Asked May 14, 2018, 4:34 PM EDT

We are being asked about growing avocado's in Zone 5. Are these cold-hardy for zone 5? Are these always grown outdoors in the ground? or raised in pots? They are looking for any information on what the growing conditions would be; the habits and procedures for the plants, in order to grow fruit. If you have any literature that I could send them, that would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you, Robin Eisenga, MSU Extension, Osceola County Support Staff

Osceola County Michigan

1 Response

Good afternoon,
I'm sorry to say that you can not plant the Avocado plant outdoors as the Michigan winters are too severe. You can, however, plant it in a container and keep it outside in the sunlight during the summer months and bring it indoors in the winter time.
I am including some information that might be helpful in growing this delicious tree.

Avocado growing indoors is fun and easy. Move the sprouted pit to an unglazed terra cotta pot that is at least 10 inches across and twice as deep as the roots. Use a potting mix with compost blended with sand for a loose, fast-draining composition. Growing avocados in containers indoors also requires bright light. A plant will get straggly without adequate light. Pinch off excess growth at first to promote a bushier, stronger plant. Do not expect fruit when growing avocados in containers. Indoor plants need cool nights to force blooming and fruiting. They can also take up to ten years to get to fruiting stage. If you do get fruit, the flavor is not as good as those commercially produce from rootstocks. Indoor Avocado Plant Care If you want a better chance at fruit, purchase a dwarf tree that has been grafted onto rootstock. The stock is chosen to increase the best traits of the plant and will make the tree stronger and more resistant to a variety of environmental influences. Indoor avocado plant care includes plant support and feeding. Use a stake to keep the plants main stem sturdy and straight as it grows. Also, transplant the tree as it outgrows its pot. Prune off any suckers that arise from the rootstock. Fertilize with water-soluble food monthly and turn the tree frequently to promote even growth. You can also fertilize with fish emulsion every month for the first year. Give the plant moderate water when the soil feels dry to the touch.

Read more at Gardening Know How: Growing Avocados In Containers and Indoor Avocado Plant Care https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/fruits/avocado/indoor-avocado-plant-care.htm I hope this information is helpful and you have good luck with your avocado tree. Thank you for using Ask an Expert.