What if you love avocados and you would want to learn how you can grow them?
How about growing avocados yourself from seeds in your garden step-by-step?
Well, knowing that you would want to grow avocados yourself has made me put this comprehensive step-by-step guide together for you as a beginner.
In this article, you will learn when to grow your avocado, with 7 steps on how to grow your avocado the right way.
Harvesting and storing your avocados will be simplified in this article.
First, you will want to know about avocados, their origin, and their history.
The uses and health benefits of avocados listed below will make you understand why you need to grow them.
Are you also interested in learning about the diseases of avocados?
Or do you have questions regarding growing avocados?
I’m sure this article will answer all your questions and will guide you as you go into planting avocados.
Ensure you read this article to the end to get all the necessary details.
Let’s get started!
What is the botanical name and family of Avocado?
Persea americana is the botanical name of avocado.
It is from the Lauraceae family.
Other fruits in the family include cinnamon, camphor, sassafras, European bay, California bay, and Oregon myrtle.
What is the origin of Avocado?
It is believed that avocados originated in South-central Mexico to Guatemala.
It originated from the Tehuacan Valley in the state of Puebla, Mexico.
History of Avocados
When the Aztecs discovered the avocado in 500 BC, they named it ‘āhuacatl’, which means ‘testicle’ in their language.
This is because they believe they are symbols of love and fertility.
Originally, avocados were used as delicacies and as an aphrodisiac.
Now, avocados are cherished because they are an important part of traditional Mexican, Central American, and South American dishes.
They are also used in dishes like guacamole, salads, tacos, and many more.
What are the uses of Avocados?
Avocado is used in many dishes and for many purposes.
- The fruits, leaves, and seeds are used to make medicines.
- Avocado oil is used in the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry.
- It is also used in the production of other commercial oils.
- When you are dehydrated, the avocado seed can be blended into a powder. You can add the powder to smoothies, tea, or dips.
- Avocado seeds are now used as sweeteners in different recipes.
What are the health benefits of Avocados?
1. Avocados are an excellent source of nutrients
Avocados are high in a lot of important nutrients.
They are concentrated sources of healthy fats and fiber.
They are also rich in potassium, magnesium, and folate.
2. Avocados are beneficial for gut health
Avocados are high in fiber.
One avocado provides about 14 grams which is almost half of the daily value.
Fiber is essential for the health of the digestive system so it is important to get enough.
It also promotes the growth of healthy bacteria.
3. Avocados reduce the risk of heart disease
Consuming avocados regularly may help to reduce your risk of heart disease.
It could also help to protect against heart disease.
All the amazing vitamins, healthy fats, and minerals in avocados all play a vital role in keeping your cardiovascular system healthy.
Additionally, the high potassium and magnesium content of avocados is beneficial for regulating blood pressure.
4. Avocados are a rich source of antioxidants
Avocados are full of bioactive compounds including carotenoids, Vitamins C and E, and phenolic compounds.
Also, they are high in antioxidants.
Because of this, regularly consuming avocado, in any form, may help to increase the body’s antioxidant defenses.
Research has shown that eating avocados have improved brain function and improved heart health.
5. Avocados are needed by pregnant and breastfeeding mothers
When a woman is pregnant and/or breastfeeding, her nutrient demands significantly increase.
If the nutrient demands are not appropriately met, there might be complications during childbirth.
Eating avocados help you reach the recommended intake level for nutrients.
Additionally, the high fiber content of this fruit can help prevent constipation, which is very common during the pregnancy stage.
6. Avocados are versatile and nutritious
Avocados are very versatile.
This means that they can be used in various dishes.
They are sweet and savory.
You can add them to salad chicken breasts.
You can also eat them with bread or use them like butter on toast.
7. Avocados are great for healthy body weight
Following a nutritious and balanced diet is important when you want to reach your healthy body weight goal.
Though avocados are high in calories, they are packed with nutrients
They are filler foods.
This means that they fill you up quickly, thanks to their high fibre and healthy fat content.
Following a dietary plan with avocados and other fibrous foods can help weight loss.
Conditions necessary for growing avocados
1. Temperature: Avocado trees are very particular in terms of their ideal climate and growing conditions.
They prefer a temperature of 60 – 85°F (15.6 – 29.4°C).
2. Sunlight: For healthy growth, avocados need plenty of exposure to sunlight.
3. Soil PH: The ideal soil pH for avocados is 6.0 to 6.5.
It tolerates acidic or alkaline soil.
4. Climatic condition: They prefer a climate with a percentage around 60 to 80%.
They can also grow in dryer climates with around 40% humidity.
When to plant your avocado
It’s advisable to plant your avocado tree from March through to June.
This is because of the risk of sun damage during summer.
Avocado trees don’t absorb water well when they are very young.
Make sure to plant it in a spot protected from wind and frost.
How to Grow Avocados
If you want to grow a healthy avocado tree from seed, you will need to follow these 7 steps:
Step 1: Seed Preparation
To prepare your seed for planting, remove the seed from the middle of the avocado fruit.
Rinse it to free it of all the avocado flesh on it.
Hold it narrowly and stick four toothpicks into the middle section.
This will allow it to balance.
Put it in a jar of water.
Those toothpicks will help to hold it on the jar of water.
Make sure that only 1 inch of the seed is touching the water.
Within a few weeks, thread-like roots will start to appear.
It will spread through the jar.
After, a tender green sprout will emerge from the top of the seed.
Finally, your avocado seedling is ready for planting.
You can decide to transplant it into a pot or plant it outside.
For this article, we are transplanting outdoors.
Step 2: Soil Preparation
The first step is to choose a location where there is plenty of sunlight.
Also, choose well-drained soil when planting avocado seedlings.
Add organic matter to the soil and do a soil test.
The soil test is to check for porosity.
If your soil isn’t well-draining, add in sand and other gritty matter to increase its drainage.
If you’re transplanting into a pot, you can just use a potting mix.
Add perlite to increase its draining capacity.
Step 3: Spacing
Space your avocados about 8 to 10 feet (2.5 to 3m) from buildings and up to 30 feet (10m) between each avocado.
The spacing is to make sure that each tree has enough space to grow and get big.
Step 4: Growing an avocado tree
Place the pot in a sunny spot and water lightly but regularly.
When wetting, the goal is to keep the soil moist but not soaking wet.
You can place your avocado tree outdoors in summer.
This is applicable only if the temperature stays above 45oF.
Water your avocado plant 2-3 times per week by thoroughly soaking it.
Let it dry out before you water it again.
Avocado plants need full, indirect sun to grow well.
Step 6: Weeding around the avocado plants
You can use herbicides to control weeds around your avocado plant.
Because no single chemical can control all species of weeds, combinations of herbicides or sequential treatments usually must be made.
Step 7: Pruning
Your first serious pruning should happen when the plant is 12 inches in length.
It’s advisable that you cut it back to 6 inches.
This is to allow new leaves and stems to form.
As it gets taller, you should pinch off new growth throughout summer to force new branches to form.
This is to help your avocado because it develops on new growth.
How to harvest avocados
The variety of avocados planted will determine when to harvest.
When it’s time, your avocado fruits will show color changes.
For some varieties, dark purple or black in color, the color will deepen.
However, for green-colored varieties, the color will be dull with a touch of yellow.
Use sharp pruners to clip off the stem close to, but not touch the fruit.
Ensure that you clean the pruning shears before use as this can prevent the transfer of diseases to the fruit.
Also, do not pick wet fruits except if you plan to eat them immediately.
This is because it makes it easy for diseases to penetrate the fruit.
Note that avocados do not soften on the tree.
If you leave them until they fall off the tree, they will already be overripe and will rot quickly.
How to store avocados
Almost all avocados will ripen within 3 to 8 days after harvesting.
To extend the ripening, you can refrigerate the fruit.
Also, you can refrigerate the ripened avocados too.
This is done to extend their life.
Store avocados in temperatures close to 42°F for several weeks.
You can puree them, add some lemon juice and store them in the fridge.
This will last for several months.
The lemon juice is to prevent browning.
What are the diseases of Avocados?
Here are 5 diseases that could affect your avocado plant:
1. Armillaria Root Rot
This disease affects a number of species.
It causes a general decline of the tree.
The leaves appear yellow and most of them will fall off.
Armillaria fungus is susceptible to drying.
So, providing good drainage is a way to prevent it.
Remove all affected trees and all those nearby.
2. Verticillium Wilt
Verticillium wilt is among the few easiest diseases to identify.
Its first symptom is sudden wilting of the leaves on just one side of the tree.
Later, the leaves turn brown but will not fall off.
Another symptom may be grey streaks on the branches.
3. Avocado Black Streak
This disease is a serious one that kills trees.
In the early stage, it causes poor fruit production.
Also, it causes yellowing of the leaves,
Later on, cankers form on the branches and trunk of the tree.
4. Dothiorella Canker
It is a minor fungal disease that affects avocado trees.
It allows cankers to form on the trunk and branches.
Over time, the bark of the tree will begin to split and peel away from the tree.
5. Phytophthora Canker
This is another serious disease of avocado.
Some trees are able to linger a bit before later dying while some die immediately after they get this disease.
This disease affects trees that are also infected with root rot.
The cankers usually appear as lesions on the lower trunk. This is another of avocado’s serious diseases.
General tips for avocados
- Wait for your plant to become a year plus before you fertilize
- Avocado plants like to stay dry. Be careful not to overwater
- Place your avocàdo in an area that allows it to have partial to full exposure to sunlight
- To increase the humidity, you can spray some water on the leaves
Planting avocado is easy once you know all the steps involved.
With all this information, you should be able to successfully plant avocados.
Also, don’t be discouraged when it takes time to grow fruits.
When you eat avocados and add them to your meals, you will appreciate them more.
Also, you can plant a variety that doesn’t take more time or you can propagate through grafting.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Can I overwater my avocados?
Avocados are very sensitive to overwatering.
It's dangerous because avocados only need little water.
Overwatering can cause many problems for the avocado.
An example is the curling of the leaves.
- What is the best fertilizer for avocados?
Avocados need fertilizer that has nitrogen and zinc.
You can make use of a citrus tree fertilizer.
You can also go organic and use compost.
- What can cause the yellowing of leaves in my avocado?
Yellowing of leaves is a sign of nutrient deficiency.
It means that the pH of the soil is too high and your plant is iron deficient.
- What causes droopiness in avocados?
Overwatering, underwatering, or not enough light can cause it.
Your plants can also be droopy if it is suffering from transplant shock.