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Avocado Tree Care

Growing an Avocado tree indoors and outdoors is a unique fun project that can produce fruit for many years.
Unlike Citrus that ripen on the tree, avocados will ripen after they are removed. The best place to store your avocados is on the tree so don't pick them until just before they are needed for your favorite recipes, like guacamole or avocado toast.


Planting Zones
The Hass (Persea Americana) Avocado can be planted in USDA growing zones 9-11 only. Avocado trees will not survive freezing temperatures.
Trees that are planted in the ground that experience freezing temperatures above zone 8 need protection in unusual inclement weather.
The tree is not cold hardy and planting in the wrong hardiness zone will void the warranty.
Planting zones- https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/

Container Growing
Place potted trees indoors when temperatures at night fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit at night.
Avocados trees can be grown in decorative pots indoors and survive inside for the winter months at room temperatures near a sunny window.
Avoid placing your tree near a heat vent.
The tree needs 6-8 hours of full sun daily, add additional lighting indoors.

Planting In The Ground
1. Do not plant a new tree in a space where an old tree had died, the soil may be contaminated and create problems for your new tree. Mature Avocado trees can grow to a height of 20-30 feet tall, so choose your planting site carefully.
2. The location should be chosen that is sunny, protected from wind and a well-draining area. Avocado trees will not thrive in heavy clay soils. For heavy clay soils, the tree should be planted in a raised bed.
3. Place the potted tree in a chosen location for 2 weeks and allow the tree to acclimate to the area before you plant in the ground.
4. Dig a hole double the width of the root ball or double the size of the pot and fill with water and wait 24 hours.
5. Fill the hole with water again. If water has drained from the hole within an hour this area has good drainage and the tree can be planted.
6. If the area has bad drainage choose another area. Avocado trees are susceptible to root rot and need to be planted in good drainage areas.
7. Add a mixture of compost and well-draining soil into the hole and remove the tree from the pot.
8. Place tree in the hole. DO NOT allow the tree to drop down into the hole-The soil line of the tree should be above the existing soil grade approximate1-2 inches above the existing grade.
9. Do not bury the root-crown with soil or mulch. A photo of the root crown can be found here  - https://lemoncitrustree.com/store/pest-disease
10. Keep other plants away from the tree.  Having a 5-foot circumference around the trunk will ensure the tree is not robbed of moisture and nutrients.
Planting more than one tree can help in cross-pollination.

Full Sun
Avocado trees require full sun and should be planted where the hottest part of the day it receives some shade, planting this way can protect it from sunburn.

Watering
Do not over-water
Overwatering is a major factor in causing root rot.
Avocados in containers need consistent, infrequent watering. We recommend a moisture meter to monitor the moisture level at the roots.

Deep Watering Method For Potted Trees
Trees will die if they don't have the basic requirements and the biggest mistake made is incorrect watering.
1. Check the tree with a moisture meter before watering.
2. The prong should be deep into the pot.
3. Only water when the meter reads 4 (for a meter that reads from 1-10)
4. All trees require deep watering. -Deep watering is drenching the soil until water pours from the holes at the bottom of the pot.
5. Watering with a few cups is not acceptable, this will cause deep roots to die. Never be stingy with the water when the tree needs to be watered.
6. Once the tree has been watered properly,  check it with a moisture meter again to make sure the meter reads high- like 9 or 10 and then do not water again until the meter reads 4.
7. In the winter you will water far less, like twice a month (But always check the tree with a meter weekly because this can vary)
8. The meter should never be left in the pot when not in use.
9. Never water with cold water in the winter
10. Never water the tree with water from a water softener.
NEVER ALLOW TREES TO SIT IN STANDING WATER
A space between the bottom of the pot and the tray that catches the water is required

Mulching
Use mulch for ground planted trees only.
Maintain a 3-4 inch layer of mulch around the tree to retain soil moisture and improve soil quality.
Apply the mulch in the spring and fall under the canopy of the tree.
Avoid piling mulch against the trunk of the tree.
The tree trunk needs air circulation, without circulation, the truck could rot away from the root ball so avoid piling soil and mulch close to the root crown and tree truck.

Pruning
Avocados should be pruned minimally.
Prune only to maintain the shape and control size.
Frequent pinching of new growth on young trees is preferred over heavy pruning.
Avocado trees can be susceptible to sunburn, so newly pruned trees and young trees exposed to high summer heat and intense sunshine can be whitewashed with a solution of interior white latex paint diluted 50-50 with water.

Fertilizing
Avocado trees should be fed on a regular basis, nutrients are required for the tree to bear fruit.
Fertilize with a well-balanced citrus/avocado food using the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Healthy, well-fed avocado trees are less susceptible to damage from cold temperatures in the winter.

Growing An Avocado From Seed
Although it is fun and easy to grow an avocado tree from a seed (or pit) ungrafted trees rarely produce fruit.

Leaf Drop
When the tree is indoors in the winter supply additional lighting to prevent leaf drop.
Some leaf drop is normal for avocado trees that are in bloom or are putting on new leaves.
When the avocado bears fruit, the tree may experience fruit drop which all fruiting trees experience. As the tree matures it will have the ability to hold it's fruit until maturity.

Please contact us at support@lemoncitrustree.com or call if you need assistance with your Avocado tree.

Lemon Citrus Tree
866-216-TREE (8733)