If you’re a big fan of avocado trees but always believed you couldn’t plant one because you live in a cool region, think again. Cold-hardy avocados exist, so you can plant your very own tree even in areas where the temperature gets to 20 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter. Mexicola avocados are a very popular cold-hardy avocado variety, a particularly hardy, vigorous species from the northern Mexican highlands. Plant one of these beauties and you’ll have a bounty of 30 pounds of delicious avocados annually in just a few years.
Mexicola Avocado Trees at a Glance
- Can tolerate cool temperatures down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit
- Smaller than standard avocados
- Thin, rich, edible skin
- Green leaves year-round
This cold-hardy avocado tree has a thin, narrow trunk with gray bark and a spread canopy of green leaves that retain their color year-round and smell like licorice or anise when crushed. Mexicola avocado trees can grow to be 15-20 feet tall with a width of 5-8 feet.
The cold-hardy avocado fruits are smaller than standard Hass avocados, weighing just 4-7 ounces. Their glossy green skins turn shiny purple-black when they ripen on the branch—and they’re sleek and smooth, not pebbled.
|Appearance||Gray bark, spread canopy, 4-7 ounce thin, purplish black-skinned fruits|
|Height||15-20 feet tall|
|Hardiness Zones||Zones 4-11 (patio), 8-11 (outdoors)|
|Type of tree||Evergreen|
|Sunlight requirements||Full sun|
|Soil composition||Well-drained, should be planted on mound if high clay content|
USDA Hardiness Zones note the regions where certain plants thrive based on climate and relative annual temperatures. Mexicola cold-hardy avocado trees flourish in Zones 8-11 if planted outdoors, and in Zones 4-11 if they are in a container on a patio, able to be brought inside during cold snaps and seasons where it will continue to grow. This means they will thrive from South Carolina to Texas if planted outside.
The best time to plant your cold-hardy avocado tree is between spring and summer, when the soil is warm. Choose an area that receives full sun and little wind. The tree should be planted on the south side of your house.
Clear away any weeds, turfgrass, and debris from the area. Dig a hole that’s roughly three times the diameter of the cold-hardy avocado seedling’s container, and about three to four times the depth. Remove the seedling from the container and place it into the hole so that the root ball is slightly above the surrounding soil. Backfill the hole with soil, tamping down gently.
Water your newly-planted Mexicola avocado tree every two days or every three days for the first week, and then twice weekly for the next few months, then finally once every week to 10 days.
Mexicola cold-hardy avocado trees don’t need much to stay happy, able to thrive in a wide range of temperatures.
Sun and shade
Cold-hardy avocado trees thrive in direct sunlight, where they receive at least six hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight per day. They can grow in partial shade as well, but will produce fewer fruit.
Cold-hardy avocado trees enjoy tropical temperatures, but can withstand temperatures of down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mexicola cold-hardy avocado trees thrive in well-drained soil, with a preference for sandy or loamy, and do poorly in clay soils.
Before you water, make sure the soil isn’t already moist—you don’t want it to get soggy and damage the roots. Water once a week, making sure the top 2 inches of soil are moist each time after you’ve finished.
Cold-hardy avocado trees benefit from fertilizer, which gives them necessary nutrients to grow healthy leaves, a strong root system, and a robust harvest of fruit. You can purchase fertilizer specifically formulated for avocado trees. You should fertilize your Mexicola avocado tree in spring or summer, and again in fall.
Mexicola cold-hardy avocado trees are self-fertile, meaning you only need one to produce fruit. Avocado trees have both female and male flowers, but they open at different times. Mexicola trees have a type A flower, meaning that the flowers open in the morning as females on the morning of the first day, then close in the afternoon. The following day, they open as male. Planting your Mexicola cold-hardy avocado tree with a type B will increase your yield.
Mexicola cold-hardy avocado trees will begin producing fruit within 3-4 years of planting. The fruit is ready to harvest in September. Unlike Hass avocados, they turn purple-black while still on the tree. Their high oil content means they have a rich, nutty flavor, and you can even eat the thin skins. The yields are roughly 30 pounds.
Frequently Asked Questions
What temperature is too cold for them?
Mexicola cold-hardy avocado trees cannot tolerate temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
What climate is best to grow avocados?
Avocado trees thrive in Zones 8-11.
Can avocado trees grow in Zone 8?
Can you grow an avocado tree indoors?
You can grow avocado trees indoors, but you must make sure they receive at least six hours of sunlight a day. For cold-hardy avocado trees, you can keep the container on the patio for three quarters of the year and then bring the container indoors in the winter.
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