Florida Hass Avocado Grow Guide

A Ripe and Mature Florida Hass Avocado
Image Credit: Amy Tift

It’s no secret that the Hass Avocado is not the easiest or most fruitful avocado tree to grow in Florida.

OK, but what about the Florida Hass? Does it provide a better ‘Hass-like’ fruit for Florida growers?

Let me put it this way: If you have very limited space and want a lot of avocados, do not plant Florida Hass. Instead, opt for an avocado that performs better in our hot and humid climate.

On the other hand, if you are someone who has the space to spare and doesn’t mind potentially getting a few (yet high quality) fruit… then hey, it’s a free country! 😛

This grow guide will cover everything that you need to know about Florida Hass Avocado:

Table of Contents

Florida Hass Avocado Tree Characteristics

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

This includes avocado cultivars such as:

Florida Hass Avocado Flowers
Image Credit: Amy Tift

Despite having better adaptability than Hass to Florida’s soil and climate, Florida Hass’s fruit production consistently ranges from poor to fair.

And while I have observed that Florida Hass does produce both more and larger fruit relative to the regular Hass, it’s not by any meaningful amount. To add salt to the wound, I also have heard from other growers that Florida Hass can also sometimes exhibit alternate bearing tendencies.

Several clusters of Florida Hass fruit hanging on the tree
Image Credit: Amy Tift

The avocados themselves are small-sized fruits that typically weigh between 0.5 and 1.0 lb.

Furthermore, Florida Hass contains a medium-sized seed, resulting in a decent flesh-to-seed ratio.

A Young Florida Hass Avocado Tree
Image Credit: Amy Tift

The Florida Hass Avocado is a Guatemalan X Mexican Hybrid. Similar to other Guatemalan X Mexican Hybrids like Hass, Lamb HassSuper Hass, Bacon and Winter Mexican, Florida Hass 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, Florida Hass is a great option for those who are in USDA Hardiness Zones 9A and above.

Finally, the Florida Hass Avocado Tree has a moderately vigorous and spreading growth habit.

A Mature Florida Hass Avocado Tree
Image Credit: Amy Tift

Florida Hass Avocado Flavor Profile

The Florida Hass Avocado has dark green, dull, pebbly, and pliable skin that peels very easily.

Except for the fact that the fruit’s skin does not transition to a deep purple/black color when ripe, Florida Hass is almost indistinguishable from the regular Hass.

Monroe Avocado vs. Florida Hass Avocado
Monroe Avocado vs. Florida Hass Avocado (Image Credit: Samuel Gregory)

Slicing into the fruit will reveal pale yellow flesh that is deliciously soft, creamy, and buttery.

Furthermore, Florida Hass’s high oil content is very similar to that of the regular Hass (just a little less), making it an excellent choice for those who enjoy making guacamole.

Two Ripe and Mature Florida Hass Avocados Cut In Half
Image Credit: Samuel Gregory

From a flavor perspective, the Florida Hass Avocado has a rich, slightly sweet, and nutty flavor. I would honestly describe the flavor as a little more mild than Hass. That said, for someone who has only ever consumed Hass, I would say it would be very difficult for them to distinguish between the two fruits.

So while Florida Hass is not an identical copy of Hass, it’s a pretty darn close one.

A Perfectly Ripe and Mature Florida Hass Avocado Cut In Half
Image Credit: Food Forest Tampa

However, prior to running out and buying a tree, it should be noted that Florida Hass, similar to Super Hass, has a lot of issues with uneven ripening (especially with later season fruit).

A Perfectly Ripe and Mature Florida Hass Avocado Cut In Half
Image Credit: Brett Prinz

Florida Hass Avocado Season (And When To Pick)

Florida Hass Avocados are considered a mid-to-late season avocado (October – December). Although, for the best tasting fruit, I definitely recommend waiting to harvest Florida Hass closer to November.

However, the fruit shouldn’t be left to hang on the tree too long. Doing so will increase the odds of the fruit experiencing uneven ripening issues as well as increase the fruit’s susceptibility to disease (such as avocado scab).

A Ripe and Mature Florida Hass Avocado
Image Credit: Amy Tift

Additionally, similar to Lamb Hass, later season fruit can also have problems with the seeds germinating within the fruit, thus ruining it. So be wary of your harvest timing!

With that being said, the best time to pick Florida Hass Avocados are when they are mature on the tree. From a color perspective, Florida Hass will transition to a very dark green color. At that point, I will then check if the fruit 1) is full size 2) feels soft and can 3) gently be removed from the tree.

A Mature and Ripe Florida Hass Avocado
Image Credit: Tropical Acres Farms

And 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 October 1, 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 another month and repeat the process with another single fruit
      • Fruit that are picked too early will often become black/inedible.
A cluster of immature Florida Hass fruit hanging on the tree
Image Credit: Amy Tift

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.

Florida Hass Avocado History

The Florida Hass Avocado was introduced to Florida by Laurence Zill in the 1970s/1980s.

The story goes that Laurence obtained several scions from the Avocado Research Facility at UC Riverside to grow out in Florida. And allegedly, the most cold-hardy scion that survived was then named ‘Florida Hass.’

Florida Hass is a seedling of Hass. Its pollinating parent is unknown.

Florida Hass Avocado Tree For Sale

Is Florida Hass worth growing in Florida?

Personally, I would not grow Florida Hass.

While the fruit is undoubtedly delicious, between the uneven ripening issues, low fruit production, and extremely tight harvest window for a perfect fruit, I just don’t think it’s worth it (coming from a lazy gardener).

Instead, I would much rather grow an avocado better suited for our hot and humid climate, such as the Monroe, Lula, Dupuis, Kampong, or Oro Negro.

That said, Florida Hass is common in the nursery trade.

However, if you can’t find a Florida Hass 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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