Avocado Pollination

From the Horticultural Sciences Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida

Avocado flowers are bisexual, however, the female and male flower parts function at different times of the day. Varieties are classified into A and B types according to the time of day when the female and male flower parts become reproductively functional. New evidence indicates avocado flowers may be both self- and cross-pollinated under Florida conditions. Self-pollination occurs during the second flower opening when pollen from the anthers is transferred to the stigma of the female flower parts. Cross-pollination may occur when female and male flowers from A and B type varieties open simultaneously. Self-pollination appears to be primarily caused by wind, whereas cross-pollination is caused by large flying insects such as bees and wasps.

Varieties vary in the degree of self- or cross-pollination necessary for fruit set. Some varieties, such as 'Waldin', 'Lula', and 'Taylor' fruit well when planted alone. Others, such as 'Pollock' and 'Booth 8' (both B types) do not and it is probably advantageous to plant them with other varieties (A types) which bloom simultaneously to facilitate adequate pollination and fruit set. Before planting an avocado tree, homeowners should scout their neighborhood for other home landscapes with avocado trees. If other home landscapes possess avocado trees then most likely adequate pollination will occur by planting just one avocado tree, if no other avocado trees are within your immediate area, you may opt to plant two avocado trees, one an A-type, the other a B-type see Avocado Tree Chart. This will help insure good pollination and fruit set.

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Johathan H., Balerdi, Carlos F. and Maquire, Ian. "Avocados Growing in the Home Landscape." edis.ifas.ufl.edu . Horticultural Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. July 2013. Web. 15 Oct. 2015.

Published 29 Jan. 2014 LR. Updated 16 June 2014, 23 Dec. 2015 LR
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