Can Avocado Trees Live in Tennessee?
Easy to grow from seed, the avocado tree (Persea Americana) hails from tropical Central America, the West Indies and South America. It grows to a mature size of 30 to 60 feet tall and 20 to 80 feet wide.
Avocado trees have limited tolerance to frost and die when temperatures drop below 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Winter low temperatures in Tennessee drop well below that annually, anywhere from minus 10 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
When a young seedling, the avocado makes a nice exotic houseplant for a sunny southern or western window. Rotate the tree weekly so all sides receive direct sunlight so the plant doesn't lean. You may opt to move the container outdoors in summer to grow further. At some point, the tree gets too big and heavy to relocate back indoors over winter.
Sow avocado seeds in a warm, soil-based potting mix in a container and keep the soil evenly moist. If temperatures are kept above 60 F, seeds germinate in two to six months and faster if the temperature remains above 80 F.
- Learn2Grow: Persea Americana
- Plant Maps: Interactive USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map for Tennessee
- "A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants"; Christopher Brickell and H. Marc Cathey, eds.; 2004
Jacob J. Wright became a full-time writer in 2008, with articles appearing on various websites. He has worked professionally at gardens in Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Wright holds a graduate diploma in environmental horticulture from the University of Melbourne, Australia, and a Master of Science in public horticulture from the University of Delaware.