I know that there are avocado nurseries in Spain and Greece. ‘Del Rio’ was trademarked as ‘Pryor’ by cold-hardy avocado specialist Bill Schneider, who owns Devine Avocados in Texas. Bill Schneider, owner of Devine Avocados took cuttings from this tree and promised to name the cultivar after the owner, Wilma Lechler. Do you have suggestions on where I could order the trees from that you suggest for my growing zone? They should be able to answer your question there. Hass avocado trees thrive in Zones 9-11, well-suited to warm climates from southern California along the Gulf Coast through Florida. Which variety do you recommend? They suggest using decorative lights or a camp lantern. In all zones prone to freezes a frost blanket to cover the tree is essential. And the variety Pryor is originally from a tree in Del Rio. A hybrid cross of the Mexican and Guatemalan subspecies, ‘Fuerte’ was the industry-standard avocado in California before the Hass came on the scene. I have two seedling trees about 8 years old that have finally fruited. As advised by Nick Saikovich and Ben Faber at the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources for Ventura Country at the University of California, the amount of pruning required will depend on the degree of damage. I even called the Devine Chamber of Commerce to ask if they knew if the nursery is still in business. Placing a light blanket over the top can help protect against light frosts. What a lot of useful information you packed in! To me, there are two questions – the cold tolerance and sources to buy the avocados. Avocado trees fall into one of three possible subspecies: West Indian, Guatemalan, or Mexican. Even their thin, smooth skins are edible. This is particularly true for young trees, which tend to be less tolerant of cold temperatures than mature ones. While you may be used to looking at hardiness zones to determine whether plants can grow in your area, many more factors can be involved than just average temperatures. Fascinated by the childhood discovery that plants make chemicals to defend themselves, Helga embarked on further academic study and obtained two degrees, studying plant diseases as a plant pathology major. Have you tried any of these cultivars? However, this type does not like the cold. She transitioned to full-time writing in 2009. good useful info thank you. The phone number for Devine Avocados is no longer in service. However, you should wait until new growth appears before you prune your tree. Does it frost intermittently, or is that common? I don’t know of success growing avocados in zone 6, although I have read of people covering their avocado trees during frost and putting a light inside for warmth. Thank you for your question! Hello, what an informative article! Hi Wayne, If so, these conditions can mitigate the cold weather, so it may be better able to withstand the cold. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Of the three subspecies (more on this later) of avocado, the least commonly grown one – the Mexican variety – has a number of cultivars that can tolerate frosts. I have a 5-year-old Mexicola Grande that has 5 avocados for the first time, maybe because I also planted a Hass. Product photos via A Natural Farm and Education Center, Brighter Blooms, and Nature Hills. I’m in the central valley of CA. Avocados grow best in Zones 9-11, but you should be able to get one to produce fruit in your zone as well, with plenty of attentive care! I have a fig tree which I started from cutting 25 years ago. If there are organic, non-GMO options that is what I would prefer. The lowest area of hardiness where you can grow avocados is Zone 8. These avocado trees are crosses of the Mexican with either the Guatemalan or West Indian subspecies. However, you’ll want to irrigate during dry spells in the winter. I am very new to all of this. I leave in Torrance Ca. But with their high oil content, they taste exceptionally good. Craig Hepworth, the Florida fruit geek, wrote about how to tell when the green-skinned Mexican avocado varieties are ripe and said that it can be “a bit of a guessing game.”. Even if you have a frost tolerant tree, you should take steps to keep it warm on very cold nights. Depending upon the variety, it may take 3 years or longer to see fruit. We are so glad that you found the article helpful. One of the hardiest of all the cultivars, trees are reported to tolerate temperatures into the low 20s. Read on to find out about the possibility of growing avocados in zone 9 and other information about zone 9 avocados. A moderate oil content gives them a rich, creamy flavor. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock. Some people advise against fertilizing really young avocado trees. Thank you for such great information! The original tree is in Del Rio, Texas. It’s hard to estimate how well the tree would do in your backyard without knowing more about your climate. Most varieties of this group can handle cold snaps down to around 18°F. Any areas that get extreme heat in the summer or frost, chilly winds or snow in the winter are not avocado territory. Is it okay for me to plant it in my backyard, with plenty of sunlight? West Indies avocados are more commonly found growing in Florida, as they are the most salt tolerant and least cold hardy. All of the ones that are in commercial production and most backyard examples are from grafted stock. Avocados do not like boggy soil, so select an area for your tree with well-draining soil. According to Gary Bender, farm advisor in subtropical agriculture at the University of California Cooperative Extension, the seemingly oddly named ‘Bacon’ is the most frost tolerant of the popular hybrids. Mexicola Grande can tolerate temperatures down to 19°F and is supposed to ripen evenly. How exciting that the pit is ready to plant! 4 toothpicks. What if your avocado tree is not weathering the cold well? These avocado trees are crosses of the Mexican with either the Guatemalan or West Indian subspecies. I’ve been told that Mexicola Grande is a good avocado that ripens evenly, and it is hardy to below 20 F. If you can, I would suggest planting it in a sheltered location. I have established a very modest Mexican avocado orchard in Yoakum, Texas, climate zone 9a, just a little south… Read more », Hi John, Thank you so much for your comments with their invaluable information! The fruit from these varieties that originate in the northern Mexican highlands are smaller than most of the commercial ones we’re familiar with. Please let us know how they go! Zones: 9-11; Growing Habits: Up to 35 feet, though can be kept pruned to be shorter (as with all avocado trees) Cold-Hardy to: Frost-sensitive below 32F. The good news is that there are some cold hardy cultivars available. With varieties that can tolerate temperatures below 20°F, homeowners in areas that include parts of USDA Hardiness Zone 8 can enjoy the taste of fresh avocados from their own trees.
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