Can You Grow Avocados in A Greenhouse

Can You Grow Avocados in A Greenhouse?

Yes, you can grow avocados in a greenhouse. Greenhouses provide a controlled environment that can mimic the ideal conditions for avocado trees, making it possible to cultivate them in regions with less favorable climates.

Here are the practical and sustainable solutions for growing avocados in a greenhouse.

Step1: Selecting the Right Avocado Varieties for Greenhouse Cultivation

Selecting the right avocado varieties for greenhouse cultivation is crucial for a successful harvest.

Let’s explore the different avocado varieties suitable for greenhouses and offer tips for making the best choice based on your greenhouse’s conditions and location.

Dwarf Avocado Varieties: Greenhouse space can be limited, so dwarf avocado varieties are often an excellent choice. These smaller trees are well-suited for container gardening and confined spaces.

Varieties like ‘Wurtz’ (also known as ‘Little Cado’) and ‘Holiday’ are popular dwarf avocado options. They reach a manageable height of 8-10 feet, making them ideal for greenhouse environments with limited vertical space.

Cold-Hardy Avocado Varieties: Consider cold-hardy avocado varieties if your greenhouse is located in a region with colder winters.

These avocados are more tolerant of chilly temperatures and can thrive in cooler climates. ‘Mexicola,’ ‘Bacon,’ and ‘Zutano’ are some examples of cold-hardy avocados that can withstand temperatures as low as 20-25°F (-6 to -4°C).

Determining the Right Variety: To choose the best avocado cultivar for your greenhouse, assess the following factors:

Climate: Consider your local climate and the conditions inside the greenhouse. If you experience cold winters, prioritize cold-hardy varieties. A broader range of avocado cultivars may be suitable in areas with milder winters.

Greenhouse Size: Dwarf avocado varieties are a practical choice for smaller greenhouses. Their compact size allows for efficient space utilization.

Fruit Preferences: Different avocado varieties offer varying flavors and textures. Some are known for their creamy texture, while others have a nuttier taste. Select the variety that aligns with your taste preferences or market demand.

Fruiting Season: Avocado varieties may have different fruiting seasons. Consider if you want a continuous harvest throughout the year or prefer a specific fruiting period.

Disease Resistance: Research the disease resistance of different avocado varieties, especially if you aim to minimize pesticide use. Some varieties may be more resistant to common avocado diseases.

Step 2: Setting up the greenhouse for avocado cultivation

Setting up the greenhouse for avocado cultivation

Growing Avocados in a Greenhouse

Setting up a successful avocado cultivation operation within a greenhouse involves careful planning and the right environmental conditions, equipment, and infrastructure.

Let’s explore the key factors for creating an ideal avocado-growing environment.

Ideal Environmental Conditions:

1. Temperature:

  • Avocado trees thrive in a warm climate.
  • Maintain temperatures between 60-85°F (15-30°C) for optimal growth.
  • Ensure year-round temperature control with heating and cooling systems.

2. Humidity:

  • Avocado trees prefer high humidity levels.
  • Maintain humidity around 60-70% within the greenhouse.
  • Achieve this with misting systems or humidifiers.

3. Sunlight Exposure:

  • Avocado trees require ample sunlight.
  • Ensure the greenhouse receives 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily.
  • Use shade cloth during peak summer to protect young plants from excessive sun.
  • Irrigation System: Use a drip irrigation system with a timer to regulate water supply and prevent overwatering.

Necessary Equipment and Infrastructure:

4. Greenhouse Structure:

  • Choose a suitable greenhouse design based on available space and budget.
  • Options include hoop houses, polyethylene-covered greenhouses, or glass-enclosed structures.
  • Ensure adequate ventilation to prevent overheating.

5. Heating and Cooling Systems:

  • Install heating systems to combat cold periods.
  • Use ventilation systems (fans and vents) to regulate temperature and humidity.
  • Consider automatic climate control systems with sensors for precise control.

6. Irrigation System:

  • Avocado trees require consistent moisture.
  • Implement a drip irrigation system to deliver water directly to the root zone.
  • Use timers for automated watering schedules.

7. Soil and Containers:

  • Avocado trees thrive in well-draining soil.
  • For optimal soil conditions, prepare a mix using peat, perlite, and vermiculite.
  • Choose appropriately sized containers or grow bags that allow for root growth.

8. Shelving and Trellising:

  • Maximize space utilization and support tree growth with shelves or trellising systems.
  • Ensure proper light exposure for all trees.

9. Lighting:

  • Supplemental lighting may be necessary, especially in areas with limited sunlight or during winter.
  • Consider high-intensity discharge (HID) lights or LED grow lights for additional illumination.

10. Pest and Disease Control: – Implement a comprehensive pest management strategy. – Regularly inspect the greenhouse for signs of pests and use integrated pest management (IPM) techniques. – Maintain a clean greenhouse environment to reduce disease risks.

11. Fertilization: – Avocado trees require appropriate nutrients for healthy growth. – Use a balanced, slow-release fertilizer. – Monitor soil nutrient levels to ensure your trees receive essential nutrients.

Step 3: Propagation and Planting

Avocado cultivation in a greenhouse offers numerous advantages, including controlled conditions, extended growing seasons, and protection from adverse weather.

Here are the processes for propagating and planting avocado trees in a greenhouse, highlighting the process, equipment, and essential considerations for successful cultivation.

Propagation and Planting

Propagation Methods: Avocado trees can be propagated through seeds or grafting methods.

However, it’s crucial to note that seed-grown avocados might not produce fruit identical to their parent tree, as avocado trees are known for genetic variability. Grafting is the preferred method for ensuring fruit quality and consistency.

Seed Propagation:

  • Extract the seed (pit) from a ripe avocado fruit to propagate avocados from seeds.
  • Clean the seed and let it dry for a few days.
  • Plant the avocado seed in a well-draining potting mix with about half of it submerged.
  • Water it gently, keeping the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged.
  • Place the pot of the avocado in a warm and sunny location, as avocado seeds require ample light for germination.
  • After several weeks, a seedling should emerge.

Grafting Method:

  • Select a healthy rootstock avocado tree for grafting. The rootstock should be strong and disease-resistant.
  • Choose a scion (the top part of the desired avocado variety) from a known productive tree with desirable characteristics.
  • Use a grafting technique like cleft grafting or whip-and-tongue grafting to join the scion to the rootstock.
  • Ensure proper alignment and secure the graft with grafting tape or rubber bands.
  • Place the grafted tree in a controlled environment to promote healing and growth.

Planting in a Greenhouse

Soil Preparation:

  • Select well-draining soil with a pH level between 6 and 7, as avocados thrive in slightly acidic to neutral soil.
  • Prepare the soil by loosening it to improve aeration and drainage.
  • Incorporate organic matter, like compost, to enhance soil fertility.

Container Selection:

  • Choose large containers with adequate drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.
  • Transplant your avocado tree into a container with a well-draining potting mix once it outgrows its initial pot.

Necessary Equipment and Infrastructure

  • Greenhouse Structure: Opt for a greenhouse that provides sufficient space, ventilation, and temperature control. Avocado trees need at least 8-10 feet of vertical space to grow properly.
  • Heating and Cooling: Install a heating system for winter and ventilation for summer to maintain optimal temperatures (60-80°F or 15-27°C) throughout the year.
  • Lighting: Consider supplemental lighting, especially during winter, to ensure your avocado trees receive adequate sunlight.
  • Pest and Disease Management: Implement pest control measures and regularly inspect your trees for signs of disease.

Care and Maintenance of Avocado Trees in a Greenhouse

Care and Maintenance of Avocado Trees in a Greenhouse

Growing avocados in a greenhouse can be a rewarding experience, ensuring a controlled environment for optimal growth. To successfully nurture avocado trees, follow these essential care routines and be vigilant against potential pests and diseases.

A. Essential Care Routines

1. Watering

Avocado trees in a greenhouse require consistent watering to thrive. Follow these watering guidelines:

Frequency: Water deeply when the top 2-3 inches (5-7.5 cm) of the plant, when the soil feels dry to the touch. This typically means watering every 7-10 days, but adjust based on your greenhouse’s specific conditions.

Avoid Overwatering: Avocado trees are susceptible to cause root rot if overwatered. Ensure proper drainage in your greenhouse to prevent waterlogging.

2. Fertilizing

Avocado trees need the right nutrients to produce healthy fruit. Here’s how to fertilize them:

Nutrient Balance: Use a balanced fertilizer with an N-P-K ratio of approximately 8-4-8 and apply it regularly every 4-6 weeks during the growing season (spring and summer).

Micro-nutrients: Ensure the fertilizer contains micronutrients like iron, zinc, and manganese, which are crucial for avocado tree health.

3. Pruning

Pruning facilitates the control of the size and shape of avocado plants while promoting better fruit production:

Shape Maintenance: Prune to create a central or modified central leader shape, allowing optimal light exposure to all branches.

Remove Dead or Diseased Branches: Regularly remove dead or diseased branches of the avocado plant to prevent the spread of diseases.

Limit Size: Prune to maintain a manageable size for your greenhouse and to make harvesting easier.

B. Pests and Diseases

1. Pests

Avocado trees can be affected by several pests. Here’s how to prevent and treat common ones:

Spider Mites: Use a fine stream of water to dislodge spider mites from leaves. Apply neem oil or insecticidal soap if infestations persist.

Scale Insects: Remove scales by gently scraping them off with a soft brush or cloth. Apply horticultural oil to control heavy infestations.

Mealybugs: Apply neem oil or a mixture of water and dish soap to affected areas, ensuring thorough coverage.

2. Diseases

Diseases can harm avocado trees if not managed effectively. Take these precautions:

Preventive Measures: Maintain good greenhouse hygiene, including regular cleaning and disinfecting of tools and equipment.

Fungal Diseases: Apply copper-based fungicides preventively during the wet season to combat diseases like anthracnose and root rot.

Bacterial Infections: Prune affected branches and use copper-based sprays to manage bacterial infections.

Remember to monitor your avocado trees closely and promptly address any issues that arise. By providing proper care and vigilance against pests and diseases, you can enjoy healthy avocado trees and a bountiful harvest in your greenhouse.

Harvesting and Enjoying Your Greenhouse-Grown Avocados

Growing avocados in a greenhouse is a rewarding endeavor, and the final step is harvesting and enjoying your delicious fruit. Here’s how to do it right:

A. Identifying the Right Time for Harvesting Avocados

Fruit Size: Avocados typically grow to a certain size when they’re ready to harvest. Most varieties reach around 4-6 inches (10-15 cm) in length.

Skin Color: The skin color can vary depending on the avocado variety, but ripe avocados generally have dark green to black skin. However, some avocados, like the Hass variety, may remain green even when ripe, so rely on other indicators as well.

Texture: Gently squeeze the fruit. Ripe avocados yield slightly to gentle pressure but should not be mushy. If it feels hard, it’s not ready; if it’s too soft, it’s overripe.

Stem Test: Another way to check ripeness is to flick off the small stem cap at the top of the fruit. If the area underneath is green, the avocado is usually ready. If it’s brown, it may be overripe.

B. Proper Harvesting Techniques

Use Pruning Shears: To harvest, use pruning shears or a sharp knife. Cut the stem about 1 inch (2.5 cm) above the avocado. Avoid damaging the fruit or pulling it from the tree, as this can lead to bruising.

Harvest Gently: Handle avocados delicately to prevent damage to the skin and flesh.

Harvest Gradually: Avocado trees may produce fruit at different times. Harvest as needed, rather than plucking all the avocados at once.

C. Ripening and Storing Avocados


  • Put the unripe avocados in a paper bag with a ripe banana or apple. Both the apple and banana release ethylene gas, which helps accelerate ripening.
  • Keep the bag at room temperature, checking daily for ripeness. This process usually takes 2-5 days.


  • Once avocados are ripe, you can slow down the ripening process by refrigerating them. This extends their shelf life for up to a week.
  • If you only use a portion of a ripe avocado, store the rest with the pit and drizzle lemon or lime juice over the exposed flesh to prevent browning. Wrap the portion tightly with a plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container.

Enjoying your greenhouse-grown avocados is a true delight.

Whether you make creamy guacamole, slice them for salads, or spread them on toast, following these harvesting and storage tips ensures you savor the maximum flavor and quality from your homegrown avocados.

Some Relevant Questions on growing avocados in a greenhouse

What are the benefits of growing avocados in a greenhouse?

Greenhouses offer protection from extreme weather, pests, and diseases, ensuring a more consistent and healthier avocado crop. They also extend the growing season.

Do avocados require specific greenhouse conditions?

Yes, avocados require specific greenhouse conditions, including consistent warmth, humidity, and tropical-like conditions. Maintain temperatures between 60-85°F (15-30°C), high humidity, and proper ventilation in the greenhouse.

Can I grow avocados from seeds in a greenhouse?

Yes, you can grow avocado trees from seeds in a greenhouse, but remember that it may take several years to produce fruit.

How do I pollinate avocado trees in a greenhouse?

You may need to hand-pollinate avocado trees in a greenhouse since natural pollinators like bees might not be present. Use a small brush to transfer pollen between flowers.

What type of soil is best for avocado trees in a greenhouse?

Avocado trees prefer well-draining soil with good organic matter. A mix of peat, perlite, and vermiculite can provide the ideal soil structure.

How often should I water avocado trees in a greenhouse?

Avocado trees like consistently moist soil. Water them deeply when the top inch of soil feels dry, but avoid overwatering, which can lead to root rot.

Do avocado trees need special fertilization in a greenhouse?

Yes, avocado trees in a greenhouse benefit from special fertilization with a balanced fertilizer containing micronutrients tailored to their specific nutrient needs.

Are there any common pests and diseases to watch for in a greenhouse avocado crop?

Yes, common pests and diseases to watch for in a greenhouse avocado crop include spider mites, scale insects, mealybugs, fungal diseases like anthracnose and root rot, and bacterial infections.

When can I expect avocado trees in a greenhouse to bear fruit? Avocado trees typically take 3-5 years to begin fruiting when grown from seeds. If you start with a grafted tree, it may fruit sooner, often within 1-2 years in the right conditions.


In conclusion, growing avocados in a greenhouse offers advantages, like providing a controlled environment for optimal growth, protection against unpredictable weather conditions, and cultivating avocados year-round.

This encourages avocado cultivation as it allows people to enjoy the benefits of homegrown avocados consistently, regardless of external factors.

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