Poncho Avocado Grow Guide

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

The Poncho Avocado (also called Pancho) checks a lot of boxes that people care about:

✅ Great Production
✅ Early Season
✅ High Cold Tolerance

However, as with any cultivar of avocado, the Poncho Avocado does have its fair share of drawbacks that one should consider prior to purchasing a tree.

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

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Table of Contents

Poncho Avocado Tree Characteristics

The Poncho 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 Poncho’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:

A Young Poncho Avocado Hanging On The Tree
Image Credit: Food Forest 352

Poncho’s fruit production consistently ranges from good to heavy. The avocados themselves are very small-sized, pyriform-shaped fruits that typically weigh between 0.25 and 0.5 lb. Due to the smaller fruit size and larger seed, Poncho Avocados have a terrible flesh-to-seed ratio.

Furthermore, Poncho is a pure Mexican Avocado. Similar to other Mexican Avocados like Joey, Lila, Brogdon, Mexicola, and Mexicola Grande, Poncho 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, Poncho is a great option for those who are in USDA Hardiness Zones 8B and above.

A Mature but Unripe Poncho Avocado Hanging On The Tree
Image Credit: Langston Forest

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

The canopy itself is also comprised of dark green leaves that have a pleasant anise smell to them 😀

A Young Poncho Avocado Tree In A Container
Image Credit: Ryan Hutchinson

Poncho Avocado Flavor Profile

The Poncho Avocado has smooth, bright green, and thin skin that when peeled away will reveal a pale yellow flesh that has a smooth and mildly creamy texture. While the oil content is not as high as one would expect to find from a Mexicola or a Brogdon, it is still decently good enough to make guacamole out of.

From a flavor perspective, when evenly ripened, Poncho has a strong “avocado flavor” with both a mild nuttiness and a slight sweetness that compliments the overall flavor. Relative to other avocados that I’ve sampled, I would say that the flavor is closest to either Fantastic or Lila.

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

And while there is nothing inherently wrong with Poncho, I personally wouldn’t go out of my way to seek out the fruit or to plant a tree.

That is because Poncho simply doesn’t match my avocado flavor preferences (I like more nuttiness, more creaminess, etc.). However, it’s important to remember that everybody has different taste buds and that Poncho may taste like the best avocado in the world to you!

A Ripe and Mature Poncho Avocado Cut In Half
Image Credit: Matt Seguin

Poncho Avocado Season (And When To Pick)

Poncho Avocados are considered an early season avocado (June – August).

However, if possible, it’s best to wait and harvest the fruit closer to July. This is because harvesting Ponchos earlier in the season can result in the fruit having problems with uneven ripening.

Additionally, we should avoid harvesting Ponchos too late in the season due to the fruit’s sensitivity to high temperatures, which can result in circular cracks developing on the bottom of the fruit.

Translation: Poncho Avocado can be a real drama queen 😀

A Mature but Unripe Poncho Avocado Hanging On The Tree
Image Credit: Langston Forest

That said, the best time to pick Poncho Avocados are when they are mature on the tree

From a color perspective, Poncho changes very little during the maturation process; the fruit will remain a light green and can sometimes develop a very light red blush as well. 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 Poncho should be ready to harvest!

A Young Poncho Avocado Hanging On The Tree
Image Credit: Food Forest 352

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 June 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.

Poncho Avocado History

Unfortunately, there is very little to no information regarding Poncho Avocado’s origin.

However, we do know that Poncho originated from Texas and also goes by the name “Pancho.”

Poncho Avocado Tree For Sale

Due to the fruit’s inability to reasonably tolerate heat and humidity, I wouldn’t recommend growing a Poncho Avocado in Florida. The only exception is if you don’t really care about the fruit and are instead looking for a Type B Avocado to pollinate early-season Type A Avocados.

That said, Poncho can be a great option for those wanting to grow avocados in cooler zones (Zone 8B).

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

That said, if you are unable to find a Poncho 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

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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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