Lila Avocado Grow Guide

A Mature and Ripe Lila Avocado Cut In Half
Image Credit: Food Forest 352

Do you live in a slightly cooler area, but still want the perks of being able to enjoy fresh avocado toast?

Enter Lila Avocado: a creamy Mexican Avocado that is one of the cold-hardiest avocados around!

If that sounds up your alley, this grow guide will cover everything that you need to know about Lila Avocado:

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Table of Contents

Lila Avocado Tree Characteristics

The Lila 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 Lila’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:

Lila Avocado Flowers
Image Credit: Food Forest 352

Lila’s fruit production consistently ranges from poor to fair. While Lila may perform better in areas such as Texas (its place of origin), I have yet to see any productive examples of Lila in Florida.

Small Lila Avocado Fruits Forming On The Tree
Image Credit: Blake Smith

The avocados themselves are small-sized, pyriform fruits that typically weight between 0.4 and 0.75 lb.

Due to the smaller fruit size and larger seed, Lila Avocados have an OK flesh-to-seed ratio.

A Small Lila Avocado On The Tree
Image Credit: Food Forest 352

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

As a result, Lila is a great option for those who are in USDA Hardiness Zones 8B and above.

Finally, the Lila Avocado Tree has a low vigor and spreading growth habit (bordering on semi-dwarf).

A Young Lila Avocado Tree
Image Credit: Better For Your Body

Lila Avocado Flavor Profile

The Lila Avocado’s smooth, green, and glossy skin is very 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.

On the bright side, when cutting open the fruit, the seed easily pops out of the fruit’s pit without leaving any trace of seed husk sticking to the fruit. It’s a little thing, but still a nice quality to have.

A mature but unripe Lila Avocado hanging on the tree
Image Credit: Blake Smith

The fruit’s bright golden-yellow flesh has a smooth, buttery, and creamy texture driven by Lila’s moderately high oil content. However, there is an ever-so-slight firmness that allows the fruit to maintain its shape.

This makes Lila a great choice for avocado toast and/or other recipes that require avocados to hold their shape. When comparing Lila’s texture to a Hass, I would say that Lila is slightly less creamy and a tad more firm.

A Mature and Ripe Lila Avocado Cut In Half
Image Credit: Food Forest 352

From a flavor perspective, Lila has a pleasant nuttiness with a hint of sweetness to it.

That said, I have mostly been underwhelmed with the fruit’s overall flavor profile. It’s not that the flavor is bad (it is enjoyable). However, the flavor feels incredibly underwhelming when comparing it head-to-head with other delicious Mexican Avocados such as Mexicola, Mexicola Grande or Brogdon.

For that reason, I believe that Lila is better suited for use in cooking as an ingredient rather than for eating out of hand.

Lila Avocado Season (And When To Pick)

Lila Avocados are considered an early to mid-season avocado (July – September).

That said, the best time to pick Lila Avocados are when they are mature on the tree. From a color perspective, Lila changes very little during the maturation process (remains green even when ripe). 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 Lila should be ready to harvest!

A mature but unripe Lila Avocado hanging on the tree
Image Credit: Blake Smith

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 July 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 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.

Lila Avocado History

The Lila Avocado was initially propagated by Opal Holland in Uvalde, Texas.

In the nursery trade, Lila is also sometimes sold as ‘Opal’ or ‘Opal Holland’ (the cultivar’s true/original name).

Lila Avocado Tree For Sale

While Lila Avocado may not be my first choice to plant, there’s no doubt that Lila can be a great option for those wanting to grow avocados in cooler zones (Zone 8B).

And you know what they say: any avocado is better than no avocado at all!

Fortunately, Lila is common to find in the nursery trade.

That said, if you are unable to find a Lila Avocado at a local nursery, they are available for sale on FastGrowingTrees.com, which is an online nursery that provides a wide selection of tropical trees, shrubs and plants. 

Not only does FastGrowingTrees ship quickly, but they also offer an optional 1 Year Warranty (which is always nice).

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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