How Much Sun Does an Avocado Tree Need?

Are you concerned about how much sunlight your avocado trees need? When I started gardening a few years ago, I was also worried about this issue. But now as an experienced enough, I can easily provide you the answer. In this article, I’ll try to explain how much sunlight your avocado trees will need based on my practical knowledge.

On average, an avocado tree needs a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight per day. It is also recommended by researchers that keeping the surrounding temperature between 68 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit results in the best outcome.

You also need to ensure several factors for avocado plants to maintain the ideal temperature and provide adequate sunlight. This will prevent your trees from getting sunburned and slow down growth. Frequent watering, shading, applying mulches etc. will keep the plants cool. So, don’t leave, continue reading the rest of the article to know about these factors so that you can realize how much temperature your trees can tolerate.

What is the Optimum temperature for avocado trees?

A Research conducted at the University of California shows that 68 and 75 degrees is the ideal or optimum temperature in which avocados grow best.

You must also remember that although this fruit originates in the tropics, it comes from higher soil location or elevations where the temperature is usually cooler.

If you are fortunate enough, you can find some varieties of avocados that thrive well in heat above 75 degrees if they are watered regularly. But these varieties have problems functioning above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

So, it is best for you to maintain the optimum temperature for any avocado varieties to ensure a constant growth that will yield expected fruits.

Some tips related to temperature and light required by avocado trees:

  • Don’t keep your trees under direct sunlight for longer period:
    Always monitor how many hours of sunlight the trees are getting; it doesn’t matter if they’re indoor plants or outdoor ones. If your trees are less than 3 to 5 years old or grown from avocado seed, they can easily get burns on their green leaves, stems, and tree trunk from bright light. It indicates that the chlorophylls on the leaves have died resulting in an inadequate photosynthesis process. As a result, your plants will not be able to produce enough food for its growth. So, you will not get enough production of fruit from the trees at the end of the season.
  • Don’t leave the trees out in the cold:
    If you find your local temperature below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, don’t leave the avocado trees outside your house. No matter what age of your tree is, spending in cold temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit can become a cause of death for it. In some cases, it has also been found that some sensitive varieties grown from avocado seed cannot even survive below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. So, be sure to check if your plants are suffering in harsh winter nights or not.
  • Don’t abandon your trees in complete darkness:
    Lack of adequate sunlight can become a similar problem for avocado trees just like receiving excessive sunlight. Don’t keep the trees in total darkness inside your house, it will result in poor growth over the years. Always make sure that you place the trees near a window that faces the South or East direction. Moreover, you can also arrange for supplementary lights to enhance the growth of the trees.

Tips for sunburned fruits and leaves on new trees:

Avocado fruits are so sensitive that they can get sunburned on the West or South side of the tree. Observe carefully if there are any yellow spots on the fruits. This is a prominent symptom of sunburned fruits. If you still leave them there, the fruits may get exposed further to the direct sunlight and those yellow spots may even turn into black.

You can leave those fruits hanging in the trees, if you don’t notice any major damage or disintegration. But make sure that they get enough shade for protection. However, if the fruits have already become ripe, you can pick them for consumption.

If you start to grow an avocado tree in the heat of summer season, there is a possibility that the leaves will get sunburned during the initial weeks after plantation. In addition, if your local temperature gets more than 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit and the tree you planted received nursery at a greenhouse before, there are chances that it will not be able to tolerate the intense sunlight of your garden.

To prevent this issue, shade your trees especially on the west and south sides. You can remove and replace those shades from time to time to ensure adequate sunlight for them. In addition to this, always keep in mind that the trees must be well-watered that will be very much helpful to tolerate extreme heat.

How to prevent avocado trees from getting sunburned?

  1. Don’t leave your trees completely exposed to direct sunlight:
    You need to keep the avocado seed in the brightest spot of sunlight, maybe in a bright windowsill until roots form. As they have started to become trees, you must have noticed that they are very sensitive to certain issues. One of them is that their barks are light sensitive and can get easily sunburned like human skin. If you leave the trees completely exposed and unprotected directly to sunlight for a longer period, it will result in burned leaves and branches.
  2. Paint the exposed parts of the trees:
    Just like you protect your skin from direct sunlight using sunscreen, the plants need to be treated as well. In the case of avocado trees, use latex paint as sunscreen. Most gardeners recommend white color to use. You can mix some water with the paint to make it dilute. But make sure that the mixture has at least 50% latex paint. Then use a medium-sized paint brush and paint on the branches that have the most possibility to get exposed to direct sunlight.
  3. After you have painted the branches with white latex sunscreen, you will notice a significant difference. If you didn’t use the paint, the branches might get burnt so badly that it can even turn totally black. But now, the branches are more protected now and they tend to get less burned in the future. As a result, your plants will not lose many chlorophylls, perform photosynthesis process better and give you abundance of fruits during the season.
  4. Water the trees sufficiently:
    You must water the root and nearby soil of the trees regularly to avoid any sunburn if the heat goes above their comfort zone. Some trees tend to function less if the temperature goes above 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Try to add water and fertilizer to the soil maintaining a regular schedule so that you do not miss any days, especially during the hot summer. This will keep the soil moist enough. But try to avoid overwatering, a wet soil will result in root rot. To avoid this, make sure that there are excellent drainage holes at the bottom of the container if your plants are indoor.
  5. Shade the Young Trees:
    You can use clothes for shading your trees if the temperature goes beyond 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Use clothespins to fasten them to the top of a cage. If your trees are younger, then using cloth to provide shading will be very suitable for you. Even if you leave your house for a few days, the shading will keep the plants protected from excess sunlight, thus reducing bleached leaves. While using a cage to provide shading, make sure that you put it high enough above the trees. Because if the cage is put very close to the top of the tree, the tree won’t get adequate sunlight resulting in slow growth. You can also use a big beach umbrella if the trees are small enough to fit under it. It will be easy for you to set up and remove depending on the sunlight.
  6. Grow Companion Plants and Use Mulch:
    Apply mulches near the root of the trees. Because mulches can keep the soil level comfortably cool for the roots. You can also use wood chips around the avocado trees. In addition to this, you can even grow companion or nearby plants like vine near any young avocado trees. It will reduce a significant amount of heat and increase humidity near the surrounding of your plants.
  7. Use sprinklers during heatwaves:
    As your local temperature goes over 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, you can use micro sprinklers to water for around 30 minutes under the trees. You can do it once after every 2 hours. In addition to regular watering, this will be very helpful to raise the humidity within the canopy of the trees.
  8.  Use Hand Sprinklers:
    Along with micro sprinklers and regular watering, you can also spray water to soil by using a handheld hose. In this method, the trees will instantly show change and that leaves will in turn normal as a significant amount of heat is released. It is most suitable if your local temperature goes beyond 90 degrees and you have young plants in your garden.

Final Words:

Avocado trees are very temperature sensitive. If you fail to maintain the required temperature around your trees, it will cause damage over time resulting in poor outcomes. So, make sure you water your plants regularly while providing shade. In this way, you can protect your plants from sunburn and get an abundance of fruits at the end of the season.