Avocado Plants in a Hot Climate

Question:

I am currently working in the Kingdom of Saudi - American of course. I am raising Avocado Plants and need to know more about them. Do I trim them to make them grow out or what? The Temp here is 130 plus.

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Norman from Saudi

Answer:

The closest North American growing zone comparable to where you are would probably be Arizona, so I'm going to base my advice to you on that. I'm assuming that you're growing your plants outdoors, so temperatures are definitely going to be a factor.

If possible, you will probably want to offer them some protection from the sun (and wind) during the hottest part of your day. This is especially true for young plants. Temperatures in excess of 115ºF can be a problem for most North American varieties, so a lot of TLC is going to be necessary to see your plants to maturity.

I have no idea what your soil is like there, but avocados do not care for the salty soil, which is often associated with deserts. In general, these plants are very sensitive to salt burn. Long deep watering will help flush excess salt if it builds up becomes problematic. In terms of a watering schedule, I would recommend following something similar to a turf-watering schedule.

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Avocado plants grow very slowly. As far as cutting them back goes, some growers recommend cutting back stems to three inches in length when plants reach six inches in height. The thought is that this will encourage them to produce more leaves. Others growers disagree. Either way, cutting them back isn't going to speed up their growth, but it may young plants sturdier in the long run.

Be careful with fertilizer to reduce the potential of excess salt build up. In fact, skip it altogether for the first year. After that, fertilizing once or twice throughout the year (depending on soil fertility) is probably plenty.

Here is a great link that should help:

Stay cool!

Ellen

About The Author: Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services.

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