Great on toast, in salads, or mashed to make guacamole, avocados are one of the most popular fruits today. Some people love them so much they’ve taken to growing their own. It doesn’t take much time for the pit to sprout into a small plant, but once it does, you’re left wondering, "How long does it take an avocado tree to bear fruit?"
You may be disappointed if you’re just starting out with a young avocado tree grown from seed. Growing an avocado tree from seed will take 10 to 15 years before it starts bearing fruit.
Of course, a few other factors can affect how long it takes your tree to bear fruit. Learn more about avocado growth cycles here and a few tips on raising your own.
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When Do Avocados Grow?
When your avocado tree bears fruit depends on your geography. Most of the avocados in the United States are grown in California. The trees blossom in March or April and bear fruit all through the summer.
Of course, avocados are grown all around the world. So, you can purchase them at stores year-round.
How Long Before Avocados Ripen?
When you find an avocado in the store, it can be up to a week away from being fully ripe. You can tell how close they are by checking their firmness. If the flesh has a bit of give when you touch it, your fruit is ready to eat. The same trick works when picking an avocado from the tree.
If you want to speed up the ripening process of a picked avocado, try putting it in a plastic bag. Then, check it again after a day; it should be much softer.
Growing an Avocado Tree
Compared to other fruit trees, avocado trees are a bit temperamental. Even fully mature avocado trees may not bear fruit if the conditions aren’t just right. Check these factors if you aren’t getting the crop you were hoping for.
Avocados are native to dry climates and grow best in coarse, sandy soil. However, this isn’t a hard and fast rule as they can also grow in other soil types as long as they are not over-watered. One crucial factor to keep in mind is iron levels, which must be kept high.
Proper watering may be the most crucial factor when maximizing your avocado crop. The biggest danger with avocados is over-watering them.
When watering, your goal should be to get the soil wet enough, so it’s damp to the touch but not so much that it sets and crumbles. Ensuring proper drainage is key when maintaining the right moisture levels.
Avocado trees need plenty of sunlight to produce fruit. The tree itself can still live in shady areas, though they will likely offer a much smaller yield. Ensure you plant your trees apart from other plants, buildings, and obstructions.
To maximize your avocado production, plant your trees in a place where there's a constant temperature between 70 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Even when the temperature drops as low as sixty degrees, the cold won’t hurt them, but it can lower your yield.
Fertilize your avocado trees the first three years after planting them, six times a year between April to August. You can often find specially-formulated avocado fertilizers in stores, but if not, you can also use a fertilizer designed for citrus trees.
Unlike some fruit-bearing trees, you only need a single avocado tree to grow fruit. However, planting two trees near each other will help cross-pollinate and produce better results.
Frequently Asked Questions
While it may take some time before your avocado tree bears fruit, you’ll be swimming in them once they do. A typical tree can produce between 200 and 300 fruits per year once they are mature. However, remember that avocado trees alternate bearing, meaning they only produce a full crop every other year.
Following the guidelines outlined above will help ensure your tree has a higher chance of bearing fruit. If yours is ready, you’ll start to see green-yellow buds in the springtime. Another factor to watch for is bee activity, which can be a sure sign that your tree is ready to bear fruit.
If you started growing your tree from the bud, an avocado would take between 9 and 18 months before it is ripe and ready to eat. However, since avocado trees bear fruit all year, you can find different branches with buds flowering buds beside growing fruits.