Dwarf Avocado Tree

Tips on Growing a Dwarf Avocado Tree

Those who enjoy eating avocados typically must settle for purchasing the fruit in produce sections of the grocery store, but with increased availability of dwarf avocado tree varieties, this may soon change.

Avocados are a soft fleshed fruit, classified as berries that grow on trees in sub-tropical regions of Mexico.  Fast growing, the trees can easily reach 80 feet tall when grown in optimal conditions.  Medium green leaves profusely cover the tree, creating a spreading canopy.  Buds appear in the winter season of sub-tropical areas; requiring cool nighttime temperatures that remain above 20-30 degrees.  The buds form in clusters numbering up to around 300 in each, from which only a few fruit will develop. 

An unusual feature of the avocado blossoms is that there are two distinct types on each tree; one type that is pollen reception in the early hours of the day, while the second variety is receptive in the afternoon hours.   The fruit ripens between 6 months and 18 months after flower set occurs, depending on the type of tree.  For anyone who wishes to grow and harvest their own fruit, these factors often prove this dream to be futile.  Unless individuals live in a sub-tropical area with plenty of yard space and the ability to harvest fruit from an 80 foot tree, obtaining avocados is limited to display bins in the grocery store.

Now, however, more fruit aficionados can enjoy their own harvest by planting a dwarf avocado tree.  In a more manageable size, the dwarf varieties can be planted either indoors in warmer climates or kept as container plants in northern regions.  Planted outside, the dwarf trees can reach up to 10 feet; containerizing them inhibits the rapid root growth and keeps them shorter.  Potted dwarf trees must be kept indoors during the harsh winters to protect them, but should be integrated into their natural outdoor settings after the danger of frost has passed.  Full sun conditions are ideal for the most fruit production, which begins in late spring and continues until late fall. 

The most popular dwarf varieties of the avocado tree are Little Cado and Holiday.  Delicious and smooth, the creamy fruit is starchy and flavorful rather than sweet as one would expect of a fruit.  The soft interior surrounds a large pit, which is the seed of the avocado, and is covered with a tough, bumpy skin.  The self pollinating aspect of all avocado trees will ensure a bountiful and consistent harvest of these delicious fruit, although helping the process by using a fan to gently rustle the foliage of an indoor dwarf avocado tree is recommended. 

Most will find that caring for their dwarf tree is as easy as caring for any indoor tree.  Watering is generally the one aspect that can create concern.  Choosing a container that has excellent drainage is vital, for root rot can set in if the plant is allowed to stand in too wet of soil.  When the first two inches of soil in the container seem too dry, it is time to water the avocado tree.  The soil should remain loose and not be allowed to become compacted within the container.  Regular fertilization, approximately four times per year, should be provided to ensure the tree receives the nutrients it needs.  Allowing the avocado to receive good sun exposure even when indoors will complete the maintenance of the tree.

Though it is easy to obtain avocados in the produce section, there is something to be said about harvesting your own fruit.  Growing your own dwarf avocado tree can now make that possible; providing delicious fruit in the convenience of your own home or garden.



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