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Frequently Asked Questions
Here you will find basic gardening advise for the most common plants and trees we sell. Due to wide variabiles you may be presented with in your own garden, I encourge you to use this information only as a starting point, and along with the links to other resources and books you can tailor the advise to your specific conditions.
1. Avocados
2. Banana's
3. Mango Trees
4. Papaya Trees
5. Guava Trees
6. Passion Fruit
7. Plumeria
8. Bamboo
9. Citrus




1. Avocados

Avocados are one of the more challenging plants to grow in the desert, yet it can and is being done. All of our nursery grown avocados are grafted which means they should produce fruit in 1 - 3 years after planting. As a point of interest, avocado trees grown from seed can take 8 years or more to produce fruit and the fruit production/quality is unpredictable at best.

Avocado trees prefer full sun but need protection from the western sun during the first years until they develope a stong deep root structure and dense foliage to protect the sensitive bark. We recommend either painting any exposed bark with diluted water based paint or planting the tree on the east side of your house so it only receives morning sun. I built a 8 foot shade structure for my avocados with openings that the plant can eventually grow through. Most avocado varieties can grow to be very tall trees, so protection and shading is only a temporary requirement as in time they will reach for the sky and eventually be to tall to cover even if you wanted to.

Avocados need well drained soil, as the plant will not tolerate wet soggy soil, this is also important in the winter time when the ground is cold as well. Though do not take this advise to mean that the tree is drought tolerant as in our desert heat and arid conditions would mean almost certain death of the plant if it does not receive regular deep watering especially as temperatures reach well above 100f degrees in the summer. Avocados are very sensitive to salt burn, and with the high concentration of salt in our water and combination of heavy clay soil it is important to remember to water slow and deep. You can achieve this by using drip emitters of no more that 1/4-1/2 gallon per hour and let it run for several hours each time you water. If you don't use a drip system you can achieve the same results by turning on your hose to just a trickle and leaving it on the plant for a few hours, thus allowing the water to penetrate deep so the roots can get to it.

We don't recommend fertilizing young and newly planted trees for at least the first year. Once the tree is established you can use any balanced citrus fertilizer on a yearly basis, just follow the directions on the label. Keep in mind, the rule of thumb with commercial fertilizers is less is more, so be conservative. Or if you are into organics like me you can use compost, coffee grounds, fish emulsion, etc. There are great suggestions in Dave Owens book, Extreme Gardening: How To Grow Organic in the Hostile Deserts. The book can be purchased direct from our site, just follow this link.

Here are some additional links to articles about growing avocados.

Avocados: Arizona rare fruit growers

How to plant an avocado tree, by Julie Frink


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2. Banana's

http://www.azrfg.com/bananas.pdf
http://www.phoenixtropicals.com/banana.html
http://www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/banana.html
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/banana.html


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3. Mango Trees

http://crfg.org/pubs/ff/mango.html

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4. Papaya Trees

http://www://crfg.org/pubs/ff/papaya.html

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5. Guava Trees

http://www://crfg.org/pubs/ff/guava.html

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6. Passion Fruit

http://www://crfg.org/pubs/ff/passionfruit.html

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7. Plumeria

http://www.azplumeria.org

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8. Bamboo

Comming Soon

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9. Citrus

Planting Time:  Citrus can be planted year round if you make adjustments for water needs and frost protection.

Planting:  Dig a hole at least twice the size of the root ball of the new tree. Mix 30% mulch with the removed soil and refill the hole so the rootball will be at the same depth as the surrounding soil. Place the tree in the hole with out disturbing the root ball. It sometimes helps to cut the bottom of the plastic pot before placing the tree in the hole and then cut down the side of the pot to remove the container. Refill the hole with the remaining mix of soil and compost and firm the soil as you go. With the left over soil form a 3-4 inch watering basin around the tree.

Watering: Deep water thoroughly after planting and use a root stimulator the first few times you water. The best way to water properly is to fill the water basin and keep it filled for approximately one hour or until you are sure the water has gone down past the rootball. During the first year water deeply every 7 days in the summer and every 2-4 weeks in the winter.

Mulching: Keep 2-4 inches of mulch around the plant out to the drip line but not touching the trunk. Mulch is a natural fertilizer that also acidifies the soil and retains moisture.

Additional info: Protect the trunk by painting it white with a water based latex paint diluted about 50% or tree wrap. Keep grass and other plantings away from young trees. Prune off sucker growth below the bud union. Don't over fertilize, if you use a commercial fertilizer choose a slow release type and remember less is more. There are many organic recepies, a search on the internet will reveal many choices you have or get a copy of "Extreme Gardening", Growing organic in the hostile desert by Dave Owens. A link to purchase the book is on our web site, just click here.


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|Home Page| |Air Plant Terrarium| |Buy Online| |CONTACT US| |Hours and Directions| |What We Sell| |WHAT'S NEW| |Fruits of Warm Climates| |High Density Planting| |Books| |About Our Nursery| |Internet Links/Sources| |Mission Statement| |FAQ| |Does It Grow In Arizona?| |Growing Sub-Tropicals| |FROST PROTECTION| |FREEZE DAMAGE CARE!!| |Growing Avocados| |Growing Bamboo| |Growing Bananas| |Growing Citrus Trees| |Growing Dragon Fruit| |Growing Guavas| |Growing Loquats| |Growing Mangos| |Growing Papayas| |Growing Passion Fruit| |Growing Plumeria| |Growing Figs| |Nursery Policy | |Welcome| |Summer Planting| |Site Map| |Hardiness Lookup Tool|