re shaving off years of growth time? That’s because trees grown from saplings mature much faster than trees grown from seeds.
After you plant your young avocado tree, you can expect to wait three to five years before your tree reaches full maturity. That might seem like a long time, but consider the fact that it takes up to 13 years if you tried to grow the tree from the pit.
When Will My Avocado Tree Produce Fruit?
When planting an avocado tree, it’s important to remember that patience is key. It can take up to three to four years before your avocado tree produces fruit. Don’t be surprised if you see your avocado grow a lot of flowers that fall before producing avocados. It might be a let-down, but just know that this process is part of the journey to bearing fruit.
Indoor Vs. Outdoor Growth
If you’re in a cooler climate, you might be tempted to try your hand at planting an avocado tree indoors. If the conditions are right, you can successfully grow an avocado tree inside. While it’s very unlikely that you’ll ever harvest fruit from an indoor avocado tree, you can still enjoy having the beautiful tree grace your home as a decoration.
If you want to try and grow an avocado tree indoors, there are a few key steps to take. If you don’t want your avocado tree to outgrow your home, make sure you prune often to control the shape. Also, try to use a smaller pot or container, depending on the desirable size of your tree.
A Long and Rewarding Process
Planting an avocado tree takes a lot of work, but it can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Whether it’s knowing how deep to dig the hole or the best pruning practices, we hope we answered your question about how to plant an avocado tree.
Now that you’ve learned how to plant an avocado tree, why read up on avocado tree care to help you along your gardening journey. Then, learn everything else about avocados that you could ever want to know!