The avocado is by far the most cultivated tropical tree in temperate climate regions. Not only are there varieties capable of withstanding frosts down to -2ºC, but they also provide excellent shade , which is appreciated if you live in an area where temperatures easily rise above thirty degrees Celsius during the summer.
But in addition, they produce a large amount of fruit, enough so that the whole family can consume them for a season. So why not grow it? 😉
- 1 Characteristics of the avocado
- 2 How do you take care of yourself?
- 2.1 Location
- 2.2 Soil
- 2.3 Irrigation
- 2.4 Subscriber
- 2.5 Planting time
- 2.6 Pruning
- 2.7 Collection
- 2.8 Multiplication
- 2.8.1 Seeds
- 2.8.2 Grafts
- 2.9 Pests
- 2.10 Diseases
- 2.11 Rusticity
- 3 Can avocado be grown in a pot?
- 4 What is it used for?
- 4.1 Culinary
- 4.2 Medicinal
Our protagonist, known by the scientific name Persea americana , and by the common avocado, avocado, avocado, avocado, abacate, abocado or avocado, is an evergreen tree native, it is believed, to the state of Puebla, in Mexico. It grows to a height of 30 meters. Its crown is very dense, and can reach 6-7m in diameter . The leaves are alternate, stalked, bright green, and 10-15cm long.
The flowers are small, white. The female and male do not open at the same time, which prevents self-fertilization. For this reason, it is very important to have several specimens with the same flowering , since this way you can get a very good harvest.
Once they are pollinated, the fruit begins to ripen, which is a large yellow-green or reddish-brown drupe, measuring 8 to 18cm long. Its shape is ovoid or globular, and inside it is a globular seed 5 to 6cm long.
Different varieties of Persea americana are known, the easiest to obtain being the following:
- Ettinger – Originally from Israel. The fruit is green.
- Strong : it is the most widespread. Its origin is in California, and it produces dotted green fruits that ripen in winter.
- Hass – Originally from California. Produces black fruit towards the end of the season (late fall/early winter).
How is it taken care of?
If you would like to have one or several copies, follow our advice 🙂 :
Place your tree in an area where it receives direct sunlight, at a minimum distance of 10m from any tall plants.
The soil or garden soil should be light, deep, with good drainage, and with a neutral or slightly acidic pH (5.5 to 7).
The distance between plants in an orchard should be at least 8 meters, being more advisable to be 10m.
Irrigation has to be frequent , since it does not resist drought. During the summer, it will be watered every 2-3 days, and the rest of the year every 5-6 days. Use rainwater for this, or water without lime. If you can’t get it, don’t worry. All you have to do is fill a bucket with water, let it sit overnight, and use it the next day for watering.
Throughout the growing season, and as it is a tree whose fruits are edible, it must be fertilized using organic products , such as guano or manure , spreading a 2-3cm thick layer around the trunk once a month.
You can also choose, if the plant is young, to use liquid fertilizers, guano being especially advisable due to its rapid effectiveness. Of course, you have to follow the instructions specified on the package to avoid the risk of overdose.
The best time to move it to the orchard or garden is in spring , when temperatures begin to rise above 10ºC.
Only branches growing low to the ground, weak and diseased branches should be removed in early spring.
After five years (since planting) you can start harvesting its fruits.
The avocado is multiplied by seeds and by grafting in spring. Let’s see how to proceed in each case:
- The first thing to do is get a fresh avocado fruit, and eat it 🙂 .
- Then, you must thoroughly clean the seed with water.
- Now, you must plant it in a seedbed with vermiculite, which is a substrate that, in addition to having very good drainage, remains moist for a long time, which will help the seed to germinate. It has to be buried a little, otherwise it will not sprout.
- Sprinkle sulfur or copper on the surface of the substrate. This will prevent fungi from damaging it.
- Finally, water.
If all goes well, in a month it will begin to take root.
The avocado can be grafted on Persea indica (Viñátigo canario) and, of course, on Persea americana. The types of grafts that are performed are those of a »T» shape. To do this, you have to follow this step by step:
- When the trunk of the standard plant measures at least 1 cm in diameter, a bevel cut is made at a height of 10 cm and it is treated with fungicide.
- Now, the branch to be grafted is inserted into the cut.
- Then, it is joined with adhesive tape or raffia for grafting.
- Red spiders: they are tiny red spider-shaped mites that weave their webs between the leaves. You can combat it by mixing 2 cloves of garlic, 2 chillies and half an onion, finely chopping everything and straining it and then diluting the mixture in 3 liters of water.
- Leaf-roller worm: it is a brown moth whose larvae feed on the leaves, causing serious damage to the plant. You can treat it with Bacillus thuringiensis, which is a bacteria that feeds on worms.
- Root rot: it is caused by excess moisture, either due to excessive irrigation and/or poorly drained soils. Irrigation should be spaced out and the plant should be treated with systemic fungicides.
- Mildiu: is a fungus that penetrates the tissues of leaves, stems and fruits, causing deformations. It is also treated with systemic fungicides.
- Fusarium wilt: is a fungal disease caused by fungi of the genus Fusarium. It affects the root and spreads to the rest of the plant through the stem, in which a kind of white powder will be seen. It is often too late by the time it is detected, but it can be prevented by controlling the watering and treating the plant from time to time with fungicides.
Persea americana is generally a cold – sensitive tree . However, the Hass and Fuerte varieties can be grown outdoors in areas where the temperature drops to -2ºC for a short time.
Can avocado be grown in a pot?
Due to its adult size, it is not a plant that can be kept in a pot for life . There will come a time when you will need to be grounded.
Even so, it can be grown in a pot for several years if a universal growing medium mixed with 30% perlite is used, and it is transplanted every two years.
For what do you use it?
The avocado is a tree that is used as an ornamental, but it also has other interesting uses:
Due to its characteristic sweet taste, the fruit combines very well with different vegetable dishes , such as salads. Its chemical composition is as follows:
- Water: 70%
- Proteins: 1.5%
- Lipids: 22%
- Carbohydrates: 6%
- Vitamin A: 40mg/100g
- Vitamin B1: 0.09/100g
- Vitamin B2: 0.12mg/100g
- Vitamin B6: 0.5mg/100g
- Vitamin E: 3.2mg/100g
- Vitamin C: 17mg/100g
- Potassium: 400mg/100g
It is an antioxidant , which delays aging, protects against degenerative and heart diseases , and relieves migraine pain . The only negative thing we can say is that, due to its high fat content, it is not recommended to consume it after meals, especially if we do not usually practice sports on a regular basis.