How to Grow an Avocado Tree that Bears Fruit: Step by Step Guide: The avocado tree is a popular, ancient fruit-producing plant originating from southern Mexico. The fruit is known as an “avocado,” rich in fat and nutrients. The scientific name of the avocado tree is “Persea Americana”. There are many varieties of avocados; depending on which, the fruits vary in shape and color.
You’ll notice green, purplish, or brown color skin, which turns black when ripe. There are egg-shaped, Pear-shaped, and spherical-shaped avocados, some of which have green knaggy skin, known as alligator pear.
You might have heard of many techniques to grow an avocado tree in the home, but it’s not that easy to perform, as not all propagation technique results in a fruit-producing avocado tree, or it takes years to bear fruit. Now, the question is, how to grow an avocado tree that bears fruit? Well, in this article, you’ll come to know about both techniques of avocado propagation and get a clear idea about which method to apply to get a fruit-bearing avocado tree.
- Characteristics of Avocado Trees
- How to Germinate an Avocado Seed?
- How to Grow an Avocado Tree that Bears Fruit? Steps by Step Guide
- 1. Prepare the Soil
- 2. Pour the Medium into a Pot
- 3. Plant the Seed
- 4. Water the Plant
- 5. Fertilize
- How to Graft an Avocado Tree?
- 1. Cut the Scion
- 2. Prepare the Scion
- 3. Cut a Rootstock
- 4. Join the Scion and Rootstock
- 5. Tie with Grafting Tape
- Conclusion: How to Grow an Avocado Tree that Bears Fruit?
Characteristics of Avocado Trees
Avocado trees have a strange characteristic called “dichogamy,” which means the flowers change their sex at a specific period. An avocado tree has two types of flowers:
Type A- Perform as a female in the morning, close at noon, then reopen the next day in at afternoon as male.
Another one is Type B- female in the afternoon, close in the evening, and reopen the next morning as male. This disproportion limits the self-pollination in the tree. Therefore, well and fast breeding is possible only when there are many different cultivars in one area.
Different species of avocados are suitable for a different climate, such as Mexican avocados that grow in cold weather, whereas others grow in tropical areas. Most of the cultivars need sunlight to grow and fructify. Moreover, avocado trees planted from seed grow slowly and don’t bear fruit; even if they do, it takes a minimum of 10-20 years. Hence, cultivators use the grafting method, which is the best way to grow an avocado tree commercially.
How to Germinate an Avocado Seed?
In the seedlings method, you need to germinate an avocado seed at first. This is the easy way to grow an avocado tree. The popular method of germination of an avocado seed is the toothpick method.
- At first, wash off your avocado seed clearly, so no flesh adheres to its surface.
- Pierce with three toothpicks at the narrow end of the seed, in a triangle position.
- Take a glass and fill about 2/3rd with water.
- Place the toothpicks on the top edge of the glass so that the wide end of the seed is half-submerged in water.
- Set the glass in a warm place where sunlight doesn’t hit directly.
- Change the water regularly or for 2-3 consecutive days.
- Observe sprouting after 8-12 weeks.
How to Grow an Avocado Tree that Bears Fruit? Steps by Step Guide
Avocado trees planted from the pit are notoriously tardy to bear fruits, even if it does, the fruits do not come with identical sizes and colors. Nevertheless, if you want to grow an avocado plant indoors or only for outdoor greenery, this would be the easiest method to follow. Once you’ve germinated your avocado seed or bought a readymade grafted sapling, it’s time to sow it.
1. Prepare the Soil
Avocado roots are shallow in nature and require good aeration. So, avoid compact and moist soil, and choose sandy loam with less or no salt. You can also buy sterile avocado soil mix from the store or online shops.
2. Pour the Medium into a Pot
Take a pot or container of at least 6-10 inches for sufficient space for the roots to spread. Pour the soil medium into the pot. If you want to plant the seed outside, choose a place with enough sunlight, an air supply, and suitable soil.
3. Plant the Seed
Dig a deep pit in soil, implant the sprouted seed, and cover it with soil, exposing the stem above. The pitting should be deep and large enough to let the roots spread.
4. Water the Plant
Water your baby plant 3 times a week, considering not to flood the soil. Reduce watering to one time a week after one year. Irrigate only when soil becomes dry.
As the tree starts growing and the roots reach out the deep soil, after one year, fertilize 5-6 times a year, followed by reduced fertilization in the following years (More than 3 years).
Avocado trees require nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, and zinc. Nitrogen is inevitably necessary for avocados to grow healthy. The amount is 30-40 gm N/tree in the first year, 80 gm/tree in the 2nd year, 160 gm/tree in the 3rd, and 200 gm/tree in the 4th year.
How to Graft an Avocado Tree?
When the question “how to grow an avocado tree that bears fruit” arises, most often, the answer is the application of the “grafting method.” Grafting is, joining a scion of one tree to the rootstock of another tree. Scion is any young shoot or bud which will be attached to a rootstock of another tree to grow together. This Scion-rootstock method accelerates a tree’s growth and produces quality fruits in a short time (within 2-4 years).
There are numerous grafting methods that you’ll find undecipherable due to the complicated description. Here we’ve tried to give a step-by-step easy to understand narration of one of the best grafting methods.
1. Cut the Scion
Choose a healthy, slender bud or shoot from a tree as the scion. Remove all the leaves from it. Use a sharp knife and cut a bud of about 6-inches long and 1inch diameter.
2. Prepare the Scion
Take the scion on the one hand, and make a slanted cut on both sides of its lower portion to remove bark and expose cambium (a green layer beneath the bark). The base will look V-shaped.
3. Cut a Rootstock
Cut the tip of the rootstock vertically to the middle half, so it looks like a Y-shape if pulled apart.
4. Join the Scion and Rootstock
This step is very sensitive and needs to be carefully done. You have to place the scion’s cut base to the middle of the cut rootstock in a position that their cambium touches each other. If the cambium of the bud and the rootstock don’t touch, grafting will fail.
5. Tie with Grafting Tape
Once the scion is clamped with rootstock, tie them tight using grafting tape so it doesn’t undergo any infestation or dry up due to sun heat.
Your avocado tree is grafted now. Although this procedure is best to grow a fruit-bearing tree, it needs lots of practice to bring about an excellent result.
Conclusion: How to Grow an Avocado Tree that Bears Fruit?
By now, you’ve got the concepts of how to grow an avocado tree that bears fruit and which is the best method to apply. However, before rushing into the plantation process, you must focus on your motive, as growing an avocado tree is not a piece of cake. It takes a lot of dedication, time, and skills to propagate an avocado tree to bear fruit.
If you go through the seedlings method, it’ll be easy for you to plant, but it takes more than a decade to bear fruit. In comparison, applying the grafting method will speed up trees’ growth and produce fruits within two to four years. But it’s a sensitive and challenging method and used widely for commercial purposes.
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So, from the overall discussion, the best approach would be buying an avocado sapling from a nursery that is grafted already, plant it in a suitable place, take great care of it and enjoy the healthy, delicious fruits in the upcoming years.