Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Who Says Hass Avocados Don't Grow in Florida?

People got so mad when I wrote about how I can't stand Florida avocados that I still get comments on those old posts. I really got it handed to me on this subject, which seems ridiculous because honestly, who cares what someone else likes or doesn't like to eat? I was corrected numerous time about even calling them Florida avocados. I guess that isn't politically correct. A couple years later, I stand my ground. I only like Hass avocados and anyone who has a problem with that can suck it. You might also be interested in knowing that I can't stand mayonnaise. Does that cause you similar ire? I don't like salmon either. Thank God that's not local.

I've been told for years that Hass avocados won't grow in Florida but you know what? It isn't true. My grandmother has proved this wrong by growing, from seed, a Hass avocado that bore plenty of fruit. There's the photographic evidence above with her four fruit on the bottom compared with a commercial, California or Mexican Hass from Publix.

About six or seven years ago my grandmother, who lives in one of those old folks' communities up in Delray, started growing a tree from a seed using the toothpick/ glass of water method of avocado cultivation. It got bigger and she put it in a pot. When it outgrew the pot, she put it in the ground outside her front door and it just kept growing. This year it finally fruited and made enough that she brought us some because she couldn't eat them all.

Unfortunately, several of her avocados were stolen by landscapers but she caught them red handed and made them return the fruits even after they tried to lie about taking them. This is a big, big problem down here. I was even told to put all my fruit trees in the backyard because people have no qualms about stealing fruit right out of other people's yards. I can't even imagine, but I've caught strangers stealing mangoes and lychees from my neighbors many times. How rude. I'm so glad my grandmother, who is the most tenacious human being I've ever met, had the nerve to confront the thieves and get her fruit back.

These avocados are a little on the small side, and I was afraid maybe they wouldn't taste good, but lo and behold - they taste even better than store bought avocados. Way better. They were even more rich and buttery and perhaps this is because they were allowed to ripen on the tree. I honestly don't know. Maybe the smaller size made the flavor more concentrated?

So there you have it. Hass avocados will grow in Florida.

By the way, and more on this later, my husband and I purchased a small avocado tree known as a Florida Hass, which is specifically formulated to thrive in this climate. It's doing well so far but is much too young for fruit yet.


  1. We had a small lemon tree when I was a kid. One day I came home and found a lady stealing the lemons off the tree. I confronted her and she said "But it's for my children" and ran off with the lemons. I just stood there thinking "What am I?"

  2. Yay! I hate those big, watery avocadoes, too. But your grandmother got really lucky---most Hass grown from seed have terrible fruit. The ones that sell in the stores are all from grafted clone plants.


  3. Good for your grandma in both counts (growing and recovering her avocados). This post is hilarious because I was one of those tools that commented on your original post (first I can't believe I remember it and second I'm much less angry nowadays). We've tried growing things we used to take for granted in California with varying degrees of success (Meyer lemons get oversized before they ripen but pimientos de padron come out pretty good). As for avocados, I've learned to like some varieties grown here. But as your previous post said, they're all named Florida avocados with no distinction as to variety. Now that you've got your Haas, you can post on other great finds!

  4. JG, I thought they were going to be awful because I knew the commercial ones were grown differently. Maybe this is a fluke, but they were so good. I have a ton of guacamole now to show for it. Personally, I think my grandmother has magical powers.