Why doesn’t my avocado tree produce fruit? :- After buying avocado and consuming the fruit, you may have planted the seed instead of throwing the seed away.
You may have planted the seed in your garden or the pot, watch the plant grow, and wonder why the plant hasn’t bear any fruit even after 5-6 years.
Well, there can be numerous reasons for that, the first thing that you need to realize is that though avocado is considered as the fruit, it differs from other fruit-bearing trees. You need to understand first about the avocado plant, how and where does it grow normally.
How and where does the avocado tree grow?
Avocado is an evergreen tropical fruit tree 6-18 m tall with a wide crown. Some varieties shed their leaves for a short time, depending on climatic conditions.
The trunk is 30-60 cm in diameter, usually straight, with a strong branch towards the top of the tree. The leaves are alternate, broadly speary, sharp, elliptical, leathery, glossy, reaching 35 cm, the upper side dark green, the lower whitish. Avocado leaves are saturated with essential oils and contain toxic substances.
The flowers of the avocado tree are small, invisible, pale green or yellow-green, bisexual, gathered in panicles, usually containing 9 stamens and a pistol in the axils of the leaves. The avocado tree blooms, but the fruit binds in individual cases (2-4%), due to the complex process of pollination.
During flowering, avocado flowers are opened twice: first, the mature dust grains are pollinated with pollen from other avocado varieties, and then the flower closes.
In the second phase, after about a day, the mature pollen, from which the insects migrate to other avocado trees. This flowering algorithm necessitates crossing several varieties of avocado trees in the same garden at the time of flowering.
Avocado fruits are pear-shaped, oval, or nearly round, depending on the variety, can be 7.5-33 cm long and up to 15 cm wide, and weigh 0.05-1.8 kg. The peel can be yellow-green, dark green, or reddish-purple, the dark purple variety of avocado fruit.
Directly under the skin is a thin layer of edible cellulose, light green or pale yellow in color, soft and oily in texture, and has a nut-like taste. In the center of the fruit is an avocado seed, round, conical or egg-shaped, 5-6.4 cm long, solid, ivory-colored, and covered with brown skin. Some fruits may be seedless due to poor pollination or other factors.
The varieties of avocado trees are divided into three varieties according to their place of growth: Mexican, Guatemalan, and West Indian (Antillean). The West Indian avocado variety requires tropical or near-climate and high atmospheric humidity, especially during flowering and fruiting.
Guatemalan varieties are somewhat more durable as their homeland is the subtropical highlands of America. These are the most common on the California coast. The Mexican avocado variety is the hardest. The small negative temperature does not damage them, but their fruit is the smallest of all avocados.
Avocados, like the lemon tree, are surprisingly versatile in terms of soil adaptability. Their plantations live on soils such as red clay, sand, volcanic clay, limestone.
The main requirement of the avocado tree is good drainage. Avocados do not resist excessive soil moisture and especially temporary flooding. The groundwater level must be at least 9 m.
Because some avocado varieties grow too tall, almost all commercial growers propagate the trees to 4.8-5.4 m and allow them to grow to 9 m. But such pruning is not the best tool because the avocado tries to grow a new peak very quickly. As a result, no branching occurs.
The ripening time of the fruit is 6-17 months – it depends on the variety and the area. The final ripening of avocado fruits does not occur if it is attached to the tree due to the inhibitor in the stem. The fruit ripens at room temperature within 1-2 weeks after collection. Avocados are stored at a temperature of about 4 ° C.
Israelis can be considered pioneers of avocados for the civilized world. They were the first to look at the fruit. And unfortunately not from the lively life, but from the severe needs when the products could only be obtained with coupons. At this time, the diet of the population was very deficient in fat.
Varieties of the avocado tree
There are many varieties of avocados, but the most popular are:
- Fuerto (one of the most delicious);
- Ettinger (very low fat, can have different flavors);
- Ryan (delicious but fat, almost unripe when he gets immature);
- Hass (purple-black skin and has a lot of fans);
- Gwen (she has a little bone, but the dimensions are not very prominent);
- Reed (greasy and large);
- Ardis (something like a Hass);
In the case of trees, the humid tropical climate is appropriate, but it is also grown in regions with a Mediterranean climate. Avocados are grown all over the world, the fruits are still firmly removed and then exported to other countries.
This type of tree is difficult to propagate by pollination, so the seeds are grown. Trees begin to bear their first fruits in 4-6 years. It is difficult to grow through the process of cultivation because the plant is very susceptible to viral and bacterial diseases.
All trees should be protected from strong edges that could tear their branches. The same goes for low temperatures. Best of all, they grow in the sun, in areas where there is always sunlight. Good drainage is required, loose soil is ideal. Watering the plants should be regular, at least once a week.
Factors Needed to Be Understand While Growing Avocado at home
Growing avocado trees indoors is a rather confusing task. Several factors are needed to be considered while growing them at home. Such as:
- This tree is a lover of heat but prefers coolness in winter, but not less than 16 ° C, the optimum temperature is around 25 ° C.
- A plant that is grown as an indoor plant can be shaded in a pot but is better grown in sunshine and warmth.
- For the tree to branch well, the shoots need to be squeezed several times. The first pinching is done when the shoots have reached a height of 25 cm – remove the top 2 leaf pairs. When the resulting side shoots extend an additional 12 cm, we also pinch them. The third, fourth-order, and so on. Its branches are cut similarly.
- Avocado or alligator pears will thrive in the fresh air during the warmer months, however, the bushes should be brought back into the room if the night temperature drops below 7 ° C.
- Rich soils, garden soil, humus, loam, coarse sand, well-drained, with the addition of moss, peat, pH 6 – 8 is preferable for this plant. Preferably loose soil, the mixture can be made of coconut fiber, nutritious hummus, and perlite.
- Fertilization should be done from spring to autumn approx. 2 times a month, preferably organic. Mineral fertilizers must contain sufficient potassium. For the rapid growth of green trees, young trees require large amounts of nitrogen. A tree should not be fertilized during the rest period.
- It usually blooms only in nature, usually in spring-summer. In culture, it is almost impossible to grow a flowering avocado tree in the pot.
- Growing this tree in your home is not that difficult, but high humidity is required at high temperatures. The plant needs spraying, but if the tree stays cool, it also carries dry air. Do not leave large drops of water on the bushes in the evening this can provoke the rotting of the plant. The plant should be watered with soft water at room temperature.
- While transferring the plant to another pot, it can be planted in fresh soil and a larger container in the spring. At the bottom of the pot, make sure there is a drainage layer, make sure the pot has sufficiently large drainage holes. Gently shake the roots of the old substrate and dry it with a paper towel. When planting, the roots should not be bent or pointed upwards. Avocados get better in unglazed clay pots, so their walls allow moisture and air to pass to the roots of the plants.
Understand why any tree bears fruit?
Not only trees bear fruit. The term tree is related to that plant that produces wood as structural support in its roots, stems, and branches. However, not only timber plants produce fruit; some herbaceous plants, which are those that do not generate wood, also do so.
The fruits are a coating for the seeds of the plant. Their basic function is to protect the seeds from external factors and provide them with food to stay alive until their germination as a new plant.
In some cases, they also serve to feed animals that can spread the seeds after they have eaten the fruit. The word fruit is related to those fruits that man has identified as edible.
Why Doesn’t Your Avocado Tree Produce Fruit? Reasons for Avocado Trees without Fruit
Although avocado trees produce more than a million flowers when they bloom, most fall from the tree without producing fruit. This extreme flowering is a natural way to encourage pollination visits.
Even with this excessive blooming, there are several reasons why avocados don’t bear fruit. Some of them are:
The tree grew from an ungrafted variety
First of all, grafted trees usually begin to produce fruit in 3-4 years while avocado seedlings (not grafted) take longer to produce (7-10 years), if at all. So one of the reasons why avocados won’t produce fruit is just because it’s not a grafted variety.
Avocados planted in the area with a hot temperature zone can bear fruit, but if you are in a cooler region, the tree can survive but never produce fruit. In the Fuerte variety, for example, there is no good fruiting below 13 ºC and above 40-45 ºC.
The high temperature causes the fruit to drop and the low one leads to the formation of parthenocarpic fruits, without commercial value. Also, avocados often produce fruit that is heavy one year and the following year produces a much lighter fruit set. This is called a biennial fruit.
Lack of water
As the avocado is considered very demanding in water, the low availability of water causes a reduction in the size of the fruit and the excess is also not tolerated by the plant.
It is often thought that if the water is life, the more we give plants it will be better, but the reality is very different. If we water too much, the roots will rot. For this reason, it should be watered only when necessary.
The frequency will vary depending on the weather and the season we are in, but it will generally be about 4 times a week in summer and every 3-4 days the rest of the year.
If we have a fruit tree that has suffered from excessive irrigation, it is important to treat it with fungicides since the fungi may be attacking it.
Lack of nutrients
As for nutrients, nitrogen and potassium are the most important for the production of avocado. If there is a lack of these nutrients in the soil where the avocado is planted, it may not bear the fruit.
The fact that the fruits do not develop is due to excess nutrients. Therefore, it is best to acquire nutrient meters so that it can be controlled in the best way. Also, the mulch helps to avoid this problem.
Lack of light
If the tree or plant does not receive enough sunlight, it may not produce the fruit.
Excess use of fertilizer
An excess of a fertilizer, especially if it is synthetic chemical can burn the roots and greatly weaken the trees. For this reason, it is necessary to follow the instructions specified on the packaging to avoid the risk of overdose.
Not yet fruitful period
It is possible that your plant does not want to bear fruit because their age has not yet reached the age limit for fruiting. The age limit for fruiting depends on the type of plant and the type of seed. Is it from seed, cuttings, or grafting?
One of the other causes can also be due to infertile flowers. These changes usually occur due to gene mutations. The nature of plants that were originally flowers should be fruit, changed from their original nature due to environmental influences.
Climate and environment do not support
All types of fruit plants will live and bear fruit well if their living conditions such as climate (rainfall, wind, temperature, humidity, sunlight), soil conditions, and the environment are met. If not, plants will be hampered by growth and productivity.
Poor care and attention
Your plants may be reluctant to bear fruit because of their need for light (for photosynthesis), air temperature and humidity, irrigation, air circulation, and nutrients are insufficient.
Plants will flower and bear fruit just in time with productivity when selecting seeds, environmental conditions, and how to care well.
If the soil has been over-watered or the water is not drained properly, there may be an accumulation of the liquid rotting the roots and, therefore, it will not be able to bear fruit.
Lack of pollination in the garden
The lack of insects can cause the absence of fruits. So brightly colored plants would need to be secured to attract pollinating insects. As these visits are generated in the garden, you can have trees full of fruits.
Avocados have an extraordinary flowering behavior called protogynous dichogamy. All the meaning of this complicated word is that the tree has both male and female organs that function in each flower.
During the two days, the first bloom opens as a woman, and the next day as a man. Each flower opening lasts about half a day.
To further complicate matters, the pattern of the flowering of avocados is divided into two groups: type A and type B. Type A flowers open as females in the morning and then as males, while Type B blooms open as males followed by females.
For these reasons, if you have a type A avocado plantation only, pollination will not occur because the flowers have a different fertilization time than pollen release. With that in mind, planting should be done by intercalating type A avocados with others of type B, so that the release of pollen from one coincides with the reception time of the other.
Temperature plays a role in how well-synchronized bloom patterns are achieved. The optimal temperature for flowering is 68-77 F. (20-25 C.). Higher or lower temperatures can change how well the tree pollinates.
The plant doesn’t flower
The tree has not flowered, either because it has grown too much in previous years and it needs to replenish its reserves, or because the climatic conditions were not favorable for flowering. So obviously no flower no fruit. The other reasons for the tree not blooming flowers can be:
- It is perfectly natural for young avocado trees to drop flowers in their first or even second year.
- Avocados need a cold period to promote flowering and fruiting. They need to experience temperatures between 0 and 7 C during the period of inactivity. Temperatures should be fairly constant for several months. A sudden cold snap could affect flower production. As the buds form, a late frost could cause them to die and fall.
- A common mistake is to prune at the wrong time and remove too much wood from the tree. Avocados do not need much pruning, removing more than a third of the wood, especially the terminal ends, can remove the yolk. However, light pruning can improve light circulation and penetration, promoting budding.
- Fertilizing a tree, especially with nitrogen, can also help prevent the avocado fruits from blooming.
A flower doesn’t get fertilized
The tree has flowered but the flowers have not been fertilized: lack of pollinating insects, dry wind at the time of flowering, etc.
- Another possibility: The flowers are fertilized but the young fruits fall before reaching maturity.
It can take about 10-15 years from the time the seed is struck to become productive. An avocado tree ripens 150-200 fruits a year. It prefers well-drained soil, so make sure the soil you plant it in is always moist, but it suffers from over-irrigation. It is not cold and frost tolerant, it likes diffused light the most.
Diseases of the avocado tree
External factors such as animals, parasites, or diseases caused by unsuitable soil can affect the development of the avocado tree. Let’s look at some of these:
- Phytophthora root rot: The Phytophthora root rot, also known as ring rot, a type of fungal disease, a parasitic fungus that is located below ground level. Phytophthora cinnamomi is the cause of this disease. As a result of the infection, the roots will become black and sensitive. The parasite can also attack the trunk of the tree, which manifests itself in the form of bark death. It spreads quickly if not treated in time. The disease detected at an early stage can be stopped by dissecting the infected tissues.
- Anthracnose fruit rot: This disease is caused by a fungus called Colletotrichum gloeosporoides. It infects the young stem, leaf, flower, and fruit and destroys it. Dark, patchy depressions appear on the infected fruit and spread rapidly. Regular use of fungicides can effectively treat anthracnose, thus preventing rot of the avocado fruit.
- Powdery mildew: Disease caused by powdery mildew in the avocado tree can become severe if treatment is neglected. The leaves have dark green or purple-brown spots on the backs and yellowish-green spots on the upper sides, followed by a white or gray powdery protrusion. Spray the leaves with an officially approved fungicide against powdery mildew to stop the spread of infection.
- Black stripes of avocado: The disease is characterized by the appearance of black streaks on the trunk and young shoots of the avocado tree, the yellowing of the leaves, and the sparse fruit. Symptoms include the death or alteration of the bark of the tree, which is a serious problem for the grower. Effective intervention can be soil disinfection or proper irrigation to prevent the disease from destroying the tree.
- ASBV (Avocado Sunblotch Viroid): The virus, known as sunblotch, infects the bark and fruit of the avocado tree, which shows colored streaks. White or yellow spots may also form on the leaves. This disease usually spreads through infected seeds, so ask for the virus-free nature of the seeds at the source of their purchase.
The diseases and pathogens of the avocado tree must be known to all growers to be able to defend themselves effectively against them. The tree can fall victim to strong sunlight, frost, infections, insects, mites, naked snails, and other pests.
Requirements for an avocado plant to Bear Good Fruit
- Selection of good fruit plant seeds. Choosing a good and superior fruit seeds are very necessary. We should know and understand whether the seeds of the fruit plants that we will be planting are good or not. Plant seeds that are not good or seeds that are descendants of infertile plants will certainly not be good results.
- Fulfillment of plant needs including the environment, favorable weather climate, rainfall, nutrients, and also sufficient sunlight. The nutrient element in the soil that is needed and most important for plants is Phosphorus, so you have to make sure that this element is in the field to be used.
- The fulfillment of micro-climate is the other micro things that affect the growth of fruit plants including land conditions, soil water quality, air humidity, and temperature. Plants or fruit trees that we plant must be free and protected from diseases that affect plants.
How to Take Care of Avocado Trees for Fast Fruit in Different Seasons
Planting and then waiting for years in the hope that it will bear fruit one day means tiring out your patience. On average, the avocado tree of any species can take 5 years to bear the fruit.
However, there is an effective way that can make avocado plants bear fruit within 3 years. Then here is how to take care of an avocado tree to quickly bear fruit.
- Cut avocado trees as high as 50 – 60 cm from the soil surface and select a diameter of plants with a size of 25-30 cm.
- The first method is to connect the skin, where a gap between the bark and the bond is as deep as 5-7 cm. Then take the stem (entries) with a diameter of 0.5-1 cm with a length of 10-15 cm or consist of 3-5 buds and sliced on both sides below. Insert the entries in the gap that has been made.
- The second method is a slit connection, where the bark is cut 5 – 7 cm long with the width adjusted to the size of the entries. Entries will be sliced slant and affixed to the incised bark. After that, tie around the patch with raffia or plastic rope. Apply liquid wax to the surface of the rootstock and exposed bark to prevent excessive evaporation. In one tree, 3 entries can be placed with a balanced distance around the trunk.
- So that the connection is not exposed to direct sunlight, cover the entries with a cement bag, and plastic coated. To help air circulation, make 2 holes in the front and back.
- After 1 month, the plastic cover is opened and the entries will bring up new green shoots. If it is brownish, the process has failed.
- The figure of the plant will appear after 5 months. With proper care, the plant will bear fruit after 3 years.
This is how to take care of an avocado tree to bear fruit quickly. This process is not difficult to do and is suitable for beginners who want to start cultivating avocado trees.