Homegrown Avocado Plants Don't Bare Fruit?!

panspipes(zone 9)February 15, 2012

After patiently waiting 2 months for an old pit to sprout in my windowsill, I have now just read that these plants rarely produce fruit! Could this be?

It was written by a nursery that sells avocado plants. They say the plants have to be grafted to bare fruit.

After many years in the nursery business, I cannot imagine what grafting has to do with fruit production.

All I can think of is that maybe it can then pollinate itself, rather than needing another avocado tree nearby?

What gives?

Thank you for your time.

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franktank232(z5 WI)

Unless you know how you're fruit was pollinated, you are flying blind on what you'll end up with when the tree does finally fruit. By grafting you will know exactly what you are getting.

Another reason to graft is to get a tree to fruit earlier. You're taking mature wood off a mature tree and grafting it to a young tree that lacks mature wood.

From seed to fruit, the shortest I can think of is a peach...3 years ...Other trees take far longer. Something like a pear may take up to 10 years. Citrus is another example of a tree that takes forever to fruit. The reason is the long juvenile stage (non fruiting wood).

Don't worry about your pits. They are simple to get to grow from seed. I have avocados growing all summer in my compost heap.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 8:58AM
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male and female plants. You will not get an avocado tree indoors. Unless you have a greenhouse with ground plots.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 10:00AM
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Grew up on a Avocado ranch in So. Calif. you will need to graft those trees in order to get fruit. It would be much easier just to buy one.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 1:39PM
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ashok_ncal(CA z9b)

According to the experts, avocados are extremely variable from seed, and the chances of a seedling producing good-quality fruit are very low. They are comparable to apples in this respect. Also, as Franktank points out, a seedling may take many years to mature to the point where it could flower/fruit -- in the case of avocados, if I recall correctly, this could take twenty or more years.

Avocados don't have separate male and female individuals, but pollination issues can get complicated. There's plenty of information on that matter on the web.

So yes, you would be better-off just buying a plant. You could try your hand at grafting using your seedling as a rootstock, however. Depending upon where you are in Zone 9 (that covers a lot of ground), you might be able to grow some of the hardier, Mexican-type avocados outdoors.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 8:09PM
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panspipes(zone 9)

Well bugger. Thanks for all the help.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 6:34PM
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I grew several avacado trees (1 at a time)in S Florida from the seed pit of the large green avacados found in the area. Never had a problem getting fruit. (my problem was hurricanes taking the trees down).
Read the wikipedia article about avacado pollination
But if you are not in an area suited for avacados, that may get you nothing.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 9:13PM
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As Jimfnc posted - I too have grown out several avocados from seed down in South Florida and ate my fill of fruit from those trees.... All of them did bear fruit in 8-10 years after planting...

The trouble I had wasn't getting it to bear... It's that a full size Avocado seedling grows like 40+ feet tall and then bears.... They all ended up about the same size as a full size long leaf pine tree.... meaning gigantic!

The next "Problem" was that every avocado tree I grew would bear like 300+ lbs of fruit a year... WAY too much to handle! That stuff was everywhere....


    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 3:22PM
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