Q: I’d like to grow a citrus tree and avocado tree in my yard but don’t know if they need special care to produce fruit.
— Mary, San Luis Obispo
A: Citrus and avocado trees grow well along the coast and in areas of San Luis Obispo County that receive little frost. They are beautiful year-round and produce fragrant blooms and healthy fruit for you and your family. They are easy to grow, need little pruning, and with basic knowledge about their nutritional and water requirements, you’ll be rewarded with a bountiful harvest from your own yard.
Citrus and avocados are not drought-tolerant. They are both hungry and thirsty plants. The primary nutrient required by citrus trees and avocados is nitrogen. It’s important to understand their very particular watering and fertilization needs to support flowering, fruit set, and overall health of the tree.
For example, avocados are sensitive to drought stress and are very sensitive to excess water. With citrus, it’s very important that they receive adequate irrigation during fruit development to keep the fruit from drying out.
For more details, the Master Gardeners will present their Advice to Grow By workshop on growing citrus and avocado trees in SLO County. The workshop is from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday at the Garden of the Seven Sisters at 2156 Sierra Way in San Luis Obispo.
At this free seminar, you will learn about the care and maintenance of citrus and avocado trees, including when to plant, when to prune, insect and pest management, proper watering and fertilization, and the specific cultivars that thrive in our climate. Our presenters will also provide an update on the current status of the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), the top threat to California’s citrus industry.
Join us on Saturday to learn from fellow gardeners in your community. Wear a hat, dress in layers, and bring your water bottle!
Master Gardener docents will be available in the garden immediately following the workshop from noon to 1 p.m. to answer your gardening questions.