Millennials are known for their love of avocado toast as well as their love of gardening. It comes as no surprise, then, that many of us are now looking at growing our own avocado trees in hopes of getting a steady influx of avocados for breakfast. Of course, this is only doable in the warmer regions of the United States, and even then, it can take a while for avocado trees to bear fruit.
An avocado tree will take up to 13 years before it’s capable of producing its first harvest, making it one of the slowest trees in terms of fruit-bearing. If a gardener is lucky, they may be able to see their first avocados within four years of planting the seed.
If you were hoping for a way to get fast fruit, it’s clear that planting an avocado isn’t going to be it. Despite this, you might still want to give growing your own avocado tree a shot. (Hey, Tom Selleck does it, so it can’t be that bad, right?) Curious about growing your own avocados? Here’s what you should be aware of…
Table of Contents
- Are Avocado Trees Easy To Grow?
- How Much Does An Avocado Tree Cost?
- How Do You Make An Avocado Tree Grow Fruit?
- How Long Do You Have To Wait For An Avocado Tree To Bear Fruit?
- Can Any Avocado Tree Pollinate Another Avocado Tree?
- What Conditions Allow Avocado Trees To Bear Fruit?
- How Can You Tell If An Avocado Tree Will Bear Fruit?
- How Much Fruit Does A Typical Avocado Tree Produce?
- When Can You Pick Avocados?
- Related Questions
- Why are my avocados small and elongated?
- What kind of mulch is best for avocado trees?
- Where are avocados originally from?
- What pests tend to eat avocado trees?
- Can you grow avocados in the cold?
Are Avocado Trees Easy To Grow?
There are plenty of plants that are known for being hardy, but avocado trees aren’t one of them. Avocados are a fairly demanding plant that won’t grow in colder areas and require an unusually high amount of water just so that they can stay alive. Extremely fertile soil is a must, as is keeping a careful eye to prevent pests and disease from killing your tree.
People who love a challenge might want to give growing an avocado tree a shot. However, it can still prove to be a hassle if you’re hoping to get fruit.
How Much Does An Avocado Tree Cost?
If you decide to go to a nursery to buy a pregrown avocado tree, don’t expect to pay a pretty penny. It is possible to buy an avocado tree for anywhere from $20 to $150. Cold-hardy avocado trees tend to be on the more expensive side of the spectrum, while standard young saplings tend to be cheaper.
How Do You Make An Avocado Tree Grow Fruit?
Believe it or not, avocado trees don’t grow fruit on their own. To be able to grow fruit, their blossoms need to be pollinated by another tree. If there are no other avocado trees nearby, the fruit won’t grow and you won’t get anything. This is why most avocado tree owners have more than one tree.
Thankfully, growers don’t have to hand-pollinate their trees. Having the right insects around will do it for you. Of course, that’s just one of the two major struggles that avocado tree owners face. The other issue is getting the tree to maturity.
How Long Do You Have To Wait For An Avocado Tree To Bear Fruit?
The amount of time that you need to wait for an avocado tree can vary greatly depending on tree type as well as how you get the tree in the first place. Here’s what you need to know about maturation:
- If you choose to grow your tree from a seed, it can take up to 13 years for your avocado tree to be old enough to bear fruit. Some tree species are able to mature faster at around five years of age, but this isn’t the norm.
- If you choose to buy a tree from a nursery, you might be able to see fruit within three to four years of buying it. This is because the trees have already been planted and growing for a white.
- You can’t really rush an avocado tree’s maturation. Anecdotally, though, people claim that fertilizer can help.
Can Any Avocado Tree Pollinate Another Avocado Tree?
They can, but most growers choose to have different types of avocado trees to max out their avocado yield. Avocado trees come in two types: A and B. Type A trees open female in the morning and male during the afternoon. Type B trees bloom opposite: male in the morning and female in the afternoon.
Planting an A and B tree together will yield higher levels of fruit than planting them alone. It also will help you bear more fruit than two type As or two type Bs.
What Conditions Allow Avocado Trees To Bear Fruit?
Along with needing pollination to occur and maturity to arise, you also need to have the right conditions to make the avocado bear fruit. This means that you will need to do the following:
- Grow the avocado trees in zones 9 through 11. This is the optimal area for avocado trees to bloom. Optimal fruit-bearing takes place between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Prolonged heat or cold can cause fruit drop.
- Water your tree two to three times per week. It’s important not to over or under-water your avocado tree.
- Stick to a strict fertilizer routine. When your tree is five, add a pound of nitrogen to the soil during the winter. Younger trees will need regular fertilizer six times per year. The total amount of fertilizer added per year should be 3 pounds for a year-old tree, 5 for a two-year-old tree, 7 for a three-year-old tree, and so on, until you get to 20 pounds.
- Apply nutritional spray during the late summer. This helps give the tree enough nutrition to bear fruit.
How Can You Tell If An Avocado Tree Will Bear Fruit?
This can be tricky, because flowers alone don’t necessarily mean that you’ll get fruit. A typical avocado tree will bear around over a million flowers per year but might only bear around 200 pieces of fruit.
To find out if an avocado tree will bear fruit, you’re going to have to check the flowers. The flowers themselves will only bloom from January to March, and then only stay open for two days. After the flower blooms, check behind the flowers to see if a small bump has started to grow. If you see a bump, then you can expect that to grow into an avocado!
How Much Fruit Does A Typical Avocado Tree Produce?
This depends on pollination and growing conditions. It’s possible for a mature tree to skip a year in avocado production, but usually, you can expect around 200 to 300 avocados to grow per year. If you’re really lucky, it is possible to get as many as 500 avocados from a single tree.
When Can You Pick Avocados?
Unlike most other fruits, avocados don’t ripen on the tree. They have to be pulled off before they can soften. This means that picking your fruit can be a little tricky since it’s not always obvious when the avocados are ready to pick. To determine if your avocados are ready, pick a couple and leave them on your counter.
If the avocados shrivel or get a rubbery texture, throw them out and keep waiting. If your avocados start to soften, the tree is ready to harvest. Once they’re ready to harvest, you can expect them to ripen within seven to 21 days. To ripen your avocados faster, place them in a brown paper bag with bananas.
Not sure whether you should try to grab an avocado? Check the breed. Hass avocados are the most common avocado trees in America, and they usually start to ripen in February and maintain their ripeness through September.
Why are my avocados small and elongated?
When an avocado flower doesn’t get properly pollinated, the avocado that grows will be smaller and elongated. Often called “fingerling avocados” or cukes, these avocados are still deemed safe to eat and don’t have a different flavor.
What kind of mulch is best for avocado trees?
Coarse mulch tends to be the best choice for avocado growers. So, this means that you can use redwood bark, shredded tree bark, and cocoa bean husks as a mulch.
Where are avocados originally from?
The first avocados were discovered in central Mexico and soon began to spread through other parts of the Americas. Certain avocado breeds also are native to areas of Arizona, California, and New Mexico.
What pests tend to eat avocado trees?
The biggest pests attracted to avocado trees include amorbia, the Avocado Brown Mite, Persea Mites, Avocado Thrips, and Sixspotted Mites. As far as the fruit itself goes, you also should keep an eye out for Avocado Worms which can bore into the fruit as well as the fruit’s leaves.
Can you grow avocados in the cold?
Avocados do not do well in the cold, and can easily die if left exposed to freezing temperatures for prolonged periods of time.