Oro Negro Avocado Grow Guide

A Bowl Full of Oro Negro Avocados And Lemons
Image Credit: Sweet Song Groves

If you’re planning to grow an avocado tree, why not aim for gold? 🥇

And by gold, I’m referring to the Oro Negro Avocado.

With a name that literally translates to ‘Black Gold,’ Oro Negro is a relatively recent cultivar that has swiftly gained recognition. Despite being newer on the scene, those who have tried Oro Negro will undoubtedly place it near the top of their list of favorite avocado cultivars (myself included).

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

Table of Contents

Oro Negro Avocado Tree Characteristics

The Oro Negro 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 Oro Negro’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:

An Oro Negro Avocado Tree
Image Credit: Elise Pickett

Speaking of fruit production, Oro Negro’s fruit production consistently ranges from poor to fair. In fact, the only complaint I have about this cultivar is its lackluster yields. While it’s true that Oro Negro sets a lot of fruit, I’ve observed that this cultivar seems to have a problem with holding fruit to maturity.

This observation becomes particularly interesting when considering that Oro Negro is likely a seedling of Monroe, which produces an incredible amount of fruit compared to Oro Negro (sometimes on the magnitude of 200% – 300% more fruit from a similarly sized tree).

Consequently, if fruit production and space concerns are essential factors for you – Oro Negro is known to be quite vigorous – then this variety may not be the best choice for you, despite its amazing flavor (more on this soon).

An Oro Negro Avocado Tree
Image Credit: D’s Fruit Trees

The avocados themselves are medium-sized elliptically-shaped fruits that typically weigh between 1.0 – 1.5 lbs.

The Oro Negro Avocado is a Complex Hybrid (contains genes from all three subspecies) and is moderately cold tolerant to temperates as low as 25°F, possibly even slightly lower due to its Mexican genetics. This makes Oro Negro a great option for those in USDA Hardiness Zones 9B and above.

Oro Negro Avocado Trees In Containers
Image Credit: D’s Fruit Trees

Oro Negro Avocado Flavor Profile

Slicing into the shiny, black exterior of the Oro Negro Avocado will reveal a yellow-green flesh. The texture of the fruit’s flesh is soft, smooth, and butter-like, reminiscent of a creamy Catalina Avocado.

A Mature and Ripe Oro Negro Avocado Cut In Half
Image Credit: Serendib Farms

From a flavor perspective, Oro Negro is a delightful blend of richness and nuttiness. Additionally, the fruit has a healthy oil content ranging from 10-15%. Between the flavor and oil content, Oro Negro tastes similar to that of Hass. However, I would opt for a perfect Oro Negro over a perfect Hass, due to the fruit being much larger.

An Oro Negro Avocado Cut In Half
Image Credit: Sweet Song Groves

While Monroe may outshine Oro Negro in fruit production, Oro Negro wins hands down in the taste department. In my experience, Oro Negro stands out as one of the best Florida avocados when judged primarily on flavor.

With its nutty flavor, ‘easy peel’ skin, and high oil content, Oro Negro is also an excellent choice for guacamole.

A Mature and Ripe Oro Negro Avocado Cut In Half
Image Credit: Food Forest Tampa

Oro Negro Avocado Season (And When To Pick)

Oro Negro Avocados are considered a mid to late-season avocado (November – January).

With that being said, the best time to pick Oro Negro Avocados are when they are mature on the tree. In terms of color, this is when the majority of the fruit has transitioned to a patent-leather black.

A Perfectly Mature Oro Negro Avocado
Image Credit: Sweet Song Groves

An important point to note about Oro Negro is that the fruit has a tendency to drop once it becomes 80% – 100% black. Make sure to stay vigilant so that the critters don’t reach the fallen fruit before you do! 😆

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:

Mature Oro Negro Avocados
Image Credit: Louis Boling
  1. Starting Nov 1, after the fruit has transitioned to a deep black 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
      • Fruit that are picked too early will often become black/inedible.
An Oro Negro Avocado Cut In Half
Image Credit: Fruit Retrobution

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.

Oro Negro Avocado History

The Oro Negro Avocado was initially propagated in Homestead, Florida, by Mike Hunt in 1989.

The name Oro Negro is Spanish for “Black Gold.”

An Oro Negro Avocado Tree In Bloom
Image Credit: Daniel Rodriguez

Due to the fruit’s similar shape and season, Oro Negro is speculated to be a seedling of Monroe (Guatemalan X West Indian Hybrid). However, what’s even more interesting is Oro Negro’s potential pollinating parent.

That is because while Oro Negro’s black skin is a prominent characteristic of Mexican avocados, the tree’s leaves lack the familiar anise aroma typically associated with Mexican varieties. With that being said, I speculate that the fruit is a Complex Hybrid, possibly containing genes from all three subspecies

Oro Negro Avocado Tree For Sale

At the end of the day, there’s no doubt that Oro Negro ranks among one of the best-tasting avocados out there.

So, if your primary concern is the overall flavor, then go for it!

However, when choosing an avocado cultivar to grow, it’s crucial to consider other factors such as space constraints, fruiting season, and overall fruit production. If you can compromise a bit on taste for a similarly-sized tree with an identical fruiting season, while also boosting fruit production, you might want to consider Monroe.

Given Oro Negro’s popularity, it’s quite common in the nursery trade.

With that being said, 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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