Avocados are large, evergreen shrub or tree with glossy green leaves. Fruit either green or black, smooth or rough. Some flowers open males in morning and females in afternoon, and others visa-versa. These are classed as A and B pollinators.
They are best planted in spring or summer. Needs deep top soil, excellent drainage, but moist soil, roots develop best at soil temperatures between 20 and 25oC Later fruiting varieties (eg. Hass) do better in areas which may suffer cold winters. Tree guards are often valuable to protect plants during establishment. Propagate by grafting selected cultivars onto seedlings.
Control weeds around tree base. Root disturbance to the tree is detrimental.
Fertilise frequently & lightly during periods of growth (liquid fertiliser or rotted manure). Remove terminal buds as tree develops to force branching. Frosts at flowering time will cause fruit drop. Susceptible to root rots, anthracnose and leaf and stem spots. Fruit fly attack.
P. americana (Avocado) - Evergreen tree to 12m tall, many varieties now produce range of fruit shapes and are available as small or tall trees. Plant mixtures of A and B pollinators to maximise fruiting.