Have you already started growing avocado trees but don’t know how long they will take to bear fruit? I didn’t even have the idea when I started gardening and producing avocados as houseplants. In this article, I’ll write about how long your avocado trees might take to bear fruit based on my practical knowledge gained over the years.
You can grow avocados from either seed or young plants. If you choose to buy a grafted young plant from a nearby nursery or local garden center, it will probably take 3 to 5 years to give you fruits after planting. On the other hand, if you grow avocado from seed, it will take from 5 to 15 years for the tree to become mature enough to give you fruits.
Keep in mind that more factors can influence the fruit production rate of your trees. Your surrounding environment, local climate, frequent watering, fertilizer application, etc. can affect your trees. If you can manage to nurture your trees properly, you will receive an abundance of fruits throughout the year. So, continue to read the rest of the article to know about these factors.
How much avocado fruit does a mature tree produce per year?
Once your avocado trees become mature after five to seven years, you can expect around 200 to 300 fruits from each tree. But keep in mind that this number is not constant for all upcoming years. In some seasons, you may get more than the expected amount, while in some seasons you receive less. You will find a lot of environmental factors responsible for this, even if you take the same care through summer, late winter, and spring.
How much avocado fruit does a mature tree produce per year?
The prominent reason why your trees are taking long to give you fruits is you started to grow trees using avocado seeds. If grown from seed, it will take up to 15 years to become mature trees compared to grafted young plants that take a maximum of 5 years to mature.
You can always use any leftover seed to grow young plants which would eventually turn into bigger trees day by day. But keep in mind that if you grow avocado trees from seed, it will take a very long period, which may seem tedious and worthless after some period. So, be patient and don’t lose hope even if your trees take a longer time to grow from avocado seeds.
If you grow avocado trees from seed using toothpicks, you are most likely to get the first few leaves and root system developed. However, you may need to wait for a longer period before you can harvest fruits from those trees. This incident occurs due to the long juvenile phase of avocado trees. In short, the juvenile phase is the time taken by trees to complete the development process where the flowering does not occur. As a result, your trees will require more time to develop and grow flowers and fruits.
Look at a mature avocado tree, you will easily notice the big tree trunk and its canopy. For proper development of these parts, the tree synthesizes a lot of carbon during the photosynthesis process. This carbon is further used to grow any larger parts of the tree during the mentioned Juvenile phase. It is only after the tree has become fully grown and matured, it will start flowering and give you fruits every season onwards.
So always keep in mind about growing trees from seed along with its Juvenile phase. Besides, take precautionary steps against fungal spots, infection, or diseased roots. In this way, you can get an abundance of fruits in all seasons, winter, summer, or spring.
What should I do to get more fruits from my avocado trees?
1. Select an ideal soil for the roots:
Choose coarse and sandy soil, not heavy clay soil or bulk soil. It is ideal for avocado trees. But take care that the soil is not very sandy. Moreover, the soil should not be very alkaline. Avoid any soils that have a higher level of salinity. The soil you select should have a good proportion of minerals, especially iron. It should have adequate soil moisture and nutrients for the root system. If you can choose well-drained soil, then there will not be any issue related to root rot.
2. Maintain a regular schedule to water:
You must not overwater your plants. Moreover, a poor drainage system or lack of drainage holes can cause significant damage to your trees and weaken the root system. Weekly watering will help to keep the soil moist and wet enough. Keep checking your soil from time to time with your hands to make sure that the soil surface doesn’t make a crumble. You can use around 20 gallons of water to keep the soil moisture intact during the irrigation season. Just make sure that you let the trees dry out themselves before watering them again. You can keep track of your watering on a regular basis. This practice will keep your trees healthy throughout the year.
3. Place your avocado plants in a comfortable location:
Place the trees under bright light or a sunny spot. But you need to make sure that the trees receive adequate bright light and shade according to the daylight. If you plant trees very close to each other, the place may become too tight for them. Instead of getting enough nutrition, they might end up competing against each other which will result in slower growth. So, always maintain 7 meters between any two avocado trees. Moreover, more protect your avocado plants from heavy winds, otherwise, it can damage the weaker buds and avocado seedlings.
4. Prune in time and don't over prune:
You should cut out the terminal buds in some branches to enhance growth. To maintain the good size and shape of the trees, occasionally you can trim each branch. But don’t trim or prune too much, or you may end up damaging the trees. Then the trees will require more time to recover, resulting in a delay in fruit production.
5. Fertilize in correct proportion:
Fertilize the trees during the initial 3 years after plantation that will help to boost the growth. Each year, you can fertilize them about six times. You can use a minimum of 1.5 lbs of fertilizers per application. In the first five to seven years of growth, you will eventually use up to 20 lbs of nitrogen per tree. Make a mixture of essential earth minerals like Boron, Zinc, Molybdenum, Manganese, etc., and spray near the stem of your trees. If done properly between the regular intervals of April to August, your plants will get a fruit size enhancement. Any nitrogen-rich fertilizer will keep your plants healthy and increase the quantity and quality of the crop day by day.
6. Use varieties of flowers for pollination:
You must have already known that avocado trees bloom two varieties of avocado flowers in general. They depend on the flowering pattern: A-type or B-type. If you can manage to plant trees that contain both types of flowers, you will surely receive a higher number of fruits at the end of the season. The more pollination happens, the more fruits you get. For effective pollination, keep the avocado trees at warmer temperatures, because cold temperatures influence the pollination process.
7. Check local temperatures daily:
Although you must keep your trees under direct sunlight after plantation, don’t continue this forever. Your trees need to receive both sunlight and shade from time to time. Otherwise, too much sunlight can burn your branches and leaves. Maintain a warm temperature between 70 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit near the trees. If this temperature goes down or crosses this limit, your trees will have a significant risk of sun damage, or the growth process will slow down. This will result in less fruit production. So, always remember to check and maintain an ideal temperature near the trees.
How to know if my avocado fruits are ready to pick?
If you don’t want ripe fruits to stay on the trees, you can pick a couple of them and ripen them as time passes by. Instead of getting soft, if you find them rubbery, then be sure that they are not mature enough yet. You can maintain a schedule or mark on your calendar to keep track of when your fruits will soften. After you find your perfect fruits, you continue picking from your trees as much as you want.
The taste and softness of your fruits will depend on the soil and environmental conditions. In some years, it will be better while in other seasons you may receive worse. You will find the oil content of the fruit increasing throughout the season as you pick more fruits from the trees. Some species of avocado turn rancid if they have too much oil in them. So, don’t let your fruits stay for too long on the trees, it is good to pick first and ripen later.
How to stop avocado trees from dropping fruit?
Although you cannot count every flower precisely, each avocado tree produces around 1 million flowers. But you will get only 100 to 300 pieces of fruit per tree. That means only one fruit in 10000 has the success rate to become mature. Sometimes, you may see that after a certain growth of fruit, it will drop before getting matured. But don’t worry, this is quite natural.
However, you don’t want any good and fertilized fruit to drop from your trees before consumption. So, you need to nurture your trees properly to ensure them. Make sure you do not stress the trees by overwatering them. Allow cross-pollination through A-type flower and B-type flower because cross-pollinated fruits have a higher potential to stay on the tree.
Never use excess fertilizers especially nitrogen during the initial planting stage. Because excess use of fertilizers never does good to your trees, it will only encourage the dropping rate of fruits. Contact your local garden centers or nearby fellow gardeners to get help if any issue occurs.
Avocado fruits can be very sensitive to certain environmental factors. Although you cannot control those factors, you can nurture your trees properly. If you grow avocados from seed, you need to be patient and optimistic to get fruits. Try to do best from your side, and pray so that mother nature stays with you. If everything goes right, you must get a good production of fruits from your trees in no time.