Learn how to care for avocados along with its history and classification details.
Hardiness Zone: 9-11
Soil Type: Loose, loamy, sandy, slightly acidic to neutral pH (5-7). Avoid poor draining or high salinity locations.
Sun Exposure: Full sun
Annual or Perennial: Perennial
Type: Fruit tree
History: The avocado tree is likely to have originated in the south-central highlands between Mexico and Guatemala. It was domesticated by the Mesoamerican tribes about 5,000 year ago.
Before it was domesticated, the fruit would have been food for large mammals, which have since become extinct. Animals would have eaten the fruit whole, mildly toxic pit and all.
Aztecs thought the fruit gave strength to those that ate it. Mayans use the glyph for avocado for the 14th month in their calendar. Avocados were thought to have been taken across the Atlantic by Spanish explorers within the 16th century.
Avocados are considered a superfood, containing good fats and plenty of nutrients. The buttery texture and flesh delights most recipes.
The avocado symbolizes love, fertility, prosperity, and health.
How to Care for Avocados
Common questions and details on how to care for avocados.
How do I plant avocados?
Plant your avocado tree 10 feet from structures and allow 30 feet between other avocado trees.Dig a hole that is wider than the root structure, and deep enough to match the height of the root ball. The roots on the root ball will be really sensitive, take care while planting.
When is the best time to plant?
The best time of year to plant an avocado tree is in the spring.
How do I propagate avocado?
Wash an avocado seed, take note which is the top and which is the bottom of the seed. Use 3 toothpicks to create a tripod effect of the seed, place the toothpicks wide enough to suspend the seed an inch into a glass filled with water. The glass should be placed in a warm location, out of direct sunlight. Continually replace any evaporated water. The roots and stem will sprout in about 6 weeks.
When the stem is 6-7 inches long, cut it back to about 3 inches.The seed will continue to thicken and steam leaves again. At this point the seed is ready to be planted within a 10.5 inch diameter pot. When planting, leave half of the seed exposed. Continue to water frequently, occasionally providing a deep soak, the soil should be moist, and not saturated. The more sunlight provided the better the seed will grow.
Can I grow avocados in a pot?
Yes, the avocado can be planted in a pot, especially when propagating from a seed. The plant will need to be replanted at some point.
How much should I water avocados?
Depending on the age of your plant, younger avocado trees prefer to be watered up to 3 times a week, while established trees prefer once a week.
How do I care for avocado with fertilizer?
Avocados thrive on an annual fertilizing of mostly nitrogen and small bit of zinc in the summer.
When does avocado trees bloom?
The avocado tree will bloom late winter through early summer.
How do I know when avocado is ripe?
Gently apply firm, but gentle pressure to the fruit. If the fruit is hard it is not yet ripe. If the fruit is soft it is ready to eat!
When do I harvest avocados?
September is usually a good time to harvest an avocado tree. It’s best to pick the fruit in an immature state, green and hard. Once the fruit is picked, keep fruit out on a counter for a week.
What is the best way to store avocados?
Avocados should be stored at room temperature until it is fully ripe. Keep the fruit in the refrigerator to slow ripening and to keep avocados at peak ripeness.
Is a avocado a fruit or a vegetable?
Avocado is a fruit.
Should I plant any companion plants?
Companion plants for avocado trees include: lavender, basil, onions, garlic, comfrey, melons, strawberries, sweet potatoes, winter squash or pumpkins, cilantro/coriander.
What are the health benefits of the avocados?
Avocados are a great source of vitamins C,E,K, and B6. Other nutrients include riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, potassium, lutein, beta carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Avocado vegetable summer rolls
These summer rolls will wow your friends, and your tastebuds at any of your summer gathering.s