3 Avocado Tree Types: Easy Trick To Grow From Seed Bears Fruit Every Time

Woman looks at an avocado seed in a jar while standing next to an avocado tree and wonders how to grow avocado tree from seed, how to identify avocado trees, and how to grow indoor avocado plant.

Thinking about growing an avocado tree?

Did you know that there are three types you can actually grow from a seed (and they’ll bear fruit)?

At first, the idea of growing a tree from seed may appear a daunting and time-consuming project compared to simply planting a sapling in a corner of the yard.

But, believe it or not, you can get your own avocados simply, by sprouting a seed. But first, you need to choose the right avocado tree.

The evergreen avocado trees hail from the family Lauraceae and the genus Persea and are native to Mexico, Central, and South America where the fruit is used to make the world-famous guacamole.

So, the growing zone where you live will impact how you grow your avocado tree, indoors or out. This guide explains everything you need to know. 

Related Reading: 59 Types of Evergreen Trees (Pictures): Identification Guide (Chart)

Avocado Tree

(Persea americana)

Avocado tree in oval frame on green background.
  • Family: Lauraceae
  • Genus: Persea
  • Leaf: Oval-shaped leaves grow from lengths of 10 to 30 cm
  • Bark: Smooth bark when young and becomes cracked and thicker when mature
  • Seed: Makes up to 25% of the weight of each fruit
  • Native Habitat: Mexico, Central, and South America
  • Soil: Well-draining soil
  • Zones: Tropical and sub-tropical
  • Height: Grows to average heights of 40 feet
  • Canopy: 20-30 Feet
  • Type: Evergreen

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species Ranking

Least Concern


Image Credit: Alice_Alphabet14

Avocado trees grow to average heights of 40 feet with canopy widths of 20-30 feet in well-draining soil and in tropical and sub-tropical conditions where the oval-shaped leaves grow from lengths of 10 to 30 cm.

In the United States of America, California holds the title of the country’s top avocado producer with an incredible 5,000 farms spread across the state.

Every year this state alone generates in excess of 400 million pounds of avocados, yet so great is the demand for this nutritious fruit that approximately 80% of all the avocados produced in Mexico are exported to the United States.

Growing Zones for Avocado Trees

The warm-weather loving plant can’t tolerate sustained freezes that dip lower that about 30 degrees, so the optimum U.S. growing zones for these trees are 9-11.

Certain Mexican avocado trees can tolerate growing zone 8, but you’ll need to take precautions (such as using a frost blanket or other protection) if the temperatures are going to stay below freezing for more than 24 hours.

Avocado tree growth chart showing showing a line graph with avocado tree age on the x-axis and avocado tree height on the y-axis.

One option for colder climates is to choose a dwarf tree that can be moved indoors, see below for more information.

Grow Avocado From Seed (Avocado Plant)

Growing an avocado tree from seed will take anywhere from 5 to 13 years before it starts to blossom and bear fruit, whereas if started from a sapling that time to the first avocado harvest can be reduced significantly.3

A graphic that shows the 6 steps on how to grow an Avocado Tree which is putting the seed in potting soil, covering it, watering and placing under indirect sunlight, fertilizing, transferring to a larger container, and transferring it to the ground.

A young tree has smooth bark that gets cracked and thicker as the tree matures, and requires very little attention when it’s growing up as long as it is in well-composted soil that drains well.

Types of Avocado Trees (3 Avocado Tree Types)

Mexico, Guatemala, and the West Indian species are the 3 main types of avocados with at least 1,000 hybrids being cultivated from the originals. They vary in size, color, oil content, texture, and even taste.

What they have in common is that between 10-25% of the weight of the fruit is down to the size of the seed.

OriginAppearanceBeneficial Oil ContentSize and Weight
Mexico Gil (Image: Ndjouwou10)A small, thin-skinned fruitHigh oil content of up to 30%84-60 cm
3-8 ounces
Guatemala (Image: Laker8)The skin is thick, rough, and dark7-18% oil content48-36 cm
8-12 ounces
West Indian (Image: Nur Afni Setiyaningrum11)Large with a smooth, shiny skin5-7% oil content28 cm
32 ounces

Mexican Avocado

Guatemalan Avocado

West Indian Avocado

The method of categorizing the size of an avocado is calculated by how many similar-sized fruits will fit into a 25-pound carton. The more that fits inside the container, the higher the number that is allocated to them, and the smaller class the fruit is placed in.

There are various cultivars from avocado trees that are produced to be more pest resistant, larger, and more cold hardy, such as Wurtz, Shepard, Reed, Fuerte, Pinkerton, and Hass which are the most popular in the States.

Sharwil, which is a cross cultivar between the Mexican and Guatemalan species grown in Hawaii, has a rich, nutty flavor that Hawaiians consider to be far superior in taste compared to the Californian Hass.

How To Grow an Avocado Tree (Grow Avocado From Seed and How To Grow Avocado Trees in Pots)

The whole process starts from germination, but rather than immersing avocado seeds into a vase of water and waiting impatiently for the activity of the roots bursting out,1 here is an easier method that greatly increases the number of seeds that will be viable for potting.

First, the seeds taken from a ripe avocado need to be thoroughly washed and cleaned and then wrapped individually in a damp paper towel. After placing each of them singly in an open plastic bag, it’s time to place them in a dark place in your home at room temperature.

Graphic image showing the growth stages of an avocado tree from a seed to a fully mature tree with fruit.

It will take weeks before germination occurs. In the meantime, it is imperative that every 4 days the paper towel is moistened again if it has dried out.

At the four week mark, it will be possible to visibly identify which seeds are ready for potting due to the size of the emerging roots. Those that are below 3 inches are not ready and just need a little bit more time in the dark.

How To Grow an Avocado Tree From a Seed (How To Grow an Avocado Tree From a Pit)

Place the seed inside a hole dug out in potting soil with the roots facing downwards then cover gradually, gently tamping the soil down until just the top of the seed is visible.

Moisten the soil with room-temperature distilled water and place the pot in indirect sunlight. It is important that the pot has drainage holes so any excess water can drain into the plate beneath it so it can be emptied easily.

Every 3 months add a fertilizer to your budding avocado tree so it continues to grow up big and strong.

As the leaves and stems begin to sprout, prune back the top ones every 4 to 6 months which will promote further shoots to emerge. As the roots outgrow the container, repot it and place it outside in early spring to take advantage of natural lighting and bring it back indoors when the weather turns wintry.

Eventually, when it gets too big for a 25 or 50-gallon pot it can be fully planted outside, fertilized, and watered 2 or 3 times a week depending on the local temperatures and the size of the avocado tree.4

Growing an Avocado Tree From a Cutting or Growing an Avocado Tree From a Seedling

To ensure that the avocado tree would bear fruits within 5-7 years, rather than running the risk of having a barren tree at the end of 10 years, using a cutting or a seedling would give more reliable results.

Wide shot of different ages of Avocado Tree seedlings in small black pots to show growing an Avocado tree from a seedling.

(Image: BlancaElenda12)

A cutting needs to be taken from a tree in spring, the end doused in IBA (Indole Butyric Acid) to stimulate growth, and then placed in a small pot with a mixture of perlite and peat moss then watered and the soil tamped down around it.

Wait a few weeks then a gentle tug will confirm whether the roots have sprouted. Continue watering for a further 3 weeks then transplant outdoors into a hole wider than the root ball and just as deep.

The process from a seedling is the same apart from the fact the seedling can be placed immediately outside and then nurtured in a similar manner with water and fertilizer.

How To Plant an Avocado Tree (Planting Tips for Avocado Tree)

If your goal is to have avocados in your lawn or backyard as soon as possible, your best bet is to follow the professionals and use rootstock and grafting. This is where the root of an avocado tree with a stem attached is grafted against a flowering stem, called the scion, of another tree and is then grown as one tree.

Avocado Tree Identification chart graphic with pictures of avocado tree leaves, avocado tree bark, avocado tree flowers, and avocado tree seeds in circle frames on a green background.

After the grafting is complete by joining the cambium on the rootstock to the branch stem, plant in sphagnum moss, and water, then watch and wait.

The advantage of this method is:

  • The scion dictates what size the tree will be.
  • With a graft, it’s possible to know the types of fruits that will blossom.
  • The avocados tend to be healthier and tastier.
  • The lifespan of the tree can be more easily estimated.
  • These types of trees tend to be more resistant to disease and pests.
  • Within 2 years the tree can be laden with bunches of avocados.

Learning how to grow a tree from a branch or purchasing a young tree and installing it will reduce the workload even further and guarantee that avocados will be popping out in no time at all.

Common Pests of the Avocado Tree: How To Stop Avocado Tree Disease

Whether growing an avocado tree from seed or from a graft,5 a watchful eye is going to be required to watch out for creepy crawlies, fungus, and root rot.

Some common pests to watch out for are:


These pests have a tendency to infest a tree stealthily by digging holes into branches and trunks, and laying eggs. Completely out of sight, they nibble away until they weaken the tree trunk itself and damage the branches so much that the whole tree starts to suffer.

Close up of shothole borer insect.

(Image: E. Beers.7)

Contact insecticide, aggressive pruning, and amputating the infested branches are the only ways to get rid of them.

Angled shot of an Avocado pest, caterpillar on thin stem.

(Image: Peter Monsberger9


These critters are prolific leaf nibblers, and do their utmost best to damage the tree by consuming every leaf they shuffle across. Once discovered, spray with a specific bacterium that can be bought from a store that will be toxic to them, harmless to humans, and save your tree.

Mites, white flies, bugs, and thrips are just 4 other types of bugs that not only assault the tree, but also the precious avocado fruit itself.

Being aware of how to care for an avocado tree by identifying these pests and being prepared to do battle with at least some of them at some stage will help to protect the time and effort you have invested into rearing your avocados. Root rot caused by the disease Phytophthora root rot is the most invasive that can infect an avocado tree and cause its eventual death.

Ensuring the soil does not become consistently waterlogged is the best preventative medicine as once it is detected and becomes entrenched the options are limited.

Patiently applying fungicides for months or years is the only way to save your avocado crops.4

In fact, the standard treatment for other diseases that affect the bark, such as Anthracnose, and others that will rot the fruits and attack the stems, is the application of fungicides like copper oxychloride.

Companion Plants for Growing Avocado Tree (Natural Pest Control for Avocado Tree)

Avocado trees have large canopies which should be taken advantage of whenever possible.

There are several plants and vegetables that thrive under the umbrella of an avocado tree and, with proper research, you will find that some of them will help to ward off certain pests.

Strawberries and coriander are favorites because of their sweet aromas. Planting sweet potatoes, melons, and even onions will take advantage of the empty spaces around the free and, in a sense, provide a free lunch.

If the appearance of pests is still a concern a light spraying of water mixed with a tablespoon of cinnamon oil will eliminate any threats and keep your avocado tree healthy.

How Far Apart To Plant Avocado Trees?

If your landscape will allow it, planting more than one avocado tree can enhance your garden – and give you more avocados. Distance from permanent structures, like your house, has to be considered because of the wide-spreading canopies that will expand outwards surprisingly quickly as the tree grows.

Allow at least 10 feet from your house and then, if another tree is to be planted, allow a minimum distance of 30 feet to avoid future problems of two trees fighting over air space.

Culinary Uses and the Nutrition and Health Benefits of Avocados

In many parts of the world, avocados are valued for their nutritional and health benefits, while in others just for their rich, creamy taste on toasts, in soups, salads, tacos, and even in smoothies.

Incorporating avocados regularly into a diet has been known to reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes,2 as well as afford protection against certain types of cancers, and maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

Top angle shot of fruits, vegetebales and sliced avocado.

(Image: Yaroslav Shuraev13)

Nutritionally, avocados contain vitamins B6, vitamin C and D and are a great source of magnesium and potassium, are rich in fiber as well as packed with a slew of other nutrients that keep us all healthy and happy. Well, at least not depressed as they alleviate feelings of depression.

Growing a Dwarf Avocado Tree Indoors

The Wurtz avocado tree is often referred to as the Little Cado.

As a hybrid of Mexican and Guatemalan avocado tree, it is designed to reach heights of about 10 feet maximum, while still bearing plenty of fruit.

This type of tree can be planted in a large container that can be moved outdoors in climates where freezing would otherwise kill the trees. Shoot for a natural (wood or other lightweight material) container, like a half barrel.

Make sure the soil is well drained and rich, with a container that has drainage holes. It’s a good idea to add loose stones and gravel toward the bottom to promote healthy drainage, and a good ratio of sand to help the soil prevent fungal growth.

Of course, the tree will need watered every day, to retain the right level of moisture. To grow a Little Cado tree, follow these steps:

Step 1. Place the sapling in a large container with the correct soil mixture.

Step 2. Place the container in an are that gets plenty of indirect sunlight during the first year.

Step 3. Move the container to direct sunlight after the tree is over a year old, or the tree has enough leaves to protect the bark and stems from burning.

Step 4. Make sure that you water the tree every day to retain the moisture, and remove it to an area that still gets sunlight during cold weather moths, but is protected from frosts and freezes (a large sunny room is perfect).

Step 5. Fertilize every few months with a well-balanced citrus and avocado plant food.

Step 6. Remove the stem ‘suckers’ as they appear to shape the tree and ensure maximum fruit production.

Regardless of where you live or in which growing zone, having an avocado tree within the boundaries of your home can only enhance your life. It is easier than you think and more rewarding than you can imagine.

Select one of the growing methods, and get ready for that creamy goodness to spice up your snacks and meals from any one of the Avocado tree types that you can grow from seeds.

Frequently Asked Questions About Avocado Tree Types

How Long Does It Take To Grow an Avocado Tree?

It can take 5-13 years from seed to grow an avocado tree and 3-4 years from seedling before harvesting avocados is possible.

Where Are the Growing Zones for Avocado Tree, Where To Grow?

In the United States, the ideal growing zones for avocados are USDA zones 8 to 11 and in countries such as Peru,6 Chile, Colombia, Indonesia, Kenya, Brazil, and even Israel, to name just a few.

What Are the Steps on How To Grow an Avocado Tree That Bears Fruit?

Growing an avocado tree completely in an indoor environment will not bear any fruits. In an outdoor setting, it requires good soil that won’t become water-logged and exposure to full sunshine, with fertilizer applied 4 times a year.

When To Plant Avocado Tree for the Best Yield?

Planting in late winter or early spring is the best time to plant an avocado tree to get the best yield from your tree.

What Are the Best Growing Conditions for Avocado Trees?

Tropical or subtropical climates are best where the soil drains well and there is plenty of full sun.

What Watering Needs for Avocado Trees?

In summer an immature avocado tree requires 20 gallons of water 2 to 3 times a week depending on the rainfall. A fully mature tree can go up to 30 days without physically watering it as long as the temperatures are not consistently too high and there is very little rainfall.

How Much Sunlight Does Avocado Tree Need Each Day?

Six hours of direct sunlight is the minimum amount that an avocado tree requires.

How Long Does It Take for a Tree To Grow to It's Full Height?

It can take 10 – 15 years for an avocado tree to reach its full height as it grows about 2.5 feet per year.

Are Avocado Trees Easy To Grow?

Patience and maintenance is the key, but to get these fruits to blossom sooner and get the best from them, fertilize more not less, water sufficiently and ensure they get enough sunshine.

Do You Need Two Avocado Trees To Produce Fruit?

No, an avocado tree has both female and male flowers for cross-pollination. Planting one type A and one type B tree close to each other, however, can increase the quality of the avocados and will encourage each tree to yield a better harvest.

What Is the Carbon Footprint of Avocado?

The carbon footprint of avocado is 846.36 grams, generated from just 1 pack of 2 small avocados. This is calculated from the number of years it takes propagating avocado trees, the amount of water used over this period, and the distance traveled from the farm.

What Is the Lifespan of an Avocado Tree?

Under the right conditions, barring disease and terminal pest infestations, an avocado tree has a lifespan of 200-400 years.


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3Hawaii Agricultural Statistics Service. (1992, December). Avocado. Crop Knowledge Master. Retrieved February 15, 2023, from <http://www.extento.hawaii.edu/kbase/crop/crops/i_avocad.htm>

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5University of Hawaii at Manoa. (2018, July). Grafting Avocado. College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. Retrieved February 15, 2023, from <https://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/oc/freepubs/pdf/F_N-51.pdf>

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7E. Beers. Washington State University. Retrieved from <https://treefruit.wsu.edu/crop-protection/opm/shothole-borers/>

8Laker. Pexels. Retrieved from <https://www.pexels.com/photo/half-of-avocado-with-seed-on-pink-surface-6157031/>

9Peter Monsberger. Pexels. Retrieved from <https://www.pexels.com/photo/green-caterpillar-feeding-plant-leaf-in-summer-4153114/>

10Gil Ndjouwou. Unsplash. Retrieved from <https://unsplash.com/photos/cueV_oTVsic>

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12BlancaElenda. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/photos/avocados-plant-flowerpot-avocado-2884123/>

13Yaroslav Shuraev. Pexels. Retrieved from <https://www.pexels.com/photo/personholding-a-sliced-avocado-8845087/>

14Avocado, Tree, Plant Photo by Alice_Alphabet. (2014, September 20) / Pixabay Content License. Cropped and added text, shape, and background elements. Pixabay. Retrieved February 15, 2023, from <https://pixabay.com/photos/avocado-tree-plant-laurel-plant-454288/>