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Sunday, March 6, 2016

Avocados for the Cold Desert?

Q. I have read that Mexicola avocados are ok in as low as 15 degrees once established. Am I wasting my time trying? Or do I need to grow it in a pot until a certain size so I can bring it inside? Love avocados but don't want to buy something just for it to die.

A. Avocados are a real gamble in the Las Vegas area. If you look around town you don’t see too many which is a good indicator they don’t survive here very well. But you are right. If you are going to try one, it would probably be a Mexican race of avocado such as Mexicola, and planted in a protected location.
A few of the avocado varieties
            The problem is its size. You could keep it pruned below 20 feet which will help keep it from freezing if planted in a warm microclimate and protected from cold winter wind. The other problem is pollination. There is a good chance you will not need a second tree for pollination to produce fruit but you may produce more fruit with a compatible tree for pollination.
            Another option is to plant a dwarf avocado such as Little Cado, a hybrid between Mexican and Guatemalan races. This dwarf avocado can handle temperatures down to about 25° F, similar to many citrus growing in Las Vegas planted in warm microclimates.

Read more about the 3 races of avocado published by the University of California Riverside

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