Hydroponics opens up the possibility of growing any crop without soil and weather. Be it a vegetable or be it a fruit. That’s a big statement! So can you grow avocado hydroponically?
I don’t see the reason why you cannot grow avocado in a hydroponic system. If you provide the right conditions, nutrients, and enough place to grow, you can nurture an avocado plant hydroponically. But a big issue with avocado is that it provides fruits only after it grows into a tree and may take 4-15 years for that to happen.
If you still want to grow it in a hydroponic system and want to know how to grow avocado. You can do it for a few growth phases.
You can nurture avocado plants from seeds to a dwarf plant hydroponically. Once it grows into a tree will have to transfer it to the soil because it will need a huge space and support compared to other plants.
Here is the table that shows some popular types of avocado that you can grow hydroponically:[ninja_tables id=”213″]
What are the growth phases to grow avocado hydroponically?
We will divide the growth phase of the avocado-based on the way we can control it in a hydroponic system. You can easily divide the phases into seedling, dwarf, and sapling phases.
Let’s take each phase and see how can we manage it in a hydroponic system.
Phase 1: Seedling
When it comes to hydroponics, how to grow avocado seed in water?
Usually, we would have used a DWC (deep water culture) system to sprout a seed but avocado has much larger seed compared to other plants. Also, it requires a little different treatment.
The good thing about avocado is you do not need to buy some genetically engineered seeds, you can use the seed you get after removing the flesh. Yes, there several types of avocado and each has its own lifecycle and requires different conditions.
No matter which type you choose to grow, the process for sprouting the seed is the same.
The seedling process is the simplest form of hydroponic. But before you set the seed, you have to make sure that the seed is perfect.
Just keep these few things in mind to prepare the avocado seed for sprouting stage:
- Use the seed of ripe avocado fruit.
- Make sure the seed is not spoiled or damaged in any way.
- Peel of the brown thin covering carefully.
- Wash it with water.
Once you are sure the seed is perfect, you are ready for the next step. Though the steps are simple you have to be careful because if you do it wrong you will spoil the seed. So carefully follow the instructions:
- The avocado seed has four lines that meet in one place. Keep that part at the bottom and smoother part up.
- Now take three-tooth picks or match sticks hand at 45-60 degree angle near the smooth top. Something like these:
Make sure you do not pierce through the views that run because veins are the place from where the seed splits.
Alternate step: As you are piercing into the seed, sometimes it spoils the seed. An alternative method is to use avocado seed holders that float like AvoSeedo Avocado Tree Growing Kit. There are plenty of such holders anyone can work. Here is some examples.
- Once the seed is prepared, take a transparent glass and fill it with water. Any tape water will do. Just make sure it’s not warm.
- Now place the seed set up into the water just like in the pictures.
- Leave the seeds in a dry place. It should not be too cold or too warm.
If you have done everything right, you will be able to see the seed cracking up in 2.5-3 weeks. And in two months seeds will have roots after which you can transfer it to a proper hydroponic system.
During the seedling period, you will have to keep a note of the water. Just see if the color of the water changes. It usually changes to green.
Whenever that happens, change the water in the hydroponic system. Also, you can run your fingers on the root to remove the slimy substance so that the root can absorb nutrients from the water.
You don’t have to add any kind of hydroponic nutrients at this stage. Let the seed sprout and show some leaves.
Phase 2: Darwf Plant
Once, you have a dwarf plant with some leaves, you should transfer the plant from glass to a proper hydroponic system where you can control the conditions for optimum growth.
But which hydroponics system could be best for growing avocado?
There are several types of hydroponic systems but for plants like avocado deep water culture would be the best system. To be precise you can use a bucket DWC system. Get any bucket system that has a minimum size of 5 gallons.
The PowerGrow Systems Deep Water Culture System is a popular option. It can definitely house a dwarf avocado plant. The kit includes all the necessary things required for growing a plant.
Transfer the entire sprouted seed into the bucket. Once you have made the transfer, it is all about providing the right conditions and minerals to grow.
The first thing you have to makes sure if the temperature is right. An avocado plant needs a temperature between 28 F to 32 F.
If you reside in a region that has these kinds of temperatures, you don’t need anything else. But if you reside in cold or hotter regions, you would probably need to make arrangements for that.
You can use powerful tools like coolers chillers, or radiators to achieve the required temperatures. Chillers and coolers are good for bringing the temperature of the atmosphere and water down.
Whereas, you can increase the temperature by the use of a radiator or heater.
Mind you all these are useful if you are planning to grow the avocado indoors.
The next thing you have to take care of is light. A growing plant of avocado would need at least 8 hours of full sunlight. So make sure you place the hydroponic system in place that has bright light throughout the day.
If you are in a region that is usually cloudy or dark, you can use the grow lights. We recommend you to go with VIPARSPECTRA Grow Light. It is available in a different capacity but for a couple of avocado plants, a 600 W light is more than enough.
In addition to these two basic requirements, you must make sure the water has enough nutrients, and the right pH value. For optimum growth of an avocado plant, the optimum pH value should be around 6-6.5. You can use a pH adjuster like General Hydroponics HGC722080 pH control kit.
Once you are done with all the set up just wait for the plant to grow. Just keep checking the pH of the water. Also regularly clean the bucket or reservoir so that there is no salt formation.
You must know salt is harmful to avocado. If the avocado leaves turn brown from the tip, it means there is a salt buildup in the water. Just clean it immediately.
Optimum growth of the avocado plant will depend on how well you maintain the hydroponic system.
Phase 3: Sapling
Can you grow avocado hydroponically? Especially when its more than 3 ft?
It is at this stage you start to doubt hydroponic systems. I personally belive hydroponis system is not for growing tree based fruits or vegetables.
This is the reason why you should transfer the dwarf avocado tree to the soil as soon as its in the sapling stage.
When the plant is 3ft tall, it is called a sapling. In soil gardening, you can transfer the plant from pot to the ground. So that plant can grow even bigger and also the root can easily hold the weight of the tree.
You can do the same for the avocado plant. If it grows beyond the size of the hydroponic system, it won’t be able to handle its own weight. It would need support.
Unlike in soil, the roots of the plant have nothing to hold on to, you will have to provide structural support with the help of cables or wires.
As the avocado plant turns into a tree, it would need stronger support which is practically not a suitable hydroponic system.
That is why we already mentioned at the beginning, you can grow avocado up to the dwarf phase, beyond that you will have to transfer it to the soil.
So how can you transfer hydroponically grown avocado plants into soil?
It is pretty much easy to transfer a hydroponically grown avocado plant. Just find the right spot that gets adequate sunlight and has a temperature between 25 F to 32 F. If possible prepare a mixture of soil that includes the required nutrients of the avocado.
After that just transfer the whole plant with a complete root system into the soil and let it grow.
Developing a plant in a hydroponic system is a much better idea than just throwing the seeds into the soil. The success rate of having healthy plants in soil is much lower compared to a hydroponic seed.
So we believe if you are planning to grow specific varieties of avocado, develop the plant in a hydroponic system first. Once you have fully grown the plant, you can transfer it into the soil.