Have you ever wanted to grow Avocados, but didn’t think you lived in the right climate?
Have you thought about growing Avocados in pots, but wasn’t sure if it was possible?
Well, TheGardeningDad is here to save the day!
Below, are 10 EASY Tips if you want to learn How to Grow Avocado in Pots. These tips will help you produce bigger, better, and more avocados yearly!
Buy the Correct Avocado Tree (Tip #1)
Did you notice that I didn’t say to buy Avocado seed or start an avocado from a fruit pit?
When learning how to grow avocado trees in pots it is important to purchase the correct tree.
I recommend buying an Avocado tree because seeds and fruit pits can take up to 20 YEARS to bear fruit!!!
Buy a “Little Cado” Avocado Tree
Did you know the average Avocado Tree can grow up to 80 feet tall?
Did you also know the average Avocado Tree cannot survive temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit?
Both of these features make it impractical for your average gardener to grow Avocado trees in their yard or in pots.
Because of this, I recommend the only true dwarf Avocado tree, the “Little Cado”.
The Little Cado Avocado tree reaches up to 10 feet tall. It also can tolerate temperatures as low as 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Even though it is a cold hardy plant, I recommend bringing it inside if temperatures go below 50 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure the best success.
Best of all the Little Cado bears fruit within the first 2 to 3 years.
Buy a Hass Avocado Tree
If you prefer to grow a true Avocado tree then I recommend purchasing a Hass Avocado Tree.
The Hass Avocado Tree can grow 30 feet tall, but planting them in pots will keep their max height to about 10 feet.
The Hass Avocado cannot tolerate temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This means you will need to move them indoors or only plant them outside if you live in a hardy zone that is greater than 8.
If you are interested in learning what hardy zone you are in then, please review the below link:
This is a great resource to help you learn how to grow avocado trees in pots.
Like the Little Cado, the Hass Avocado tree should typically bear fruit within the first three years. Do not be surprised if it takes a couple of years longer though.
Buy the Correct Pot (Tip #2)
If you want to have the best success in learning how to grow Avocado trees in pots, then you need to purchase the correct one for your needs.
Drainage is one of the most important factors you should look for when purchasing a pot. This will help prevent mold, roots from rotting, and water oversaturation.
You will want also want to make sure to purchase the correct size pot. To begin, you will want a pot that is twice the size of the pot your Avocado Tree came in.
Or if the tree didn’t come in a pot then you will want one twice the size of the root ball. The root ball is the bottom of the tree where all the roots come together.
Buy Wooden or Plastic Pots
In general, you cannot go wrong with any type of pot.
Wooden and Plastic pots are two of the most reasonably priced type of pots.
Wooden Pots are the best pot to be kept outside all year. These type of pots are incredibly durable, lasting up to 25 or 30 years. Also, they hold water very well, minimizing the number of times you’ll need to water.
Plastic Pots may not be the prettiest container out there, but they are the most cost-effective. They are also the most versatile pot. You can easily move them in and out of your house with little effort.
These type of pots are also very durable and also hold water extremely well. I am personally using plastic pots for both of my avocado trees.
Buy Ceramic Pots
While I strongly recommend using a wooden or plastic pot for your avocado tree, there is also nothing wrong with ceramic or clay pots.
Ceramic Pots are the best draining pot on this list. This simply means you will have to water the least amount of times. At the same time, it is also the most expensive and easiest to break.
These type of pots shouldn’t be left out in cold weather and is a great option for indoor spaces or enclosed patios.
How to Plant Your Avocado Tree (Tips #3-5)
Planting and caring for avocado trees is relatively simple, easy, and fun. Not to mention Avocados are one of the best superfruits out there.
Avocados are packed with important nutrients like fiber, folic acid, and most B vitamins.
Once you buy your avocado tree the next step is actually planting it.
When learning how to grow avocado trees in pots it is always a good idea to transplant it to a container twice its size. This will allow it to quickly grow.
Tip #3 – Use this Planting Technique!
First, fill your new pot about 75% full with potting soil.
It is critical to make sure you have good drainage and quality soil. That’s why I typically recommend Miracle-Gro Potting Mixes.
Assuming your Avocado Tree came in a pot you will want to hold the base (where the stem is) with one hand. You will then want to turn the pot over and gently pull the tree out. Pull it where the stem meets the soil.
Finally, place it in your new pot. And fill it with the rest of your soil. Do not fill it any higher than where the stem meets the soil.
Tip #4 – Immediately Fertilize and Water
Another important element to understand when learning how to grow avocado trees in pots is fertilization.
Immediately after you plant your Avocado you will want to fertilize it. Make your life easy and follow the instructions on the back of the fertilizer package.
Then Immediately after fertilizing your tree you will want to water it.
Watering may be the most important factor when growing your avocado trees in pots.
Too much water and your tree will have root rot and die. Too little and the tree will dry out and die.
Avocado trees generally require more water than other fruit trees.
If you are keeping your avocado trees indoors all year then I recommend watering it once a week. Water it for approximately 30 seconds.
Repeat this process weekly.
You will know if you need to adjust your watering schedule based on how the soil feels. If it is dark and wet then don’t water. And if it is dry and light brown you may need to water it more often.
If you are keeping your avocado tree outdoors then I recommend watering it every other day for 30 seconds. The sun and heat generally will dry out the soil faster than if it was inside.
Tip #5 – Too Much Sunlight is Not Good
For the first 2 to 3 years you will want to make sure your Avocado tree does not get too much sunlight.
Too much sunlight can cause the stems and bark to burn. This will impact the amount of growth and fruit or worse kill the plant.
I personally would put your tree next to your house or garage. Allow it to get approximately 6-10 hours of direct sunlight. Anything more may damage it.
After 3 years, you can give your avocado tree as much sunlight as you want.
How to Care for Your Avocado Tree in Pots (Tips #6-9)
Tip #6 – Water at the Correct Time
Like most fruit-bearing trees if you want the best results you will want to make sure you water it properly.
Once an avocado tree becomes 2 to 3 years old I recommend watering it every single day. You can typically water it for 15 seconds.
In addition, you will want to make sure you water it at the correct time.
I recommend watering it in the morning or late evening. The reason for this is that it minimizes evaporation. And it also limits the potential that your plant will burn from watering it during the heat of the day.
Tip #7 – Fertilize at the Correct Time
As an avocado tree gardener, you can get away with not fertilizing it. But if you want the best results then I recommend applying fertilizer yearly.
You cannot just fertilize you avocado tree during any time though. Typically, I recommend fertilizing it in early spring before flowers or fruit appear.
Do not fertilize your trees once flowers appear. This may end up causing damage to the tree and prevent it from bearing fruit.
Also, do not fertilize your tree once fruit appears. The reason for this is fertilization it to help promote plant growth. Fertilizing it when the fruit is on the tree may increase the size of the fruit, but will not help tree growth.
Tip #8 – Become a pruning expert
Can you get away with not pruning your Avocado Tree?
Do you want to?
Pruning your avocado tree will promote more tree growth and increase the number of avocados you get.
I personally recommend watching the video below to learn more about pruning avocado trees in pots:
Tip #9 – Don’t Forget to Repot your Avocado Tree.
The best gardening technique you can do for your Avacado tree is generously repot it.
Your avocado tree will quickly outgrow the new pot you planted it in. You will need to transplant it into another pot.
It is important to remember you will want to always place it in a pot that is twice the size of its current pot or root ball.
The best time to report an avocado tree is in the spring. I would recommend doing it every other year.
Before repotting your tree make sure to water it for approximately 30 seconds. You will then repot it just the same way as I recommended in my Planting an Avocado Tree section.
It’s that EASY!
After repotting make sure to fertilize and water as described above.
Effectively Harvesting Avocados (Tip #10)
There is nothing like an avocado from your own tree.
But how do you know when to pick your Avocados?
This is the hardest question gardeners face.
Avocados mature before picking but are not ready to eat. They must soften off the tree for 1 to 2 weeks.
Tip #10 – Harvest when Avocados Slightly Change Color
When you harvest your avocados will largely depend on the type of tree you have and the hardy zone you live in.
Colder climates typically will harvest avocados in summer. Warmer climates typically harvest avocados in spring.
You will want to harvest your avocados when the fruit begins to have small rusty-brown specks on them. This requires a little bit of an eye test and even just picking one.
After picking you should leave your avocado out at room temperature for 1 to 2 weeks. If it softens and looks and tastes edible then you know you have done it right.
You will know your avocado is ready to eat when you hold it in your hand, squeeze it, and feels slightly soft.
It should be noted that you can leave your avocado on the tree a week or two after you notice brown specks. The longer you leave the fruit on the tree the more oil is produced. The more oil there is the more flavor you will taste.
Bonus – Don’t Do This!
While I have spent the majority of the article talking about EASY Tips for growing Avocado there are also certain items you should not be doing.
If you want to make sure your trees stay healthy, continue to grows, and bears as much fruit as possible then make sure not to do the following:
- Leave your tree in the cold.
- If it is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit then bring your tree inside. Avocado trees can die if spent even one night in temperatures that are freezing.
- Leave your new tree in direct sunlight
- If you have a tree that is 2 to 3 years old do not leave it in direct sunlight. This can burn the stems and leaves. This will stunt growth and limit fruit.
- Leave your tree in the darkness
- Just like too much sun is not good, too much darkness is bad. If you have your tree in the house make sure to keep it by a window. Worse case hang a grow light above it.
- Let your branches hang below the base of the tree
- If your branches hang below the base of the tree there is a good chance they will snap in windy weather. If fruit grows on them they will also snap. Make sure to tie long branches to a stake or the trunk of the tree
- Keep it by other diseased plants
- This one is easy. If other trees or plants become diseased, then move your Avocado tree. These type of trees are not the most disease resistant.
- Use Garden Soil
- Don’t use garden soil. It doesn’t drain well and can cause mold and root rot.
- Overwater it
- If your soil is still wet then don’t water it. Too much water can also cause mold and root rot.
- Plant it in the ground
- Even if you are tempted I recommend not planting your tree in the ground. There are better avocado variations that can be planted in the ground.
- Make it too heavy
- If you have your avocado in a pot you will most likely need to move it inside during the winter. Don’t fill it with too much soil or water before moving it.
- Over-Fertilize it
- Fertilize your trees once a year. I also would wait until about year 2 or 3 before fertilizing. This will prevent any potential damage.
As we have already talked about, growing avocados in pots are easy, cheap, and can be done quickly.
To ensure the most success, make sure you follow these tips:
- Buy a Little Cado – This is the only true cold hardy and dwarf tree
- Use a wood or plastic pot – This is the most cost-effective and easy pots to use.
- Immediately transplant into a new pot
- Fertilize and water your tree as soon as you plant it.
- Too much sunlight is not good for young trees
- Water your tree in the morning or late evenings
- Fertilize your tree only when there is no fruit or flowers (typically early spring).
- Become a pruning expert. This will help with tree growth and more fruit
- Repot your tree every other year. This will allow it to continue to mature and produce more fruit
- Harvest your fruit only when you notice the skin slightly changing colors. Look for browns specks.