The avocado or avocado is a tree with a tropical climate whose origin is found in the Mesoamerican area. It is very popular for the smooth and characteristic flavor and texture of its fruits, although by itself it is a very slow growing species, which usually takes up to 10 or 15 years to start bearing fruit.
It is for this reason that its most common method of reproduction is grafting, which has the ability to stimulate its growth and fruiting, so that in just two years it can already have good fruit production.
If you want to learn when and how to graft avocado step by step , do not hesitate and join us in this article.
What is a graft and what is it for?
A graft consists of the union of two plants of different species that become a single individual or organism. It is carried out by joining a portion of the plant to be grafted (the so-called graft) to another already settled plant, which is called a foot or rootstock.
This, however, has its limitations, and can only be done between plants of the same family generally, as proper compatibility is necessary so that the rootstock can feed and nurture the graft .
Most grafts are done for reasons of production interests. Some plants are slow to produce, and grafting them stimulates them and greatly reduces the time it takes for them to start bearing fruit. Another reason why grafting is to take advantage of the best resistance or adaptive conditions of a certain rootstock to a specific environment or soil in order to cultivate a species that could not survive so well on its own.
When to graft avocado – the best time
If you were wondering when it is better to graft an avocado, take note of these aspects. Choosing the best time to graft is vital, as it is necessary for the plants to be in a state of active growth for them to bond properly. In the case of avocado, the best season is usually spring , so that the graft grows throughout the warm period until the arrival of autumn. Regarding temperature, the ideal is between 15ºC and 30ºC .
How to graft avocado step by step
There are many different types of grafting and techniques to carry them out. In this case, we are going to use a T-bud graft . It is a widely used technique, especially in the propagation of fruit trees. For this, it is recommended that the original avocado plant be approximately 1 cm thick, which takes about six months from its sowing.
Knowing the above, now learn how to graft avocado step by step :
- Properly disinfect the cutting tool you are going to use by leaving it soaked in ethyl alcohol the night before.
- To cut the cutting , remove the bud from its original stem along with enough material to include a thin layer of the inner bark. If you are not going to graft immediately, wrap it in a damp tissue or paper and store it in the refrigerator.
- Make a T-shaped cut into the surface of the rootstock or pattern. It is recommended to choose a branch or stem without buds. It should be deep enough to expose the green layer of the inner bark. Where the two segments of the T meet, do some play with your fingers or the cutting tool to peel off the surface crust and leave the inner green layer visible.
- Insert the cutting between the raised bark folds in the center of the T-shaped cut. Pay special attention that both the graft and rootstock are completely clean and free of foreign matter.
- Cover the wound with the bark of the pattern itself, and surround the graft area with some type of rubber or tape, which keeps the cutting in place and does not move, although being careful not to cover the bud or squeeze it too much.
- In about a month, you should be able to remove the tape without danger of the cutting moving. The yolk should look healthy and start to develop right away. If it appears too dry, the graft was most likely unsuccessful.
Caring for a grafted avocado
We only need to talk about the care for a grafted avocado tree ; and these are our basic tips:
- As prior care, it is convenient that both the plant that is going to act as a rootstock and the one that will give the cuttings bud have been watered and generously fertilized in the week before the graft, so that they are in their best possible condition.
- The first days after grafting, the plant is more sensitive and it is better to avoid that the cutting receives direct sunlight or for many hours.
- After grafting, the care will be the usual for the two trees , that is, the avocado tree and the tree that is acting as a pattern. If the tree is exposed to a lot of sun, it is advisable to paint the avocado branch with white paint for gardening , which will protect it from excess solar radiation.