Q: I have grown an avocado from seed. Now it is fairly large in its pot. Can I successfully grow it outdoors here?
A: Welcome to the study of hardiness zones! You already know that some plants can not survive the weather in Atlanta – orange trees, mango and other tropicals – it gets too cold here. Conversely, some plants grow well in Atlanta but are not hardy further North – crepe myrtle and gardenia, for example. To determine where the extremes of cold limit plant growth, the nation has been divided into ten Hardiness Zones. Zone 1 has the coldest winter temperatures; Zone 10 enjoys no frost at all! So here’s the meat of the question: Atlanta is located in Zone 7. Avocado trees will grow outdoors only in Zone 9 – southern Florida. If you pinch out the tips of all of your branches every three months, your avocado can be kept compact enough to bring indoors each winter.