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Avocados

Avocados

Avocado cut in half

Growing Avocados

Nearly all varieties of avocado trees can be successfully grown throughout California in areas with mild winters. Knowing the best varieties, soil and light requirements, and long term care will allow you to grow your own healthy, delicious fruit.
What to Know About Planting
When choosing your new avocado trees, look for a nice straight trunk and lush, green leaves.

Avocado trees require well-draining soil, and will not thrive in heavy clay soils. If you do have heavy clay soil, we recommend heavily amending your planting site, or selecting a dwarf variety like ‘Little Cado’ that will be content in a container. Avoid planting avocado trees too deeply; we recommend planting them at least one to two inches above the existing soil grade and creating a small mound around the base with a mixture of compost and well-draining soil.*

Every variety requires a sunny location, but new trees must be protected until the heat of summer has passed. Apply tree paint on the trunk and re-purpose frost cloth as a shade screen during the warm season. Most avocado trees can reach up to 25' tall when fully grown. Selecting the proper location to plant your avocado trees is important for success.

In parts of California susceptible to freezing temperatures, select one of the more cold hardy varieties for best results, such as 'Mexicola Grande' which can withstand temperatures to 20°F. Protect all varieties from heavy frosts and strong winds.

Avocado trees are susceptible to root rot, so it's best to avoid planting a new avocado tree in a space where an old tree had died, as the soil may be contaminated.
If you want to plant more than one variety of avocado tree, it is possible to plant more than one tree in the same hole, or plant the trees together with as little as four feet of space between the trunks. But remember, avocado trees can grow up to 25’ tall if not pruned or shaped, so select the planting site carefully.

*Use our Tree Planting Guide for specific planting information.
Care Tips
Fertilizing
Avocado trees should be fed on a regular basis using a well-balanced, organic citrus food. We recommend E.B. Stone™ Organics Citrus & Fruit Tree Food, following application instructions on the label.

Watering
Apply infrequent, deep-root watering. Over-watering trees in the ground in certain soils is often the number one factor in causing root rot. It is best to allow the soil to dry out before applying water again. Trees planted in containers do need more frequent watering, but be careful not to overdo it.

Mulching
It is a good idea to apply three to four inches of mulch around avocado trees each year to help retain the soil moisture and improve soil quality. Apply mulch in spring and fall, under the canopy of the tree, keeping it away from the trunk of the tree.

Pruning
Minimal pruning is in order to shape and control size. Your new trees will appreciate good light and air flow, so we encourage removing dead, damaged or smaller interior branches. After pruning, protect any exposed trunk from sunburn in summer with trunk paint, and from freezing in winter by using frost cloth.

Harvesting
  • When it is time to harvest, clip the avocado from the tree and do not pull. Keep a bit of stem attached to your avocado to prevent the fruit from spoiling.
  • An avocado can stay on the tree for several weeks before harvest, but remove any avocados that have cracked open as they will spoil.
  • The taste of a fresh avocado is reason enough to grow your own tree, but knowing they are full of fiber, unsaturated fat and vitamin C makes it even easier to love avocados!
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