growing fruit bearing avocado indoors. can it be done?

fullmetal13August 30, 2010

Hello first off I would like to say that this is my first post on this forum so i'm not even sure if this is in the right section but seeing as an avocado is a tree it seems right

I have read many articles online of people who grow avocado trees indoors as house plants that will almost never bear any fruit. Other articles say that if I want fruit I need to graft a branch of a different flower type to it. Now I want to know if I were to grow two trees of different flower types inside within close proximity to each other would they be able to cross pollinate and bear fruit?

Also would a house plant size tree be large enough to bear fruit?

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance

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denninmi(8a)

Trying to get two different indoor trees to bloom in sync is very hard. There is such a tiny window of time in which blossoms are open and fertile.

I guess it can be done IF you buy a known self-fertile variety that does well in pot culture. Reports on success aren't all that easy to find, but at least a couple of people have gotten a fruit on a potted plant.

The two main self-pollinating varieties that are recommended are 'Don Gillogly' and 'Holiday' from what I can tell.

I have a seedling grown tree that I've had for 35 years as of last spring, it makes a nice potted foliage plant but never has shown any inclination to flower.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 3:00AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

to flower and bare fruit.. MOST plants need full ... blistering .. sunshine .... and i am presuming we are not talking about ornamental fruits and what not ....

no matter what you do .. INSIDE A HOUSE.. you will never get the requisite amount of light ... or you will spend so much money.. that you will have a thousand dollar avocado .. lol ...

you can get it to grow.. prosper... and be green..

but only in exceptional circs.. will you get flower .... let alone a fruit ... that is edible ...

ken

PS: then throw in the forced air furnace causing humidity issues .. winter temp swings .. etc ... let me tell you one thing.. YOUR HOUSE IN PA IS NOT SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA ... lol

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 11:16AM
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denninmi(8a)

Ken, I want to respectfully disagree with your assessment of indoor avocado culture in terms of just growing the plant itself. They're actually incredibly easy to grow, and they don't suffer very many problems. The leaves are held for two years/growing cycles, as is pretty common with many broadleaved evergreens, and in their second year, mine do tend to get dry, brown margins, but those can be trimmed with scissors to keep the plant cosmetically acceptable. Otherwise, the are really easy. Indoors, they just want reasonably good light and to be watered on a timely basis.

And, of course, they love to go outside in the summer, where they'll put on a tremendous growth spurt.

Just don't expect fruit on them, in all likelyhood.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 12:06PM
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Dan Staley

I think ken is describing the chances of getting a fruit from the pit placed in the kitchen window after the guac was made. The chances of getting one from a mail-order house are somewhat higher, AIUI.

Dan

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 12:51PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

hey denni ... dans interpretation is correct ...

the title of the post is all about FRUIT BEARING ....

i said they would get a nice green plant... i just wouldn't go buying the lemons .. while waiting for something to eat ...

though i dont see where a mail order plant.. will overcome the need for high intensity lamps and humidity control indoors ... i suspect dan is referring only to the ability to get a flower that is self pollinating ..????

ken

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 1:17PM
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Dan Staley

I actually have family with an avocado ranch, but haven't visited it. It is in southern CA and the maritime air doesn't always get there, so dry desert conditions happen in winter too.

Jus' sayin'. But I'd have a humidifier nearby in winter, surely, to flip on a couple days a week.

Dan

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 2:40PM
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denninmi(8a)

Hey, Ken --- yeah, it might help if I actually read the post CAREFULLY.

I'll give myself noogies on the forehead and maybe a good old Three Stooges finger in the eye. Sorry. It's monday, what can I say?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 4:31PM
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Dan Staley

Ow! Wise guy, eh?

Dan

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 5:35PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I wouldn't expect an Avocado to fruit indoors, either.... well, I guess inside a greenhouse, maybe ;)

I tell folks to grow them to enjoy as plants, rather than with any fruiting expectations.

The humidity issue can be handled with a simple pebble tray. Last Fall, I dug up a
volunteer Avocado from the garden. I put it into a pot and kept it as a houseplant.
It's back ouside for the Summer, but I've kept it in its pot.

Josh

Here is a link that might be useful: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 5:59PM
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fullmetal13

Wow I wasnt expecting this many responses thanks everyone

I think I might just try to grow something easier first lol. thanks again

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 10:30AM
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donzuke12

OK here is what I believe. You can do anything if you wan to. Nothing is impossible. You just have to put the effort into it. As for growing an avocado tree from the grocery store that will produce fruit forget about it. The growers purposelessly treat most store bought stuff for the very reason that people would try this. Go to a local nursery that you trust or a mail order nursery that seem trustworthy. Go for organic mainly because they believe in what they sell more so than others. Make sure the sapling is self pollinating. Make sure of that. Get all the facts such as soil temp water misting etc... Make sure you ask the seller because if they know less than you than it wouldn't be a good choice to buy from them. They should be able to explain exactly what you will need for success. I tried citrus trees and never got anything from them. One day I went into a restaurant and found that they had citrus growing and fruiting inside the restaurant. So just because one person doesn't have luck doesn't mean someone else can't.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 7:18PM
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campv

Grew up on a AVO ranch in So. California. I am going to say big no , unless it is in a very large hot house w/the right conditions. Avo's don't put on fruit until they are over 6' tall. Grow it from a grocery store seed and it will need to be grafted to produce any fruit. Sorry!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 4:17PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

"You can do anything if you wan to. Nothing is impossible." versus "As for growing an avocado tree from the grocery store that will produce fruit forget about it."

Hmmm.

"The growers purposelessly (maybe Don meant purposefully?) treat most store bought stuff for the very reason that people would try this."

Really? Where did you get that information?

"Go for organic mainly because they believe in what they sell more so than others."

Really? Where did you get that information?

"Make sure you ask the seller..."

The people that sell plants are very frequently not the best source of information about growing the plants. Most nurseries are in business to sell plants and often don't educate their employees sufficiently, even though doing so might very well be a net positive for their bottom line.

Don, I'm not trying to be a smart alec, but I really do wonder about the accuracy of much of your post.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 5:20PM
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smithmal

Wanted to bring this thread back to life.

I want to grow a fruiting avocado tree. I will keep it in a container and place it outside for 6 months out of the year (June - September).

I will then bring it indoors for winter protection. So... is it possible to successfully grow a FRUITING avocado tree in this manner?

If so, what variety would you suggest?

Thanks,

smithmal

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 3:01PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

you should have started your own post.. instead of resurrecting this one ..

and i suggest you do two.. one in the container forum to get those experts involved

and one in the fruit forum... to get those experts involved ..

and to be very clear ... getting a green tree to grow is NOT the issue ... getting it to set and mature fruit.. is your main problem ....

see link

good luck

ken

ps: did you bother to read the above post???... the trees peeps seem to suggest you can not get them to fruit indoors .... hence the suggestion to go to other experts....

Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 4:28PM
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gardengal48

You need a grafted tree rather than one grown from a pit, which can take many years before being able to bear fruit. And because avocados can get to be BIG trees, look for dwarf varieties if you intend to grow in a container. Otherwise, grow them much as you would a citrus tree, with very bright but indirect light indoors in winter, evenly moist soil, relatively high humidity (when indoors) and consistently warm temps.

Whether or not you actually get fruit is a bit of a toss-up. IME, fruit bearing plants grown out of zone/location or as partial houseplants rarely - if ever - produce fruit..........

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 4:33PM
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smithmal

Ken,

Thanks for your response. It was my understanding that you cannot get avocados to fruit if you solely grow it as an indoor plant (which is not my intention).

Many fig trees are grown in this way (i.e. growing them outside in the late spring through fall and then sheltering them in the winter). The difference is that a fig tree will go into dormancy while a avocado will not (at least that is my presumption).

If one were to choose a cold hardy variety (like Mexicalo, Gainsville, etc.) and shelter it in the winter so that the temps stay between 25-30F, would it be possible to sustain an avocado tree in a container that would provide a harvest each year?

My thought is, since there is little to no people doing this, that the answer is no, but I was hoping to get a definitive on this.

Thanks,

smithmal

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 4:35PM
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