Avocados grow well in moderately warm climates, so planting them in Zone 8 is appropriate. With plenty of avocado varieties available, you may want to narrow your options. We researched to help you gather information on the best avocado trees for Zone 8.
Zone 8 is a suitable growing zone for avocados. The varieties you can plant include:
- Del Rio (Pryor, Fantastic)
- Mexicola Grande
- Opal (Lila)
- Brazos Belle (Wilma)
- Winter Mexican
Avocado trees that grow in Zone 8 can either be pure Mexican cultivars or hybrid varieties. The varieties are cold-hardy and capable of bearing delicious fruits for seasons to come. Read further to learn about growing avocado trees in Zone 8.
Why Do Avocados Thrive In US Zone 8?
The avocado loves hot, humid, and warm temperatures. It is a tropical plant packed with healthy oils and nutrients. You need to plant the avocado tree in the right conditions so that it will bear delicious fruit.
Planting the avocado tree in the right hardiness zone is critical. Avocados grow in Zones 8 to 11. Avocados love the sun, and Zone 8 is warm enough for the plant.
This zone will have a moderately long growing season from April to November. Plants in the zone can tolerate cold temperatures between 10-20°F.
Main Avocado Types
The three main types of avocados are Mexican, Guatemalan, and West Indian. These varieties are common in California, Texas, and Florida, respectively. These locations are where avocados thrive in North America.
The characteristics of the main types are as follows:
- Mexican - tolerates cold the most but is the least salt-tolerant
- Guatemalan - fairly tolerates cold and salt
- West Indian - least cold-tolerant but the most salt-tolerant
What Are The Best Avocado Varieties For Zone 8?
There are more than 500 varieties of avocados to choose from, and not all of them grow well in Zone 8. Pure and hybrid cultivars can grow in the zone. Read on to learn about the best avocado tree varieties you can plant in zone 8.
A. Pure Mexican Cultivars
These varieties originate from the Mexican highlands. These avocados are small, with thin, edible skin and high oil content. The best varieties are the following:
1. Del Rio/Pryor/Fantastic
You can find this variety in Texas. It is the most cold-tolerant and the best tasting. Although the fruits only weigh 3-4 ounces, this variety has the richest flavor and highest oil content. They can handle temperatures as low as 15°F.
2. Mexicola Grande
This variety has dark, glossy skin. It is cold hardy between 20-22°F at Zone 8b. It weighs almost a pound and is smaller than standard varieties.
The cultivar is self-pollinating and can grow 15-2o feet. You can find thriving Mexicola Grande avocados in South Carolina and Texas.
This variety originated in Texas. The avocados are medium-sized with a rich, creamy, nutty flavor. Lila comes from the large nursery, which propagated the variety.
4. Brazos Belle/Wilma
Another Mexican variety is the Brazos Belle. The variety also originated in Texas. It produced long, medium to large purple-black fruits.
B. Hybrid Cultivars
These cultivars are crossbreeds of Mexican and Guatemalan or West Indian varieties.
This variety combines Mexican and Indian cultivars and originates from Florida. It has a buttery yellow flesh which is popular for guacamole. Unlike the pure Mexican varieties, the Brogdon cannot withstand prolonged cold temperatures.
2. Winter Mexican
Another hybrid cultivar from Florida is the Winter Mexican. Although small, the fruits have a similar flavor to the Hass variety. It has tender skin, and the oil content is only 30%.
Originating from California, the Joey variety is a Mexican and Guatemalan hybrid. This avocado variety grows between zones 8b to 11.
Its fruits are small and egg-shaped, and it is a heavy producer. In addition, it does not need a partner tree to pollinate.
The Stewart is a hybrid variety resembling the Mexicola Grande, but it is more compact. The avocado's skin is dark purple, and its flesh is green-yellow with 20% oil content. Moreover, it is more frost-resistant than other varieties.
Based on the varieties above, you will notice that these have Mexican lineage because they can tolerate the cold. Zone 8 may be warm, but it is not yet the hottest.
What Are The Planting Conditions Of Avocado Trees In Zone 8?
Now that you know which avocado tree varieties you can plant in zone 8, you should prepare the site for the tree. The conditions must be appropriate for the tree to grow and avoid disease. Below are the conditions you need to meet.
The first thing to consider is the temperature. Avocados should stay in moderately warm temperatures ranging from 60-85°F. The trees also need moderate humidity.
Avocados love the full sun and need at least 6 hours of direct sun exposure. If you place the tree indoors or if it isn't exposed to much sunlight, the tree will starve, and photosynthesis will be slow.
You can plant it indoors as long as there is a sunny place for the tree. Partial shade is tolerable, but not full shade.
The best time to plant the trees is March to June. If you plant during summer, the young trees are at risk of sun damage.
Check out this related post: When Is The Best Time To Plant An Avocado Tree In Texas?
Soil And Location
Plant the avocado tree on loose, sandy soil. The soil should be well-draining with a pH range of 6-7. If the soil is not well-draining, you can amend it. Plant the tree on a mound for better drainage.
If you are transplanting, the hole in the new location must be a little wider than the root ball.
You should plant the avocado tree in a non-lawn area. Keep the tree away from the sidewalks. Make sure that the tree gets protection from wind and frost. Space the trees 20 feet apart from each other. You can also plant avocado trees in pots.
Water the avocado trees two or three times a week. You can reduce watering to once a week when the roots bulk up. To prevent root rot, let the soil dry completely before watering again.
If there is frequent heavy rainfall and the soil does not drain well, the tree is vulnerable to disease caused by the Phytophthora fungi.
It is also vital to mulch the area of the tree. Add 6 inches of mulch to the soil. Use coarse yard mulch with husks and woody barks.
Together with mulching, add the appropriate fertilizer for the avocado tree. However, do not give fertilizer during the first year of the tree. After its first year, give 1/2 to 1 pound of nitrogen fertilizer every year after that.
If you don't fulfill these conditions, you compromise the development of the tree.
How Should You Care For Avocado Trees In Zone 8?
In addition to the planting requirements, you also need to properly care for the tree. Although growing an avocado tree is fuss-free, you should still take care of it.
Here are some care tips to follow:
- Prune the tree in the late winter to early spring to eliminate. Do not over-prune to avoid cutting off production.
- You can also trim the tree to maintain your desired height.
- During the cold seasons, you can transfer your potted avocado tree indoors. Let it face a south window where it can get plenty of sunlight.
- When it is time to harvest, pick the mature avocados while they're still firm.
Caring for the avocado tree gives you abundant fruit for future seasons.
You can plant avocado trees in the warm US Hardiness Zone 8. The best varieties include the Mexicola Grande, Brogdon, Winter Mexican, and Del Rio. These varieties are cold-hardy but can produce fruit continuously for years.
Avocado trees will grow in Zone 8 if you meet the planting conditions and provide proper care. It is up to you to choose the best avocado tree variety to meet your needs.
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