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Choose the right avocado for your region

Oct 10, 2013 -
   
  Choose the right avocado for your region
Tricia is about to plant two Mexican avocados in Northern California. Match the tree's country of origin to your climate.
 
   

Avocado trees are divided into three main types: Guatemalan, Mexican, and West Indian.

Mexican avocados


Mexican varieties are the most cold tolerant and need protection for the foliage at 20°F. Mexican types are the least salt tolerant and are typically grown in California.

Mexicola

Stewart

Zutano

Guatemalan avocados


Guatemalan varieties are in between the other two. They’re popular in Texas because they’re relatively cold and salt tolerant.

These avocados are Guatemalan x Mexican:

Bacon

Hass

Little Cado

West Indian avocados


West Indian varieties are the least cold tolerant, and need protection at 32°F. West Indian types are the most salt tolerant and do very well in Florida.

At this time we don’t have any avocados from the West Indies.

Select the avocados that suit your soil and climate. For the best pollination, plant a tree with A flowers and one with B flowers. We explain the flower types here.

Watch our Growing Avocados video for planting, pruning, and harvesting tips—and enjoy your homegrown avocados in so many ways!


Categories: Fruit Trees, Avocado Trees, Edible Landscaping, Organic Gardening 101, Urban Gardening & farming


Mike Says:
Oct 12th, 2013 at 7:05 am

Can any of these varieties be grown indoors in cold climates? Will they fruit?

Clara Coffey Says:
Oct 13th, 2013 at 11:09 am

I have tried to grow avacados with no luck. Are they viable on the south shore of lake pontchatrain? My zip code is 70058 Thank you.

Eva Nipp Says:
Oct 14th, 2013 at 12:43 am

There is no “Growing Avocados” video if you click that on.  Tricia is planting 2 Mexican avocados.  Does that mean they will fertilize each other???  We have one Mexican avocado that has never produced an avocado in 5 years.

Great information. Wish you would include Hawaii. Says:
Oct 14th, 2013 at 9:38 am

Donna Mitts

Lana Martin Says:
Oct 14th, 2013 at 8:23 pm

My yard is not large enough for 2 avocado trees.  What should I do?  Can 1 plant have both A and B flower?  No one in my area has an avocado tree that I know of.  I live in zone 9, in Morgan City La.  Please help me choose the right tree as I want to use it medicinally for diabetes and protein.  Are your plants grafted and should they give fruit in a year?  I appreciate whatever advice you may be able to give. Thanks so much

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Oct 15th, 2013 at 11:04 am

Mike, The best bet for indoor containers is Little Cado since it is a dwarf. You will still need to prune it to keep it under 8’. Grow it indoors in the sunniest spot possible, then move it outside to full sun when the temps morning and night are over 60F. Little Cado has both A and B flowers so it should be self-pollinating and fruitful.

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Oct 15th, 2013 at 11:09 am

Clara, Your warm climate is certainly avocado friendly, but you may be having trouble with high salt in your soil, due to that brackish lake. Try the Guatemalan crosses or the West Indian varieties for more salt tolerant avocados. Stay away from the Mexican avocados. Use an avocado fertilizer too, mulch when the tree is young, and let the fallen leaves lie on the ground under the mature tree.

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Oct 15th, 2013 at 11:12 am

Eva, Thanks for the catch on the bad link! I have corrected that. Now, for your Mexican avocado, it sounds like you need a pollinator to get your fruit going. Do you know which variety you planted? If it has A flowers you will need an additional tree with B flowers. Tricia is planting A and B flowering trees for pollination.

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Oct 15th, 2013 at 11:14 am

Donna, If your Hawaiian soil has high salinity you should go with the West Indian or Guatemalan crosses. Mexican avocados have low tolerance for salty soil and would not do well.

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Oct 15th, 2013 at 11:18 am

Lana, Morgan Hill, CA is in USDA zone 9a so you cannot grow Little Cado unless you have a hot spot/microclimate in your garden. Is there an extra-hot sunny spot near a fence or wall that is reflecting heat, or is at the top of a slope? If so, you could grow Little Cado which has both A and B flowers but wants to be in zone 10. You would have to be vigilant about protecting it when overnight temps drop to freezing and below, but you could try that. It is also a dwarf tree so it will get to 8’-12’. Avocados that are grafted onto rootstock (like ours) fruit in 3-4 years after planting, typically.

Jeryl Gates Says:
Oct 27th, 2013 at 11:27 am

Charlotte:  LOVE LOVE LOVE your videos and all your advice.  I live in HOT Las Vegas, NV (89131); which is also zone 9 (sometimes 8 depending on who is answering).  I saw that Lana lives in Morgan Hill (CA) and Little Cado is not recommended unless hotspot/microclimate.  What is that?  And, which would YOU recommend for Las Vegas area?  I have full sun (that I shade in the summer because it is too much full sun.  My yard is on the south side of our house and my raised gardens are fully in the sun.  Oh!  Is there another name for the fuerte avocado.  We love my husband’s brother’s avocados grown in Southern Calif.  Thanks for everyone’s comments.  Helped a lot.

Perry Suszek Says:
Nov 2nd, 2013 at 8:19 pm

Oh, how I wish I could grow them here in Green Bay!

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Nov 5th, 2013 at 10:36 am

Perry, We hear ya! But you can grow sour Montmorency cherries better than those of us in warm areas. They make terrific brandied cherries!

Stephanie Brown Says:
Dec 20th, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Jeyrl, Sorry to say, avocados really are not suited to your area.  The Fuerte is probably the most cold hardy, but is difficult to obtain and would probably still need some protection. Of our varieties, the Stewart and the Mexicola are the most adaptable, but they are both Type A flowering bushes and there are no Type B bushes suitable for your area (you would need one for pollination). Avocados are better at self pollination in the west, so you have a better chance, though.

Christina B Says:
Dec 23rd, 2013 at 9:18 pm

We live in zone 5 but were thinking of fashioning a frame so we could turn it into a sort of greenhouse for love trees and now that I see avocado trees maybe those too.Which type are the most cold resistant.I live in zone 5c and only have a few weeks a year where it hits zero some years we have nothing that low.Do you think we could keep something like this alive by treating them like this and in extra cold use a heater?We figured if we kept them all purned to under 15’ it might her possible.Not planning to do this right away but in the next 5 years.

Stephanie Brown Says:
Jan 15th, 2014 at 11:22 am

Hello Christina,

Yes, your idea could work for Avocados. Keep the temperature above 20°F and they’ll be fine. Stick to Mexican avocados since they are the most cold hardy.

Jasmine Says:
Jul 14th, 2014 at 8:32 pm

I live in Gilroy.  Had tried 5 different avocados.  All died from frost in Dec/Jan. I want to try again but putting them in a pot and bringing them in when it is too cold and then putting them in the ground after a couple of years.  Any suggestions?  We eat avocados everyday and would love to grow our own.

Stephanie Brown Says:
Jul 15th, 2014 at 9:22 am

Hello Jasmine,

That sounds like a good idea because avocados get more frost tolerant as they get older. You can also cover the trees with frost blankets when it gets cold. If you have a south facing wall that will radiate heat at night that can help. This video has more good frost protection tips: http://www.groworganic.com/organic-gardening/videos/how-to-protect-plants-from-frost-low-tunnels

Jasmine Says:
Jul 29th, 2014 at 3:31 am

What variety do you suggest I get? I have room for 2 or more. The more frost tolerant the better. Mexicola and bacon for both type A and B?Is it too late for me to get them now- august in hot Gilroy. I am planning on keeping them in pot. Is a couple of years enough to allow them to be mature to be less frost sensitive.?

Suzanne Says:
Aug 1st, 2014 at 12:21 pm

Well, the most cold tolerant varieties are the Mexican, so the Mexicola, Stewart and Zutano. The Mexicola and Stewart have A flowers and Zutano have a B type flower. Bacon is a Guatemalen and not as cold tolerant as the Mexican. I would probably wait until the weather cools off to plant. Remember these trees can get really big, so choose a pot big enough.

Pamina Says:
Aug 26th, 2014 at 3:21 pm

Do you think I could grow the Little Cado in a sunny part of the flats of west Oakland? I see that technically, we are considered zone 17, but I have not lost any of our citrus to frost ( satsuma orange, blanco d’oro, wild lime, beers lime, and Meyer lemon) and I have never covered them. I could cover the avocado, of course.

Suzanne Says:
Sep 4th, 2014 at 4:56 pm

I have found a few blogs from folks in Fremont/Newark area that grow that same variety with great success. It needs full sun and well drained soil. So I would suggest doing a few more searches for growing in Oakland, but it sounds like the tree would do fine, just protect from cold temperatures.

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