Raising avocados outdoors as active fruit trees can be thorny, but it’s fun and pretty easy to grow them as houseplants. If you’re patient enough, your seedling will finally turn into a beautiful little plant with 4 to 8 inches (about 10 to 20 cm) of shiny, oval leaves.
True, it’s unlikely that your tree will ever bear fruit (unless you give it ten years or so), and even if it does, the fruit would most probably not match the original. But even though you might not produce any avocados, it still has plenty of potential as a decorative indoor plant.
|Botanical Name||Persea Americana|
|Plant Type:||A Perennial|
|Size (Fully Grown)||30 – 60 Feet (9 – 18,3 Meters) When Grow Outdoors|
|Sun Exposure||Full Sun|
|Soil Type||Well-draining And Fertile Soil But If Grown In Pots, High-quality Potting Soil|
|Soil pH||From 5.0 To 7.0|
|Hardiness Zones||10, 11, And 12|
How Many Avocado Varieties Are There?
Although you may see only a few avocado varieties in your local supermarket, hundreds of different types are growing worldwide. Even though there are several varieties, all the avocados are linked to Guatemalan, Mexican or Western Indian origin.
The fruits are listed as either cultivar of type A or type B. The distinction exists in the flower opening times and pollination behaviors. The cultivar type has little impact on consumers and is more significant to those who grow avocados.
The avocados partly pollinate themselves through a mechanism called dichogamy. A-type flowers bloom in the morning as females and release pollen in the afternoon as males. In comparison, B-type flowers get pollen in the afternoon and shed it in the morning.
Many varieties share the same characteristics, with minor size differences, coloring, flavor, appearance, and product quality. The 15 most popular avocado varieties are:
Origins And History Of The Avocado Tree
The cultivated avocado (Persea Americana) has its roots in what is today known as Puebla, Mexico, where we can trace the presence of this nutritious fruit back more than 10,000 years. A place where it is growing abundant in nature.
We assume that avocado became a crop domesticated by the natives over 5,000 years ago. Still, it was only in the 16th century when Spanish colonizers learned about avocado from the Aztecs. After that, the plant became very popular in other regions of the world, spreading to Europe during this same century.
Used by the Aztecs as a delicacy and an aphrodisiac, the fruit derives its name from the Nahuatl word “ahuacatl,” which means, believe me, or not, testicle. Avocados, growing in pairs, were for the Aztec signs of love and fertility.
California farmers began cultivating avocadoes commercially in the early 1900s. Outside California, Florida, and Hawaii, the two states with commercial growers, the avocado eventually caught on. It wasn’t until the end of the 20th century that buyers worldwide started looking for this rare savory fruit, which is, in reality, a single-seed berry.
Lowered trade sanctions on Mexican-grown avocados in the 1990s increased the demand by providing a supply that could fill stores beyond California. But, with the 21st century, widespread admiration for the avocado came.
Physical Description Of The Avocado Tree And Fruit
Avocado trees can either grow height or spread and have 4–12 inches (about 10–30 cm) long leaves with a similar shape as an egg does. In thick inflorescences, the tiny greenish flowers are borne and lack actual petals. The flowers are composed of nine stamens, arranged in three series, and one cell ovary.
The avocado tree is a tall plant with oval or elliptical leaves formed on the branches’ ends. When they first develop, the leaves have a red pigmentation, but they turn green once they mature.
As a general note, even though we don’t eat the leaves, they are high in protein and fiber and contain some minerals such as manganese, magnesium, sodium, calcium, iron, copper, nitrogen, selenium, phosphorus, and potassium.
As the new leaves sprout, it’s time for the tree flower buds to show up too. If you ever see a growing avocado tree, you might also notice that the buds grow faster than the leaves.
As the buds grow larger and begin to open, the trees start to look shaggy, with the spindly flowers on the hillsides creating a splash of light lemon-lime color. When it opens for the first time, each flower is female. That is, its stigma will collect pollen from other avocado flowers, but at this early opening, its stamens (male organs) will not shed pollen.
Ripe, ready-to-eat avocados may have a dark color but may differ in their shade, so it’s best to feel and even taste them to be sure that they are ready. An avocado that’s ready to be eaten will feel slightly soft to the touch but not “mushy.”
Best Growing Conditions For An Avocado Tree
Are you thinking about growing your very own avocado tree? Let’s find out what you need to provide to make sure that the plant grows best.
Where Do Avocado Trees Grow Best?
The best place to grow an avocado tree is in a warm climate. So, because they are native to Central and South America, it’s essential to provide them a warm temperature, something between 60 to 85°F (about 15 to 30°C) is optimal.
It’s also important to remember that avocado trees can only withstand temperatures of around 28 to 36°F (about -2 to 2°C) without experiencing a lot of damage. So, it’s best to avoid growing them in climates where a winter with severe frosts is possible.
Soil And Sun
Avocados prefer soil that is loose, fertile, and drains well. If you want to grow it in a container, remember to choose one with drainage holes, plus it’s essential to use high-quality soil. Remember that the ground needs to be sandy to support the tree’s massive. Good drainage is also vital to ensure that the roots won’t be susceptible to root rot.
Place your avocado tree in an area where the sunlight is complete to partial. Avocado trees produce a better yield when they get direct sunlight at least 6 hours a day.
Water And Fertilizer
Usually, trees, like avocado trees, should get water approximately 2 – 3 times per week. When the tree establishes itself and the roots feel like they are “home” in the soil, you can water more frequently.
After the plant has grown there for a year or so, you can decrease watering once a week. This depends on the climatic events. For example, if there is a lot of rain already, you won’t have to water that much. And if there is a long dry period, the situation is the opposite. To water the tree properly, spread water all over the tree’s trunk and its surrounding, then let it dry out a little and water again.
Above all, avocados need three of the primary nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium, plus a bit of zinc. The fertilizer type that is also my recommendation will always be organic. This means using manure, coffee grounds, fish emulsion, compost, you name it.
Is It Safe To Eat / Consume Avocados?
Eating avocados has many health benefits, and eating one avocado a day is hugely beneficial to your health. But is the plant safe for everyone, regardless of whether you have some common medical condition? Or are you pregnant? In other words, is eating avocadoes safe for that fetus in your belly? Let’s find out!
Pregnant And Breastfeeding Women
Eating avocados doesn’t pose any risk for you and your unborn baby. In fact, it’s highly beneficial to eat them when you’re pregnant. Why? Well, in short, because avocados contain many nutrients that are essential for the development of your baby.
Would you believe me when I say that avocados contain almost 20 different minerals and vitamins? Well, you better believe me because it’s true! This is also the reason why you should introduce avocados to your baby, who can eat solids. And your kid might even like it, thanks to its sweet flavor and creamy texture.
People With Allergies
Avocado is a common ingredient in most desserts. So, make sure to be careful in a restaurant if you are allergic to this plant. Even though avocado is popular these days, the allergies to this plant are rarely severe. Some of the common symptoms of an allergy to avocadoes are a scratchy throat, itchy mouth, but you might also experience swelling in and around your mouth and throat.
People With Diabetes
Many kinds of research show that avocados don’t have a direct effect on your blood sugar levels. Also, an excellent thing that makes avocados a superb option for people with diabetes is because they are high in fiber while being low in carbs. The reason why this is surprising is that many other high-fiber foods increase your blood sugar levels.
Yes, your pet can eat avocados but only in a tiny amount. This is because many avocado varieties contain persin, which is a fungicidal toxin that can cause severe health problems. All parts of the fruit include persin, including the seeds and leaves, so all these parts are potentially harmful to your pet.