How often do i need to water my avocado tree

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 much and how often to water avocado trees in California

I’ve always wished there were a simple formula that could tell us how much and how often to water an avocado tree. Alas, the variables are too numerous: weather is ever-changing, different soils have different water-holding capacities, frequencies are partially determined by the watering method (drip, sprinkler).

Yet! I bulled forward and made this table anyway, showing approximately how much and how often to water avocado trees of four different sizes in each month of the year.

This table will not be perfectly accurate for any real-life tree. However, even if you follow the table blindly without making any adjustments, I bet your tree will get its water needs approximately met and you’ll probably not be wasting much water. These numbers are based on my personal experience growing avocados trees in my own yard in Southern California, as well as my observations of avocado trees elsewhere.

Want to be more efficient and effective with your watering? Read on to learn how you can tailor the application of the table’s numbers for your particular conditions.

Important note: Be sure you’ve first planted your avocado tree properly and watered it through its first couple months properly before starting to use this table.

Gallons are for the valleys

How did I come up with these numbers of gallons? I used weather information that is similar to where most people in Southern California live — basically, the valleys: roughly five to fifteen miles away from the beach. (Specifically, it’s Zone 6 on this map.) Anaheim in Orange County is an example of a city in this zone.

If you live closer to the ocean, well, aren’t you cool and comfortable? And so is your avocado tree. You can give it 10% less water in the summer. Likewise, if you’re more than fifteen miles from the ocean, your avocado tree feels the heat and probably needs 10% more gallons than the table shows for the summer months. (Your tree might also need to be watered a bit more often.)

But these numbers aren’t just theoretical. As mentioned above, they are also based on the quantity of water that I have found to work well on my own avocado trees.

(Here is a video showing how I water my avocado trees.)

In my experience, you can’t give avocado trees much less water without them suffering. (I’ve tried.) And it’s unnecessary to give them much more. (You won’t get more fruit, which is the point.)

One exception that I must note is when an avocado tree, especially a young avocado tree, is growing near a large tree, shrub, or vine. That large plant will often grow roots into the zone where you are watering your young avocado tree and suck up some of its water. Therefore, you may need to water the young avocado tree more, even much more, than the table shows for its size. Keep an eye out for this.

Gwen avocado tree in my yard that needs extra water because it’s near a large oak tree.

Frequencies are for sprinkling and mulch

The table makes a couple of assumptions. One is that you are sprinkling or spraying the water under the tree, not using drip emitters. If you are using drip emitters, then the gallons don’t change but the frequency does. You must water more often with drip, probably every two or three days in summer.

Micro-sprinkler under avocado tree in a friend’s grove.

Another assumption is that there is mulch under your avocado tree. Leaves or wood chips under an avocado tree are extremely beneficial in myriad ways, one of which is allowing the tree to go longer between waterings.

What did I base the table’s frequencies on? Mostly, I based them on what has worked for my trees, as well as what has worked on trees in yards and commercial orchards that I have visited throughout Southern California.

In addition, if you’re familiar with the concept of evapotranspiration (ET), then you might be interested in knowing that the table says to water after between one-half and one inch of ET has been reached. I’ve found that trees tend to need water at about the half-inch ET frequency in late summer, but they only need water at about the one-inch ET frequency in late winter. I believe this is due to the winter rains having wetted all the soil around the trees at this time.

If you want to be extra efficient with watering (especially during the fall, winter, and spring, when the weather is variable), you can find a CIMIS station near you to get actual ET readings. See more on this in my post here.

Please remember that the frequencies in the table are averages and are meant mostly as a point of reference. You must take into account rain that falls in winter, for example. And you should certainly not wait until it has been three days before irrigating again in August if there is a heat wave and your tree is wilting under 110-degree sunshine. Watch your trees for wilting leaves and consider water immediately if you find that the soil under such a tree is on the dry side.

(See more about a situation like this in my posts, “Protecting avocado trees from heat” and “Reading avocado leaves. ”)

No automatic watering in winter

Where avocados grow wild, winters are even drier than ours in Southern California. So once our rains begin, sometimes in November but more reliably in December, you should stop watering your avocado tree automatically.

Unnecessary irrigation in the winter not only wastes water but more importantly can keep the soil soggy and disease prone. After we’ve had our first couple inches of winter rain until around the end of March, only water an avocado tree if there is a dry spell of about a couple weeks.

And when you do water, give the tree approximately the amount it has used in that interval according to the table. For example, a 10-foot tree in February that has received no rain for two weeks needs to be given about 50 gallons.

Big trees get water elsewhere

The table only goes up to 15 feet because bigger trees in a normal yard will have grown extensive root systems that drink from neighboring plants, maybe even from your neighbor’s plants. So if you have a big avocado tree, you almost surely can give it less water than an avocado farmer would have to give such a tree in an orchard.

It’s impossible to say how much to give your big tree. Just think about what is being watered under its canopy and even within ten feet or so of the outer edge of its canopy. If there are irrigated plants all over that area, then you might not need to give the tree any water of its own. This is particularly true if there is lawn being watered within the tree’s reach.

An example from my yard

Lamb avocado tree, December 2020.

This is a Lamb avocado tree in my yard that has a canopy diameter of 9 feet as of December 2020. The sprinkler that I use on this tree puts out 12 gallons per hour. I usually water the tree for two hours at a time. Last summer, during July, I watered the tree for a total of 28 hours, and I watered it every two or three days. The average volume I gave the tree in July was 10.8 gallons per day.

If you look on the water table, it says that a 10 foot (diameter) tree should get 10.3 gallons per day, and it should be watered every three days. My yard is in Ramona in San Diego County, a slightly hotter and drier location than the zone used for the table. Therefore, giving my tree about 10 percent more water and irrigating it a bit more often makes sense. And it is effective: as you can see, the tree is healthy with little to no tip burn on its leaves here in winter.

Watering is, by far, the most important thing we do for our avocado trees in California. We must spend a little time on it. Getting the watering right gets almost everything right, and our trees show us their gratitude with green leaves and, possibly, lots of avocados.

All of my avocado posts and other Yard Posts are linked HERE

Avocado. Care and cultivation at home. How to Grow an Avocado from a Seed

Avocado is an exotic evergreen plant. Many floriculture lovers know that it is not easy to grow avocados at home, much less wait for the harvest. Its fruits, unique in taste, could please more than one grower. But, unfortunately, avocados with fruits at home are rather an exception to the rule. Although they do not always plant an orange or persimmon seed, hoping for a quick result. You can wait more than one year, hope and at the same time enjoy a fruit bush or tree.

With a strong desire, you can plant an avocado seed and patiently follow all the necessary rules for growing and caring. What if your dream comes true, and you wait at home for the harvest?

1 How to grow avocado from a bone of


2.6 Transplanting an avocado

2.7 Pruning

3 Diseases, pests and other problems

How to grow an avocado from a seed

To grow this unusual overseas plant, you will definitely need a ripe avocado fruit. Only the seed of such a fruit has a great chance of sprouting. This process can be done in two ways:

  • The first way (closed) is simple and simple. The avocado seed should be stuck into the soil with its wide bottom side to a shallow depth (approximately 2 centimeters). When favorable conditions are created, it should germinate in about 30 days.
  • The second way (open) is interesting and even exotic.

Before planting in the ground, the stone must be germinated in water in a suspended position. First, it must be thoroughly washed and cleaned. Then, approximately in the middle of the bone along the circle line, you need to carefully drill three or four holes, into which you then need to insert thin wooden sticks (for example, matches or toothpicks). They will act as a support when we lower the wide lower part of the bone into a container of water. These sticks, like clamps, will hold the bone at the required height. The main thing is to constantly monitor the amount of water in the tank. The bottom of the bone should always be in the water.

Instead of water, special polymer granules (hydrogel) can be used to germinate an avocado seed. This polymer material can hold a large amount of water for a long time. In this method, it is very convenient, you do not need to monitor the level.

Only 20-30 days will pass, and the first young roots will appear, and then a sprout. The stone will be ready for planting in the ground when the roots reach 4 centimeters in length.

First you need a small flower pot with large holes. The earth doesn't have to be dense. It must be well loosened to ensure the necessary air and moisture exchange. The stone is planted in the soil so that two-thirds of its part is on the surface of the soil. There is no need to remove the shell on the bone.

Avocado - growing and care at home

Location and lighting

Avocado is a light-loving plant, but partial shade is also suitable for it. It needs to be protected from direct sunlight. If your house or apartment has a room with west-facing windows, then such a window sill will be the perfect place for this fruit.


Since the avocado is native to the tropics, it naturally loves warmth. In the event of a sharp drop in temperature or the slightest draft, the plant will begin to show its discontent - all the leaves will immediately fall off. Therefore, even in warm summer weather, it is undesirable to take it outside.

And the room must also be kept at a constant temperature. In the warm season, high room temperature will be favorable for avocados, but in the cold winter, 20 degrees of heat will be enough for him.

The plant also has a dormant period in winter. If in winter the temperature in the room drops to 12 degrees, then the avocado will immediately react - it will shed its leaves and switch to the “hibernation” mode. But with proper care and constant temperature balance, this cannot happen. This tropical plant is considered evergreen.

Rules for watering

Avocados at home should be watered regularly and plentifully, but taking into account the temperature and season. Over watering can be harmful. In summer it is watered more often than in winter. After the top layer of soil has dried, it should take another couple of days before you start watering the plant. Immediately, only its upper part dries up, and inside the pot for about two more days, the moisture necessary for the avocado remains.


Humidity is also of great importance. The air in the room is almost always dry, and this is very harmful for this plant. Daily spraying will help solve the problem. It is very important that during such water procedures only the air near the avocado is moistened, but not the plant itself. Even small droplets should not fall on its leaves.

There is another way to moisten - this is a special tray for a pot with moistened claydite.

Top dressing and fertilizing

From September to March, the plant does not need top dressing. But the rest of the time, once a month, avocados need to be fed with fertilizer recommended for citrus fruits or any other complex top dressing.

Transplanting an avocado

In nature, avocados grow up to 20 meters in height. Although at home it will not reach such heights, it grows quite actively and requires frequent transplantation. Very soon the first small pot will be too small for him. As soon as the tree grows to 15 centimeters, it's time to transplant it into a large container. At a young age, avocados are transplanted every year, and in the future it can be once every three years.

The land in which it grows is of great importance for the development and growth of a plant. Specifically, for avocados, any loose and light earth is needed, but not acidic. It would be good to add wood ash or dolomite flour to such soil.

When transplanting a plant into a new pot, use the transfer method. Carefully move the tree along with the clod of earth.

You can make your own avocado-friendly potting mix. To do this, you will need: peat (or humus), garden soil and coarse river sand. All components must be mixed in equal parts.


This tropical plant at home may well become a decorative decoration of the room. True, this will require a little experience in floriculture. For example, you can grow several plants from avocado seeds and plant them all together in one flower pot. In the meantime, the plants are young and flexible, you can twist their stems together with a pigtail.

In order for the plant not to stretch in height, but to acquire splendor in the form of side shoots, it must be pinched. This procedure can be carried out only when there are a sufficient number of leaves on the tree (at least eight). First, pinch the top of the plant, this contributes to the development of side branches. And after they are sufficiently formed and acquire their leaves, you can pinch them too.

Pruning is carried out in early spring. It is necessary to improve the growth and development of the plant, as well as to form the crown you need. It can be completely different. It all depends on the imagination of the grower.

Diseases, pests and other problems

Avocado, like all indoor plants, is afraid of the same pests - scale insects and spider mites. A gluttonous spider mite can not only destroy all the leaves on a plant, but can also carry various diseases to other indoor flowers. Shchitovka feeds on plant sap. After its appearance, only dry leaves remain. You can fight such pests with various folk methods or insecticidal preparations.

Powdery mildew is the main disease hazard to avocados.

Other problems may occur during cultivation:

Leaf tips dry. Causes - irrigation rules are not observed (lack of moisture), insufficient air humidity. It is necessary to establish regular watering (only after the top layer of the earth has dried) and humidify the air in the room by spraying.

Leaves are falling. Causes - drafts and lowering the air temperature in the apartment. It is necessary to maintain the optimum temperature in the room and avoid drafts.

Paleness of leaves. Reasons - lack of lighting. It is necessary to find a suitable place for the plant or organize additional (artificial) lighting for it, especially in winter.

Fruit garden in the apartment Garden: trees and shrubs

How to care for avocados, planting features, watering, fertilizing, pruning

Author: deneb | Comments: 3

Avocado is a tropical exotic fruit from the laurel family, which is gaining popularity all over the world every day. It is valued for its taste and numerous beneficial properties.

It was especially liked by adherents of a healthy lifestyle, and athletes due to its ability to break down cholesterol in the blood. Let's learn how to care for avocados and use tips on growing a healthy, fruitful tree.


  1. Avocado - a tropical tree and house plant
  2. Growing avocados
  3. How to grow avocados at home
  4. Do I need to prune
  5. What problems can you face
  6. The appearance of fruits
  7. What are the benefits of fruits

Avocado - a tropical tree and houseplant

Central America is considered the birthplace of this plant. It is not surprising that Americans who had the opportunity to often eat it noticed that avocado has an exciting effect on a person, i.e. is an aphrodisiac.

The tree itself can reach 15 meters in height, the trunk is straight with many side branches. The leaves are broad and the stems are quite flexible. Therefore, when growing in a pot, three plants are often planted at once, and then they are intertwined in the form of a braid or various beautiful compositions are formed.

Alligator pear, Perseus americana are other names for the plant.

Growing a tree and waiting for the fruits to appear is quite a difficult but interesting job for a grower, because it is a beautiful evergreen plant that is used to completely different climatic conditions. Therefore, before germinating the seed, you need to learn how to care for avocados at home.

Sprouting avocados

Be sure to take a very ripe fruit. It is quite easy to determine the ripeness: from both sides, press on the fruit with your palms, if it has restored its shape - feel free to take it, it will be ripe. You can take not fully ripe and put to ripen in a paper bag with apples, bananas or tomatoes.

Thanks to this trick, the fruit will ripen much faster.

There are two ways to germinate a bone.


The easiest way to perform: bury the seed with the wide side down to a shallow depth (about 2-3 cm) and, having provided favorable conditions for germination, wait for the sprout in a month.


An unusual way for us to germinate a seed in water. We wash and clean the bone itself and make 3 holes on it in a circle in the center, into which we then insert toothpicks. They will act as a stand. We lower the wide part of the bone into the water and constantly make sure that it is under water, and the upper one, on the contrary, does not get wet.

Or you can use a hydrogel. This is more convenient, because you do not need to monitor the water level with this material.

We are waiting for the first sprout and roots 3-5 cm long, this is the most optimal size for transplanting into a pot. We take a small flower pot with holes in the bottom and light, not heavy soil. Before planting the seed, loosen the ground well. When planting, we take into account the fact that most of the bone should be above the ground.

How to grow avocados at home


Being a light-loving plant, it does not like partial shade, but it also cannot stand the direct rays of the sun. The west side of an apartment or house is a great place to grow a fruit tree. How you care for an avocado in a pot is how the tree will bear fruit.


It is necessary to maintain the same warm comfortable temperature at all times. With any draft, a sharp temperature drop, the plant will shed its leaves and enter a state of "hibernation". 16-20 degrees is the optimal temperature.


Very fond of moisture and humid climate. With central heating, and especially in winter, the problem of a dry room can be dealt with by constant spraying, but not of the leaves, but only of the air next to the plant, or by filling the pan with wet expanded clay.

Watering is carried out on average 3 times a month, as it dries, allowing it to stand with a dried top layer for a couple of days. Abundant watering, and there the plant does not like more stagnant water.

Top dressing

In the period from early autumn to spring, no additional fertilizers or top dressings are required for the plant. And in other months, it is possible to add fertilizer for citrus fruits once every 1-2 months.


The plant stretches and grows very quickly, and therefore requires frequent repotting, at least once a year. Starting from 15 cm in height, the plant is transplanted into a larger pot. Avocado loves loose, light earth, with a neutral ph. The method of transplantation is transshipment, that is, the tree will be placed in a new container without violating the integrity of the earth coma at the roots.

Soil for transplanting can be bought in specialized stores, or you can make it yourself: mix coarse sand, humus and garden soil in equal proportions. Do not forget to put drainage at the bottom: pebbles, expanded clay or simple foam. In the summer, a tree can even be planted in the garden, some experts assure that fruiting will come much earlier this way.

Is pruning necessary?

Since the tree grows quickly, it is necessary to pinch it periodically, starting from the moment when the tree has at least 8 leaves. Initially, we do this only at the crown, so that side branches appear for a lush uniform crown, and then, as the branches grow, so do they.

Thin weak stems and branches are a sign of insufficient pinching, but the plant will not like excessive pinching, the tree may simply stop or slow down its growth. We prune the plant in early spring for fast and uniform growth.

Problems you may encounter

Growers often encounter diseases and pests while growing avocados. Powdery mildew is one of the most dangerous diseases.

You can get rid of the fungal disease by following the steps:

  • Replace the topsoil of the pot;
  • Placed in a brighter place;
  • Water less frequently;
  • Remove affected leaves;
  • Carry out therapeutic spraying with special preparations.

Dangerous pests: scale insects and spider mites. They get rid of them with numerous folk methods and preparations from flower shops.

Most Common Growing Problems

Dry Leaves

Remedy by increasing room humidity and proper regular watering.

Leaf fall

Occurs due to drafts and temperature changes. Establishing an optimal constant temperature will correct this problem as well.

Pale leaves are caused by lack of light. We are looking for a lighter place for the plant and add lighting.

Emergence of fruits

Approximately 3 years later, green-yellow flowers appear on the tree, and the first fruits should be expected in about 3-4 years, so that they appear many experts advise grafting the plant in early spring, or planting several trees at once not far from each other friend for cross-pollination.

Avocados do not ripen to full ripeness, so they must be removed and placed in paper bags.

When growing avocados at home, it must be remembered that the leaves and seeds of this tree contain a rather dangerous fungicidal toxin "Persin". It is quite dangerous for humans. May cause gastrointestinal disturbances or allergic reactions.

Handle the plant with gloves and keep a close eye on children and pets. Now you know how to care for avocados by growing them at home. Why is this tropical fruit so useful?

What are the benefits of avocados?

After a lot of hard work and harvest from your homemade tropical tree, you can enjoy these wonder fruits and their many health benefits: therefore it is allowed even for diabetics;

  • Cleanses the blood of excess cholesterol and prevents new cholesterol plaques from forming in the vessels;
  • A large amount of vitamin E copes with the invasion of various viruses, which is especially in autumn and winter;
  • Reduces blood pressure, and with regular use it even normalizes it;
  • Restores the work of the heart - a large amount of potassium will help to become resistant to stress;
  • Normalizes hematopoiesis, blood circulation;
  • Improves memory;
  • Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease;
  • Increases performance;
  • Increases immunity thanks to a large amount of vitamin C;
  • Excellent source of protein;
  • Works as a good aphrodisiac, especially in men;
  • Helps to restore strength after strenuous exercise.

    Learn more