This downloadable slide show will teach you to graft avocados using the cleft graft - a dependable, easy method to learn. Avocados are normally grafted in late winter, through February, but can be grafted at other times if attention is paid to aftercare.
This grafting information will work for any avocado, but Gulf Coast gardeners should only be growing hardy avocados. You can find information on the varieties that should work in the Gulf Coast garden on our Growing Avocados page.
There are a variety of hardy avocados to choose from. Experiment to your heart's content, but we hate to see someone put a lot of time and effort into marginal varieties only to be disappointed, or to lose a tree to a minor freeze. Graft a few of the dependable varieties to insure your production first.
It's easy to grow an avocado plant from an avocado seed you buy at the market, leading some to think this is a good way to start their own root stock. However, these are not hardy varieties. There is great risk that you will lose the root stock in a deep, extended freeze. Make sure you use hardy varieties for grafting.
Grafting is like any other skill. It takes a bit of practice to become a skilled grafter. Take time to analyze any failures. They can teach you to be a better grafter. A journal is a good way to keep track of your methods so you can review your steps and shorten your learning curve. You can note everything from the condition of the root stock and scion, to the weather the day you graft, to your tools and hygiene.