Who doesn’t love a big bowl of homemade guacamole? And it’s even better when it comes from your own yard! If you’re thinking about growing an avocado tree, here’s a brief guide to the basics.
Do you need more than one? With some other types of fruit trees, you absolutely need more than one in order to successfully cross pollinate them. That approach can be helpful with avocado trees, but is not always necessary.
Avocados are classified into Type A and Type B subspecies. If you can, plant a Type A and a Type B. The Type A female flowers open at the same time as Type B male flowers, and vice versa. This can lead to a more successful pollination, and therefore more fruit.
However, if space is limited, you can plant only one avocado tree and still enjoy a decent harvest from it. And if nearby neighbors also have avocado trees, everyone will enjoy plenty of cross pollination.
What about the cold? Avocado trees definitely prefer environments free of frost, which is not a big problem here in Southern California. However, there are cold-hardy varieties available, if you’re worried about the rare cold snap: Mexicola Grande, Bacon,Joey, Opal (aka Lila), Brogdon, Winter Mexican, Wilma (aka Brazos), Belle, and Fuerte.
Cold hardiness mostly applies to mature trees. For the first 3-5 years, protect saplings by keeping them in large pots and moving indoors if temperatures drop below freezing.
Can you grow an avocado tree from a pit? Technically, yes, you can grow an avocado tree from the pit of an avocado that you’ve eaten. But are you prepared to wait ten to fifteen years for it to bear fruit? If not, then we would advise you to purchase a nursery-grown sapling, which will begin producing fruit within a few years.
How much water do avocado trees need? Many avocado growers say that water is the most important factor in their success! Trees planted in sandy soil will need more frequent waterings, whereas those in clay soils need less frequent waterings to prevent excess moisture. Generally speaking, you should deeply water young trees twice a week and mature trees once per week. If you’re getting a lot of rain, you don’t need to water your avocado tree at all.
Anything else? Yes! Because avocado trees grow wide but shallow root systems, they very much appreciate a thick layer of mulch! This will help the soil to retain more moisture, and keep the tree from drying out.
If you’re considering the addition of some trees, give us a call. We can help you by designing a landscape that provides both beauty and value to your home.