Fate of an avocato tree in Michigan weather.

Asked May 5, 2020, 3:40 PM EDT

A colleague of mine brought back beautiful avocados after traveling to Florida.
I sprouted the seed from mine and planted it indoors. It has been growing very well with lots of new leaves, perhaps helped by a liquid fertilizer and composted soil. Eventually, I expect it will become too big and tall to remain in doors, and I may be forced to plant it out doors. Is there any chance that such a tropical plant could survive a Michigan winter? Do you have any personal experience here?

Kalamazoo County Michigan

1 Response

Hello,

No personal experience but, I have a friend who regularly keeps one as a houseplant. She just keeps pruning it to size. Once it gets too leggy, she starts a new plant from seed, about every 4-5 years.

Based on the hardiness zone of 9-10, no, the plant does not have a chance to survive winter in Michigan.

The tree can go outside for the summer. They are hardy to about 40-45F degrees. References list it as USDA Hardiness zones 9-10, so the variety varies somewhat..

Here are a couple references with some pruning information, and one on how to bring plants in for the winter. Remember to treat it as a houseplant, gradually getting it accustomed to outdoors by hardening it off in late spring, then bringing it indoors in fall when nights dip below 50F.

https://www.ohio.edu/communityservice/students/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&pageid=1323022

https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg213

https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/bring_plants_indoors_now_but_leave_the_pests_behind