It takes a lot to grow a delicious avocado! They usually take 6 to 9 months to mature, and one tree can produce hundreds of fruits once fully grown, but they require ample soil nutrients to thrive.
The best potting soil for avocado trees has a pH level of between 6 and 7 and is sandy, fast draining, and rich in nutrients. Fox Farm offers their Ocean Forest Potting Soil that supplies everything from micronutrients to the essential NPK for your avocado tree to thrive.
Check out the following specifics to have a bountiful fruit set and never need to buy avocados again!
Best Soil for Avocado Trees Planted in Ground: What Matters
You may have heard the Chinese proverb that says: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” That goes for preparing the soil as well!
If you’re hoping to plant a tree, you should begin amending the soil as soon as you decide to plant a tree, and the sooner the better.
Testing the pH and nutrient levels of the soil to determine its makeup and what you can do to increase its attributes will help to grow a strong tree.
The best type of soil for an avocado tree is sandy and drains quickly. With a makeup of minimal clay and a higher quantity of stone, sand, and air, the tree will be able to grow strong roots and access the air and moisture it needs.
Avocado trees prefer acidic soil in the range of 6.0 to 7.0. Test the soil with a simple pH test or multi-purpose gadget like this one that measures pH, moisture, and nutrient levels.
Add sulfur to help reduce the pH if it is higher than this range. Use lime or dolomite if you want to raise the pH.
Soil Nutrient Levels & Organic Matter
A nutrient-rich type of soil will supply the tree with micronutrients like magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, and other trace minerals while also supplying nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus.
It can be difficult to measure this without lab equipment, but taking a look at the color of the soil is a good indicator.
If the soil is dark brown or almost black, it is high in organic matter. If it is light brown or mostly sandy, it will usually require compost or other organic matter to be mixed in to enrich the area.
If the tree does not have soil with ample pore space, allowing for water to coexist with air, the roots may begin to rot.
A well-draining soil is necessary so that it has equal pore space for water and air. A 50-50 mix is ideal. Clay soils have very poor drainage while sandy, loamy soils will have more drainage.
Salts can build up in poorly draining soil and burn avocado leaves. You’ll notice salts will leave a white crust on the soil that will begin to raise the soil’s pH and turn the soil alkaline instead of acidic.
An avocado tree loves sun exposure, so aim for full, direct sun at least 6 hours a day.
Avocado trees grow large, so be sure to plant them away from any structure — about 15 to 20 feet or more away from anything — to allow enough space for its canopy.
Best Soil for Potted Avocado Trees:
Avocado trees are more finicky than most trees and require the right mix of ingredients and nutrients to thrive.
You can try to make your own or try one of these premixed brands to help ensure they contain a good mix.
Check out the What To Look For section below and also the following recommended brands that will get you on the right track quickly!
What To Look For
When deciding what mix to use, the first thing to look at is the ingredient list. If the blend contains a diverse list of materials, that is a good sign!
If you see only a few things listed, you may end up needing to add additional ingredients to help bring it up to speed.
- Materials like sand, pumice stone, and limestone will indicate it has minerals that will help create pore space for drainage.
- Other materials like coco coir and peat moss will indicate water retention.
- Trace minerals and fertilizers like compost, bat guano, calcium, dolomite, bone meal, and other similar materials will indicate it has a diverse array of nutrients that will feed the tree over time.
Sometimes they will include mycorrhizae, which is beneficial to healthy soil, and others will include a premixed fertilizer blend that will feed the tree for a short time but need replenishing shortly after planting.
Sometimes an expiration date can be found on soil brands, but this shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
An expiration or use-by date usually indicates there are living ingredients like bacteria and microbes that may begin to die after some time on the shelf.
With a pH of 6.3-6.8 and a combination of ocean nutrients like crustacean meal and fish meal along with many land products, this product offers comprehensive nutrients for your tree.
It’s also all natural, which is great for growers conscious about what goes into their soil and food.
Great at regulating moisture, this potting mix is great for potted plants to help from keeping the roots too wet or dry.
It is a potting mix and will only feed your tree for 6 months, so be sure to routinely feed your tree every few months after those initial nutrients run out.
This organic mix contains sphagnum peat moss, humus, perlite, earthworm castings, limestone, alfalfa meal, kelp meal, feather meal, yucca extract, and endo and ecto mycorrhizae.
Because it contains no synthetic ingredients, you can use it with confidence.
This potting mix also contains soil, so it is sure to foster a healthy growing biome for your tree roots.
It would work best with the addition of dolomite to help reduce the pH by a little, but it will still supply your tree with all the nutrients it needs to grow successfully.
Natural and organic ingredients will start your tree off right, and this Black Gold potting mix contains fertilizer to help feed your tree right away and compost to help feed it over time.
It also comes with its special Resilance Silicon formula that helps grow stronger plants.
Potting Soil vs. Potting Mix
Soil is special because it consists of living ingredients such as microbes and bacteria that are necessary for a healthy growing environment.
Potting soil contains these living attributes while also having ingredients like coco coir, peat moss, and other materials that are not living but are good growing mediums.
Potting mix does not necessarily contain any soil and can be all individual ingredients put together.
Microbes and bacteria may develop over time, but many times you will need to add compost or other materials to make this occur.
Will a Potted Avocado Tree Bear Fruit?
The only requirements an avocado tree needs are nutrients, water, sun, and a second tree of a different variety. So, it won’t bear fruit if it’s all alone, but if you have two potted trees, they will bear fruit with no problem!
Are Coffee Grounds Good for Avocado Trees?
Coffee grounds supply nitrogen, calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, and magnesium to the soil. They are good for avocado trees because they require ample nitrogen and trace minerals to grow healthy and produce fruit.
Whether you choose to grow your avocado tree in a pot or in the soil, nutrients are key.
Do some investigative work into your existing soil, and add anything it may be missing, or try out one of the listed brands above to ensure everything is already there!
Either way, you’ll have avocados in no time if you follow this guide!