Caring for Avocado Plant
Caring for Avocado Plant? It’s Quite Easy
Most of us adults love avocado (Persea Americana) . That’s why a lot of us who want to harvest and grow our own food do you know ways of caring for avocado plants? Avocados are called “super fruits” by nutritionists, dieticians and people who understand the benefits of eating them. So if you want to know how to grow and take care of this very precious plant, read on and after that, you can begin planting your very own avocado plants.
Generally, avocados can not survive the freezing temperatures of winter because they primarily thrive in the tropical and Mediterranean climates. But there are now newly discovered cultivars that can grow well even in a very cold environment. Examples of these are the Mexican avocado variety drymifolia while there are also varieties that love the hot and humid climates such as the West Indian Americana varieties. But is caring for avocado plant indoors possible? This we will answer shortly but let’s learn more about this superfood fruit first.
The avocados belong to the evergreen tree family ( Lauraceae ) and bear green pear-shape fruit. These trees are believed to originate from south-central Mexico but they have traveled far and wide with the help of the voyaging Spaniards in the early centuries. Thus, they are now growing abundantly in many parts of Southeast Asia. In the English-speaking world, they call this fruit the alligator pear or avocado pear because they are botanically considered as large berries.
Benefits of Eating Avocados
The avocado fruit contains more than 25 essential minerals including fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, Vitamins A, K, E, B6, and C. They are also very rich in folate and this is why it is mentioned in the Guinness Book of Records as the “fruit that is most nutritious to man”. Previously, there were reports that this fruit contains about 322 calories on average. Yet, the oil it contains is good like omega-3 fatty acid. But if you’re trying to lose weight, still be aware of its calorific effect on your health.
There are a lot of benefits we can get from eating avocados. However, eating it raw can taste bland and fatty. So people put it on top of their meat sandwiches, bake eggs with it, mix it on fruit salad and make smoothies or fruit juices with it. Mixing it with milk and honey, kids will also love its blended juice.
Essential Benefits the Avocado Fruit can Give to us:
Best Source of Fiber. It can absorb nutrients from the food we eat so that our body can use these nutrients properly. It can also enhance our body’s metabolism by binding toxins from the intestines with its high fiber content.
Provides Healthy Fat. Even though the fats of avocados are high in calories, these fats are healthy fats that contribute to the proper maintenance of our metabolism. So even if you consume one avocado a day, its fats will still be used by your body.
Can Stabilize Blood Glucose Level. According to some accounts, because avocado contains organic compounds, it can stabilize blood sugar levels in diabetics.
Good Source for Vitamin K. Vitamin K nourishes the blood while it can help the body absorb calcium from the food we eat and helps in making our bones stronger and our body healthier.
Help in Digestion. It can regulate bowel movement while improving our food digestion due to its fiber content and detoxifying properties.
Contains Antioxidant Components. It can help the body recover during the curing of cancer while fighting toxic chemicals from the body. It can also help in the weight loss problem and can control chronic diseases from occurring.
With these benefits from this vitamin-rich food, the goal of caring for an avocado plant is now really important and also gardeners want to discover the caring for avocado plant indoors and where does avocado grow so they can cultivate it with ease.
Where Does Avocado Grow Best?
As we mentioned, there are a lot of avocado varieties and every variety prefers a certain type of climate and soil. So where does avocado grow best?
Most avocados actually grow best outdoors with a warm climate and sunny areas. And although they can also grow in shady places or even indoors, they won’t produce fruits as much as those that get enough sunshine. But the good news is, plant propagators from different countries today have come up with hybrid variations that can suit up to different climates even in temperate countries. And especially now that the avocado trade is growing, even caring for avocado plants indoors can now be possible and they can also bear fruits with proper care.
Today, 3 main types of avocados are commonly grown in the U.S. and each has varying fruit sizes and amounts of oil contents.
The Mexican Persea Americana var. drymifolia Blake. This variety has the highest amount of oil and is also the creamiest. It prefers the colder region and can also withstand temperatures down to 16 degrees F (-8 degrees C).
The West Indian Perse Americana Mill. var. Americana doesn’t have too much oil but can produce the largest fruit while it can only survive in a warm climate and will not thrive at 32 degrees F or freezing point.
The Guatemalan Persea nubigena var. guatamelansis is in the middle of the two cultivars in terms of oil content and size including the climate preference but can hardly survive below 24 degrees F (-4 degrees C).
All of the varieties of avocado trees will not thrive well in windy areas because they have brittle stems and branches. We’ve seen tall avocado trees whose stems get twisted by strong wind and some snap in the middle. So you want to remember where avocado trees grow best, plant them where they can be protected from high winds or near the high fences or walls.
Caring for avocado plant, on the other hand, if you live in a colder country, is planting them near your house or where the sun can get to it when it’s summer if we’re talking about the cold-adaptable avocado varieties.
If your avocado tree is still small, you can plant it in a large pot and take it indoors if there’s a heavy frost coming. But if it’s planted on the ground, you can make a makeshift frame to shade it and drape it with a large canvas or blanket. If your avocado tree is a cold-loving variety but it gets blazingly hot during summer and it’s planted in the middle of your yard, you can also do the same draping procedure and spray water mist on its leaves about twice a day until it grows tall and strong and can adapt to heat.
How Often Water Avocado Plant?
Caring for avocado plant, must also include information about how often we water avocado plants. Avocados can grow very tall. But while they are young, they need to be watered about 2 or 3 times every week. This is to allow their primary and secondary roots to elongate, spread out and go deeper. But as the roots are going deeper, the more water the young plant needs.
The frequency of watering may also depend on where you’ll be planting your avocado plant. If you plant it on the ground but the grass or plants around it are fresh and the soil is moist, there’s no need for frequent watering.
When watering avocado plants in a hot environment regardless of whether it’s in a large container or planted on the ground, you have to soak the soil well to allow the water to seep in. Then water again until the soil around it gets very wet. You can do this every other day. You can also put some mulch around to help it conserve water. Then after a year when its roots are deeper, you can lessen the frequency of watering. Test the soil if you need to irrigate by digging about 3-inch and scooping some soil with your hands. Squeeze the soil. If it stays in a clump, the soil is still keeping enough moisture. If it crumbles, watering is needed.
What Should We Do When Caring for Avocado Plant Indoors?
Caring for avocado plant can be easy with containers because like other fruit-bearing trees, we can start growing them in pots then transfer them to bigger containers or the ground when they start to grow big and tall. Growing trees from seeds can also ensure that the plant can grow healthy into a tree while it keeps its mother plant’s character intact.
However, when it comes to planting avocadoes for indoor care, growing them from seeds may not be the right approach. The best approach is if you want to grow an avocado indoors for its fruit, start by planting a grafted sapling which you can buy from plant nurseries. So it’s like getting a part of the matured tree, planting it on a container and making it develop roots and in 2 or 3 years it can bear fruit as it synchronized its fruit-bearing along with its mother tree.
Caring for avocado plant indoors to help it survive here are the things you should do:
Keeping its soil consistently moist. Considering that you have planted your avocado sapling in a large pot, you have to keep its soil watered. Avocados love water but it should not be overwatered as it it can suffocate its roots. It won’t get waterlogged when watering in large planter’s pot because of the drainage holes at the bottom. Once you see that the water starts to drip out, stop watering. Then don’t water it again for days while the topsoil is moist.
Feed your avocado. Another way of caring for avocado plant is by feeding them like most houseplants. This means that you have to fertilize it every 3 months with any kind of synthetic but complete fertilizer that is highly soluble. You can dissolve the fertilizer ina bucket with water or buy a liquid fertilizer that is to be mixed with water as well. As the avocado grows bigger, add more fertilizer which it needs for flowering and fruiting. Or, you can use organic soil and you may not require fertilizing it until it’s about to bloom.
Bring it outdoor for some sun. Don’t forget that the grafted sapling you’re growing inside your plant has been taken from a mother avocado tree that was growing or partially growing outdoors so you also need to bring your avocado plant outside to catch some sunlight. If it gets too hot, bring it to a partially shaded area. It needs sunlight because it processes its food on its leaves through photosynthesis.
Prune it as necessary. Your avocado plant will surely grow tall so you have to maintain its height if you intend to keep it inside your house. You can cut its top stem if it’s growing tall and paint the wound with wound paint to prevent fungus from growing on it. Now, the avocado plant tends to branch out horizontally as it spreads and elongates its branches. However, when branches get too long, you have to prune them as well to maintain the shape of the plant.
You see now that caring for avocado plant indoors is very easy. But if you want to have an avocado tree in your backyard, buy a seedling that is adaptable to your climate. Just one reminder, if you’re buying a seedling for growing in your property or a sapling prune for growing it indoors, always ask the person in charge of the plant nursery about its growing requirements and take note of it. Because as we have said, different varieties of avocado require certain growing and caring requirements.