Are you worried about how long your avocado trees may take to grow fully? In fact, when I started to grow my own avocados as beautiful houseplants, I was also concerned about this issue. Along with this, I also got worried about when my plants will start to give me fruits. So, don’t worry, I will try to provide you information based on my knowledge and practical experiences.
If you have grown an avocado plant from a seed, it might take 5 to 13 years to become a mature tree that can give fruits. On the other hand, if you plant a grafted plant bought from a nursery or garden center, you can expect it to become a fully mature and fruit-bearing tree in 3 to 5 years.
You might notice that as the trees start flowering, they tend to fall without giving you fruits. This is quite natural at the initial stage. You must be patient and optimistic to grow fruit from an avocado plant. In addition to this, you must take care of many factors that can affect and reduce the time taken by the trees to bear fruits. So, don’t leave us just yet, follow the rest of this comprehensive guide to know about these factors and grow your avocado fruits in the quickest possible time.
How Long Does It Take for An Avocado Seed to Germinate?
If you are to grow an avocado seedling and given the right conditions, it would grow into a tree. But there is a question that can often strike your mind. That is, how long would an avocado seed take to germinate? In fact, some people say the time is between 2 and 4 weeks while some say it can take up to 8 weeks.
It depends on three factors that can affect the germination period of an avocado seed. These factors are water, heat, and oxygen. As you can grow them in all seasons, you also need to take the humidity and temperature into consideration.
Why do Avocado Trees Grow from Seed Take so Long to Bear Fruits?
You can use the leftover seed to grow young plants and then eventually bigger trees from them. But remember, growing an avocado tree from a seed is extremely long, tedious and might seem like an unproductive process.
You are most likely to succeed in the germination process of the seed. You can easily get the first few leaves and root system developed from the seed. However, you may have to wait up to 15 years until you can harvest your own fruits from the tree. This happens because the avocado trees have a longer juvenile phase. The juvenile phase is the time during the development process of trees where flowering does not occur. The trees need longer time to develop and grow fruits before they can reproduce.
If you ever notice a mature avocado tree, you will easily see how large the tree trunk and canopy is. To develop these parts of the tree properly, a lot of carbon is synthesized during the photosynthesis process. This carbon is used to grow and develop the larger parts of the trees during the juvenile phase. As you notice that the tree has fully grown and matured, it will start flowering and grow ripe fruits as well.
Therefore, your trees will take the longest time during the juvenile growth phase. However, if you can manage to take preventative measures against diseases and take care of the plants properly during these years, you can expect wonderful fruits from your plants at the end of the phase.
Factors that Affect Growth of Avocado Tree
1. Initial Propagation
You can grow an avocado tree by suspending the seed over a container full of water. But remember, growing trees in this way can take from 7 up to 15 years to produce fruit. On the other hand, the grafted trees take two or three years. If you want to have fruits in the fastest possible time, then you must buy grafted trees from nursery. However, if you are passionate and patient enough, grow trees from seed inside your house. They can easily become a part of your daily life.
2. Suitable climates
Grow avocados in high rainfall areas, you can grow them near the coast. Be cautious so that the area is not too cold, otherwise, the fruits will take longer to ripen. On the other hand, too hot or dry conditions can cause the fruits and flowers to drop which will result in lower yields. In addition, the cultivars need enough irrigation wire rainfall that occurs less than 1000 mm per year.
- Maintain a distance of at least 7 meters with one another while planting trees. In this way, there will be less competition related to nutrition and water. Also, the plant will receive direct sunlight and air circulation.
- The trees have a sensitive root system. If they are overwatered there is a chance of root rot. So, it is very essential for you to make sure that the soil has enough drainage holes.
- Plant your trees in a sunny area that has adequate shelter from the wind. The soil should be well composted. After the trees have become well established and mature sized, you can give fertilizers slowly. It is best to apply then in July, December, and April. Be careful so that the fertilizers and mulches are applied maintaining a distance from the stem of the tree. Otherwise, excess inches of mulch down the soil level can damage the root structure.
How to get an avocado tree to bear fruit?
As you start to grow trees on your own, you will eventually notice that they are very sensitive about certain factors. If you can take precautions about this, your trees will certainly bear fruit and give more than the expected outcome at the end of the season.
- Choose Soil Carefully: The trees grow well in coarse and sandy soil. But make sure that the soil is not too sandy. There should be enough soil moist and nutrition for the roots. In most cases, the level of pH is not an important issue for the growth of the tree. Just avoid sandy soils that have a higher level of salinity. Also, your soil should contain an adequate amount of minerals, especially iron.
- Water Regularly: You have already known that overwatering and a poor drainage system can cause damage to your trees, especially the root system. Be sure to water the soil until water runs out of the drainage holes. Frequent watering will keep it wet enough. Check your soil with your hands to ensure that they don’t make a crumble. If you have a good number of avocado plants in your field, watering trees with around 20 gallons of water during the irrigation season will keep the soil moisture intact.
- Prune Timely: Sometimes you can cut out the terminal birds of the branches for better growth. Trim them occasionally to keep a good size and shape. Don’t ruin the structure by over pruning, it can further cause delay in the production of fruits.
- Select Better Location: Place your trees under the sun. Ensure that they receive enough bright light and shade from time to time. Avoid planting closely to one another in your house or garden. Maintain 7 meters between two trees. In addition, make sure that your plants are not vulnerable to heavy winds that can damage the growth of initial buds.
- Check Temperature: Your plants will stay better in warm temperatures. Maintain a temperature between 70 to 100 degrees near the plants. If it drops down or crosses this limit, it can damage the plant that will yield you less production.
- Apply Fertilizers Cautiously: During the first three years of plantation, you should fertilize the trees to boost up the growth of the plant. You can fertilizer them six times per year. Use a minimum of 1.5 lbs fertilizer per application. Eventually, you will use up to 20 lbs of fertilizers in 5 or 6 years. Nitrogen rich food will keep up their growth along with better fruit size.
You can also mix boron, zinc, manganese, molybdenum, etc. to spray around your plants. Do this regularly between the intervals of April to August.
- Allow Pollination: To successfully produce fruits from avocado pits, at least two trees need to pollinate between each other. You need to keep the avocado trees at warmer temperatures, it may affect pollination process in some cases.
You will find that the trees bloom two varieties of avocado flowers depending on the flowering pattern: A-type and B-type. Surely you are to get a better outcome if you can manage to plant these types of avocado trees containing both types of flowers. As they are open to pollination, your avocado fruit production rate will be much higher after pollination.
Therefore, always allow pollination in your garden and remember that the higher the kinds of flowers and plants, the better will be the pollination and it will eventually result in an abundance of fruits.
Avocado trees can be quite sensitive to some environmental factors. Also, you need to take care in their juvenile period, otherwise they will not have enough growth. Always be patient while growing avocado from seed. You can also contact your garden center or grocery store avocado sellers to get grafted young plants. As you manage to pull off a successful growth, be confident that you will receive an abundance of fruits.