I want to plant avocado trees. I need to know the best place to buy them and what would be the best kind to plant in the gulf coast (Brazoria County).
You can grow your own from the seeds of fruit you buy in the supermarket. The best variety is the FL one, in my opinion, which is the larger, smoother skinned ones.
After removing the seed, place the larger end downward, and put toothpicks into the seed about midway. Then fill a small glass with water and plant food, suspend the seed, with the toothpicks resting on the glass rim. Place in a sunny window, and when the roots have gotten somewhat established, transplant to a pot.
Of course, if you want one in ground, you need to be in a freeze free zone.
I heard Mexican avocados are the most cold tolerant. They are supposed to have leaves that have a fragrance to them and fruit that are smaller.
I have a couple trees I started from grocery store seeds. One was one of those huge green Florida avocadoes and the other (I think) was a Hass avocado. They have very different leaf shapes and look like completely different plants. Both are growing on the southwest side of the garage and are aboout 8 feet tall. They grow pretty fast and are at least as frost tolerant as hibiscus which makes me want to try grafted ones that might actually produce. They recover pretty quickly from frost so I think they would be worth a try in our area.
The Mexicon Variety is suppose to be the best for our area. The fruits are too tender to be commerical and they aren't suppose to get too tall. There should be a good nursery down your way or you just may have to come up to Houston but I would check them by email first. They say they have plenty this year. They have been selling them at our local County Plant sale areas. I don't remembe there being one in Brazoria County, but Galveston and Fort Bend Counties have them every year. Have you checked with your extention agent in Angleton? Their Master Gardeners also have their location there in Angleton in the Armory builing on 71? The road that runs along the railroad track.
Wally are you talking about 'Mexicola'? I have heard that is an excellent variety for this area as well. I was thinking about ordering one of the very cold hardy varieties from Rivers End Nursery. They are pretty expensive though.
From a seed it will take between 7 and 10 years to bear fruit. Use the seed for a rootstock and then find a variety that is suppose to work well in your area and see if you can get a few cuttings of scionwood and try a simple top or sidewedge graft. It will be worth it in the long run to go with grafting or buy a grafted variety. Yes most florida varieties are smooth skinned and are west indian strains (the least cold hardy). Guatamalean is next in cold hardiness and then mexican is the most cold hardy. It is know to take down to the mid 20's for a short time (hours or less). Littlecado is a dwarf variety that might be a good bet for home use. There is a place south of San Antonio that has been touting their avocados as producing in San Antonio. If I remember right it is called "Devine Avocados". I will google it later when I get a chance and if I see anything useful I will post back later today.
Good Luck and Happy Growing. David
Not sure they just call them the Mexican Strain which can with stand much colder temps. I keep seeing them for around $50 so yes they are high. I am still waitng to see if mine will start producing any fruit. My neighbor has an Avocado Tree which I do not know what kind but it is about 20 feet tall and Ike knocked off almost all of its fruit last year before they could start to ripen. From seed most can take a life time before ever putting on any fruit here. I have seen them over 40 foot tall in the Freeport area but they were just one long trunk with out any branches of any length. The nurseries around here are just starting to provide enough Avocado trees to take care of the demand that has been generated in the past few years. I was once told that the Mexican doesn't get as tall as some other avocado trees and the fruit is just fine for home use but too perishable for commerical use which is great.
This is the most current news article I could find by googling "Devine Avocado". This article was written last year and that he expects to have about a 1000 plants ready for sale for the 2009 season. By googling this term I found under urban harvest a list of recommended varieties for the Houston area. You might want to check that out as well. Anyway good luck in your avo venture.
From an ex- avocado grower and nurseryman from Hawaii that moved to the Hill Country where it is definitly too cold for avo growing except in a greenhouse.
Happy Growing David
Here is a link that might be useful: Austin article on Devine Avocados
You might look into the variety called Lila. I found one from Caldwell Nursery in Rosenberg (SW of Houston).
Lila- This "M" type, medium sized, pear-shaped green fruit has a rich Mexican Avo-flavor. The fruit ripens from Sept.-Oct. and is cold hardy to 14F.
Summer of 2012, Houston Garden Centers has the 5 gallon Hass for 15 bucks all summer long, the larger one ie 9 footers are 27 bucks, simmons and choquete
Wow, i had to remark on the price of avocadoes back in 2012! I wish i didnt have to pay 40-60 bucks for one now in 2014! Im looking at a brazos belle, a pancho, a lamb hass or smaller stewart if i can find one in houston, and a seedling from grandpa's avocado tree lineage from back in mx.
He has grown seedlings from the mexican trees in san antonio and i want to plant a seedling from those to keep in the family. The quality of the fruit from the seedlings has not disappointed so far and i plan to follow suit and keep a nostalgic specimen from the old avocado orchard that marked the good ol' days when time passed by sooo slowly playing with the cousins all day long.
So much for the orchard, as only two trees remain but their seedlings in san antonio started producing at 6 yrs...it is small fruit with thin green skin but the very good flavor and precocity compensate for the size!
If flavor is your thing and fruit size doesnt matter and you want a tree that can rebound from the brunt of texan winters with little care, then mexican varieties are your choice.
Trees like haas, wurtz, reed, stewart, etc. and west indian types will all be needing protection of some sort depending on the severity of the rain and cold weather... planting on a high spot or manmade hill is your best bet to keep the shallow roots from rotting in the poor-draining houston clay soils, and/or you can dig down and mix (mend) the clay soil with small coarse 3/8 pebble granite, expanded shale, organic materials like bark and tree shavings or a combination of all these and many others i fail to mention.
I would go the extra mile in caring for these trees because im a sore loser when it comes to losing expensive trees, a thing which i know from experience. Also, avocados are heavy feeders, i feed my citrus n mangos with granular 12-10-10 citrus star citrus and avocado fert with trace minerals and my avocados will naturally follow suit, but it's recommended that new planted trees should only receive a root activator/ soil activator the first year.... organic fert Will come later when i get my composting going right! I took the time to elaborate for anyone that may read this cuz it sure takes a whole lot of time looking for all that info!
I'm trying to grow an avocado from seed for its leaves. The tea is supposed to be good for you but I had it in the Bahamas and I loved the flavor.
We bought our tree from Fanick's nursery in San Antonio, planted it in Rockport, so did our neighbor. Both are doing great. They are $100 in a 5 gallon pot. Just for information. Both our neighbor and my husband put plastic around the trees in Feb, to protect them from the cold.. My husband put plastic on top that would let the wind in, and our neighbor sealed his tree so the wind could not get inside. Results: Our tree is full of blooms and our neighbor has none. We found out that the bees pollinate the tree in Feb, they could not get to Mikes tree, so he will not have avocados this year. Barbra
Unless you know what variety of avocado you drank the tea from, you should stick to the leaves of mexican type avocado trees whose dried leaves smell similar to bay leaf ...btw, avocadoes are bay leaf relatives (lauraceae).
Guatemalan and caribbean type avocadoes may have toxic leaves, emphasis on MAY HAVE... youll have to double check as i have only seen it in other comments which i cant remember completely at this late hour.
I think mexican types like brazos belle, joey, lila, fantastic, pancho, winter mexican, mexicola, wilma, opal may be safe.
Other mexican/guatemalan and mex/carib hybrids may be ok too... i think it may come down to smelling the dried leaves...
as always, research it before you try it!