Avocado cultivation

How to grow avocado

Avocado plant characteristics

Avocado (Persea americana) is a plant native to Central America (Mexico and Guatemala) highly appreciated by the Mayas and Aztecs.

avocados in a market

Photo of avocados in a market

Perennial tree of the Lauraceae family, to which they belong as well known species such as laurel, cinnamon or camphor tree (Laurus camphora).

– About 20 m. tall, although when cultivated, not allowed to grow more than 5 m.

Flowers are green, very small and its trunk is rough brown.

– Pear-shaped drupe fruit, like pears but with a rough surface. The pulp is creamy and yellowish green, rich in fat (between 15 and 30% depending on the variety).

– Avocado fruit contains a very large round seed (There are varieties that do not have it).

Avocado varieties

There are approximately 400 varieties, so we can find fruits of different shapes and weights, which can reach up to 2 kg.

Among its many varieties we can mention the following:

  • Ryan Edranol from South Africa.
  • Bacon from Spain.
  • Strong and Mexicola from Mexico.
  • Lula and Jim from United States.
  • Queen and Naval from Guatemala.
  • Pinkerton from Israel.

* More information about varieties of avocado.

Avocado tree with a fruit

Avocado tree with a fruit

Required climate for avocados

– Avocado is a plant that requires a very warm climate.

– In areas with very cold seasons, it must be grown in greenhouses.

– Place in full sun and sheltered from the wind.

– Protect the tree from frost, it is sensitive to it..

– Mexican varieties can withstand up to -6 ° C, others do not support less than -3 ° C.

– It is generally sensitive to salinity of the soil, although some varieties can tolerate it.

Avocado soil

– Soil type: deep, well drained.

– Soil pH between 6 and 7.

– Fertile and rich in organic matter.

Avocado propagation

How to make avocado germinate

avocado seed submerged in water to germinate.

Photograph of an avocado seed submerged in water to germinate.

– Avocado seeds must be obtained from fresh fruits and be planted among the first 20 days.

– Avocado seed loses its germination capacity after one month.

– Immerse the seeds in water for one day.

– To germinate, the ideal is partially bury the seed in a rich soil container (not waterlogged) with slightly damp organic matter.

– It is also possible to drill seed division with two wooden sticks and keep it half submerged.

– Germination occurs within 3-4 weeks.

How to transplant avocado plant

– Transplant in a deep pot and drain.

– When the first true leaves appear, transplant into a larger container.

Great care should be taken with the roots during handling. They are delicate and, if damaged, can adversely affect the plant.

Avocado grafting

– It is a widely used method since it produces early fruiting trees in 2-4 years.

– Cleft grafting or plating is performed. It is widely used in Mexican varieties.

Avocado flowering, fruiting and harvesting

Photography of avocados

Photography of avocados

– Avocado can take between 3 and 10 years to start producing fruit.

– Its fruits are harvested always immature.

– Avocados hanging in the tree take long time to mature because the same tree contains a maturation inhibitor that prevents them to become mature.

– Avocado is ready to collect is hard but ready to mature. It is characterized by dark or dark green skin (depending on variety).

– In some varieties, the tree stem becomes more yellowish, indicating the ideal point of collection.

– In overripe fruits, pulp is greyish and mold may appear in the seed.

Avocado diseases and pests

  • Root rot (Phytophthora cinnamomi): it takes place because of overwatering or flooding of soil. It is the most serious disease affecting the avocado tree.
  • Cochineal
  • Aphids

Other species of avocado

  • Pagua, chinene or coyo (Persea schiedeana): It is a pear-shaped fruit, like avocados, but noticeably elongated and thin. The pulp is creamy but more fibrous than avocado. The fruit is used as avocado, for example, dipped in corn tortillas.
  • Aguacatillo (Persea caerulea)
  • Lingue (Persea lingue)

More information on avocado.

This article was endorsed by Julián Masats - Technical agricultural engineer specialized in horticulture and gardening.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

20 June, 2023

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