Wurtz Avocado Grow Guide

A mature Wurtz Avocado Hanging on the Tree
Image Credit: Moss House

Also sold under the names ‘Littlecado’ and ‘Minicado,’ the Wurtz avocado is a particularly special cultivar.

Not only is it one of two truly dwarf avocado trees that I’m aware of, with the other being Holiday, but it also boasts the remarkable ability to produce a significant amount of fruit early in its life. Whether you’re keen on growing an avocado tree in a container or have limited yard space, Wurtz is an excellent cultivar to consider.

That said, this grow guide will cover everything that you need to know about Wurtz Avocado:

Table of Contents

Wurtz Avocado Tree Characteristics

The Wurtz 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 Wurtz’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:

A Box full of mature Wurtz Avocados
Image Credit: All Aussie Farmers

The Wurtz Avocado is very precocious in its fruit production, consistently ranging from good to heavy within its first 2-3 years of life. The avocados themselves are small-sized fruits that typically weigh between 0.3 and 0.75 lb. Wurtz also contains a medium-sized seed, resulting in a good flesh-to-seed ratio.

The Wurtz Avocado is a Guatemalan X Mexican Hybrid. Similar to other Guatemalan X Mexican Hybrids like HassLamb HassSuper HassBacon and Winter Mexican, Wurtz is highly cold tolerant and able to withstand temperatures as low as 22º F, making it one of the most cold hardy avocados available.

Small, Immature Wurtz Avocados Hanging on the tree
Image Credit: Moss House

The Wurtz Avocado Tree has a low vigor and spreading growth habit. Generally speaking, Wurtz and Holiday are the two avocado cultivars that are most commonly referred to as ‘dwarf avocado trees’. That said, if the tree is not regularly pruned on an annual basis, it can easily grow to heights of over 15 feet and widths of 15 feet.

Side Note: If given the choice between Wurtz and Holiday, I would opt for Wurtz due to its superior overall production compared to Holiday.

Additionally, it’s important to note that climate conditions play a significant role in the tree’s growth habits. In cooler climates, the tree typically exhibits its signature low-vigor growth habit. However, in warmer areas with better soil conditions, the tree has the potential to grow much faster.

A cluster of small, immature Wurtz Avocados hanging on the tree
Image Credit: Grossman Avocados

Wurtz Avocado Flavor Profile

The Wurtz Avocado has thick, hard, and brittle skin that doesn’t peel well and adheres to the fruit.

Slicing into the fruit reveals light yellow flesh that is soft and smooth. While the texture is slightly less creamy than a Hass, the 18% – 22% oil content still makes for a very creamy and buttery fruit.

Mature Wurtz Avcados hanging on the tree
Image Credit: Takarnar

When it comes to Wurtz’s flavor, there are two distinct camps: “Wurtz is delicious” and “Wurtz is the worst.”

Let me explain.

Homegrown Florida Wurtz Avocados can be quite delicious. Wurtz Avocado is a full-flavored fruit, akin to Lula but without the sweetness. It boasts a distinct, rich nuttiness reminiscent of Hass, along with a respectable oil content, making it an excellent choice for guacamole.

A collage of a freshly picked mature and ripe Wurtz Avocado and a cluster of immature Wurtz Avocados hanging on the tree
Image Credit: JKL

In many cases for the Florida grower, a homegrown Wurtz can taste better than a store-bought Hass. Between the fruit’s distinct nuttiness and higher oil content, common with avocado cultivars with strong Guatemalan genetics, I personally refer to Wurtz (and Day) as the Florida equivalents of California’s Fuerte.

On the other hand, California Wurtz Avocados, even when homegrown, can have a subpar and bland flavor compared to other delicious avocados like Reed, Fuerte, Sharwil, and Hass that can be grown in the Golden State.

Wurtz Avocado Season (And When To Pick)

In Florida, Wurtz Avocados are considered a mid-to-late season avocado (November – January).

However, when grown in California, Wurtz’s season ranges from May – September.

For Florida growers, I highly recommend waiting to harvest the fruit closer to December or January to allow Wurtz to continue developing its oil content, and consequently, its texture and flavor. Fortunately, Wurtz holds onto the tree very well, allowing for an extended harvest period.

Two Mature and Ripe Wurtz Avocados hanging on the tree that are ready to be harvested
Image Credit: Ma Suska

Speaking of when to harvest, the best time to pick Wurtz Avocados are when they are mature on the tree. From a color perspective, Wurtz will transition to a dull dark green color (similar to Fuerte and Pinkerton).

In addition to color, one should check if the fruit 1) is full size 2) feels soft and can 3) gently be removed from the tree. 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. On the first day of the first month when the fruit is in season (see above for location based seasons), 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.
A mature Wurtz Avocado Hanging on the Tree
Image Credit: Moss House

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.

Wurtz Avocado History

The Wurtz Avocado was initially propagated in Encinitas, California by Roy Wurtz in 1935. 

Wurtz was a chance seedling; its parents are unknown.

Wurtz Avocado Tree For Sale

Due to the tree’s uniquely low-vigor growth habit, Wurtz can be commonly found in both nurseries and big-box stores alike. Wurtz is also sold under the name ‘Little Cado’ or ‘Mini Cado.’

That said, for those in California who have access to delicious varieties such as Hass, Lamb Hass, Reed, Fuerte, etc., I would only choose Wurtz over those varieties if my absolute highest priority was having a small tree. Otherwise, I would opt for one of the more delicious, aforementioned trees.

On the other hand, for those in Florida with smaller yards or folks located in lower USDA hardiness zones who are seeking an avocado tree that can easily be kept in a pot, Wurtz is definitely an attractive option.

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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