Marcus Pumpkin Avocado Grow Guide

A Marcus Pumpkin Avocado Cut In Half with Banana Trees in the Background.
Image Credit: Miami Fruit

The Marcus Pumpkin Avocado is one of the largest avocados in the world.

There are not many avocado cultivars capable of consistently producing individual fruits weighing upwards of 3 pounds. So if you are searching for a conversation-starting tree to add to your yard, look no further than Marcus Pumpkin!

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

Table of Contents

Marcus Pumpkin Avocado Tree Characteristics

The Marcus Pumpkin 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 Marcus’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:

Marcus Pumpkin’s fruit production consistently ranges from fair to average. While Marcus may yield a decent amount of fruit for backyard growers, it is not consistently productive enough to be cultivated commercially.

A Marcus Pumpkin Avocado Cut in Half Compared to a Hass Avocado
Image Credit: Miami Fruit

Despite being a shy bearer, Marcus Pumpkin makes up for its lack of quantity with its large fruit size. The avocados themselves are very large, round fruits that typically weigh between 1.0 and 3.0 lbs. Although Marcus has a larger seed, it boasts an excellent flesh-to-seed ratio.

The Marcus Pumpkin Avocado is a Guatemalan X West Indian Hybrid. Similar to other Guatemalan X West Indian Hybrids like LulaHallMonroeChoquette and KampongMarcus is moderately cold tolerant to temperatures as low as 25°F. This makes Marcus a great option for those in USDA Hardiness Zones 9B and above.

Finally, it should be noted that the Marcus Pumpkin Avocado Tree has a vigorous and upright growth habit.

Marcus Pumpkin Avocado Flavor Profile

The Marcus Pumpkin Avocado is very round and large, with slight ridging around the exterior of the fruit, reminiscent of an actual pumpkin. Additionally, the skin is easy to peel.

A Mature and Ripe Marcus Pumpkin Avocado On A Plate (Dime for Size Comparison)
Image Credit: Tropical Acres Farms

The fruit’s bright yellow flesh possesses a smooth and creamy texture, although not as creamy as what one would expect from varieties like Catalina, Oro Negro, or Kampong. Additionally, the fruit’s flesh has a low oil content (single digits) and can sometimes have a medium to high amount of moisture (which varies depending on when the fruit was harvested).

As a result, Marcus Pumpkin would not be a good candidate as an ingredient in guacamole. However, it does have its culinary uses, including being suitable for smoothies and salads requiring avocado.

A Marcus Pumpkin Avocado Cut In Half with Banana Trees in the Background.
Image Credit: Miami Fruit

From a flavor perspective, Marcus Pumpkin has a very mild and subdued West Indian Avocado flavor. While there is a nice, yet subtle, sweetness to the fruit, it is underwhelming compared to other avocados with similar genetics.

More specifically, Marcus’s flavor is similar to that of Choquette, Monroe, and Donnie. While Marcus Pumpkin is more “flavorful” relative to the very mild Donnie, I personally prefer Monroe or Choquette.

A Marcus Pumpkin Avocado Cut In Half with Banana Trees in the Background.
Image Credit: Miami Fruit

While Marcus Pumpkin’s large size is definitely a conversation starter, there’s honestly not much more to say about it. At the end of the day, there are other varieties with a similar fruiting season (mentioned above) that, while smaller, are much more flavorful as well as more productive.

Marcus Pumpkin Avocado Season (And When To Pick)

Marcus Pumpkin Avocados are considered a mid-season avocado (October – November).

That being said, the best time to pick Marcus Pumpkin Avocados are when they are mature on the tree. In terms of color changes, Marcus undergoes very little transformation during the maturation process. As a result, my usual approach involves first checking if the fruit is full size and then attempting to gently remove it from the tree.

If both of these conditions are met (in addition to it being Oct – Nov), then Marcus Pumpkin should be ready to harvest!

Half of a Marcus Pumpkin Avocado with a Banana Flower in the Fruit's Pit.
Image Credit: Miami Fruit

Note: According to the Official Florida Picking Schedule, Marcus Pumpkin can technically be picked as early as September. However, I highly encourage you to allow the fruit to continue maturing closer to the beginning/middle of November in order to maximize Marcus’s (already mild) flavor.

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 Oct 15 (I personally like waiting until Nov), 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.

Marcus Pumpkin Avocado History

While the Marcus Pumpkin Avocado has been around for a while, there isn’t a lot of literature regarding this cultivar’s origin story. However, the consensus is that Marcus Pumpkin originated in Florida almost a century ago.

A more concrete fact that we do know is that if you have ever strolled into a nursery selling a ‘Marcus’ or ‘Pumpkin’ Avocado, they are likely referring to Marcus Pumpkin (the cultivar’s full name).

Finally, Marcus Pumpkin’s large seed has made it a favorite rootstock among those who like to graft, due to the seedlings’ more vigorous growth.

Marcus Pumpkin Avocado Tree For Sale

There’s no doubt that the Marcus Pumpkin Avocado produces some of the largest avocados on the planet.

However, because of the tree’s vigorous growth and its mild/subdued flavors, Marcus Pumpkin is often seen as more of a novelty or conversation starter. As a result, Marcus is not widely produced in the nursery trade.

If you are unable to find one at a 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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