cold-hardy avocados

pnbrownApril 12, 2010

So over a year ago I planted four young cold-hardy avocado plants at my 9a (or perhaps 8b) north-central location. All four were killed in the hard freeze this past january. There does not appear to be any sprouting even from the roots, which is surprising to me. Even banana roots easily survive such cold-snaps.

Question is, if these supposedly cold-hardy varieties can be nursed along to a good size, will they survive such freezes (24 degrees over 4 hrs)? There is a large thriving avocado tree at the lake county gardens. Of course, that site might be a half-zone milder than mine.

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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Pat

I am no avocado expert and I am in zone 9b. In my area I planted the Brogdon that I was told by the expert grower it would take the cold. When we had the freeze and I saw him again he was not too sure, lol.

But I protected it from the cold as I could since I was not prepared with mini greenhouses or such. My neighbors who also bought one after sampled my fruit covered teirs with blankets and also survived.

The expert told me that he put big amounts of compost around the trunks, you do want to protect more than anything else.

When I made a trip to Just fruits in Tallahasee they had a huge Brogdon avocado without any protection, while they had big structures made to protect their citrus.

I hope somebody from colder areas than mine gives you advice.

Here is my Brogdon in a picture taken recently


    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 8:58AM
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I'll echo the cold-hardiness of a Brogdon. I have one about 12-15 feet tall that has made it through several freezes without a problem. I have several other non-Brogdons that I had to rip out when the cold got them even though they were covered (didn't do anything to protect my Brogdon).

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 6:44PM
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timetraveler(9b Melbourne Beach FL)

I have a Day Avocado that survived the winter in zone 9b without any protection (I was away). Its leaves looked pretty ratty in the spring, but it bloomed and is now putting out new healthy leaves.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2010 at 8:54AM
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My Brogdon was too large to cover and I didn't think we were in the danger zone here (it was above 30 at worst.) But after the cold it looked completely dead for several weeks. It is now putting out new growth all over the trunk and most main limbs. Not sure what I should do at this point as far as shaping it back into a tree. Meanwhile, the two mangoes that I was worried about look better than ever. I'm confused! Previous cold weather never bothered the tree, but this time perhaps it was the extended time.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2010 at 12:59PM
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im shocked at your tree getting zapped Pawsnplants? im im merritt island and my brogdon had no damage at all. it has little fruits on it and seems very happy

    Bookmark   April 17, 2010 at 1:27PM
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cjc45(9 Mount Dora FL)

And bananas are a completely different kind of plant, you can't compare their cold tolerance with that of a tree.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 3:08PM
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One of my four was a brogdon, and the others were supposed to go even colder. I spent over $200 on those plants. I won't try again until I can be there throughout the cold months. I suspect my location is at the extreme cold limit for avocado, but maybe just possible with vigilance in the first years.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 6:05PM
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I have a Brogden Avacado tree that is higher than the second story of my home, approx. 30 feet high. We have had back to back very harsh winters in Central Florida. It doesn't even wilt. It is bright yellow right now with bloom. On the other hand, my Lula and Day varieties both have gotten damage each year and have not bloomed due to recovery time.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 8:48PM
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I have a 3 year old brogdon that I covered with plastic and provided some heat. The branches and leaves near the plastic are completely dead. That tells me that I would have lost my tree if I didn't protect it. I have a small 2 foot Day avocado that I just covered with blankets because it is so small. It looks fine. Last year I planted a (cold hardy -not!!!) winter mexican and it died. Last spring I also planted a poncho, which to my amazement, had just some small burn spots on the leaves. This one survived nicely. Hope the fruit tastes good. Obviously everyone has their particular microclimates that affect the outcome after a freeze. I wish that my brogdon looked like Silvia's--loaded with blooms!


    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 6:04PM
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whgille(FL 9b)


That picture was last year, this year it has more blooms and I did not cover it because it is too tall now, can not wait for the avocados. I will make a guacamole party, stay tuned:)


    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 8:02PM
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How old is your avocado? I bought a Brogdon and a Lula last March, so they are exactly 1 year old now. I just wanted to know how long until they look like yours...
Also, do you do anything to yours like fertilize or spray? I fertilize 1ce a month.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 11:03AM
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whgille(FL 9b)


My avocado is about 3 years old and started to fruit the first year planted. I fertilize in the spring like now and again when I have leftover soil from the tomatoes. I don't spray the fruit trees unless I see a big problem and the avocado has give me none. It is too tall now maybe 20 feet but I have not measured it either so is only a guess.


    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 1:28PM
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I dont understand how your tree grew so fast! Mine are only 2 years younger than yours and they have grown maybe a foot. They are about 5 feet tall now... Did you get most of your growth in the second year?

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 2:13PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Kennyn, it all depends on what size was the tree when planted. Mine was big to begin with, but still small enough to fit in the car. It was healthy and had good growth, that is what I look when buying a fruit tree. It was planted in a good spot, south side and plenty of space. I did use a lot of black cow when planting, made a big hole.

Now to tell you a different story, it is the one my neighbor has. I gave him some of my avocados and he loved them so he asked about what kind and I told him, he bought it in the same place and same size.

He did not ask for my advice when planting, so I don't know the conditions, I do see that he put it in a corner of his yard, not too much sun or space there.

Just this week, he came and asked me about if he can top the tree to grow bushy because it is a long stick, and when he saw mine he was less than happy with his-( If he would only asked me in the beginning...

You can ask yourself the same questions, since I don't see your tree, I can't advice, only you know the conditions.


    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 3:36PM
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There's a big avocado tree at kanapaha botanical gardens in Gainesville! I plan on buying one of it's offspring at the spring garden festival at kanapaha too.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 11:04PM
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I live in the coldest part of Florida and grow avocados. Just Fruits has Mexicola and Gainesville. I never saw or heard of a Brogdon there. My Brogdon is not very cold hardy compared to the others.

To address the original post, young trees need protection and must be planted correctly. The soil must be well drained and moist. Protect the trees when it gets below 25 degrees for the first few years. Also the rootstock is often not as hardy and needs to be protected. Eventually you will want to bury that, but only once the tree reaches maturity. Do yo have clay soil, which often leads to root rot in North Florida? Ocala, Gainesville, Tallahassee, Chattahoochee, and Thomasville, GA all have hardy avocado trees that survived the recent winters with only superficial damage. But the trees need the gardener's expertise and care to get established. $200 is too pricey. Gainesville and Mexicola newly planted, %50 leaf burn at 14 degrees the winter of 2009/2010.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 10:40AM
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My site is completely droughty sand with little wind protection. The young trees were probably killed by the combination of frosts/cold wind/dry soil over extended periods.

So avocados are out until such time as I am there to provide nursing during the entirety of cold/dry weather.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 10:01PM
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I was wondering if anyone would be willing to share some scion wood from a Brogdon avocado. I am nuts and would like to cultivate a small variety that will tolerate greenhouse conditions for most of the year. You can reply to this thread and we can exchange contacts. Thanks.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 6:10PM
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What a nice tree. Where did you get it if I may ask? I'm in Clermont but I haven't seen any avocados for sale around here thanks

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 9:27PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Sarita - I bought the Brogdon avocado in the picture in My Kids Tropicals, a fruit nursery that you have to call before going there. I also have a recently planted Brogdon in another place and that one I bought at Knox nursery that is open to the public. Last week that I was there they still had some but you can call them before going.


    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 8:34AM
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I had a Choquette, it is supposed to be self-pollinating also supposed to take cold down to abt. 28 degrees, it had gorgeous fruit for years and finally died when we had that prolonged deep cold during the 80s... need to get another ... sally

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 1:39PM
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This has some good info on Gainesville and Mexicola. They seem very cold hardy.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cold Hardy Avocados

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 3:32PM
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To fascinate by avocado tree France I look for seeds avocado hardy I pay you expenses and services provided via eBay

Thank you for your help)


    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 6:06PM
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I was given a Brogdon last year in April. I did alright during the year. It lost most of its leaves after it was planted and then grew them back soon after. Now it has lost all of its leaves--save one. I don't know what's going on with this little tree. We really only had one night where the temperature got below freezing, but it had already dropped most of its leaves.

I read somewhere that there is an insect that has infested these trees, so I purchased a very strong systemic and applied it a few weeks ago. So far nothing has happened one way or the other. I still have that one leaf.

Any advice?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 7:25PM
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Gainesville and Joey avocados both came sailing through a winter that saw defoliation on young citrus (due to warm spells followed by a cold night or two); the recorded low was 19F, but mostly through radiative cooling, and these trees were protected by surrounding canopy, so did not experience those lows.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 2:53PM
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Hello Guys,

could anybody help me out here? I wanted to order the most cold hardy avocado species from but my shippingcost are very high, ik would cost me at least 400 usd for 1 plant, before I have it here. I am looking for seed or some pieces of scion wood. Please! some keywords
Joey, Lila, Poncho, fantastic, brazos belle, and rincon
Thanks a lot,

    Bookmark   January 4, 2014 at 4:33AM
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I have a Brogdon about 7 foot tall in a pot I got last spring. It's my best looking tree i got, and it lost about i/4 of it's leave over winter. The Brogdon is a Mex./W.I. mix and it might not do good in Texas cold winters but it looked so thick and dark green I had to buy one. I don't water it untill the bottom of pot is dry, I drill holes on the sides of the pot and checked it with a long wooden dowel. Out of the 7 Mexican types I have in pots, the Mex. Fantastic looks 2nd best. This year I hope to plant them all this May 2014 and see which do best here in south Texas. I do have a 30 foot Mex. type in my yard that is green skin when it's ripe and it took 12 years to give fruit from a seed.

This post was edited by cuerno on Fri, Mar 21, 14 at 23:09

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 10:35PM
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The local nursery here recommended the Brogdon and another Mexican variety, but when I Googled it I found that they are susceptable to Anthracnose. We have very soggy clay soil here so I'm afraid I'll be wasting my money. We tried to grow a Dogwood when we first moved here and it quickly succumbed to it. Have any of you experienced this problem?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 7:37AM
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Cuerno, what is your winter hardiness zone?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 8:12AM
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Cuerno, I live in San Antonio. Do you have any rooted cuttings of Avocado to trade?


    Bookmark   November 7, 2014 at 10:09AM
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Look like my Avocadoes volunteers will not survive the winter in the Jacksonville area

    Bookmark   November 8, 2014 at 6:57PM
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