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I live in a very warm climate (Phoenix AZ) and I was wondering what the best growing conditions (temperatures) are for an avocado plant? Are the extreme heat summers here to much for an avocado? We can also get about 4 or 5 nights out of the year where it falls to around freezing, will this be difficult on an avocado tree also?

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The problem isn't heat so much as humidity. these trees love heat, and can take well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit without problems, if the humidity is high enough. The wind, sun and heat all dry the tree, and the humidity counters that. So You may end up with at best brown-tipped leaves (not fatal, or even a real problem), or in worse conditions, lots of new growth dieback each year after it dries out.

As for cold, it depends on variety, but usually they can handle down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit without burning.

Daily (or regularly, on a set schedule) watering will provide good growth, but won't compensate for low humidity. Avocados have large leaves, and let out quite a bit of moisture through them, in dry atmosphere conditions faster than they can take it in through the roots.

If you have a sheltered area (like along the north wall of a house, where the wind won't be as bad and you'll miss the afternoon sun), you may get better results. Other than that, you would have to alter the conditions, which is almost impossible outdoors.

I'd go ahead and get a tree, and try it out. Some plants turn out to be very resilient, but if it doesn't live, you'll know for next time.

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  • So I read this to understand that the dryness of the desert could be a huge concern. Would normal/daily watering help or does natural humidity just play a huge roll and it cannot be compensated for? – Brian H Jan 14 '15 at 15:39
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    You've got the right idea. If you could create a microenvironment possibly around a simple water feature, this would help put moisture into the air around your plant. Make a recirculating water feature where the water bubbles up and the water is left on stones to evaporate. Or make a tray with rounded pebbles and keep filled with water near the base of the plant. Water only when soil dries out, not everyday. Spraying is a waste of water unless you need to wash off dust and I'd do it early in the morning before the sun is too hot. Possibly provide some shade? – stormy Jan 14 '15 at 21:34
  • @BrianH I've edited my answer with additional info requested in your comment. – J. Musser Jan 14 '15 at 22:02
  • I actually had a desire to put the tree near a South wall on the north side, but the wall is only 5 foot high and direct sunlight would hit it all day long. It would also be near my pool, and my thoughts are any evaporated water from that would possibly have chlorine residual. I think the humidity issue I face in my climate will kill my desire, I may just go to a lemon or Orange tree, everyone in Phoenix seems to have them. Thanks both Stormy and JMusser have some thorough answers here, appreciate it. – Brian H Jan 15 '15 at 2:22
  • honestly if humidity was an issue u can have misters going to raise it in that area as well as a partial green house concept to direct the humidity. It wouldn't be perfect but think of it like a humidifier in a room with the heater on. – Ashely Sep 7 at 12:49

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