How to Grow Mexicola Avocado Trees in Gardens
Mexicola avocado is a high-quality, vigorous, and cold-hardy variety of avocados. You can grow this popular variety even in cooler regions. Indigenous to Mexican highlands, these trees can tolerate temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit. In a few years, each mature tree yields about 30 pounds of fruits.
This article focuses on Mexicola avocado, its description, propagation, caring, and uses.
The delicious Mexicola avocado fruits have commercial values. In fact, these trees can be lifelong assets providing fruits year after year. Some wild species have been found to live as long as 400 years!
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Typically, these trees grow about 15 – 20 feet in height and have a width of about 5 – 8 feet. Gray barks cover the thin, narrow trunks. The ever-green canopies spread largely around the tree. When crushed, the leaves emit an anise or licorice smell. Comparatively, these trees are smaller than the standard varieties.
Weighing between 5 – 7 ounces, the Mexicola avocado fruits are medium to large in size. However, they are smaller than the standard Hass avocados.
Unlike other varieties, Mexicola avocados ripen on trees. After ripening, these glossy green fruits turn purple-black in color. The delicious pale yellow-green flesh has a nutty flavor. Usually, these fruits have thin skins and large seeds in the middle, that are easy to remove. These sleek smooth fruits do not have pebbles on their surface.
Propagation of Mexicola Avocado Trees
USDA Hardiness Zones
You can grow Mexicola Avocado trees outdoors in Zones 8 – 11. South Carolina to Texas qualify these zones. However, you can also grow these trees in containers in Zones 4 – 11. But you have to bring them indoors during the winter.
Start the propagation in late spring or early summer. These trees prefer to grow in locations that receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight. Naturally, these trees thrive well in well-draining loamy or sandy soils. On the other hand, they do not do well in compact, clay soils
Typically, these trees can tolerate a wide range of temperatures. Hence, these trees can grow in partial shades also. However, the more the shade, the less the trees produce yield.
Being one of the easiest and successful methods, most gardeners prefer seedling propagation to grow these trees.
For better results, plant these trees on raised mounds at least 2 feet above the ground surface. Build mounds with well-draining rich soils and compact them by sprinkling water. After the mounds dry, plant the seedlings in the center.
1.) Dig a hole, at least 3 – 4 feet deep.
2.) Without damaging the roots, remove the seedling from the container carefully
3.) Place the seedling in the hole, keeping the root ball slightly above the ground surface.
4.) Backfill the soil and water the plants thoroughly.
Other Propagation Methods
You can propagate these trees from seeds also. But the offspring may not produce fruits identical to its parent. In addition, it may sometimes take about 6 years for fruiting.
Comparatively, grafting and layering are more successful propagation methods than seeds.
Caring Mexicola Avocado Trees
Generally, these trees grow well in sunny tropical climates. However, they can tolerate temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
For newly planted seedlings, water every alternate day in the first week. Then, reduce the watering frequency to twice a week for the next 2-3 months. After that, again reduce the watering frequency to about twice or thrice a month, depending on the environment.
While watering, make sure the top 2 inches of soil is moist. In any case, never allow waterlogging around the plants.
These trees are hardy in Zones 9B to 11. Generally, the soil in these regions is rich and has enough nutrients to support the tree. As the trees mature, their nutrient needs change, and that in the soil reduces. Hence, it is recommended to fertilize the tree in summer and in fall.
Normally, the Mexicola avocado trees require nitrogen and zinc to thrive healthier. Therefore, it is recommended to use specifically formulated fertilizers for these trees. You can also use organic manure like fish emulsion, coffee, and compost.
Fertilizing helps the trees with essential nutrients for healthier growth with a strong rooting system. It also helps to increase the harvest and disease-resistant capabilities of the trees.
Being self-fertile, these trees can produce fruits from the pollen of their own flowers. During the flowering season, these trees produce more than a million flowers to attract pollinators. However, most of them drop off from the trees, without producing fruits.
The flowers are ‘complete’ having both male and female organs in them. They also exhibit an unusual behavior known as ‘protogynous dichogamy’. Over a period of two days, these flowers open and close twice. On a given day, all flowers of a tree will act either as male or female. However, they open only about a half-day.
In type A trees like Mexicola, the flowers open exhibiting female characteristics in the morning and close in the afternoon. The following day, they remain closed in the morning and reopen exhibiting male characteristics in the afternoon
In type B trees like Bacon, the flowers close in the morning and open exhibiting female characteristics in the afternoon. The following day, they reopen exhibiting male characteristics in the morning and close in the afternoon.
|Type A||Type B|
|Morning – Day 1||Female||Closed|
|Afternoon – Day 1||Closed||Female|
|Morning – Day 2||Closed||Male|
|Afternoon – Day 2||Male||Closed|
In fact, every variety of avocado trees has its own flowering behavior. To increase the yield, it is recommended to interplant type A with type B.
Type A flowering trees – Mexicola, Hass, Pinkerton, Gwen, Anaheim, Lamb Hass, Hazzard, Reed, Wurtz, Rincon, etc.
Type B flowering Trees – Nabal, Llanos-Hass, Shepard, Nobel, Edranol, Ettinger, Zutano, Bacon, Fuerte, Sharwil, Etc.
In about 3 – 4 years, the Mexicola Avocado trees bear fruits. Usually, these fruits will be ready by September or October for harvesting. The matured fruits become soft and turn purple or black.
You can pick these fruits simply by hand. For high fruits, use poles attached with picking baskets. These rich fruits have high oil content and delicious nutty flavor. Along with the yellow flesh, you can eat their thin skins also raw. The seeds at the center can be removed easily.
Unlike other avocados, the Mexicola avocado leaves are edible. In Mexican cooking, the avocado leaves are used as flavoring agents. Just like bay leaves, the Mexican chefs use them to flavor stewing meats, boiling bean curries Etc. In fact, these leaves have a sort of anise-like unusual flavor. This flavor mixes well with garlic and pepper.
Many cultural teas prepared with Mexicola avocado leaves have reputation for aiding digestive systems.
In many parts of the world, traditional and home medicine makers believe these leaves to have antibiotic properties. They suggest chewing them as a remedy for diseases like pyorrhea, body heat, dysentery and to relieve neuralgia (by applying on the forehead). The leaf decoction is used to treat disorders like sore throat, diarrhea, and hemorrhage.