How to Plant an Avocado Tree How to Plant an Avocado Tree
If you plan to grow an avocado tree for the produce, your best bet may be to purchase a tree that is already fully grown. Avocado trees are known to take as long as 20 years before they began to bear fruit. And while they make a wonderful indoor bush, most avocados never bear fruit indoors at all.
If you have access to a full grown, fruit-bearing avocado tree, ask for some clippings so you can start your trees directly from adult stock. It will still take about five years, but this will still be much less time than starting from seed.
Step 1: Instant Terrariums
Make a portable terrarium for your avocado tree. Mix together:
- 1 part sand
- 1 part compost
- 1 cup cotton seed meal
Fill the bucket ¾ full with this mixture, and moisten it well. Do not pack the soil.
Strip one to two inches of bark from the bottom of your clipping. Insert the stem 3 inches into the moist compost and sand mix. Space the stakes around edges of the bucket—pressed all the way to the bottom—and cover the whole container with a clear plastic bag. Seal with tape and put the container in a place that receives as much sunlight as possible.
Step 2: After Rooting
Avocado trees can remain in the initial container for several years. After it has put on roots and new leaves, remove the plastic covering. This could take from two to six weeks, depending on the amount of sunlight and the air temperature. Do not try to replant the avocado until it is around 12 inches tall, but you could wait until it is much larger, keeping it indoors during severe cold weather.
Step 3: Avocado Soil
When planting avocado, mix equal parts of sifted compost and sand, plus one cup of cotton seed meal with the original soil. Make sure that the mixture is well blended and that soil is free of rocks or clumps that might inhibit root growth.
Step 4: Planting the Sapling
To plant the tree, dig out a hole that is as wide as the crown of the tree and slopes towards the center. Fill this hole with water, and allow it to be absorbed into the surrounding soil.
Place the tree in the hole, and pack your soil and compost mix lightly around the root system. With any remaining soil, mark out a small wall around the perimeter of the hole. Fill this area with water.
Step 5: Care and Feeding
Every 90 days, remove the mulch from the treated area. Add one to two inches of sifted mulch and a sprinkling of cotton seed meal. Use a pitchfork to press holes into the soil carefully. Cover the area with one to two inches of mulch, and fill it with water. This allows nutrients to soak into the soil naturally, but in an accelerated fashion.