There are many great reasons to grow avocados in Florida. Avocado trees grow well in the Florida climate. Eating avocados has many health benefits. Avocado is Florida Alligator Pear. Your own Avocado is organic. You can extend fruit season with different Avocado varieties.
If you love avocados, you know they are getting more expensive all the time. Per capita consumption of avocados has tripled since 2001 and as demand continues to grow, so does the price. Supply has also been a concern.
According to the USDA, 89% of the avocados imported to the U.S. come from Mexico. It has been documented that some of the drug cartels in Mexico also control a lot of the avocado market. The U.S. even shut down imports for a short time earlier this year due to a threat made to a U.S. Department of Agriculture inspector.
In both Peru and Chile, avocado production by large farms is causing water shortages for towns near them. Imagine what could happen to the U.S. market if imports are once again halted due to cartel violence or other issues beyond our control.
Avocado trees grow well in the Florida climate. They are a tropical to subtropical tree and love a warm humid climate with a lot of water in the summer.
During cooler weather, they prefer to be a little more on the dry side. That seems to match up well with Florida’s summer rainy season and dryer winter season. Most Avocado trees can survive a light freeze (although they may take some time to recover) and quite a few cultivars have been known to survive temperatures as low as 15° F.
Small grafted varieties can start producing within the first couple of years after being planted depending on the size of the tree. A mature avocado tree can produce up to 350 avocados a year! At today's prices of around $1.25 each, that can add up to a lot of savings for you.
There are many health benefits to eating avocados. According to educators at Cedars-Sinai, avocados are packed with good fats which can help with the absorption of many vitamins and fiber. They are a great source of nutrients including Folate, Magnesium, Potassium, Vitamins B2, B3, B5 and B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Vitamin K.
There are more great reasons to grow avocados in Florida. In the early 1900’s, the avocado was known as the Alligator Pear due in part to the bumpy green skin and the shape of some varieties being much like a pear. As Florida is well known for being alligator territory, it just makes sense that we should all grow alligator pears here!
When you grow your own avocados, you also can choose what kind of fertilizer to use for them. You can never be sure that what is sold as organic is actually organic. The same is true with pesticides. There are many ways to treat pests, some use harsh chemicals and others prefer to use more natural and organic methods.
Also, with so many varieties of avocados available, home growers can extend the growing season and reap fruit from Spring all the way into the Winter.
Four great choices for the home grower are Avocado Wurtz (Spring), Avocado Bacon (Summer), Avocado Day (Fall) and Avocado Choquette (Winter).
Why don’t you go out and get yourself an avocado tree today? Better yet get two!
Visit Top Tropicals Avocado Tree Catalog for information on 45 avocado varieties as well as growing, care and fertilizer tips just for the home grower.
Top Tropicals has been in southwest Florida for the past 18 years and our garden center and nursery - with several hundred rare fruit varieties to select from - is located in the Buckingham area of Fort Myers.
More than just a plant nursery, TopTropicals.com offers extensive pictures, Tropical Plant Encyclopedia, educational videos, plant books, an on-site horticulturist and our Botanical Garden!