Favorite avocado varieties?

I was afraid of bumping an old thread I wanted to share some thoughts/pictures on, so I’m hoping this won’t be a redundant post.

What are your favorite avocado cultivars, whether it’s the taste, how well they put out new growth, or which ones handle the weather best for your location? I’ve heard some refer to the Jan Boyce cultivar as being the “connoisseur’s avocado” when it comes to taste. There are also some avocado cultivars like Gem that stay fairly compact in growth and produce tons of fruit like a bigger tree. I don’t have much experience with avocados other than being a new grower so I’m curious to know the experience others have had with their avocado trees.

I purchased a Durling 3 gal Hass avocado tree this past March and it’s had no problem doubling in size. Could be more full, but I’m happy with it’s growth so far. I didn’t think about the variety much when making my selection, but I suppose I could always graft different scions of more favorable varieties if I want.

This is the Hass, heavily mulched which she loves-

This is my Bacon, mainly purchased this type B for pollination of my Hass, I’ve heard the taste isn’t the most desirable from what some say on the web, whereas others say it’s a unique taste and like it. I suppose I could try some from the farmers market.

And finally these two babies in the back, both planted in 2012, one was grown as a Hass seedling and the other from I believe a Fuerte, so no graft for these. The leaves are different on both, and upon closer examination, one grows very upright and doesn’t spread out much (16ft tall so far) whereas the other isn’t as tall but is growing out side to side with lots of vigor (12 ft tall). Earlier this year one of them flowered but had no fruit set. I’m crossing my fingers for these trees!


1st understand that “Hass” as sold in the supermarkets is a grade of Avocado that meets certain criteria, while there are several “Hass” and derivative cultivar plants available at nurseries.

Nurseries continue to sell the original “Hass” because of consumer recognition. There are better and perhaps Lula is the best to date.

The whole A/B pollination thing is way overblown for avocado plants outside the tropics. True, it is important for young trees because they have few flowers and often bloom in synchronized pattern. But older trees will have blossoms opening for days and thus those of the same type can provide pollen for each other without trouble.

Bacon is a good tasting Avocado, and so is Pinkerton. Reed is my favorite.

Avocados grown from seed do not come “true to type”. Typically they are about 60/40 rootstock to fruitstock phenotype.


I saw some Reeds at the Calabasas farmers market a couple of months ago and now I regret not trying one. I saw your Reed photo on the other thread and it looks so ridiculously buttery and delicious. I just viewed the Lula on the UCR’s avocado variety list. I hope the information on that site is mostly accurate.

I had no idea supermarkets did that, but makes sense since Hass at different grocery stores are never consistent in their appearance. I always attributed it to different sized fruit but what you said makes more sense. Kind of lame they don’t name them true to the cultivar.

The two big trees that I planted from seed, one of the trees leaves look similar to my small Hass tree I planted, and the other trees leaves look closer to the Bacon which then makes me wonder, may be I have one Guatemalan type and one Mexican type? I guess I’ll find out soon in the next year or two but I’m just hoping since they aren’t true to seed, at least they will taste good and not inferior like I hear is a possibility. I’m more excited about my Hass tree now that I know I haven’t always been eating a true Hass from the supermarkets.

I read on another forum that there is a type of thin-skinned, black Mexican avocado that doesn’t get shipped to the states but they are true to seed when planted. I wonder if that’s true.

Anything but Hass.

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Actually it is the USDA that specifies food-grade names, just as they specify what is and is not cheese.

You should be less excited. The original Hass is poor in comparison to it’s follow-ons.

I guess I should look toward grafting different varieties on my tree. I love avocados at the end of the day so I don’t think I will be disappointed with my tree. That being said, I’m in my 20’s so I have lots of time to experiment and see what I like and what I don’t.

I love all the input and would appreciate people who visit this thread to share any of their photos of their avocado trees’ progress! :slight_smile:

I’d graft the whole thing over at the stump with a single variety. See the video by Julie Frink from the Orange County CRFG chapter.

I can’t talk about fruit quality at this point but i got a mexican anise scented avocado that smells wonderful i can only imagine what the fruit taste like

so far it is thriving while only receiveing partial sunlight and i am eagerly awaiting fruit

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Thanks for sharing that, Richard. I watched a good chunk of it today and so far a lot of really great information being discussed by her.

Mountain_D- I crushed up and smelled the leaves from each of my avocado trees and none of them have that anise smell, I was expecting my Bacon avocado leaves to have that smell since it’s a Mexican variety but I guess it doesn’t. Good luck with your tree and I hope you see some flowers start to develop in the next couple of months!

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Here is the premier source for information on Avocado species and cultivars:


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Thanks, I like that site a lot. That’s where I saw the cool looking Lula avocado you mentioned, it’s a very helpful resource.

It might help you sort out the differences between Mexican varieties, cultivars, and species.

I just browsed through and came across a lot of info I haven’t yet read. I’ll have to go through this week and really read up on it to have a better understanding.

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reed tree still hasn’t arrived. got a mound of soil ready; will also pick up some gypsum and additional mulch for the planting.

my wife tried a fuerte for the first time a couple weeks ago, and she totally digs that exposed fuerte flesh doesn’t oxidize the way hass does.

I believe you’re in California? Adding gypsum to western soils is a poor idea since we already have plenty of calcium in our soils and water supply. I’d use washed DG sands or “three thirty-secondths minus” quarry sands instead.

interesting, richard. i thought the use of gypsum was to decrease the incidence of root rot due to phythophthora.


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Anaerobic phythophthora is present in some western soils – particularly where agricultural is/was present. The treatment method is copper soil drench, typically with copper hydroxide. It took me about 18 months to irradicate it here. Now I apply a minor amount every-other year for maintenance.

The lack of calcium in the soil is not the main reason why some of us add gypsum. The main reason is to improve soil physical properties especially if you have clay and heavy clay soils. It increases the soil drainage and porosity in otherwise anaerobic compact heavy clay soils. It also improves saline sodic soils which significant portions of California soils are. The calcium displaces some of the sodium bound to clay particles.


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We’ve been in our San Diego home a year and are finalizing landscaping. We planted 4 avocados in the front: Hass, Sharwil/Kona, Fuerte, and Reed. We’re trying to get avocados all year round with varieties we’ve tried and like. I plan on keeping the trees no taller than about 12’, so I don’t have to get on a ladder. To mitigate the clay soil, the planting area is raised, and the adjacent rock wall is free standing to allow drainage.


You can also treat the base of the tree with cinnamon powder from CostCo, it is effective against root rot and other fungal diseases.


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