new crop of avocados is setting
new crop of avocados is setting

Where Do Baby Avocados Come From?


avocado blossom

Avocado Flowers

Baby avocados begin as a flower.  Have you ever seen an avocado flower?  They’re very small, but they do a very big job!  When these little flowers first open they are female.  Their stigma can receive pollen, but the stamen won’t shed pollen at first.   The nectar produced in the flower attracts bees,   the bees  carry pollen from one flower to another,  and that pollen gets deposited onto the stigma of this new flower.


Can you see the bee?

Sex Life of an Avocado

This new flower stays open for only 2-3 hours, then closes and stays closed for the rest of the day and night.   The next day,  the flower opens again, but this time it will shed pollen … it is now a male flower!  It stays open for a few hours and then closes again.   If it was successfully pollinated on the first day, it will develop into a new avocado.

new avocados

Here you can see flowers as well as new avocados!

If this isn’t complicated enough, consider this:  There are two kinds of avocado flowers!  They are called “A” and “B”.  The “A” flowers are female first, then male.  The “B” flowers are male first and then female.  So it works out that there are male and female flowers open at the same time.  Isn’t nature wonderful?   If you want more technical information,  The University of California has a great article about it here.


Avocado Flower Buds

Avocado Flower Buds: Which will they be first, male or female?

Pick the Biggest Avocados First

When avocado trees bloom,  the crop that has been growing over the past year is still on the tree.  This is why we pick the biggest avocados just before the trees begin to bloom.  The trees need to use their energy to produce flowers and new little babies, so we take the biggest fruit off of the tree.   The smaller fruit is left on the tree to size up.  We will pick that fruit later in the season. And at the same time, the baby avocados begin to grow!

New Baby Avocados

Baby Avocados!

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  1. I LOVE this post!! Who knew that avocados had such an interesting life cycle?
    Fuji Mama recently posted..Hinamatsuri (Japanese Girls’ Day) 2012My Profile

  2. Wow! How very cool! I never realized avocados were so complicated.
    Colette recently posted..I’m Going!My Profile

  3. On one avocado tree you can have both flowering blooms and large fruit? Do I need to remove all fruit off the tree in order for it rebloom in the March April flowering season?

    I love your blog Mimi.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Theresa! There is no need to remove all the fruit in order for the tree to flower. If the tree is really loaded with fruit, it is best to ‘size-pick’…take the fruit that is over 8 oz. each, just to help the tree. But often the fruit hasn’t sized up by the time the bloom happens. California growers usually harvest between April and August…after the bloom for next year has already set new baby avocados. Keep in mind that an avocado tree will often have a very light year following a heavy crop year…so if you don’t see many blossoms or new fruit, that could be the reason. Water, fertilizer and special care throughout the year are the secrets to good production…not to mention weather and Mother Nature! 😉

  4. Ok, I previously read that you advised 1 reader that their plant which was raised from a seed would never bear fruit, but advised another read which did the same thing but had a 10 year old tree (raised from a seed) that had flowers that it would bear fruit. So, how do you know if your avocado plant will or wont bear fruit? Besides grafting onto “rootstock” (I’ve read about it but dont know how to do it), is there any way you raise a tree from seed to produce?

    • I have been told that trees that grow from seeds need to be grafted in order to bear fruit here in California. This may or may not be true of the avocados from the Caribbean. When we have our trees grafted, an expert comes and makes a cut in the bark of the tree, and puts a piece of “bud wood” from the tree that is the variety they want to get. He matches up the layers of the wood, so that the new branch that grows will be the new variety. Check out this information:


  6. After 15 years I think my avocado tree is finally going to produce. It only has 2 and is at least 6′ but has not many leaves . I started it from a seed. Yeah me

  7. When is it best to fertilize the avocado? I always seem to ruin plants by fertilizing at the wrong time. My tree is in a container and is in bloom now.

    • Because your avocado plant is in a container, the roots are living in a limited amount of soil. You have to be careful not to put too much fertilizer at once, or the roots will burn. The tree needs more room for roots if you hope to get fruit. A good nursery will recommend a product that you can use when you water the plant, very gradually, so that roots do not burn. It’s better to fertilize weekly, a little at a time.

  8. Thanks for your helpful information!
    My potted avocado is about 5 years old is now producing flowers.
    At 7′ tall I’ll want to shape and prune next year…
    Looking forward to your pruning tips

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