- 1 Avocado- Persea Americana
- 2 Nutritional Information
- 3 Companion Plants
- 4 How to Grow an Avocado tree from Seed?
- 5 Planting Seeds
- 6 Soil
- 7 Temperature
- 8 Watering
- 9 Pollination
- 10 Pruning
- 11 Repotting
- 12 Fertilizing
- 13 Step by Step procedure to Grow Avocado
- 14 Growing Tips
- 15 Avocado Health Benefits
- 16 What does an avocado plant look like?
- 17 When do avocado trees produce fruit?
- 18 When is the best time to plant an avocado tree?
- 19 How long do avocado trees grow?
- 20 Why avocado plant leaves turn brown color?
Avocado- Persea Americana
The avocado tree is native to South America and Mexico. These are grown in tropical and Mediterranean climates. The fruit is botanically a large berry containing single seed in it. It has green skin, fleshy body and appears to be spherical or egg-shaped and high in nutrition and flavor.
Avocado trees propagate through self-pollination and grafting. It means the avocado of one stem is spliced onto another avocado variety. This technique results in quick harvests, maintaining disease-resistant and quality fruits. The thick skin of avocado protects inner fruit from pesticides.
According to NASS (National Agricultural Statistics Service), California has major (83%) contribution in producing avocado of total US volume and are naturally cholesterol free.
It is rich in nutrients, minerals, and vitamins like Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Potassium, Magnesium, and Zinc. 50 grams of avocado contains 80 calories in it.
Fresh avocado contains anti-oxidants like lycopene and beta-carotene. The anti-oxidants are located in dark green flesh close to the peel and help to reduce cell damage.
Avocado plants require good growing conditions but you just need a lot of patience and minimal care to adopt it in your garden. Best companion plants include lavender, rosemary, borage, beans, cowpeas, comfrey, vetches, desmodiums, wheat, rye, lupin flowers, barley, and groundnuts.
How to Grow an Avocado tree from Seed?
It’s a wonderful natural way to grow an avocado tree from seed. To grow an avocado tree, you need to start with an avocado seed. Here are some factors that explain the growth of avocado, starting from a seed to an avocado tree.
Take avocado seed, rinse well and dry it. Push 4 toothpicks into the seed so that you can suspend the seed in a glass of water. Change the water regularly as avocados can’t absorb the water. After 6 weeks roots and stems sprouts from the seed.
Roots are thick and stem grows 6-8 inches long. Plant it in rich soil leaving the seed half exposed to sunlight. Avocados like moist soil and if pH is around 6.0 – 6.5. Sooner the roots get out, better the tree grows.
Avocado trees grow well in warm temperatures about 60-85 F and with moderate humidity. Plant the tree between March and June. Avoid growing avocado at freezing temperatures as it spoils the plant growth.
Water the plant 2-3 times in a week. As the roots grow in bulk soil more water can be supplied to it. Water the plant and allow it to dry for some time. Seedlings require less amount of water and mature trees require 20 gallons of water a day. provide sunlight to the plants for a minimum of 6- 8 hours a day to thrive quickly.
Flowers are inconspicuous and are available in greenish-yellow color with 5-10mm in width. These are self-pollinating plants as the pollens are compatible within and capable of pollinating its own flowers. Avocado flowers are pollinated by insects, honey bees mostly in its growing season. Some plant varieties have female flowers and other have male flowers.
There is no specific time to prune avocados. But you can prune avocado at any time of your choice. Avocados mostly prefer light pruning, if you wish to do heavy pruning you need to wait until late winter or early spring season. Prune avocado tree at right time i.e. before the growing period using cutters or shears to ensure new, healthy growth.
Repotting is done every year when the roots of the plant come out of the pot and the best time to repot avocado is the spring season. Before repotting avocado plant examine whether it is root bound or not. Remove the plant from the existing pot and place it in a bigger pot added with good potting mix soil.
Major nutrients to grow avocado are potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and nitrogen. Mature trees require fertilization with nitrogen and all other nutrients are available in the soil. You can apply micronutrients in sulfate forms like iron sulfate or zinc sulfate to the soil.
Step by Step procedure to Grow Avocado
Here is the step by step procedure that explains the growth of avocado using water sprouting and ground growing mechanisms.
Method- 1 (Water Sprouting)
- Take the avocado seed and clean it with water.
- Insert 4 toothpicks into it and place it in a glass of water.
- Now change the water in a glass for every 2-3 days and wait for the seeds to sprout roots.
- Place avocado seedlings in suitable conditions. Generally, prefer a temperature of 60-85 F.
- Select the soil with low salinity and good drainage.
- Choose a pot filled with rocks, coir (coconut fiber) and soil at the top.
- Now remove toothpicks from the seed and place avocado seed in a pot.
- Keep the plant hydrated by watering at regular intervals.
- After few years it grows attractively with tasteful fruits.
Method-2 (Ground Growing)
- Choose a good quality of avocado fruit and remove the seed from it.
- Find the pointed (top) end of the seed and choose a planting location to sow the seed.
- Place the flat end of the seed down into the soil.
- Fertilize the soil. Do not apply when it is too young as the root system gets damaged.
- Water the plant regularly (twice a day) and it takes time to grow.
- Harvest avocado fruits when it looks big and fat.
- To protect yourself from injuries, wear goggles, gloves, face masks and shoes.
- Use sharp gardening tools like shears, cutters, and blades while pruning avocado trees.
- Avoid over watering and over fertilizing the avocado plants as it can damage the plant growth.
- Keep an eye on dying leaves, fruits, discoloration, pests and prune the dead leaves, stems if necessary.
- Keep pets (dogs & cats) away from dwarf avocado plant varieties as they can chew, eat and spoils the plant structure.
- Fertilize the avocado tree with organic matter such as compost, manure, and other micro-nutrient content once in every month when the plant matures.
Avocado Health Benefits
- Cholesterol level: 25 mg per ounce of a natural plant called beta-sitosterol. Consuming beta-sitosterol and other plant sterols help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
- Blood pressure: Deficiency in potassium may lead to high blood pressure. Eating avocados rich in potassium and other nutrients helps to control Blood Pressure.
- Cancer prevention: Anti-oxidants like alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lutein protect body cells from against cancer.
- Diabetes: Symptoms include thirst, hunger, frequent urinating. For diabetic patients, it lowers bad LDL cholesterol and raises good HDL cholesterol.
- Pregnant women: It’s an important food for pregnant women due to high concentrations of folic acid, vitamin B, and vitamin K. Even doctors suggest pregnant women take in high amounts before and after pregnancy.
- Skin benefits: Avocado helps to improve skin tone and appearance by maintaining good moisture levels.
- Weight loss: Eating avocado helps to reduce hunger and fatty acids burns energy stored in the body as fat.
- Beauty: Works as the natural sunscreen for the moisturizing skin. It helps to get rid of bags under eyes. Used as a hair conditioner to your scalp and hair.
What does an avocado plant look like?
Avocado (alligator pear) is a flowering plant in the family of Lauraceae. They have green skin with the fleshy body which resembles pear-shape or egg-shaped or spherical. flowers are self-pollinated and often propagated through grafting method.
When do avocado trees produce fruit?
Avocado trees bear fruit in alternate years. They produce fruits when planted in the USDA regions of 9-11. Trees do not start fruiting until it is 5 years old and the flowers are kept open for 2 days to pollinated and bear a fruit.
When is the best time to plant an avocado tree?
Avocado trees do best in warm temperatures about 60-85F with high humidity. Plants can even tolerate when the temperature is around 28-32F with small damage. Avoid growing avocados in frost temperatures. So the best time to plant avocados is between the months of March to June.
How long do avocado trees grow?
Avocado is a fruit-bearing tree that reaches a height of 15-20 feet tall and to a width of 5 feet, when matures completely. It may also grow to a height of 5-7 feet when grown in containers and allows you to pick the fruit in the late summer season.
Why avocado plant leaves turn brown color?
Browning of leaf tips is caused by the amount of salt present in the soil. It usually occurs on the older leaves first. The excess salt settles in the leaf edges where it can kill the tissues, leaf dries out and turns the brown color.
If you wish to grow an avocado tree from seeds, you just need a lot of patience and care to bear a fruit. Please share your experience if you have already grown avocados at home.