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Care for an Avocado Tree

By Sarah Terry ; Updated September 21, 2017

Avocado trees are easy to care for, their biggest demand being frequent watering. When you’re selecting a planting site for your avocado tree, you’ll need to consider the tree’s age. Young avocado trees need a protected, shaded location for the first two to three years. After that, the trees need plenty of sunlight exposure in order to bear fruit. You can grow your avocado tree in a container for the first few years and place the tree beneath a larger tree or on the north side of your house, and then transplant the tree into a sunny location in your yard. You can also erect a removable shade structure over the young tree for the first three years.

Water your avocado tree two or three times per week during the spring through the fall. Allow the top 1 or 2 inches of soil around the tree to dry out between waterings. Avoid watering the avocado tree in winter to prevent root rot.

Feed your avocado tree annually in the spring after it’s about 2 years old, using a well-balanced fertilizer made for citrus trees or a combination top-dressing of organic compost and used coffee grounds. If you’re using the commercial fertilizer, follow the dosage directions on the package.

Provide additional protection against hot sunlight by painting the young avocado tree’s trunk with tree paint or a diluted water-based paint. Cover the entire trunk, from the ground to the lowest branches.

Protect your young avocado trees from near-freezing temperatures and frost, especially during the first year after planting. Cover your avocado tree with a blanket or bed sheet when frost threatens.


Things You Will Need

  • Garden hose or drip irrigation system
  • Balanced citrus-tree fertilizer
  • Organic compost and used coffee grounds (optional)
  • Tree paint
  • Blanket or bed sheet
  • Pruning tools


  • Although avocado trees don't require regular pruning unless you're aiming to control the tree's size, you should prune away any damaged, diseased or dead growth in the early spring, before new growth begins.


  • Don't water just the soil surface, especially in the hot summer months. Ensure that the water penetrates down to the root system by allowing a garden hose to slowly trickle beside the avocado tree for two or three hours. If you have a drip irrigation system, set the system so that it delivers a maximum of 1/2 gallon of water per hour and allow it to run for about two or three hours during the watering session.

About the Author


Sarah Terry brings over 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.