Avocado trees can self-pollinate because they produce both male and female flowers. Avocado trees will open their flowers in the female form first and then the same flowers will open in the male form the next day. Each flower can self-pollinate but the chances of this is reduced because the male and female flowers will open on different days.
You do not technically need 2 trees but having more than one avocado tree particularly if they are of different varieties this will increase pollination.
Increase pollination for your avocado trees by planting 2 varieties of avocado such as Hass and Shepard so they open the flowers on different days and times to increase pollination.
This article will explore more about how avocado flowers open and ways that you can increase pollination and crops at home.
How avocadoes produce flowers
Each avocado tree can produce over a million flowers per season. Avocadoes produce large amounts of flowers to attract pollinators like insects or birds. Avocado flowers only produce a small amount of nectar which means that they are not the favorite flowers of bees. Bees and hoverflies however will visit the large numbers on flowers and pollinate them.
Most flowers on avocado trees will fall off and not develop into full fruit. This is a natural process because the tree would not be able to hold all of these flowers as fruit to full size.
Avocado flowers can self-pollinate
Avocado flowers contain both male and female parts meaning that they can self-pollinate. Each flower will open twice. On the first day they avocado will open as a female flower and on the second day as a male flower.
The pollen of the tree is able to fertilize its own flowers meaning that avocados can be self-pollinating. This means that you technically only need one avocado tree to produce fruit at home.
There is an important factor to note however. Because the tree opens all of its flowers as female on one day and then male, the chances of it self-pollinating are limited by this process. This helps for the trees to increase their genetic variation and pollinate with neighboring trees.
Planting two avocado trees of different varieties will increase the chances of pollination for both trees as they are not likely to have the same male or female flowers open on the same day as each other.
Some trees will open their flowers in the afternoon as female and then the next morning as male while others will open in the morning as female and the afternoon on the next day as male. This staggered opening helps the tree to cross pollinate with neighboring trees.
Do you need 2 avocado trees for pollination?
Technically you don’t need 2 avocado trees for pollination but it will increase your changes. Because the tree staggers the opening of the flowers which change from male to female the rate of pollination can be low depending on the weather.
In the perfect weather conditions, the male and female flowers will crossover and allow the bees to pollinate the flowers on the same tree.
Can avocado trees self-pollinate?
Avocado trees can have a period where they have female flowers left open while some male flowers begin to open. This gives the perfect opportunity for the tree to self-pollinate. This happens in the perfect temperature range of 68-77 degrees Fahrenheit (20-25 degrees Celsius).
Do avocado flowers need bees for pollination?
Because of the staggered flowering of both male and female flowers avocado trees need bees to move the pollen around from flower to flower. Planting different avocado species together eg. Hass and Shepard will help to increase pollination of both plants because they will flower with male and female flowers at different times.
How to increase pollination for avocadoes
Here are my easy tips to increase pollination rates for your avocado trees at home. These tips will help you to grow more avocado fruit and increase pollination.
1. Plant more than one variety of avocado
To increase the pollination rate of your avocado flowers planting more than one tree will help. Planting different varieties is particularly helpful because some will flower with their female flowers in the morning and others will flower with males in the morning.
This means they can align and pollinate each other. Two great varieties that work well as a pair are Hass and Shepard who stagger their male and female flowers with each other.
2. Attract bees to your garden
Attracting bees to your garden will help to increase the rate of pollination for your avocado tree. Avocado trees need pollinators to move the pollen from one flower to another. Bees make the perfect guests to do this for your tree. Honeybees in particular do a great job for your avocado.
To attract bees to your garden provide them with a shallow water source, plant flowering plants like daisies and pansies to attract bees to your avocado trees.
3. Plant them in full sun
Avocado plants will grow more flowers in full sun so make sure you choose a sunny position for your avocado plant. Move potted avocado plants into full sun for spring and summer to help them to produce more flowers.
How Avocado Trees Self-Pollinate | Summary
Avocado trees can self-pollinate because they produce both male and female flowers. In the perfect temperature ranging from 68-77 degrees Fahrenheit (20-25 degrees Celsius) the male and female flowers can cross over and be open at the same time. This means that the tree can pollinate itself.
To increase the rate of pollination each year even in cool weather, plant more than one variety of avocado to increase the chance of it being successfully pollinated and setting fruit.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.