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How to Pick the Best Soil for an Avocado Tree in a Pot

So, we just planted and finished planting our avocado tree outside the cabin. I still have dirt under my nails, but I wanted to write this fresh. Here’s the thing. Indoor avocado plants are lovely, but avocado trees require a lot of space, especially if you want them to bear fruit. Since this one had been doing so well, it was time to move it outside. Here’s how to pick the best soil for avocado tree in pot.

best soil for avocado tree in pot

I got this particular avocado tree in a pot plant for my husband’s birthday. Yea, we are at that phase in life. Perhaps not the most traditional gift, but he loved it, and we’ve had a lot of fun pampering it to full size. When I gave him the plant, it was still confined to a small pot.

best soil for avocado tree in pot

Through a bit of effort and with a fair amount of time, we’ve promoted the root system, kept the plant in good health, and seen enough growth to justify placing it outside at the cabin. Such an exciting time. I can’t wait for fruit.

Of course, outdoor placement isn’t for everyone, and there are some tips for raising an avocado tree in a pot healthy. Whether you plan on keeping your avocado plants inside or are aiming to take them outside eventually, here’s how to do it like the pros do.

How to Plant With the Best Soil for Avocado Tree in Pot

best soil avocado tree

Before we get into soil specifics, let’s briefly cover the best methods to use when planting an avocado seed. You’ll want to follow these to a T, at least, if you want your plant to become part of your lawn maintenance routine eventually.

First, try to start the growing process from a seed process during the late spring/early summer months. Soak the pits in room temperature water for 24-48 hours before starting the toothpick method.  Indirect sunlight is better than full sun or direct sunlight, so I recommend using your drapes to limit light exposure.

best soil for avocado tree in pot seed

Once you plant your avocado(s), you’ll want to search for suitable loose soil. Make sure that you moisten the top six inches of soil during watering time. Of course, not just any potting mix will do, so let’s move on to the part about finding the best soil for avocado tree in pot.

I skipped over a lot of details about planting avocado seeds. If you’re feeling lost, though, there’s no need to worry. I’ve already written an entire post about preparing and planting avocado seeds!

Choosing the Best Soil for Avocado Tree in Pot

best soil for avocado tree in pot

There are a number of different factors you have to keep in mind when trying to select the best soil for avocado tree in pot. Each soil type brings a unique advantage to the table, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any downsides to be concerned about.

best soil for avocado tree in pot tree

Ironically, pure soil is probably one of the worst options around. It might work great for growing beautiful roses, but it contains plenty of organic matter that can pose issues later on and—even worse—tends to retain a bit too much moisture. This can result in premature root rot, which is definitely something we want to avoid.

Instead, I recommend looking for soil mixes that contain a few of the additives below.

Bark

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Bark generally won’t be used alone, but it’s often combined with wood chips to make some of the best soil avocado tree plants can get. It’s a great addition to avocado plant mixes as it drains effectively and slowly releases nutrients into the soil as it decays.

Even better, bark provides a certain level of protection against non-ideal climates, helping you avoid accidental damage to your avocados should the A/C go haywire. Since bark can’t really be packed together extremely tight, it also offers aeration to your avocados, giving them enough air exposure to flourish.

Coconut Coir

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If you’re after the best soil for avocado tree in pot then you’ll definitely want to look for a mixture that contains coconut coir. It’s made from coconut husk, is extremely sustainable, and offers great aeration and draining properties.

The coconut coir actually retains a lot of water, ensuring that your avocados will have sufficient access to moisture. At the same time, it reduces the risk of root rot as it still allows any excess water to drain away with ease.

Another benefit? Coconut coir is also resistant to both bacterial & fungal growth and even features a neutral pH level. We’ll go over the importance of this particular factor later on.

Peat Moss

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Peat moss is another soil additive often used as one of the main ingredients in the best soil avocado tree plants can have. Similar to coconut coir, peat moss offers a great combination of aeration and drainage, helping prevent root rot while aiding the ingestion of valuable nutrients.

Being slightly acidic, peat moss is perfect for use with alkaline soils, helping you adjust the pH level to one more suitable for growing avocados. However, peat moss itself is harvested from peat bogs, whether or not it’s “renewable” is up for debate.

Technically, since it does grow naturally, many would consider it to be renewable. That said, it’s important to remember that this process can take some time, so try not to go all-out with peat moss if you can help it.

Perlite

Although non-renewable, Perlite is an excellent avocado soil additive. Being inert, it’s arguably one of the best soil avocado tree additives since it won’t change the pH of the soil or decompose over time. This eliminates the risk of negative interactions with other additives, allowing you to add perlite to pretty much any mix.

Like the other additives we’ve looked at, perlite offers great drainage and excellent aeration. It also helps prevent the soil from being compacted, allowing for more and easier root growth. This unique combination of properties makes perlite a great addition to both indoor and outdoor avocado soil mixes.

Sand

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Easy to find and easy to use, sand is a great avocado soil additive. Sandy soil offers great drainage, helping prevent root rot in your plants. If your only option is to grow your avocados in clay soil outside then sand will be a must, combined with a raised bed for sufficient drainage.

Of course, sand alone won’t be enough to help your avocados flourish. You’ll need to combine it with organic materials for nutrients, and you’ll want to opt for larger, gritty sand to avoid water-logging issues. Still, as long as you pick the right type of sand, you can easily use this to make some of the best soil for avocado tree in pot.

Fertilization Requirements

How To Use Ferilizers Granular Fertilizer
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Unlike many smaller house plants, avocado plants can benefit a great deal from fertilizer. While some of the best soil options are already packed full of nutrients, that doesn’t mean you can’t give your healthy avocado tree an extra edge with a bit of fertilizer.

The best soil avocado tree additives are Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. You’ll often see these posted as N-P-K on fertilizer labels. A bit of zinc is also helpful for keeping your plant(s) in tip-top shape.

I recommend 0.5 to 1 pound of Nitrogen, spread throughout the year for a young tree. For older trees, you can apply fertilizer once in either the fall or the winter. Generally, you’ll want to give a plant more Nitrogen as it ages, which I’ve outlined below:

If Your Avocado Plant IsThen It Needs
Under a year old1 tbsp of Nitrogen (applied 3 times in the year)
Going on its second year0.25 lb. of Nitrogen
Going on its third year0.5 lb. of Nitrogen
Going on its fourth year0.75 lb. of Nitrogen
Five years or older1 lb. of nitrogen

The Importance of Getting the Right pH Levels

Whether you’re growing kitchen herbs or plants in the garden, it’s important to know if your particular plant has any pH requirements. This is especially true when trying to find the best soil for avocado tree in pot, as using a type of soil with an improper pH level will yield less-than-desirable results.

Thankfully, avocados prefer a relatively consistent soil pH, with 6 to 6.8 being ideal. They can tolerate alkaline soils, but generally speaking, they’ll do a bit better in more acidic soils. Not sure what the pH of your soil is? There are plenty of pH test strips you can buy online. Using one of these should give you the answer you’re after.

Drainage Requirements

I’ve mentioned multiple times the importance of good drainage throughout this article. While it’s important to make sure that your avocado roots have enough water to survive, you don’t want them to have any excess water. This can quickly lead to root rot, which can wreak havoc on these indoor plants.

On the plus side, as long as you pick the right soil for the job, getting excellent drainage for your avocados should be a breeze. You can increase your chances of successful drainage by adding a layer of gravel at the bottom of the pot below your best soil avocado tree mix, which will let water seep out without clogging up the drainage holes.

I recommend just giving your plants a good soak when you whip out the watering can. For avocados, heavy, less frequent waterings tend to produce better results than light, frequent watering sessions will. However, you’ll still want to keep a close eye on your plants so you can adjust if need be.

Picking the Right Pot Size

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You should keep future growth in mind when searching for the perfect pot for your avocados. A small vase might do at the beginning, but believe me: your plant will quickly outgrow this.

Ideally, you should search for a large pot with adequate drainage holes if you want the best results. Having the best soil for avocado tree in pot is great, but if your plant doesn’t have enough space to grow then it will quickly start choking in the small space.

Look for a pot that’s twice as wide as the avocado’s current root ball (at minimum). Painted and/or sealed terracotta and clay plants are great, and you should have plenty of options to choose from. Just ensure that they’re sealed. Otherwise, they might dry out the soil.

Closing Thoughts: Best Soil for Avocado Tree in Pot

Avocado Plants From Pits

Now that you know what to look for in the best soil for avocado tree in pot, are you ready to start growing your own? We really love our avocado tree, thanks to the avocado flowers and—eventually—fruit it will produce during growing season.

True, it might take a bit until we’re really able to enjoy the benefits of having mature trees, but even for decoration, I honestly think these fruit trees are an excellent addition to nearly any home. Pro tip? Consider investing in solar lights if you decide to put yours outside – it looks amazing!

Well, that’s all I have for y’all today. I hope you found this helpful, and maybe I’ve even inspired you to start growing your own avocado plants. If so, let me know in the comments below.

Until next time, have a great week!


How To Grow An Avocado Seed
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

What is the best soil for potted avocado?

Any light soil that is well-draining, has a pH level of 6.0-6.8, and features a balanced N-P-K mix will be great for your potted avocado.

How big of a pot does an avocado tree need?

You can start with a pot that’s about 10 inches deep and 12-15 inches wide. As the plant grows, you’ll generally want to keep the pot about twice as wide as the root ball of the avocado. Plant starting to spill out over the edge? Well, you don’t need to trim avocados very often, but you can pull out the pruning shears in the spring or summer months to tidy things up a bit.

What kind of pot is best for an avocado tree?

I personally prefer terracotta plants. Not only are these pots extremely easy to come by, but there are also a ton of different painted options to choose from. Aesthetics and home styling aside, being painted has another important advantage – it eliminates the pot’s ability to draw moisture from the soil. Opting to go with a non-painted or non-sealed pot can leave you with dry soil and an unhappy avocado.

Do avocado trees do well in pots?

Generally speaking, avocado trees do well in pots, provided they get as much water, sunlight, air, and nutrients as required. In colder temperatures, the potted method may actually be preferred, as it can help protect the plants from environmental damage.

Is cactus soil good for avocado trees?

It can be, but it’s not a guarantee. You’ll want to make sure that the pH level falls between 6.0 to 6.8 for the best results from your tropical plant. Succulent mix might also do the trick, provided it’s up to par in terms of pH levels.

Do coffee grounds help avocado trees?

They definitely can, serving as an excellent source of nutrients. Like all things, however, it’s important to remember that overdoing it with the coffee grounds can actually harm your plant, so use restraint!

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