“I hung an avocado pit in a cup of water, and it grew roots, and now has a crazy height of like 3-4 feet. I’ve read that I can keep them in a large pot outside, and they won’t outgrow it. Do you agree, and again, what should I use as dirt? Will an avocado tree in a planter actually produce avocados? Be kind since that would be a lot of dirt for a big planter!” Question from Joseph
Answer: Congratulations! Avocado trees can make nice house or patio plants if you have space. You have already discovered that they grow quickly, so planting yours in a large container with drainage is recommended–18 inches is a good starting size. Good potting soil for the job is Black Gold Natural & Organic Potting Mix, which is OMRI Listed for organic gardening. Indoor trees require lots of sunlight to grow well. Feed yours with a fertilizer formulated for avocados, and water evenly from spring to fall. Allow the pot to become somewhat dry before each watering. In winter, water a little less as growth slows. To keep your tree at a manageable size, prune off extra- long branches in spring.
In general, you need more than one avocado tree for cross-pollination. So, even if your tree blooms as it matures, it will likely not fruit, but if you start another avocado tree, you could get lucky.
Take your tree outdoors in a partially sunny spot in summer to encourage vigorous, even growth. Just be sure to clean it before bringing it back inside for winter, if you live in a cold-winter zone (click here to learn how to clean your plants before bringing them indoors for winter).
I hope that these tips help!
Black Gold Horticulturist
Plants are the lens Jessie views the world through because they’re all-sustaining. (“They feed, clothe, house and heal us. They produce the air we breathe and even make us smell pretty.”) She’s a garden writer and photographer with degrees in both horticulture and plant biology from Purdue and Michigan State Universities. Her degrees were bolstered by internships at Longwood Gardens and the American Horticultural Society. She has since worked for many horticultural institutions and companies and now manages communications for Sun Gro Horticulture, the parent company of Black Gold. Her joy is sharing all things green and lovely with her two daughters.
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