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How to Plant, Grow, and Harvest Avocado Tree

Are you an aspiring avocado grower who doesn’t know how to get started? You are at the right place. 

At FrutPlanet exporters, we have a team of fruit experts integrated within our team. The team trains our farmers on the best farming practices to ensure we export products our clients love.

Planting, growing, and harvesting from a full-grown avocado tree involves several stages and considerations. 

Here’s a general guide to help you through the process:

There are over 500 avocado varieties, and they are all classified according to their origin. Most commercially acceptable avocado varieties originated from Mexico, India, Guatemala, and the United States. The most commercially accepted avocado varieties you can plant, grow and harvest in Kenya include Hass, Fuerte, and Pinkerton.

If you’d love to learn more about common avocado varieties in Kenya, check out our guide on the best avocado varieties. FrutPlanet is a leading avocado exporter in Kenya, and our guidance is informed by our experience working with over 100 avocado growers.

Stage 1: Planting

planting an avocado tree

All aspiring avocado growers should plant avocado trees when the rainfall is high. They should plant during spring if they live in regions that experience winter. That way, they give the new plant ample time to establish its roots before the cold, dormant winter seasons.

Young avocado plants have sensitive roots; therefore, trying to disturb them may kill them. Below is a step-by-step on how to plant avocados:

Step A: Choose a Suitable Location

You need to select the spot where you’ll plant your avocado plants. The best environment for you may vary depending on the region. We advise consulting an expert and testing the soil before settling on a spot. Avocado plants appreciate soil within 6 to 8 on the pH scale. These are slightly acidic or alkaline soils.

In addition, the spot should be sunny in your garden with well-draining soil. We advise you to do a soil test on the spot and ensure the soil distribution is between 20-40 clay. If the clay distribution is less than 20%, it drains. On the other hand, if the distribution is 40% of clay, it will be clogging water so much. 

Step B: Dig a Hole

In this step, we assume that you have the avocado plant seedling planted in a container. The seedlings’ roots should be about 2 to 3 inches when transplanting them. They could be a month or there about old.

Dig a few holes in the location you settled on. The holes should be deep and wide enough to accommodate the tree’s root ball. The depth should be similar to the container it comes in, but they can be slightly wider. The depth ensures the developing roots aren’t disturbed, while the width serves more future functions such as watering and mulching.

Step C: Remove the Tree from the Container

Gently tap the sides of the container to loosen the soil holding into the container. You should ensure that the roots and ball aren’t triggered or moved in any way. Carefully remove the tree but ensure that you do not damage the roots. 

Damaging the roots increases the plant’s time to recover from the transplant. And in the worst-case scenario, the plant can die.

Step D: Place the Tree in the Hole

Set the tree in the hole. The top of the root ball should be level with or slightly above the ground. If the hole is too deep, burying it may be right. Ensure that the soil does not cover the young plant’s stem.

Then fill the hole with soil, gently firming it around the roots. At its earliest stages, protect it from too much wind or human activities that may sway it and slow down the development of the roots.

Step E: Water Thoroughly

Water the newly planted tree thoroughly to rekindle the functioning of the roots. The earlier the roots find comfort in the new environment, the better. If you do everything right, your newly planted avocado seedling should show signs of life within two days.

Stage 2: Growing

growing and maintaining an avocado tree

The growing and maintenance stage is the most crucial in the life of your avocado plant. It defines the overall health of your plant and how bountiful your yields will be. The growing stage ranges from 3 to 5 years, depending on the avocado variety.

For example, a Hass avocado takes between 3 and 5 years to mature fully. The period before they fully develop varies depending on the environment and availability of resources.

Step A. Watering

Your young avocado trees may require regular watering, especially in the first years. However, you should water them deeply and infrequently as they mature, allowing the top few inches of soil to dry out between watering sessions. You may forego watering if your environment is favourable and has adequate rainfall.

If your environment is not favourable and you plan to water the avocados long-term, the best irrigation method is drip or micro-sprinkling. You will be saving a lot of water. In addition, too much water causes root clotting, a condition that often results from water clogging the base of the avocado plant.

Step B: Fertilization

Your avocado plants also need regular fertilisation, especially during their early development stages. At FrutPlanet exporters, we advise our partner farmers to apply a balanced organic fertiliser in the spring and summer months just before rainfall. 

Another option that can easily replace fertilisers is applying manure. In Kenya, maturity is one of the best sustainable farming practices, greatly benefiting your avocado plant. Whether cow, goat or chicken manure, it’s highly beneficial to the plants, mainly if applied on the plant earlier. We advise our customers to avoid inorganic fertilisers, which can lead to excessive vegetative growth and are not sustainable.

Step C: Pruning

You should prune your avocado tree during winter dormancy to maintain its shape. In addition, pruning removes dead or diseased branches and improves air circulation. During the dormant months, the avocado plant is not growing but reserves resources for spring and summer. 

Minor pruning can be done throughout the year, especially if you don’t want your avocado plant growing into a large tree. Unpruned avocado plants grow long and often pose a challenge when harvesting.

Step D: Pollination

Some avocado varieties are self-pollinating, while others require cross-pollination.  Most avocado flowers have male and female parts, each opening simultaneously to facilitate pollination. 

On the other hand, avocado trees that require cross-pollination need a compatible avocado variety nearby for a successful fruit set. It’s best to have several plants of the same plant to boost its yield. For example, if you’re farming Hass avocados, have several plants for efficient pollination.

Step E: Pest and Disease Control

You must monitor your avocado tree for common pests and diseases. Avocado trees, especially as they are near fruiting, are often susceptible to pests and diseases. You need to understand the various pests and diseases and their corresponding remedies.

At FrutPlanet, we advise that you train our farmers on sustainable farming practices. Therefore, we recommend using sustainable remedies like altering the pest life cycle, eliminating the facilitating factors, and introducing the pests’ predators. You should only use other environmentally unfriendly methods like pesticides when sustainable methods have failed.

Stage 3: Harvesting

harvesting avocado fruits

You have planted and grown your avocado trees; now it’s time to harvest the fruits. Nothing can be more satisfying. 

Step A: Time to Maturity

Commercial avocado tree varieties typically take 3 to 5 years to reach maturity and produce significant fruit yields. However, the timeline for some varieties may vary and extend to up to 13 years. In addition, the timeline may vary depending on the variety and growing conditions.

Step B: Fruit Development

The avocado fruits take several months to develop and mature, especially when fruiting for the first time. The time from flowering to eventual fruit maturity can be anywhere from 4 to 7 months. Some varieties may take even longer.

Give the fruits enough time to mature, whether you will be exporting your first harvest or consuming them when ripe. But how do you check if your avocados are mature?

You can check avocado maturing by gently squeezing them. Mature avocados are characteristically firm and may change colour.

Step C: Harvesting

It’s time to harvest once you ascertain that the avocado fruits are mature. Various varieties have different indications when they are mature for harvest. We have prepared a guide on how to know your avocado is mature, and some of the signs we discuss include skin colour, firmness, and size, among others.

Harvest the avocados by clipping or cutting the fruit of the branch. You can use a pole picker to harvest long trees or climb up. However, you should note that avocado branches are less strong than most trees.

 Once you harvest the avocados, you can decide whether to consume them or sell them to exporters, depending on your initial goal.


We recommend you consult local resources or experts for advice tailored to your climate and avocado variety. This is especially important for your soil distribution and pH levels. But overall, growing avocados can be a challenging endeavour but very promising and rewarding in the end.

Contact us if you are an avocado farmer or grower and would like to partner with the best avocado exporter in Kenya. FrutPlanet has been exporting high-quality organically grown avocados for years. We have a global network distribution and have access to suppliers in the Netherlands, the United States, Missile East, and China.

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