How to Care for Avocado Trees

Overview

Avocado trees grow in tropical and subtropical areas, including parts of California, Hawaii and Florida. An evergreen, the tree produces oval-shaped green, black or purple fruit that is prized for its edible flesh. The trees reach between 30 and 65 feet tall depending on the variety. Avocado trees are planted in the home landscape as both an ornamental and a fruit-bearing tree, though more than one tree must be planted to ensure fruit production. Caring for the avocado tree properly is necessary to ensure an abundant harvest and a healthy tree.

Step 1

Plant young avocado trees in well-drained soils and space the trees 23 to 30 feet from each other and buildings. Avoid planting areas that retain water after rainfall or are often muddy.

Step 2

Fertilize trees every other month during the first year after planting. Use 1/4 lb. of 6-6-6 analysis fertilizer per tree during the first fertilization. Increase the amount each time you fertilize until you are feeding 1 lb. per tree at the end of the first year.

Step 3

Lay a 3-inch layer of bark or straw mulch around the base of each tree to inhibit weed growth and to preserve soil moisture. Lay the mulch in a 5- to 6-foot circle around the trunk, but avoid placing the mulch directly against the trunk.

Step 4

Water young trees every two days during the first week after planting, then reduce it to one to two times per week for the first two months. After this initial period, reduce watering to once a week except for during the rainy seasons. Thoroughly soak the soil at each watering.

Step 5

Fertilize second-year and established trees every three to four months with up to 20 lbs. of 6-6-6 analysis fertilizer. Follow label instructions for exact amount of fertilizer for the tree size. Spray the trees with a copper, zinc, boron and manganese foliar spray every two months during spring and summer.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not use hoes or power cultivators to prevent weeds around the base of avocado trees. The trees have shallow roots that are easily damaged.

Things You'll Need

  • Fertilizer
  • Mulch
  • Foliar spray

References

  • University of Florida: Avocado Growing
  • University of Hawaii Extension: Avocado
Keywords: avocado tree care, tropical trees, fruiting tree maintenance

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.