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I'm looking into getting some potted plants since I have a patio at my apartment; one plant I'm interested in is the avocado. However, I live in northeastern Ohio. It looks like bacon avocado trees can withstand frost well, but can it be dwarfed and still produce fruit? Would another variety work better? Should I give up and find another tree?

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Presumably this isn't a fruiting variety? Avocadoes are considered a marginal crop here in Texas - and then only in the southern tip where frosts are rare and with the hardier Mexican varieties. –  winwaed Feb 22 '12 at 1:42
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The latest USDA zone map places Ohio in a zone where the minimum temperature could be as low as -15 degrees F. No avocado tree will take that so you would need to bring it indoors during the winter which will limit how big a pot you can put it in and the maximum size you can let it grow. I'm just speculating here but anything taller than six feet and one hundred and fifty pounds could be classed as unmanageable to move indoors in the winter.

You can dwarf many trees but I have found that avocados resist growing multiple stems. See my answer here. It is challenging to get more than one stem even on a plant three to four feet tall. Repeated cutting back hard might work if you have a lot of light.

I found this organization which is just about avocados. I note their statement that "While it is true that you can grow a tree from an avocado seed, keep in mind that a tree grown from seed will be very different from its parent variety and may take 7-15 years to begin producing fruit. Fruit from a tree grown from seed tends to have different flavor characteristics than their parent variety."

So yes, if you have patience, you can grow an avocado as a potted patio plant. However it is likely it will take a long time to get any fruit.

If I was going to try this I would try other plants like the calamondin orange. The flowers are fragrant, it will set fruit indoors after only a few years and is available in the retail trade.

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I was hoping to buy an established, probably grafted tree rather than grow from seed. It does get cold here, though I've personally not seen much below 0; but yeah, I was thinking small so if it does get that cold I can bring it in. –  Yamikuronue Feb 20 '12 at 16:18
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I grew an avocado from a pit for about 4 years in a 6" pot before I lost it trying to repot it. I kept it indoors during the winter.

It grew quite tall, probably 6' or close to it. You will need to figure out how you want to deal with trying to keep it short.

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