Bacon Avocado Grow Guide

A Box Full of Mature and Ripe Bacon Avocados
Image Credit: Avoha Avocados

The Bacon Avocado is a great option for those who can’t get enough avocado toast. That is because Bacon is a highly cold tolerant and extremely productive cultivar that grows great in both California and Florida.

And to get the obvious question out of the way… no, it doesn’t taste like Bacon 🙂

With that being said, this grow guide will cover everything that you need to know about Bacon Avocado:

Table of Contents

Bacon Avocado Tree Characteristics

The Bacon Avocado Tree is a Flowering Type B Avocado. In other words, the female flowers open in the afternoon and male flowers in the morning. In order to maximize Bacon’s fruit production, the tree should be planted near a Flowering Type A Avocado with a similar fruiting season.

This includes avocado cultivars such as:

Bacon’s fruit production consistently ranges from good to heavy. The avocados themselves are small-sized, ovoid fruits that typically weigh between 0.4 and 0.75 lb. Bacon is unique because it’s among the limited number of “California Avocados” that can thrive in Florida’s climate to a satisfactory degree.

However, Bacon has a medium to large-sized seed, resulting in an undesirable flesh-to-seed ratio.

A Bacon Avocado Tree with Bacon Avocado Fruits on the edge of the limbs
Image Credit: The Bitchen Farm

The Bacon Avocado is a Guatemalan X Mexican Hybrid. Similar to other Guatemalan X Mexican Hybrids like Ettinger, Fuerte, Hass, Super Hass, and Winter Mexican, Bacon is highly cold tolerant and able to withstand temperatures as low as 22º F, making it one of the most cold hardy avocados available.

As a result, Bacon is a great option for those who are in USDA Hardiness Zones 9A and above.

Finally, the Bacon Avocado Tree has a vigorous and upright growth habit.

A Young Bacon Avocado Tree
Image Credit: Fair Oaks Tropiculture

Bacon Avocado Flavor Profile

The Bacon Avocado boasts a green, speckled skin that is glossy and smooth.

Although its skin is of medium thickness, it is notably thinner compared to varieties like Hass or Reed. Unfortunately, Bacon’s skin doesn’t readily peel away from the flesh.

The fruit’s flesh is a very pale yellow color, accompanied by an incredibly light and smooth creamy texture reminiscent of softened butter. Despite its high oil content, Bacon lacks the overt oiliness one might expect from a Hass. Nevertheless, judged solely on texture, Bacon is a solid 10/10.

Its exceptional texture makes Bacon a perfect addition to salads or as a spread on avocado toast.

Holding A Mature and Ripe Bacon Avocado with a Bacon Avocado Tree in the background
Image Credit: Melissa Katanda

However, from a flavor perspective, the Bacon Avocado falls short, verging on tastelessness with a mildly underwhelming nutty zest for a “California Avocado.” Though there are faintly sweet undertones to the fruit, Bacon is nevertheless incredibly underwhelming.

And while I would readily choose Bacon over Zutano, I personally prefer the rich, nutty flavors of Hass, Fuerte, or Reed over the relatively bland Bacon.

Despite the Bacon Avocado Tree’s high fruit production and the fruit’s excellent texture, I don’t see any other redeeming qualities for growing it in either California or Florida.

In California, there are simply much better tasting options to choose from. And in Florida, Bacon Avocados harvested earlier in the season are known to have problems with uneven-ripening.

Holding a Bacon Avocado Next To a Fuerte Avocado
Bacon Avocado (Left) vs Fuerte Avocado (Right)
Image Credit: Avoha Avocados

Bacon Avocado Season (And When To Pick)

In Florida, Bacon Avocados are considered a mid-season avocado (September – October). However, when grown in California, Bacon’s season ranges from November to February.

I recommend waiting to harvest Bacon Avocados until closer to October in Florida and closer to December in California. In my experience, fruits harvested earlier in Florida are much more likely to encounter issues with uneven ripening.

That said, the best time to pick Bacon Avocados are when they are mature on the tree.  From a color perspective, Bacon changes very little during the maturation process. As a result, I usually check if the fruit is 1) full size and then 2) see if I can gently remove the fruit from the tree.

If both of those conditions are true (along with the fruit being in season), then Bacon should be ready to harvest!

A Box Full of Mature and Ripe Bacon Avocados
Image Credit: Avoha Avocados

While determining an avocado’s maturity can be difficult and require some trial and error, I have developed a repeatable process that has worked great for me:

  1. Starting Sept 15 (FL) or Nov 1 (CA) , pull a single fruit off the tree and allow it ripen for 3 – 8 days (at room temperature)
    • Delicately create small indents all around the fruit using your fingers.
      • If you detect a mixture of hard and soft spots, the fruit is not yet ripe. 
      • Conversely, uniform softness (not super soft) throughout the fruit indicates that it is ready for consumption.
  2. Taste the fruit – is the taste or consistency off ?
    • If the fruit tastes great, the rest of the avocados on our tree are ready to be harvested
    • If the fruit tastes sour/foul/rancid, wait 1-2 weeks, and repeat the process with another single fruit
      • Fruit that are picked too early will often become black/inedible.

After confirming that the avocados on our tree are mature, we can begin developing our ‘avocado pipeline.’ This involves picking some fruit to ripen on the counter for more immediate use while also placing others in the refrigerator to be used later. By adopting this approach, we can ensure a continuous supply of ripe avocados.

Bacon Avocado History

The Bacon Avocado was initially propagated in Buena Park, California by James Bacon in 1928.

Several decades later, its commendable cold tolerance and desirable commercial characteristics led to its recognition and subsequent cultivation in California.

However, as consumer preferences shifted towards the black-skinned Hass variety, demand for green avocado cultivars like Bacon substantially decreased. Nowadays, from a commercial standpoint, Bacon is primarily utilized as a pollinator for Hass rather than being harvested for its own fruit.

Finally, a common misconception is that Jim Avocado (also known as Jim Bacon) and Bacon Avocado are the same cultivar. However, Jim Avocado is actually a seedling of the Bacon Avocado.

Bacon Avocado Tree For Sale

Despite its short comings from a flavor perspective, Bacon has a been around for close to century due to its excellent cold tolerance as well as being a productive workforce.

As a result, Bacon Avocado is a popular and common cultivar in both the Florida and California nursery trade.

That said, if you can’t find one at your local nursery, your next best option is checking out Lara Farms Miami (not sponsored). They are one of the only legit places online where you are getting exactly what you are paying for. 

Lara Farms has over 30 varieties of avocados available. They do ship!

Conclusion

If you found this grow guide helpful, please consider sharing. It helps support the website 🙂

If you have any questions regarding anything mentioned in this grow guide, please comment them below! This way, others can also benefit from the answer to the same question. For any other questions or growing tips that you think may be helpful, feel free to use the contact form and drop me a line.

Thank you for reading! 🙂

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Matthew Rowlings

I have an Associates Degree in Biology from the University of Florida and am also an active Florida Master Gardener. I am located in Central Florida (Zone 10A) and have 6+ years of experience with growing 20+ types of tropical trees. You can learn more about me and why I started Tropical Tree Guide on my about page.

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