growing avocados on a tree

Getting the Right Amount of Sun on Your Avocado Tree

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Thinking about adding avocados to your garden? You should definitely do it!

Not only are we talking about a high-fat and nutritious fruit you can easily add to your diet, but they’re also not that difficult to grow. Moreover, it will be one simple, satisfying gardening project you’ll certainly enjoy!

big avocados on a tree

Of course, there are some conditions that will help your efforts pay off—such as the sun. It’s one of the essential elements that will boost your plant’s growth and allows you to have a beautiful, healthy tree in your garden. 

Avocado trees need a minimum of six hours of sun or artificial grow lighting in order to thrive. While light is necessary for the avocado tree to remain healthy, warmth is necessary for it to grow.

So, let’s check it together then – where exactly you should place your avocado tree and how much sun does it need? 

How Many Types Of Avocado Are There?

The answer is – around 1,000 varieties. However, Hass avocado is the most common type that produces 80% of the avocados consumed worldwide.

It has creamy flesh, pebbled skin, and delicious flavor. With its rich texture, you can easily fit it into any meal on your menu.

Hass avocados are grown all over Latin America and California. Some bigger, light green Florida avocados can also be found in season. That’s the type with less fat and occasionally marketed as a health-conscious variety.

We’ll stick to the Hass avocado today, as the most common one.

Where Does Avocado Grow Best?

growing avocados on a tree

According to the areas we’ve mentioned above, avocado is a plant that grows in tropical areas. By that, we can assume it doesn’t tolerate cold very well.

If you’re in areas where temperatures usually don’t drop below freezing (southern Florida, Arizona, Texas, California), you can plant avocado trees in your backyard with no worries.

If you’re planning to do that, just make sure to plant in the spring. That way your tree can get the needed strength to face the upcoming winter months and the lower temperatures they bring.

So, How Much Sun Does an Avocado Tree Actually Need?

When planting a tree, go with a spot with full sun and pretty good drainage. Keep in mind avocados can grow over 40 feet tall, which is why it’s essential to allow your tree plenty of space.

At the same time, keep it protected from frost and winds. Avocado trees have shallow roots, which is why you might want to avoid planting avocado seeds too deep in the ground.

If you prefer to go with a potted indoor variation, also try to find the brightest place you can find.

Just like bananas, avocado trees can tolerate some shade but are basically plants that need lots of sunlight to survive. Well, 6 hours of sun, to be precise.

And not only light but higher temperatures also boost growth. When the winter temperature lowers to around 50°F (10°C), growth will slow down.

After planting an indoor avocado, feel free to keep it on a brighter windowsill until the phase where roots are formed and the first leaves can be seen.

Can Avocado Get Too Much Sun?

Too much sunlight can be a bit problematic when it comes to younger avocado trees. Still, not having enough is definitely a worse option.

This plant can tolerate a bit of light shade, but the rule with sun and avocado is simple— the more light falling down onto the leaves, the better. 

What Other Things You Should Pay Attention To When Growing an Avocado?

watering an avocado tree

Water

Adequate drainage and keeping the tree constantly moist are steps that are rather important for the proper growth of your plant.

On the other hand, you should avoid overwatering, since its roots need lots of air. One of the signs that indicate where you are using too much water is if leaves are turning yellow.

This plant usually needs to be watered 2 to 3 times a week. After you notice roots are reaching out into the bulk soil, you can apply more water.

Also, around a year after that happens, you can change the frequency of watering and decrease it to once a week.  

Soil

The optimum soil should be a rich and fast-draining mix that will help you keep the avocado moist as well as provide it with the air its roots need.

When watering, soak the soil well. After that, let it dry out for a while before you water it again.

Also, make sure to have loose and sandy or loamy soil. The pH level should be up to 6.5.

Don’t choose heavy clay since it’s really not a good match when it comes to avocado trees. Still, if that’s your only option, make a mound or a raised bed with a diameter of 3 to 5 feet – and plant the tree on it.

a man holding a soil with fertilizer

Fertilizer 

There’s a special plant food specifically designed for citrus and avocados, which is the best option to boost your tree’s growth.

Avocados need fertilizers that contain higher amounts of nitrogen compared to potassium and phosphorus.

What does that exactly mean?

There’s an N-P-K ratio on your label and the first number should be higher than the other two.

Other than that, the avocado tree needs boron and zinc too. You can recognize a zinc deficiency by yellow patches on avocado leaves.

Also, nitrogen deficiencies can be seen when there are some yellow-veined or even pale leaves.

It’s not necessary to fertilize a planted tree when it’s still new, but, after approximately one year, feel free to go with one ounce on a monthly basis from spring through fall.

If you apply smaller doses, those shallow roots can absorb the fertilizer easier.

ripe avocados on a tree

Final Thoughts

Gardening is never easy, but choosing the proper conditions for your plants will certainly help you grow delicious fruits and vegetables in your backyard.

When it comes to avocados, it’s definitely easier to grow them as houseplants. All you need to do is to put it in a place up by a window that faces south or east.

Going with outside planting can be a bit trickier, but, as you can see from above, definitely not impossible. So, any avocado-growing tips and tricks you’d like to share with us?

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