How to Raise Avocado Trees

Overview

Avocados are tropical plants that derive from the West Indies, Guatemala and Mexico. They need bright light and heat to thrive and do the best in USDA Hardiness Zones 9, 10 and 11. The trees can grow up to 40 feet tall but typically take close to a decade to bear fruit. The leafy evergreen adds interest to many landscapes, as long as you raise avocado trees in the appropriate climate.

Step 1

Make sure avocado trees are planted somewhere that will give them protection from the sun. They need heat--however, without bark they are prone to sun damage.

Step 2

Transplant avocado trees in the springtime if they are not under the shade of a larger tree or against the north-facing side of a building.

Step 3

Create a berm around the base of the tree to improve drainage. Avocados do not grow well in standing water. Layer 4 inches of soil around the trunk to create a berm. Add another 4-inch layer of compost around it.

Step 4

Water avocado trees regularly to keep the soil moist to the touch. If you live in cooler climates, give the tree less water in the winter because it doesn't thrive in cold, moist conditions.

Step 5

Fertilize avocado trees annually, once they have been in the ground for at least one year. Use a food with a balanced ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Apply it in the fall or winter. Follow manufacturer's instructions.

Step 6

Pinch the ends of branches to stimulate growth among other buds. This is the preferred method to regular pruning. This results in a controlled height but bushy, productive tree. Pinch the ends off in the early spring, right before full blooming occurs.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not fertilize avocado trees in the first year.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Soil
  • Compost
  • Water
  • Fertilizer

References

  • California Rare Fruit Growers, Inc.
  • The Garden Helper
  • Cloud Forest Cafe: Avocado Pruning
Keywords: raise avocado trees, grow avocado trees, avocado trees

About this Author

Kelly Shetsky has been a broadcast journalist for more than ten years, researching, writing, producing and reporting daily on many topics. In addition, she writes for several websites, specializing in medical, health and fitness, arts and entertainment, travel and business-related topics. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Marist College.