Growing Avocado Background

Growing Avocado

Selection

Choose the right variety for your climate

Choose the right variety for your climate.  Hass and Pinkerton, for example, will not survive freezing temperatures without frost protection.


In California, avocado trees can be considered self-fruitful.  They will produce more fruit if you have an A and a B tree, but you will still get fruit if there is just one, if it survives the winter.



Type A or Type B Avocados


Avocado varieties are identified as being either Type A or Type B. It is a common misconception that these types refer to male and female plant types that must be planted together for successful pollination.


Type A and Type B actually refers to the life cycle of avocado flowers. In fact, all avocado flowers are both male and female at various points in their daily flowering, making it possible for avocado trees grown in areas with mild climates to be fruitful without the help of another tree acting as a pollinator.


In the tropics, Type A varieties have flowers that open as females on the first morning and close that afternoon. The next afternoon the flowers open again but this time they are male. They shed pollen for a few hours and then the flower closes again, this time for good. Type B varieties open as females in the afternoon of the first day before closing and then reopen the next morning as males.

Planting

Well drained soil, sunny locations, and wind protection

Avocados require well drained soil and will not thrive in heavy clay soils for long. If you do have heavy clay soils, we recommend planting your avocado tree in a raised bed. The raised bed should be at least two feet above the existing grade of the soil. It is also very important not to plant avocado trees too deeply. We recommend planting them at least l"-2" inches above the existing soil grade and then creating a small mound around the base with a mixture of compost and well drained soil.


Avocado trees should be planted in sunny locations that are protected from wind. Avocado trees are susceptible to root rot so you should not plant a new avocado tree in a space where an old tree had died as the soil may be contaminated.


If you want to mix more than one type of avocado tree together in a back yard setting, it is possible to plant more than one tree in the same hole or plant the trees together with as little as 4 feet of space between the trunks. But remember, avocado trees can grow up to 25' if not shaped, so select variety planting site carefully.

Watering

Do not overwater avocado trees!

Do not overwater avocado trees! Over watering trees in the ground  in certain soils is often the number one factor in causing root rot. Avocados prefer infrequent deep root watering. It is best to allow trees to dry out before you apply water again.  


Avocados in containers do need consistent frequent watering.

Mulching

Apply 3-4 inch layer of mulch

It is a good idea to apply a 3 to 4 inch layer of mulch to avocado trees each year to help retain soil moisture and improve soil quality. Apply mulch in spring and fall under the canopy of the tree, keep it away from the trunk of the tree.

Pruning

Avocados should be minimally pruned

Avocados should only be minimally pruned in order to shape and control size.


Frequent pinching of young trees is a good method to shape the tree, rather than heavy pruning. Avocado trees can be susceptible to sunburn so newly pruned trees and young trees can be whitewashed with interior white latex paint, diluted 50-50 with water during periods of high summer heat and intense sunshine.

Fertilizing

Fed on a regular basis

Avocado trees should be fed on a regular basis. Fertilize using well balanced citrus / avocado food using the manufacturer’s recommendations.  Avocado trees that have been well feed year-round are better able to deal with cold temperatures in the winter.


In California, avocado trees can be considered self-fruitful.