Small Garden Tips

How to Grow Limes and Avocados in Pots for Home Grown Guacamole and Margaritas

Do you lust after the perfect creamy guacamole like I do? There’s really nothing better, especially if you have a zingy lime margarita to sip on too.

Here’s how to grow your own limes and avocados to make delicious guacamole and margaritas or whatever you crave.

Depending on what type of plants you buy it may take up to a few years before you have full grown fruit. Can’t wait? Choose a larger plant that’s already been grafted, not seeds.

How to Make Home Grown Guacamole and Margaritas

how to make guacamole

How to Make Simple Guacamole

Guacamole is one of those good for you snacks. Avocados, the main ingredient, are so healthy for you. They’re full of dietary fiber, vitamins C,K, B and A plus they provide a healthy dose of MUFA (monounsaturated fatty acids). MUFA’s help lower bad cholesterol.

In fact the only thing unhealthy about eating guacamole is the chips you dip!

There are a ton of great recipes for guacamole, it really comes down to personal taste. Personally I like mine super simple.

Smashed avocado, generous grind of sea salt, generous squeeze of lime, a dash of hot chili sauce and maybe a teaspoon of mayonnaise to make it creamy if the avocado isn’t super ripe. Start by chopping your avocado into a small bowl and then smash it with a fork. Once you’ve got a creamy texture, add your salt, lime, sauce and mayo (if needed) to taste and fold into the avocado.

You can increase the hotness to your taste with more hot sauce or peppers. Some folks like a chunkier texture. Finely diced jalapeño peppers and tomatoes will give more bite and texture to your guac.

how to make margaritas

How to Make Simple Margaritas

Is there anything better than a simple margarita on a hot sultry day? Whether you like them shaken over ice or frozen; lime and tequila is the perfect refreshing combination. Shake it with a tiny shot of triple sec, Grand Marnier or orange juice and you’ll counteract the bite of the lime and liquor with a welcome touch of sweetness.

Margaritas can also be made alcohol-free. Try substituting tonic water or club soda for the tequila. I’d recommend one of Fever Tree’s special tonic water flavors like Mediterranean or Lemon to get that extra citrus-y twang. Just be sure to shake your other ingredients first before adding the tonic fizz at the end.

Garnish with a nice wedge of lime and perhaps a drizzle of orange-flavored liquer over top.

Getting started growing your own ingredients for guacamole and margaritas is an easy afternoon project. All you need is a sunny spot. A south facing window, balcony or patio would be perfect.

how to grow an avocado

How to Grow an Avocado Tree in a Container

Growing your avocado tree from an avocado pit is a nice idea but unless you want to wait up to 15 years for your guacamole, it’s not recommended. Yes that’s how long it may take to bear fruit.

If you want to have avocado “fruit” in 3-4 years, buy a grafted tree from a plant nursery or garden center.

Varieties: In the US you may find Mexican (small, thin skin but able to withstand temps down 26 F); Guatemalan (thick skin), West Indian (shiny with thin skin), Haas (dark green bumpy skin, some consider it to be the best taste! – it’s also a Type A variety)

For best yield of fruit: Grow 2 trees together, one type A flower and one type B flower. Although each avocado tree flower has both male and female parts, they don’t open at the same time. Which is what it takes to propagate and create the flowers to produce fruit. Having two trees gives each tree a chance to cross propagate.

Outdoor: Yes if you live in USDA Zone 10-11, otherwise move pot inside when temps drop below 70 F
Some cultivars are hardy to Zone 8-9, check before you buy. Avocados thrive on warm moderate temperatures year round.
The majority of avocados grown in the US are found in southern California and Florida. Hawaii is also a perfect climate. Nuff said.

Light: Bright, sunny if you want it to bear fruit! A Florida room, conservatory or sun room is the ideal location for your avocado tree to flourish indoors. During the summer months you can move it outside to a sunny protected spot out of wind. Up to 8 hours a day of sun.

Water/Soil: Needs sandy loam mix with good drainage. Don’t overwater.

Fertilize: Every 2 months until 4 years old then 4X per year. Use 6.6.6.2 or 8.3.9.3.

Repot when you see roots growing through the bottom drainage holes in your pot.

If you’re concerned about space, choose a dwarf cultivar. Avocados in the wild can grow up to 20-30 ft. tall.

how to grow a lime tree in a container

How to Grow a Lime Tree in a Container

Just like the avocado, lime trees grown from seed may take years before growing fruit if at all. Buy a grafted lime tree from a reputable plant nursery or garden center. That’s if you want to be drinking your margarita in the next 3-4 years.

Initially a lime tree will bear flowers but not fruit. Although there are exceptions.

I purchased a small lime tree on summer clearance from Lowe’s and I had limes on it by the next summer. You can expect to see the white flowers in the spring. It will take about 6-9 months for the fruit to mature. Don’t expect all the flowers to turn into fruit. The tree will drop most flowers and only a few will mature into limes.

Expect your limes to be ready to pick between October and December.

Varieties: A Bearss (Persian or Tahitian) lime grows up to 20 ft. Mexican, Key Lime or West Indian lime grows to 15 ft.and is the common lime you’re used to seeing. Palestinian lime is a sweeter milder variety. Choose a dwarf variety if space is a consideration.

For best yield of fruit: Choose a 2-3 year old tree to start getting limes as soon as possible.

Outdoors: Only in Zones 10, 11. Most citrus won’t withstand temps below 40 F, so keep an eye on your container plant and bring it inside if temperatures are going to drop. Alternately you can cover the plant for a short time. Check the label on the plant you buy. It will indicate what Zone that variety can tolerate. Container plants are more vulnerable to cold so err on the side of caution and bring it in or cover it if you have any doubt.

Light: Bright and sunny. Up to 8 hours a day. Keep your container in a sheltered spot out of wind and against a wall if possible.

Water/Soil: Needs sandy loam mix with good drainage. Don’t overwater. If your lime tree pot is on wheels it will make it easier to move around as it grows.

Fertilize: Citrus trees like nitrogen based fertilizer. The easiest choice is a Citrus and Avocado Food you can buy from a plant center. Fertilize in spring and summer but stop feeding before fall.

The size of the pot should be about the same height as your plant. Repot in the spring or summer as needed.

As you can tell, your lime and avocado are both sun loving plants that like warm moderate temperatures. You can grow them side by side and watch how they mature.

Before you know it you’ll be picking your own avocados and limes to make the tastiest ever guacamole and margaritas!