General questions

How long does it take for an avocado tree to bear fruit?

A grafted avocado tree will produce fruit as early as year two or three.

Where do avocado trees grow best?

Avocado trees located in areas that are warm, frost free, have regular rain fall along with fertile and free draining soil will grow best.

Do avocados grown from seeds produce fruit?

Tree grown from seed or ‘ungrafted’ trees can produce fruit however the time it takes to bare fruit can variable. This can be anywhere from 5-15+ years. Some tree will never produce fruit.

How long does it take for an avocado seed to sprout?

Between 2-8 weeks, sometimes longer

How can I grow avocado seeds?

Avocado seeds are relatively easy to sprout and are a great project for kids:

  • Remove the seed from the avocado and clean the flesh from it.
  • Skewer the seed around the centre with four toothpicks ensuring you locate the small bump at the bottom of the seed.

Why isn’t my avocado tree producing fruit?

Avocados trees grown from seeds can take up to 12 years to start producing fruit. There are many environmental reasons that trees may stop producing fruit such as dry soil, root rot and pruning faults. For more information please see our orchard management resources here.

When should I pick my avocados?

Avocados are unusual as they do not ripen on the tree, they only ripen once they picked. If they are picked before they are mature avocados will remain rock hard and never ripen. The best way to find out if your avocados are ready to be picked is to pick one, if it ripens within two weeks then the rest should be ready too.  If it doesn’t ripen then keep checking every couple of weeks. The main harvest season for Hass avocados (the main variety) in New Zealand is September to April. Good sized avocados on most trees in New Zealand should be ready to pick during this time.

Where in New Zealand are avocados grown?

All avocados sold in New Zealand are grown in New Zealand. The main avocado growing regions are Northland and the Bay of Plenty.

Why are there seasonal differences in the supply of avocados?

Avocados are biennial in their fruit growth; this means that they have irregular bearing of fruit with seasonal swings in production. One year there will be a large crop and the next the crop may be much smaller. Watch this video to find out more.

What can I do about avocado theft?

Avocado fruit theft

We encourage growers to please report thefts and any unusual activity in their area to NZ Police as soon as possible. If you see something – say something.
Call 111 immediately

What can you do to help protect your fruit:

  • Install security cameras or if you are unable to do this, install signage as a deterrent that says the orchard is under surveillance. Theft prevention signs can be ordered by emailing – two signs per PPIN.
  • Install a driveway alarm to alert you of people entering your property
  • Keep any gates to the orchard locked or install an electronic pin code gate
  • Have a regular walk around your orchard to stay alert of anything unusual or potential risk areas that you may want to address
  • Use your phone to take photos if you do see anything suspicious
    NZ Avocado will work with NZ Police throughout the off-season and early season to monitor and educate sellers of avocados at fruit shops and farmers markets around stolen fruit.

More information on theft available here.

How do I order trees and from which nurseries?

You will need to contact the nurseries directly to purchase trees. You can find contact details for the nurseries in our directory here.

Advice about organic avocado growing

To learn more about organic avocado growing in New Zealand please see the NZ Organic Avocado Growers Inc page.

Who can I ask for advice?

The NZ avocado staff are available to help with any questions, for more complex questions we would recommend engaging with a consultant. You’ll find a list of consultants in our directory here.