Joey Avocado Grow Guide

Mature Joey Avocados Ripening On The Tree
Image Credit: Joanne Gifford

If you are like me and like to peruse the Lowe’s garden section after your 3rd trip of getting the wrong size PVC, you may have noticed that there are a lot of Joey Avocado Trees 🙂

Additionally, you may have wondered if they are any good.

Well, I may not be an expert in sizing PVC for irrigation, but I know a few things about avocados. With that being said, this grow guide will cover everything that you need to know about Joey Avocado:

Table of Contents

Joey Avocado Tree Characteristics

The Joey 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 Joey’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:

Young Joey Avocados On The Tree
Image Credit: Joanne Gifford

Joey’s fruit production consistently ranges from good to heavy.

The avocados themselves are small-sized fruits that typically weigh between 0.4 and 0.6 lb. Despite being a smaller avocado, the fruit also contains a smaller seed resulting in a good flesh-to-seed ratio.

Young Joey Avocados Maturing On The Tree
Image Credit: Joanne Gifford

Joey is a pure Mexican Avocado. Similar to other Mexican Avocados like Poncho, Brogdon, Lila, Mexicola, and Mexicola Grande, Joey is highly cold tolerant and able to withstand temperatures as low as 15º F, making it one of the hardiest avocados available.

By the same token, Joey is a great option for those who are in USDA Hardiness Zones 8B and above.

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

A Single Joey Avocado Fruit Hanging On A Young Tree
Image Credit: Krista Baldwin

Joey Avocado Flavor Profile

The Joey Avocado’s purple-black and slightly bumpy skin is incredibly thin. As a result, the fruit cannot be easily scooped out without breaking the fruit’s skin and having an avocado mess on your hands.

The fruit’s flesh is a bright yellowish-green when ripe. While Joey does have a slightly creamy texture, it’s not nearly as creamy as a Hass. Additionally, there is an ever-so-slight firmness that allows the fruit to maintain its shape.

A Mature and Ripe Joey Avocado
Image Credit: Krista Baldwin

From a flavor perspective, assuming one is able to get a perfectly ripened fruit, there is a pleasant and mild nutty flavor with hints of pepper. However, Joey is notorious for having problems with uneven ripening, especially when being grown in areas like Florida and Texas.

The end result is a fruit with a sort of rubbery texture and a funky flavor that tastes like the smell of grass. How such a small fruit is able to have this big of a problem with uneven ripening is beyond me.

A Mature and Ripe Joey Avocado Cut In Half
Image Credit: Krista Baldwin

Despite the tree’s stellar production, I wonder why anybody would want to grow a lot of fruit where (if things work out perfectly) you would only get an OK tasting fruit. For Florida Growers looking for that ‘California-Style Mexican Avocado,’ I would much rather opt for something like a Mexicola, Mexicola Grande, or Brogdon.

The one positive I will say about Joey is, assuming you can get the ripening to work (good luck!), Joey is similar to Lila in that it is better suited for use in cooking as an ingredient rather than for eating out of hand due to the fruit’s firmness.

A Mature and Ripe Joey Avocado Cut In Half
Image Credit: Tina Nguyen-Causley

Joey Avocado Season (And When To Pick)

Joey Avocados are considered an early season avocado (May – July).

In fact, Joey joins the ranks of other extremely-early avocado cultivars like Donnie, Dupuis, Pollock, Poncho and Simmonds that officially mark the start of avocado season in Florida.

Harvesting Joey Avocados with a Picker
Image Credit: Joanne Gifford

That said, the best time to pick Joey Avocados are when they are mature on the tree. From a color perspective, this is when the fruit has transitioned to a deep-purple, almost black, color. If you have problems with wildlife, Joey Avocados can be picked when the deep-purple, black color covers around 80% – 90% of the fruit.

For Joey in particular, I also like to squeeze the fruit to check for firmness. If the entire fruit ‘dents easily’ with a small amount of pressure applied with your fingers, then it is likely ready.

A Basket Full of Mature and Ripe Joey Avocados
Image Credit: All His Blessings Farm

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 May 15, after the fruit has transitioned to a deep-purple color, 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
Mature Joey Avocados Ripening On The Tree
Image Credit: Joanne Gifford

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.

Joey Avocado History

The Joey Avocado was initially propagated by Joey Ricers in Uvalde, Texas.

Fun Fact: The Lila Avocado also originates from Uvalde, Texas as well!

A Cluster of Joey Avocados On The Tree
Image Credit: Sow Exotic

Joey Avocado Tree For Sale

I personally do not see any value in growing Joey Avocado beyond using the tree as a possible pollinator for the earlier cultivars of avocado that are more delicious.

Whether you want to grow the tree as a pollinator or want to try your hand at getting a ripe fruit, Joey is common to find in the nursery trade.

They can even be found in big box stores such as Home Depot and Lowes when searching for PVC 🙂

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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