It's possible to grow avocado trees indoors, but can these tropical plants bear fruits when grown in containers inside the house? We did some extensive research for your convenience, and here's what we found out.
An indoor avocado tree can bear fruit but only if you have the right dwarf variety and if it's grafted on a rootstock. You will also need to provide it with the right nutrients, temperature, and regular pruning.
Read on to know which avocado dwarf variety is best for indoors and growing fruits. We'll also discuss proper care, how tall they grow, and what temperature you need to help your indoor plant survive.
Can I Grow A Fruit Bearing Avocado Tree Indoors?
Avocado trees are susceptible to cold temperatures. That's why they mostly grow well only in areas with warmer climates like North America, Southern Mexico, and other tropical countries.
However, it's possible to grow them indoors even if you live in an area with colder weather. With proper maintenance and temperature control, you can provide the best environment for optimal growth.
If you want your indoor avocado plant to bear fruits, you must find a healthy grafted dwarf variety. Generally, it's almost impossible to grow avocado indoors if planted from seedlings. Growing one from a grafted variety increases your chances of having a fruit-bearing tree.
Below are some avocado varieties you can grow indoors:
- Wurtz - The fruit of the Wurtz avocado comes in various sizes. Its thin, shiny, and dark green skin makes the fruit looks prettier than other varieties, so it's a favorite on the market. The fruit itself has a rich, creamy texture, making it perfect for making guacamole and for salads.
- Gwen - The Gwen avocado fruit has thick, rough skin that remains dark green even when the fruit is ripe. The fruit has a buttery, nutty taste and it's mostly used for making guacamole, ice cream, salads, and other desserts.
- Reed - The Reed avocado variety produces the biggest fruit that could weigh more than a pound. It has thick, green skin and golden yellow flesh that's best eaten raw to fully enjoy its rich, buttery texture.
- Holiday - This variety bears large fruits, six inches in length, that are often seen sold in grocery stores. It needs lots of sunlight and must be near a window.
How Tall Will An Avocado Tree Grow Indoors?
According to several online sources, an avocado tree growing outdoors can reach a height of anywhere between 30 to 80 feet. However, you can prune down some varieties to a height of around 8 to 16 feet.
Here are some of the indoor avocado varieties and how tall they grow:
- Wurtz - The "Little Cado" is the only real dwarf tree variety. It is the only single species of natural dwarf avocado, and it can grow up to 12 feet high.
- Gwen - This avocado variety is considered a dwarf because it grows only up to 15 feet and can be smaller with regular pruning.
- Reed - This variety can grow up to 37 feet but can be pruned down to 8 feet. It's an ideal indoor plant because it can bear fruit even without another pollinator plant nearby.
- Holiday - This variety can grow indoors up to 12 feet high. It grows similar to the shape of a Christmas tree or umbrella shaped.
Check out this video below on how to handle a growing avocado tree indoors.
How Do You Take Care Of An Indoor Avocado Tree?
Some people grow avocado trees as a house plant, but if you intend for them to bear fruit, you need to care for them differently. It will take around seven years for an avocado tree to grow, but with the right care, you can encourage the plant to bear fruit faster.
If you're growing the Wurtz variety, the chances of bearing fruit are higher because they are more resilient and grow well indoors. You may have a harder time if you're growing the other dwarf varieties, but don't fret because they do bear fruits even when indoors.
The care requirements are different depending on the avocado plant variety you have, so studying your specific type will help you a lot. Below are some ways for you to take proper care of your indoor avocado plant.
Avocados grow a lot of deep and shallow roots, so they need to be placed in the right pot size periodically as they develop. Proper repotting is the key for them to grow at a steady pace.
You may be tempted to put the small plant in a big pot immediately, thinking it will eventually grow into it anyway and save you effort repotting. However, this is the wrong way to grow it.
If you put a plant with small roots in a big pot of soil, it will strain to get the water and nutrients it needs to grow and develop, unlike smaller pots where the nutrients are concentrated. Also, you will put the plant more at risk of root rot due to the extra moisture.
Don't worry because you don't need to re-pot too often. Avocado plants need repotting every two to three years, depending on how fast your plant grows. You can start it on a six to eight-inch pot and transfer it to a larger pot two inches bigger.
Mulching is essential for avocado trees. They tend to grow roots that are exposed above the soil. When these dry up, it can be bad for the plant, so it's important to put mulch on top of the soil to lock the moisture in.
The top six inches of the plant's soil contains the feeder roots, which absorb the nutrients and water from the soil. Placing mulch on the soil will help increase its water holding capacity as well as protect the roots.
What's the best mulch for avocado plants? There's no one answer to this because sources say different things, depending on yard material available in their area and what they tried that works for their tree. However, it seems that coarse yard mulch is one of the most effective.
An example of a coarse yard mulch is woody pieces of shredded tree bark and cocoa bean husk. You can buy these in your local gardening store or make your own.
Giving an avocado plant water can be tricky. They love water, but once you overwater them and the soil is not properly aerated, they can be very prone to root rot. Adding too much mulch can also affect soil moisture, so finding the perfect balance is the key.
To know whether to give the plant more or less water, there are several things you can do:
- Water the plant only if the first two inches of the soil are dry to the touch.
- Water the plant more frequently during hot weather and less frequently during the rainy or cold season.
- Use dechlorinated water on the plant to avoid salt accumulation in the soil, which sometimes happens when using rainwater or tap water.
Prune your avocado tree when needed, more on the top than on the side, to encourage it to grow bushier foliage sideways rather than upward. Limit pruning only a few times per year. However, you can snip off any yellowing or discolored leaf to prevent any disease from spreading to the other parts of the plant.
Avocado Tree Indoor Light Requirements
Avocados love the sun, so it can be tricky to grow them indoors. However, if you have a sufficient amount of natural light coming into the house through big windows or glass doors, you can meet the indoor light requirements of an avocado tree.
Eight hours a day of a full-spectrum light is ideal, but if you don't have enough light coming in, especially during the winter season, you can have artificial LED lighting systems installed.
To sum things up, you can grow fruit-bearing avocado trees indoors if you have the right dwarf variety. A grafted dwarf tree will be most successful in bearing fruit. Finally, providing the right soil nutrients, sufficient water, and pot size will help avocado trees survive indoors.
You can check out our other articles to learn more about growing fruits and vegetables indoors.