How much water do avocado trees need

How to Grow an Avocado Tree

Growing your own avocados is a simple, satisfying project for experienced or beginning gardeners, from kids to adults. Whether you start from seed or a nursery-grown tree, one essential for success is patience. Plant a tree, and you'll wait three to four years for fruit. Start with a seed, you may wait 13 years or more.1 Even so, there's something special about homegrown avocados that make them worth the wait.

  1. Starting an Avocado Tree from Seed
  2. Planting an Avocado Tree Outdoors
  3. Caring for Your Avocado Tree
  4. Enjoying the Fruits of Your Patience

The seed of an avocado is the pit found in the center of avocados you eat at home. One of the simplest ways to start a seed is with water in a normal kitchen glass or jar. It's also one of the most fun ways, because you can watch the roots grow.

To prep your seed, wash it well. Then insert three or four wooden toothpicks into the pit about one-third of the way down from the pointed end. Sit the pit on the glass, pointed end up, so the toothpicks support it on the rim. Add water to cover the seed's bottom half and sit it in a spot with bright light. Refresh the water as needed to keep the bottom covered.

In about two to six weeks, your seed should develop roots. Next, the top will crack open as a sprout emerges. Once this happens, plant the seed in a container filled with coarse, well-drained potting mix. Plant the seed so that half of it stays above the soil and half stays below. After planting, water it well and place your tree in the brightest light your home allows.

Like many citrus trees, avocado trees grow very well grown indoors. Natural terra cotta is an excellent choice for pots because the porous clay allows air and moisture to move through soil easily. Start with a 6- to 8-inch-diameter pot, with good drainage holes. You can transplant to larger pots as your tree grows over the years.

 Avocado trees are simple to start from seeds.

Avocados are tropical plants; they tolerate very little cold. If you live where temperatures rarely drop to freezing — such as the southernmost regions of Florida, Texas, Arizona or California — you can plant your sprouted seed or a nursery-grown tree outdoors.2 If you plant outside, do it in spring so your avocado gets established well before cooler winter months arrive.

Choose a site with full sun and excellent drainage, protected from winds and frost. Allow plenty of room for the tree's mature size. Containers restrict plant size, but avocados can grow 40 feet tall or more in the ground.2 Avocados have shallow roots, so plant them at or slightly higher than the level they grew at in their pot. Avoid planting avocados too deep.1

Container-grown avocados do well indoors.

Once established, avocados are simple to care for. Their large, leathery, green leaves and attractive form make them beautiful houseplants and landscape trees, even when they're fruitless. By providing your tree's basic needs, you help ensure its beauty and future productivity.

Watering - Avocado roots need plenty of air, so avoid overwatering. Always let container soil dry out slightly, then water thoroughly to moisten the entire root ball. If your container tree moves outdoors for summer, it may need daily watering. Container plants dry out more quickly in sun and wind — and don't forget to bring your plant indoors once temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit in fall.

For landscape avocados, water the entire area beneath the tree's canopy. Water deeply and thoroughly, then allow the soil to dry out slightly before you water again. Most avocado roots stay in the top six inches of soil, which can dry out quickly. Newly planted trees may need water two to three times per week their first year. Mature avocado trees need water equal to about 2 inches of rainfall or irrigation each week during summer.1

Fertilizing - Avocados do best with plant foods designed specifically for avocados and citrus. They prefer fertilizers with higher amounts of nitrogen relative to phosphorus and potassium. That means that the first number in the N-P-K ratio on your fertilizer label should be higher than the other two.

Protecting - Avocados are prone to insects, such as thrips, mites, whiteflies and leafrollers. Visible signs of damage can be brown spots on leaves or scarred fruit. Sevin Insect Killer Ready-to-Spray kills by contact with results in minutes. To protect your avocados, use the spray as a spot treatment - the solution will not harm the plant and will mix automatically as you spray.

Pennington UltraGreen Citrus & Avocado Plant Food 10-5-5 provides avocados with an ideal blend of primary nutrients plus added micronutrients, including zinc and iron, which are especially important to avocado health and growth. This premium fertilizer starts feeding immediately, then continues feeding your tree for up to four months.

Feed container avocados every 12 to 16 weeks, according to label rates based on the container size. For outdoor landscape avocados, feed in late winter, midsummer and again in early fall, according to the recommended label rate based on the tree's age.

Avocado toast tastes better when it's homegrown.

Once your tree bears fruit, it's time to celebrate. Avocados stay firm until they're picked and ripened. They never soften on the tree, so timing it right takes some practice. Allow the fruit to grow to full size. When one looks mature, pick it and set it indoors at room temperature out of direct sun. A fully mature avocado will ripen and grow soft within one to two weeks.

To test softness, don't squeeze with your fingertips. Place the avocado in your hand and squeeze with the fleshy part of your palm right below your thumb. It won't leave bruises like finger squeezes can. Once avocados start to soften, you can slow the process by putting them in the refrigerator. To speed it up, put avocados in a paper bag with bananas. Then starting planning menus, from avocado toast and classic guacamole to your own avocado-inspired creations.

Whether you start with a seed or a nursery tree, growing your own avocados puts fun and homegrown flavor on your table. Pennington is committed to providing you with the finest in all-purpose and specialty fertilizers along with expert tips to help make your dreams of homegrown avocados and beautiful lawns and gardens come true.

Always read the product label and follow instructions carefully.

Pennington with design is a registered trademark of Pennington Seed, Inc.

UltraGreen is a registered trademark of Central Garden & Pet Company.

GardenTech is a registered trademark of Gulfstream Home and Garden, Inc.

Sevin is a registered trademark of Tessenderlo Kerley, Inc. 


1. UC Cooperative Extension, Orange County , "Edible Plants; Avocado, Growing," University of California.

2. Planttalk Colorado, "Avocado," Colorado State University Extension.

2. Nesbitt M., L. Stein and J. Kamas, "Avocados," Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.

How to Water an Avocado Tree | Home Guides

By Nathalie Alonso Updated March 21, 2022

Hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 10 through 12, avocado trees (Persea americana) are native to Central America and cultivated all over the world. Proper watering is an essential part of avocado tree care that affects the tree's disease resistance and the quality of its fruit. How often do you need to water avocado trees? The answer depends on the age of the tree and weather conditions.

About Avocado Trees

There are approximately 500 types of avocado trees, which are native to Mexico and Guatemala, reports the University of Florida IFAS Extension. Avocado trees grow 30 to 60 feet tall, with typical spreads between 20 and 30 feet. These trees are grown for their fruit, which are technically berries. However, the creamy, buttery flesh of avocados is usually used as a vegetable in salads and dips. The different varieties of avocado trees produce fruit that vary in size, the texture of the skin and subtle flavor.

Avocado trees are frost sensitive, which is why they are grown in tropical and subtropical areas. According to the Missouri Botanical Garden, as many as 95 percent of the avocados produced in the United States come from southern California. They are also cultivated in southern Florida, Hawaii and Texas. Outside of their hardiness range, avocado trees may be grown in pots as ornamental houseplants. However, indoor trees won’t yield fruit.

Watering Avocado Trees

According to the University of Florida IFAS Extension, young avocado trees should be watered when they're first planted, followed by every other day during the first week after planting. At that point, you can reduce the frequency of watering to once or twice a week for the next few months. During periods of little rainfall, avocado trees that are less than 3 years old should be watered thoroughly twice a week. At first, you'll want to water close to the trunk of the tree, but water farther away from the trunk as the tree ages.

Always water mature avocado trees during dry periods. According to the University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program, during the hot summer months, mature avocado trees need 2 inches of water a week. It's especially critical to make sure mature avocado trees have enough moisture from the time the tree blooms to when the fruit ripens.

Avocado Tree Care

Both too much and too little watering can result in a number of avocado tree problems, some of which can result in tree death. Excessive watering can lead to serious conditions like crown and root rot, according to the University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program. Root rot of avocado trees is often caused by Phytophthora fungi.

In addition, soil that drains poorly and is susceptible to flooding also can lead to root rot in avocado trees. And soil that remains wet for extended periods of time can limit the tree’s ability to take in nutrients, affecting its growth and ability to set and develop fruit.

Conversely, a lack of water can result in smaller-than-normal avocado fruit. The fruit of an underwatered avocado tree is also more susceptible to sunburn. To preserve soil moisture, the University of Florida IFAS Extension recommends applying a layer of bark or wood chips as mulch. Keep the mulch about a foot from the trunk of the tree to avoid rotting.


  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: Avocado Growing in the Florida Home Landscape
  • University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program:
  • Missouri Botanical Garden: Persea americana
  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: How Many Avocado Varieties do you know? Which one is best for Guacamole?

Writer Bio

Since beginning her career as a professional journalist in 2007, Nathalie Alonso has covered a myriad of topics, including arts, culture and travel, for newspapers and magazines in New York City. She holds a B.A. in American Studies from Columbia University and lives in Queens with her two cats.

How to grow an avocado at home: practical tips


Avocado, with its recognizable taste and buttery texture, rightfully occupies one of the first places in the list of products for a healthy and balanced diet. This superfood is rich in saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, contains a supply of potassium and vitamins E, K and group B, serves as a source of antioxidants and accelerates the absorption of nutrients.

If you have space in your living room or kitchen, try growing this tropical plant in your home and in a few years you will be able to not only enjoy the lush foliage of the tree, but also eat ripe fruits from your garden.

The scientific name of the avocado tree is Persea americana. The plant comes from Mexico. In hot tropical forests, it can reach 18 meters in height, but this does not mean that you cannot grow it at home - just get a suitable planter and cut the plant in time to adjust its growth.

The avocado tree loves warmth and sun, therefore, taking into account the weather conditions, it is better to grow it not in the backyard, but at home, where it will be possible to provide humidity and temperature that are comfortable for the plant.

How to grow an avocado

One of the easiest ways to grow an avocado is to use the pit of a ripe avocado, anything you can buy at your local supermarket will do. The seeds sprout quickly and easily, so you will definitely be able to start a seedling. However, remember that it takes up to 3-6 years for a tree to give its first crop, and at home, an avocado will not always bear fruit.

  1. Select a healthy and ripe avocado of your favorite variety and carefully remove the pit. Be careful, the seed will not germinate if the outer brown shell is damaged.

  2. Turn the narrow part of the bone up, pierce it with three wooden toothpicks at an equal distance at a slight angle.

  3. Fill the container with water and set the stone so that its bottom is submerged in water.

  4. Place the container on the windowsill and change the water every five days.

  5. It usually takes four weeks for a bone to grow. But if this does not happen, do not despair and be patient!

  6. Roots and sprouts appear almost simultaneously. Wait until the future tree is 15 cm tall and then cut it in half. This will cause the avocado to sprout more.

  7. Prepare a pot of fertile soil in a well-lit area.

  8. Dig a hole and plant the avocado in it, leaving only the green part of the plant above the ground.

  9. Water the avocado and continue to care for it. If you want to grow fruit, find out if your variety is self-pollinating or if it needs another plant nearby.

How to care for avocados


Like all shallow-rooted trees, the avocado tree needs loose, well-drained soil. As for pH, it should be neutral or slightly acidic, as with most other garden plants.


In the first few years of life, the avocado tree needs a lot of water. Water the plant two to three times a week. After the tree is rooted, watering can be reduced, as the roots will get the necessary moisture from the soil. Understanding when a tree needs additional moisture is quite simple - pay attention to soil moisture, as soon as it dries, water the plant.


Avocado grows well in fertile soil and requires regular fertilization throughout its life. In the early stages, in order for the tree to grow healthy and strong, use a fertilizer rich in nitrogen once a month. Such top dressing can be replaced with organic compost, which is applied every three months. Continue to fertilize the plant during flowering and throughout the growing season. When the fruits are ripe, fertilizers can be postponed until the next season.


Avocado care depends on where you grow it. An outdoor tree will require minimal pruning. Potted plants, on the other hand, require pruning regularly to keep them compact. In addition to the main branches, pay attention to side shoots so that the avocado does not lose shape.

Pests and Diseases

Although the avocado tree has a high content of toxic persin, to which only humans and cats are immune, it does not repel pests. Spider mites, thrips and caterpillars can merge on the plant. Treat your avocado with neem oil to combat them.

Another danger is diseases, the most common of which are root rot and bay wilt. Root rot is caused by overwatering or the accumulation of salts in the soil as a result of excessive fertilization. Laurel wilt is a deadly fungal infection spread by ragweed beetles, so keep them out.


It is not always clear from the appearance of the avocado when it is ripe enough. Up to a certain point, they can sing on a tree, but usually ripen after harvest. If the fruits are left on the tree for too long, they can become soft and overripe.

To test the ripeness of an avocado, pick the largest fruit and leave it in a dark place for a few days. Try lightly pressing down on the avocado with your thumb. If it is soft and the flesh has become creamy, the fruit is fully ripe. If the flesh is hard and bitter in taste, then the fruits are not yet ready to serve, give them a little more time.


  • Plants in the interior

How should avocados be watered?

Image - Flickr / Mauricio Mercadante

How is avocado watered? This is a fruit tree that cannot be thirsty for long, especially in summer when temperatures are high. Therefore, in regions where there is a drought or where there is little rain during the warm months of the year, it is important to water from time to time so that the roots can perform one of their most important functions: to absorb water and direct it to other plants.

But as you well know, there are several ways to rehydrate avocados: with a hose, with a drip irrigation system. .. Which method is best for avocados? Well it depends a lot on where it is grown because a tree in a pot will not be used to water the same tree as a tree planted in a garden or orchard.


  • 1 How much water does an avocado need?
  • 2 Which irrigation system should I use?
  • 3 How many times should an avocado be watered?
  • 4 What kind of water do avocados need?

How much water does an avocado need?

Image - Flickr/giveawayboy

Avocado tree, scientifically named Persea americana , is a native plant of the tropical region of America; that is, it is found from Mexico to Central America. In those places, the rains are very plentiful, to the point that it can rain once every few days. So, our hero is a plant that requires a lot of water, at least 1000 millimeters of annual rainfall distributed throughout the year.

For this reason, in areas where there is less rainfall, such as the Mediterranean, irrigation becomes a task that every gardener or hobbyist must perform in order for the plant to survive; Otherwise, it will dry out quickly.

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Which irrigation system to use?

Like almost everything in life, it depends. And from what? As for the avocado, regardless of whether it is planted in the ground or not. Plugs that if it is in the garden or in the garden, we can install the drip irrigation system, which will allow us to make much better use of water. But if we're going to have it in a pot, it might be more practical to use a watering can, especially if the tree is still young.

Can a hose be used? Well, if he's been on earth for at least two years, then yes. . In the first months, the soil above it is very light, not very dense, so if it is watered with a hose, there is a risk of leaving the most superficial roots exposed. But yes: if possible, it is preferable to regulate the water supply by connecting an irrigation gun that allows you to do this.

Whatever you're going to use, keep this in mind so your avocado can make better use of the water :

  • If it is in a pot, it is important that the base of the stem is about 2-3 cm below the rim of the pot.
  • If it is on the ground, it does not hurt to make a tree trellis around the trunk and about 30 centimeters from it.

In this way, the fruit tree will have more time to absorb the precious liquid and hydrate.

How many times should an avocado be watered?

Image - Wikimedia/Vitaium

Since she needs a lot of water, and there is no such climate, we will have to check soil moisture before watering . And the fact is that, for example, in the Mediterranean, since there is usually no rain in summer, it will be necessary to moisten the tree several times a week, as in any other area where drought is a problem. But, on the contrary, if it rains regularly, throughout the year, then you will have to water a little, since the earth will remain wet longer.

In addition, you should know that a potted plant will have to be watered more often than one that is in the ground , especially if it is in plastic, as this is a material that absorbs a lot of heat, and this causes the roots to overheat. In the same way that people sweat, meaning we lose water, which increases our sense of thirst, the root system does something similar: the higher the temperature, the greater the need for hydration.

If we add to this the short time it takes for the soil to dry out, we can get an idea of ​​how important summer watering is. That's why, has to be watered 3-5 times a week in the middle of summer . But before the end of the year we will distribute the risks.

What kind of water do avocados need?

Water that all living beings need, pure rainwater (i.

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