Growing Avocado in Texas
Without the avocado, would there be Tex-Mex? It’s hard to say. I for one find it hard to imagine eating such food without the rich, creamy addition that avocado brings to the table. With that said, it’s rare to find an avocado tree in Texas. In fact, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen an avocado growing in East Texas. This is something we need to change. Let’s start growing avocado in Texas!
The main reason for this is the cold. While most of the United States wouldn’t call a Texas winter “Cold”, most avocado trees would. While growing avocado in Texas isn’t common, it is possible. There is a hand full of varieties that have been bred for colder climates. These trees, when mature, can handle freezing temperatures down to 15° F.
Lila Avocado Tree
The Lila Avocado Tree is a smaller, semi-dwarf tree. This Mexican variety grows to around 10 feet tall at maturity and can be easily maintained at 5 feet. This is great for growing the avocado tree in a pot. One benefit would be that you can move the tree indoors or to a warmer location when it is cold. Once established, Lila Avocado Trees are cold-hardy down to 15° F.
This avocado tree bears fruit July-September. The fruit is pear-shaped and medium in size. High in oil, the Lila avocado has a rich, pleasant taste.
Lila, like most avocado trees, grows best in full sun and needs well-drained soil. Cold temperatures will damage and potentially kill the tree. To help avoid damage, when planting the tree, bury the graft below the surface and mound dirt up and around the trunk of the tree. In addition to protecting the tree, this will ensure that if the tree dies back to the ground, the new shoots will come from above the graft. Protect from extreme cold by moving the tree indoors or by covering with a blanket and adding a heat source.
What you need to know about Lila Avocado Trees
|Pollination||Self-Fruitful (No Pollinator Required)|
|Ripening Date||July – September|
|Spacing||Plant trees 15-20 feet apart|
|Sun Exposure||Full Sun|
|Mature Height||10 feet|
|Cold-Hardiness||Down to 15 degrees|
Where to buy Lila avocado trees?
I recommend buying from Bob Wells Nursery. Bob Wells is a local businessman and ships great product all over the US. You can order his trees on from Bob Well on from Bob Wells on amazon.com or from his website bobwellsnursery.com.
Want more info on growing avocado in Texas?
For more information on growing avocado in Texas, here is a link to a 9-page pdf put out by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Click here for the download.