Avocado growing in the NORTHEAST

I am sure this has been discussed in the past but, (1) knowing that it will have to be brought in during the winter and (2) knowing that it might take 2 years to fruit, I’d still like to give it a shot.


  1. Should I grow from seed and if so will it breed true.

  2. What size pot?

  3. What type of soil?

  4. Anything else that I have onviously overlooked?


Get your self a Mmexicola avocado for up north Don’t grow from seed or you will have to wait till your tree is 30 feet tall before it will produce. Some exaggeration include

I was thinking about trying a couple straight up in the ground. OGW has cold hardy varieties they claim will handle 10-15 degrees. Interested to hear what others say.

Any avocado seed-grown will likely not produce fruit in a container, because they usually don’t bear until they reach at least 8-10 feet. From seed that’s usually 4-8 years in ideal growing conditions in the ground.

If it needs to handle some cold, what you want is to graft Persea americana var. drymifolia (Mexican race) scions onto seedling rootstock, or just buy grafted trees. If you’ve got a sunny spot indoors or in a greenhouse to overwinter it, you might as well just get a regular Guatemalan race (like Hass) or West Indies race (like the Florida types) grafted tree.

I’m starting a multi-year cold-hardy avocado breeding/selection experiment here in Seattle (8b), but just in early phases and no fruit yet.

If you go the cold hardy route, know the hardiness is for full sized trees, so they will need significant protection for many years, and anything under 20°F will likely cause damage, as well as the ground freezing solid at any point. Also know the fruit are small and very high oil content which some people love and others hate. Here are a few cultivars to look for:

  • Del Rio
  • Fantastic
  • Poncho
  • Brazos Belle (aka Wilma)
  • Aravaipa
  • Duke (rare one but @Marta sometimes has it on her web store, but currently not in stock)
  • Mexicola
  • Mexicola Grande

This info is from Logee’s


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I just realized that I don’t think anyone addressed the second half of this question, but the answer is a definite “no” for avocados. They show rather extreme genetic variability among seedlings even when self-pollinated, and many commercial groves use a second pollenizer variety, so there is even more variability in that case.

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Dream on. Avocado grows in San Diego. They occasionally survive in Houston. A friend has a 50+ foot tall mexican seedling that survived 14F. The top 80% of the tree died. BTW they need perfect drainage. 24 hours of wet feet kill them.

I believe you and that’s why they are still not here. I was more worried they would run out of season before ripening. I have everything else and now zone pushing is the only excitement left.

For even the cold hardy avocados, anything below 9a is pushing, and unless you have a particularly protected spot and are ready to take extreme protective measures then anything below 8a is probably not possible. The minimum advertised temperatures usually mean for short bursts with mature trees, and without the ground ever freezing solid. I don’t think any avocado would survive something like a full week with highs below freezing.

But despite giving all these warnings I’m still not heeding them myself, even though to my knowledge no one has successfully grown a cold hardy avocado here in Seattle (also I don’t know anyone who’s tried?). We have a lot less heat than most places where cold hardy avocados thrive, but it very rarely goes below 20° here and most frosts are brief, so I still hope it’s possible. I wouldn’t try if I was in zone 7, definitely not 6. Outside of a greenhouse that is, of course.

Extreme protective measures


Wait! This was humor, right?
Dude, I’m in zone 9B California and I can barely keep them healthy and alive.

Try white water kayaking. It is a lot easier. Kayaking Upper Yough | Upper Youghiogheny River - YouTube

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