The Persea americana , usually called avocado or avocado, is a tree of the Lauraceae family and native to Mexico and Guatemala, known and cultivated today in a great variety of countries for its fruit, the avocado or avocado. It is a species that can exceed 12 meters in height, but it is perfectly possible to grow it in a pot, where it reaches much smaller spans. Its cultivation requires a lot of patience, since it may take many years to see an avocado in a pot with fruits, but the wait is definitely worth it.
If you want to learn how to care for a potted avocado, join us in this article where you will find a complete and practical guide to potted avocado care .
When and how to plant avocado in a pot
Planting an avocado from seed is a process that many of us have ever done as a school project or as a simple experiment to see how it germinates, since it is one of the plants that allows us to better observe the process. If you want to germinate and plant an avocado pit in a pot, take note:
- To start, you need the seed of an avocado. It is what is commonly called the stone of the fruit and it serves any good avocado that you have eaten. Clean the seed well of fruit remains and notice that it has a pointed end, which will be the one that goes up, and a flat end, which is the bottom, where the root will grow.
- Prepare 3 or 4 round toothpicks and stick them in the seed, if possible in a slightly downward trajectory. This is done because only the bottom of the base should be submerged, and the downward slope allows the entire base to be properly under water.
- Put the seed on a glass with water, which thanks to the toothpicks will be held above the water. Adjust the water level so that about the bottom half of the seed is submerged.
- Place the glass in an illuminated area but covered from direct sunlight and change the water in the glass at least once a week to avoid the appearance of fungi or diseases that can affect your avocado.
- When the sprout shows the first leaves, you can already plant it in a pot. To do this, you will need to prepare the pot, the substrate and place the germinated bone well. We recommend that you follow the more detailed steps that you will see in the transplant section.
How to transplant a potted avocado
When it comes to transplanting a potted avocado, the first transplant is logically the most important. Both to plant an avocado in a pot for the first time or to transplant it because it has already grown enough and needs a little more space, follow these indications:
- Prepare a good size pot with drainage holes and a slightly acidic substrate, with a pH between 5 and 7. A mixture of peat, coconut fiber , worm castings and a good addition of perlite works very well with this plant. .
- Make a hole for the small avocado and do not completely bury what is left of the fruit, leaving the entire root under the ground and making sure that it is the birth of the stem that marks approximately the level of the earth.
- Later you will only need to transplant your tree again when the container is too small and you will have to follow the same process.
Another of the most important care of the potted avocado is its location. When deciding whether to put the avocado plant in a pot indoors or outdoors , we must pay attention to the local climate. The avocado is a tree with a tropical or Mediterranean climate, so it cannot stand the cold. In areas with temperatures below 10 ºC you will need to place your avocado indoors, protected from the cold of winter. It also does not support temperatures above 30 ºC or very direct intense sun, which could burn the leaves.
Watering the avocado in a pot
Irrigation is another of the most important care for the potted avocado tree . This species does not tolerate waterlogging, so it is very important that the prepared substrate offers very good drainage and that the pot has holes.
How much to water a potted avocado? There is no universal formula because it depends on the climate and the substrate, but it is necessary that you maintain the avocado soil with a certain level of humidity. If you notice that the substrate is dry, water it. It is better to do it very frequently and in little quantity than the other way around: large risks can puddle and damage your avocado. If the leaves of your avocado start to turn brown at the tips, you have to water more because the plant is drying out.
Compost for potted avocado
Regarding the fertilizer, adding a new layer of worm humus to the surface of the substrate at the beginning of spring and again at the beginning of summer will be enough to provide the tree with the nutrients it needs.
How to prune a potted avocado
The first pruning of the avocado can be done while it is still in the glass of water, when the sprout is about 15 cm. The fact of pruning it when it is this long and doing it halfway will make it regrow more strongly, and when it reaches a similar height to the one it was previously you can transplant it to the ground.
Later, when the tree is young but has already grown enough, structure, maintenance and fruiting pruning will be practiced. The maintenance pruning consist simply withdraw the branches and dry parts or bad aspect to not waste energy plant them. The pruning and fruiting structure consist go giving the tree an appropriate way to grow based on available space and it easy to reap the rewards. Regarding when to prune a potted avocado , remember that it is best to always do it at the beginning of spring .