How To Water Avocado Trees
How much and how often to water the avocado tree depends upon two variables: the weather and the type of soil in which the tree is planted. It may take several months to determine a suitable irrigation schedule. The avocado tree is of no help in the matter as the symptoms it displays when given too much water are the same as those it displays when it receives too little water, according to agriculturists with Texas A&M University.
Dig into the soil at the tree’s drip-line (the area of soil that corresponds to the widest part of the tree’s canopy) to a depth of 6 inches. Grab a handful of soil and close your fist. If the soil remains in a ball when you open your fist, you do not need to water. If the soil crumbles, it is time to water.
Place a soaker hose 1 foot from the drip-line and completely surrounding the avocado tree. Run the soaker hose for three hours.
Perform the soil moisture test again by digging into the soil, at the drip-line, to a depth of 6 inches and grabbing a handful. If the soil is moist, a three-hour irrigation with the soaker hose is appropriate. If it is overly wet or dry, adjust the amount of time the hose runs accordingly. It may take several attempts to find the appropriate schedule. Allow the soil to dry out prior to watering again.
Check the soil’s moisture content more frequently during hot, dry weather.
Withhold water during December and January. Cold, wet soil makes the plant susceptible to root rot.
Water An Avocado Tree
Water an outdoor avocado tree deeply, providing enough moisture to thoroughly saturate the root zone. Test the soil with your finger before watering again and water only if the top of the soil feels dry. The frequency of irrigation depends on the temperature. In hot, dry weather, the avocado tree may require irrigation every day. Spread 2 to 3 inches of mulch such as bark chips or pine needles around the tree in spring and fall. Plant your avocado in a container with a drainage hole. Soggy soil may result in yellow or curled leaves as well as moisture-related diseases. Place the avocado tree in a bathtub or sink if the tips of the leaves appear brown or scorched, as this indicates a buildup of salt in the potting mixture. Then let the pot drain completely.
- Soaker hose
- Texas A&M University: Avocado
- New York State Agricultural Experiment Station: Watering Tomatoes Drip by Drip
- The New Sunset Western Garden Book; Kathleen Norris Brenzel, ed.
- University of Nebraska Lincoln Extension: Start an Avocado
- Four Winds Growers: Avocado Care
- Iowa State University Extension: Sprouting an Avocado Seed