Fruits That Grow In Florida are a staple of Florida’s landscape. One of the best things about Florida is the warm climate that allows for year-round harvesting and growing of tropical fruit. Fruits such as mangos, Bali star apples and papaya all grow in abundance. . Here’s a list of tropical fruits that grow in Florida.
What fruits can you grow in Central Florida?
Fruit Gardening Webinar Series
Here at UF/IFAS Extension Seminole County, we just finished up our “Get Your Grove On” webinar series. The series ran from September 23rd-October 21st and met for an hour every Wednesday at lunch time. During the five-week series, we spoke to over 300 people in Central Florida and beyond about how to properly grow some fruit crops.
What fruits can I grow in Central Florida?
There are a lot of fruits that grow well in Central Florida. Many of them are actually pretty low maintenance plants! Here are some of the fruits we covered in our class:
Bananas, avocados, apples, blackberries, blueberries, carambola, citrus, figs, lychees/logans, loquats, mangos, mulberries, muscadine grapes, peaches, nectarines, persimmons, pineapple, pomegranate, barbados cherries, carissa/natal plum, miracle fruit, passion fruit, jaboticaba, pineapple guava and more!
Even if you don’t want to grow the fruit yourself, many of these fruits are available for sale locally. Check out your local farms and farmers markets to see what you can buy and enjoy! For Seminole County residents, you can visit our 2020 Guide to Seminole County’s Local Farms and Farmers Markets to find produce available in our area.
What things should you consider before planting fruits?
First and foremost, is it a good time of the year to plant your plants? Every plant is going to have a season where it thrives. It is important to make sure you are planting your fruits during the best time for that particular plant to grow. For example, planting a fruit tree during the time of the year that the plant is dormant might lead to poor establishment of your plant. Also, young plants are more likely to be damaged by unfavorable conditions.
How much space does your plant need to grow and flourish? Proper spacing is important to make sure your plants have enough space to grow both above ground and below ground. The plant roots can often spread distances beyond what we see above ground. Planting near structures can limit the growth of our fruit plants, fruit trees especially. Plants that are too close together can compete for resources like water and nutrients. In the long run, this can lead to slower growth and lowered fruit production.
If it is a tree, how tall will it get? With fruit trees, you should consider how tall they can grow over time. It is very important not to plant taller fruit trees in areas close to powerlines or other structures. Even though your tree may start out small, some fruit trees, like loquats, can reach heights of up to 35ft tall!
Are you ready to committee to the pruning needs of your fruit tree? Some fruit trees can require annual maintenance to keep them happy, healthy, and producing good fruit. Pruning can help with increasing the fruit yield/quality. Too many branches or flowers may lead to smaller, or less sweet fruit. Pruning may also help prevent the incidence of pathogens/diseases. Good air flow can reduce the time that leaves stay wet and wet leaves are favorable for some pathogens. Pruning also can reduce the chances of branches breaking. Broken branches can be a hazard when they fall. This also create a wound that leaves plants stressed or vulnerable to other pathogens and pests.
Every plant is different and will have different requirements to successfully produce fruit. These needs can include:
- Temperature: Can your plant tolerate colder winter temperatures? Does your plant need chill hours to produce fruit? Is Florida just too hot for this plant?
- Soil type and pH: Will your plant survive in sandy Florida soils? Would your plant benefit from more organic matter in the soil? What is the desirable pH range for your fruit? Does your soil meet these pH requirements? How well does your soil drain following a heavy rain?
- Water: Do your plants require irrigation? How much water will they need throughout different times of the year? Are they susceptible to problems from flooding or heavy rains?
- Nutrient requirements: Will you need to fertilize your plant? How often and how much fertilizer should you give it? What time of the year does your plant need more nutrients?
Florida Fruit-Growing Zones
Contrary to what many outsiders (and even many Floridians) believe, Florida has greatly varied climate zones, which mean that drastically different fruits can grow (or not grow) in different regions of the state. If you already live in Florida and you want to start planting fruit trees, it’s important to know which species are most likely to produce well in your area. Even more importantly, if you want to move to Florida so you can eat fresh-off-the-tree tropical fruits every month of the year, choosing the right part of the state is a huge factor in determining how successful you’ll be in achieving that goal.
The big take-home message you should get from this page: the further south in Florida you are, the greater the number of fruit species you can grow. Look at how much longer the fruit lists get as you move from north to south. The diversity of life is greatest in the tropics, and that’s true for fruit species as it is for other living things. And these lists doesn’t even fully cover the difference from north to south, because winter weather in the northern part of the state limits the ability of trees to ripen crops during months when their fruits would be subject to damage from freezing temperatures. Even in January, you can eat an abundance of different species of tropical fruit right off the tree in South Florida. Also, there are whole categories of tree crops in the tropics which don’t really have any counterpart in fruit species adapted to areas with winter freezes – hearty, dessert-like fruits like canistel or mamey, or giant nuts like coconut are treats which only thrive in frost free areas.
You’ll notice that the zones curve upward near the coasts. Being close to the thermal mass of the ocean buffers winter cold snaps, allowing coastal regions to grow fruit trees that might freeze at that same latitude a few miles inland. (Note; if you’re really close to the ocean, right by the beach, salt spray can pose a problem for some species.) Being near inland lakes can also create a warmer micro-climate for surrounding areas, especially locations on the southeastern shore of the lake, since winter cold fronts tend to blow out of the northwest. (Being closer to the ocean also has a downside: you are prone to greater damage from hurricanes than areas further inland.)
North Florida: In the northern part of the state, warm-temperate zone fruits and nuts thrive. But the tropical fruits are difficult here — colder winters that get into the low twenties and sometimes even the teens mean mean that most tropical fruits need a greenhouse to survive in North Florida.
Fruits and nuts that do pretty well in North Florida include:
- Persimmon, Asian & American
- Muscadine grape
- Pindo palm
- Avocado (cold-hardy Mexican-subspecies varieties only)
- Chinese jujube
- Che fruit
- Cattley guava
- Prickly-pear cactus (some types)
- Citrus (HLB disease is a major limiting factor these days)
- Cherry of the Rio Grande
- Peaches & nectarines (Florida varieties)
Central Florida: The middle portion of the peninsula is an intermediate zone, where some tropicals and some temperate zone fruits can grow side-by-side, with microclimate and recent weather determining which types are doing best at any particular time and place. After one or two mild winters, the tropical fruits can bear heavily in central Florida. In years with colder winters, the tropicals take a hit, but the winter chill can make temperate zone fruits produce abundantly. Citrus fruits are particularly well-suited to the central portion of Florida, although HLB disease is a major problem for them these days.
Fruits and nuts for Central Florida include:
- Casimiroa (aka white sapote)
- Cattley guava
- Tropical guava
South Florida: If approximately the southern third of the peninsula, winter low temperatures rarely dip more than a degree or two below freezing, and consequently a huge selection of luscious tropical fruits thrive here. Not every tropical fruit can grow in this region – some species from the equatorial tropics don’t like even the mild cold fronts which give South Florida some refreshingly cool breezes off and on through the winter, so durian for example is not possible here. But huge number of tropical species are quite happy to grow and produce fruit in the southern part of the Florida peninsula.
Some of the fruit & nut diversity you can grow in South Florida:
- Jun plum/ambarella
- Green sapote
- Caimito (star apple)
- Breadfruit (in the warmest parts of S FL)
- Sugar apple
- Custard apple
If you are looking to move to Florida to grow fruits, the map and fruit lists on this page are about as much information as I have to offer. I keep receiving messages from people saying, “I want to move to Florida to grow fruits, is there any place you can recommend?” All I can really advise you on is which kinds of fruits will grow in which part of the state, which I’ve tried to summarize here. All the other factors that go into a decision of where to buy property are so different for every person – how touristy is too touristy, how close or far you want to be from towns/cities, how much you’re willing to spend – that I can’t really supply much information which would be helpful to you.
If you want to find out more localized information about microclimates and soil types within each county, a good resource to check with is that county’s agricultural extension office.
Best Fruit Trees To Grow in Florida
Florida has a unique climate that makes it a great place to grow a number of different varieties of fruit trees.
What fruit trees grow well in Florida? Apples, Avocado, Bananas, Carambola (Star Fruit), Citrus, Figs, Guava, Jackfruit, Japanese Persimmon, Longan, Loquats, Lychee, Mamey Sapote, Mangoes, Meyer Lemon, Mulberries, Papaya, Peaches, Pineapples, Pomegranates, Tamarind all grow well in Florida.
Florida has a range of growing climates from tropical in the South to sub tropical and temperate in the North. South Florida is mostly warm and humid all year round while North Florida has many chilly and cool nights with some frosts.
This makes it possible to grow a wide and diverse number of fruit trees in Florida. With the different climates, some will be easier to grow in the South while others will be easier in the North.
Fruit Trees That Grow Well in Florida
Different fruit trees require different chill hours in order to bear fruit in the Summer. Temperate fruit trees such as apples and peaches require a period of cold weather in order to develop cold hardiness and produce a good crop of fruit. This period of cold weather is called chill hours and is counted only when the temperature drops between 32°F and 45°F.
Low-chill plums, peaches and nectarines need just 100 to 525 chilling hours per year, making them better suited for mild winters.
Check the image below to see how many chilling hours your area gets, to determine what fruit trees will grow best. Many fruits will have varieties that will need different chilling hours. So, one variety of apple that will do well in North Florida, might not do well in South Florida and vice versa.
For example, the yearly average chill hour accumulation in Northwest Florida is between 660 and 700 hours.
Apples do well in Northern and Central Florida as they require a high number of chill hours.
Some of the best varieties to grow in Northern and Central Florida are the Anna, Dorsett Golden, and TropicSweet with 300 to 400 chill hours.
Apples need to be planted in a well-draining soil that is fertile and it is best to plant them between December and early February. They will need plenty of water and fertilizer regularly and once established should begin bearing fruit after a few years.
It is best to buy a few different varieties that will bloom at the same time as cross pollination is required for fruit to set. The Anna, Dorsett Golden and Tropic Sweet all bloom around the same time so are a good choice for cross pollination.
These varieties of Apple trees should bear fruit during the months of June and July.
Avocados prefer warmer temperatures and don’t do well in cooler climates. However, there are many varieties that have been developed with a high cold tolerance that will allow them to grow in North and Central Florida.
The varieties of Avocado best suited to Florida are the Hardee, Pollock, Simmonds, Nadir, Russell, Brogdon, Miguel, Nesbitt, Beta, Loretta, Waldin, Tonnage, Lula, Marcus, Choquette, Hall, Monroe, Kampong, Meya, Reed and Brookslate
There are a few varieties that do well in the colder temperatures having a high cold tolerance of between 20°F – 30°F (-7°C to -1°C)
The avocados that can be grown in North Florida with a high cold tolerance are the Hardee, Brogdon, Tonnage, Lula, Marcus, Hall, Kampong, Meya and Brookslate.
When selecting your Avocado tree to grow in your backyard, you need know if your avacado tree is self pollinating, meaning you will only need one tree, or cross pollinating, meaning you will need to have two different avocado trees.
The self pollinating varieties include Taylor, Waldin and Lula wheras the cross pollinating varieties incluse Booth 8 and Pollock.
Avocado trees can be sprouted from an avacado seed you might obtain from a fresh avocado you buy in the local store, but be prepared to wait at least four to ten years to bear fruit.
You will need to ripen your avocado after you pick it from the tree as they will not ripen on the tree. It usually takes 4 days for a picked avocado to ripen. To know when they are ready to pick, check the ground for any that have fallen.
*Lula can be susceptible to Scab, however, this may not be a problem for home growers.
So looking at the above table, if you are a home grower and would like a crop of Avacados all year round you could try planting Simmonds, Donnie, Booth 7 and Monroe varieties for Low Temperature hardiness and Brogden, Lula and Brookslate for High Temperature Hardiness.
Bananas can be grown in all most all areas of Florida.
For example, the Dwarf Cavendish is easily acquired from many nurseries and can produce tasty fruit if it doesn’t freeze in the winter.
The best Florida friendly bananas are Blue Java, Apple, Dwarf Cavendish, Gold Finger, Dwarf Orinoco, Dwarf Red, Ice Cream, Mysore, Lady Finger and Williams.
The best banana variety to grow in North Florida is the Japanese fiber banana, which can survive in areas that receive sub-zero temperatures due to its high tolerance to cold. However, this is more of an ornamental banana and not so good for eating.
The best eating bananas are the ‘Lady Finger’, ‘Apple’, and ‘Ice Cream’. To find out if Bananas can be grown from seeds check out the article: Can Bananas Be Grown From Seeds
Ice Cream is the best eating banana to grow in North Florida. In South Florida you will have no problem growing most varieties of bananas. An interesting question that crops up from time to time is: Are Bananas Man Made or Natural. Check the article to find the answer, you might be surprised.
Bananas will grow and produce best when they’re planted in fertile, moist soil and in a location that is protected from that receives full sun. Bananas need to be fertilized frequently as most soils in Florida are sandy with low fertility. Ever wondered: Do Bananas Grow On Trees. Read the article and see.
Bananas like plenty of water, about 1.5 inches of water per week to grow and fruit well, but don’t overwater as this can damage the plant. Did you know what a Banana is? Are Bananas a Berry a Herb or a Fruit & Why Are Bananas Curved? Find out by reading the article.
Carambola (Star Fruit)
Star fruit is an exciting exotic fruit to grow. It has been grown in Florida for over 100 years. Original varieties were tart but newer varieties are very sweet. They are best kept pruned as unpruned trees can grow as tall as 20 to 30 feet.
Best Star Fruit to grow in Florida are the sweet Golden Star, Fwang Tung, Arkin and Kary.
When it is ripe the star fruit is crisp and sweet. Slices of star fruit look like stars and so aptly names star fruit.
If you are wanting to grow star fruit from the seeds you gather in the fruit you will need to plant them within a few days. Any longer and the seeds will not germinate. However, the fruit coming from trees that are started with seeds tend to be tart and will take a few years to produce fruit. If you are wanting the sweeter fruits you will need to purchase a tree from a nursery.
Star fruit prefers the warmer temperatures and is best grown in South Florida. Star fruit is best panted in full sun and well-drained soil.
Fruits are ready around June to February and are sweetest when allowed to fully ripen on the tree.
If you are looking for the best variety to grow then check out the table below – Carambola (Star Fruit) varieties under South Florida conditions.
Star Fruit Varieties for Florida
Citrus trees grow well in Florida but, because they are a subtropical fruit, will need protection or covering in areas that experience regular freezing.
Among the best citrus fruits to grow in Florida are Oranges, Tangelos, Lemons and Limes, Key Lime, Grapefruit and Kumquat.
There are a number of varieties of Oranges that do well in Florida such as the Navel, Hamlin, Valencia, Hamlin, Ambersweet and Pineapple. The Navel is the most popular, however the Valencia is considered the ‘King of Juice Oranges’ because it has a bright orange sweet juice.
For those of you in North Florida the Hamlin and Navel Oranges are the most cold hardy, but may need some protection if temperatures get too low.
Orange Varieties and Season
Tangelos are an especially good grower in both North Florida and South Florida. The best Tangelo varieties suited to Florida are the Minneola and the Orlando. The flavor is not as sweet as an Orange as they are a cross between a Grapefruit and a Tangerine.
The Minneola variety are also known as Honeybell. Because Tangelos are not very self-fertile its best to grow them with other citrus trees such as Sunburst and Temple to ensure pollination.
Orlando Tangelos fruits are ready from November through to January and the Minneola fruits are ready from December to February.
- Lemons and Limes
Lemons are an acid fruit and prefer the warmer climate of South and Central Florida.
There is a variety called the Meyer Lemon which is cold hardy and can be grown also in North Florida. It ripens from November to March. It can also be easily grown in containers.
Lemons do best in a moist sandy loam soil. Being self-pollinating you do not need to have multiple plants.
- Key Limes
The Key lime does not tolerate cold very well and should only be grown in Southern Florida.
It has a more tart and bitter flavor than other Limes.
The Kumquat is a unique citrus fruit in that the whole fruit including the skin can be eaten. Its taste is either sweet or tart depending on the variety, and can be grown throughout most of Florida as it tolerates cold very well.
The best varieties to grow are the Nagami and Meiwa.
Figs grow very well in North and Central Florida. The best Figs to grow in Florida are the Common Figs as they do not require pollination.
There are four varieties of Figs, Common, Caprifigs, Smyrna, and San Pedro. However, Caprifigs, Smyrna and San Pedro Figs all require a special wasp not found in Florida for cross pollination. So best to stick with Common Fig.
Of the Common Fig, the three best cultivars are the Celeste, Brown Turkey, and Ischia.
If you choose to grow Figs, then make sure you plant the tree in a location that gets full sun all day. Don’t overwater as they do not like excessively wet soil, however, they will need plenty of water during the fruit season which is between July and October.
You will find a great deal more information on growing figs in Florida in the article: How To Grow Fig Trees In Florida. In this article you will learn the best varieties of Figs to grow and tips on how to grow in the Florida landscape.
Guava trees grow very well in Southern and Central Florida, but the colder temperatures of Northern Florida will kill this tree.
There are two basic types of Guavas grown in Florida, red or pink flesh types which are eaten when ripe and white flesh types which are eaten unripe when they are crispy and green.
Pink types that are available in Florida include Homestead (Ruby x Supreme), Blitch, Barbi Pink, Hong Kong Pink, and Patillo.
Green types include Lotus, Crystal, Supreme and Webber.
Guava trees like the warm tropical and sub-tropical conditions and the ideal temperatures for growth will range between 73°F to 82°F. Temperatures below 60°F will cause growth to cease.
Young guava trees may be killed when temperatures drop to 27°F to 28°F.
You can grow guava trees from seeds, but expect to wait 3 to 8 years for fruit if grown this way. Its faster to get a young plant from a nursery as fruit production will begin 3 to 4 years after planting.
You should plant your Guava trees in full sunlight. Shade will slow down growth. Guava trees will grow in most types of soils including sandy soils so common in Florida.
Check out the table below for the Guava varieties that grow well in Florida.
Guava Varieties in Florida
The Pink or red guava variety are usually eaten fresh and are generally picked when the peel turns light green to yellow. The fruit is then placed at room temperature and allowed to soften and ripen before consumption.
The White guava if eaten fresh is usually picked when full-sized and green to light green in color and consumed before the peel turns yellow and soft.
Both green and ripe guava may be stored in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days.
Jackfruit are best suited for warmer climates so North Florida will find it hard to grow Jackfruit unless trees are kept in a green house.
Mature Jackfruit trees can survive temperatures of 27° F (-2.8 ° C) in Florida; however, young Jackfruit trees are likely to die when temperatures are below 32° F (0 ° C). So Jackfruit is definitely for South Florida.
Jackfruit varieties that grow well in Florida are Cheena, Black Gold, Cochin, Chompa Gob, Golden Nugget, Dang Rasimi, Honey Gold, Lemon Gold, J-30, J-31, Ns-1 and Tabouey.
I recommend you take a look at these two articles to help you choose the best Jackfruit varieties to grow: Which Jackfruit Is Best and Best Jackfruit Varieties. You will learn the taste and flavor of each variety along with important information about which are easiest to grow.
When growing Jackfruit trees they should be planted in full sun. Helpful information on growing Jackfruit can also be found in these three articles: Can Jackfruit Grow in California, Growing Jackfruit in Texas and How To Grow Jackfruit In Florida
If you have never tried Jackfruit before then you might be keen to know what it tastes like. You might like to check out this article: What Does Jackfruit Taste Like to see a detailed description of what to expect when biting into your first Jackfruit.
if you are ready to plant a tree, or already have a Jackfruit tree planted and want to know when your Jackfruit is ripe or how to ripen Jackfruit if you pick them early then check out these two helpful articles: How To Ripen Jackfruit and When Is Jackfruit Ripe
You can also freeze your Jackfruit if you have a tree that produces well. Take a look at this article to help you know how: Can You Freeze Jackfruit
Japanese Persimmom will grow and fruit well in North, Central Florida and South Florida. North and Central Florida can grow both the astringent and non-astringent types however, South Florida growers will do best with the astringent types.
Ripe Japanese Persimmon fruits have a texture that is smooth and a flavor that is mild. In Florida, the fruits will generally ripen and be ready to eat from late summer through fall.
If you grow the astringent variety, they will have an unpleasant flavor if picked unripe. They need to be ripened fully to the point of having a soft and almost jelly-like flesh. The non-astringent types are good to eat when they still have an apple like crunch or when they are fully ripe.
These trees can grow to 20 to 30 feet so they will need to be pruned if you want to keep them to a smaller manageable size.
Japanese Persimmon like to be planted in full sunlight with a well-drained soil that is slightly acidic or neutral. They need to be watered regularly but can withstand a little drought. Water them with small but regular doses.
The persimmon fruit are yellow-green to red or orange in color and are round to oval in shape, with a sweet, slightly tart fruit having a soft to occasionally fibrous texture.
Because the birds and other animals love to also eat these fruits you will need to be quick to harvest them when they become ripe.
You will find Japanese Persimmon to be a trouble free tree with little to no pests and diseases.
Longan fruit is a relative of the Lychee fruit and is very sweet and juicy to eat. It grows well in Southern Florida as it likes the warm tropical and subtropical climates. However, those of you in Northern Florida will find it difficult to grow without a large enough greenhouse.
The best and most planted variety of Longan in Florida is the Kohala variety. Other varieties grown in Florida include Edau (Daw), Chompoo, Haew, and Biew Kiew, but the Kohala is superior and accounts for 99% of Longan fruit grown in South Florida. The fruit of the Longan are round, with a smooth peel that is light brown, and a pulp that is semi-transparent (translucent).
Longans fruit harvest season in South Florida starts from the middle of July and continues on to early September. Expect blooming to begin from February or March and continues through to early May.
Longan trees need to be planted in full sunlight and prefer sandy, well-drained soil. Young planted trees need to be watered regularly. Trees will begin to bear fruit 3 to 4 years after planting and only need to be watered regularly in spring and summer and when flowering and bearing fruits. These are hardy trees and experience few diseases.
Fruit is ready to harvest around August. The peel will be a deep tan, but the best ripeness indicator is pulp sweetness. Once removed from the tree, the fruit will not ripen further.
Longan varieties in Florida.
The Lychee tree is a subtropical fruit tree that is beautiful in appearance with bright green glossy leaves and bright red juicy fruit, with a delicious sweet but slightly acidic flavor.
The fruit is easily peeled, revealing a sweet, juicy, white flesh which surrounds a single, large, glossy brown seed. These trees are very decorative when bearing fruit. They make not only a great tasting fruit but a tree that will enhance any backyard. They will need constant pruning however, if you want to keep them smaller as they can grow to 30 or 50 feet, but only after many years.
Because Lychee likes the warmer temperatures it is best grown in Southern Florida.
Lychee (Litchi Chinensis) can be easily grown in full sun, and like a deep, fertile, well-drained soil. The lychee tree should be planted in a location where it is protected from strong winds, as strong winds can topple this tree. Some suitable locations for planting this tree are near a patio, as an accent in the lawn or in a shrub border.
Lychee must be picked ripe when they are at their sweetest as they will not ripen off the tree.
The best varieties for fruit production in Florida are the Mauritius, Brewster, Sweet Cliff, Kwai Mi and Kate Sessions. The best month for fruit is June with lighter supplies in May and July. Check the table below.
Lychee flowers are pollinated by bees so having a single lychee tree should set acceptable amounts of fruit. However, it has been discovered that planting more than one variety of Lychee tree can increase fruit yield due to cross pollination.
Sometimes Rambutan and Lychee get mistaken for each other as they look very similar. Take a look at this article to see the differences: Are Rambutan and Lychee The Same. In fact we like Rambutan so much that you might find the flavor of the fruit better than Lychee. You can grow the fruit in Florida as they generally like the same conditions as Lychee. For the taste and flavors of Rambutan please take a look at this article: What Does Rambutan Taste Like.
The Lychee tree has less cold tolerance than orange but more than mango, so coastal areas in Southern Florida do best. Young Lychee trees can be damaged at temperatures of 28° to 32°F (-2° to 0°C)
Table: Characteristics of selected Lychee varieties in Florida.
The best climates for growing Lychee and ensuring a good fruit production will have a dry, cold (but nonfreezing) winter; a warm spring; a hot and humid summer for fruit growth; and moderately warm temperatures during the fall period. Periodic rainfall during summer and spring is also ideal for the Lychee tree.
The Mamey Sapote can only be grown in South Florida as it is a tropical tree and will die in colder regions.
The flesh of the fruit is red in color with a taste like a sweet potatoe with a dash of almond. The texture of the fruit is much like an avacado.
There are a number of different varieties and In Florida, ‘Pantin’ is the most common, while ‘Magana’ is the next in importance. The Table below shows the characteristics of different varieties found in Florida. Different varieties will produce fruit at different times of the year and planting of three to four different varieties may suffice to have mature fruit year-round (e.g. Pace, Tazumal, Magana, and Pantin).
The Mamey Sapote will grow well in a variety of well-drained soils, from limestone and sandy soils to heavy clays. They do not like constantly wet or flooded soil conditions, so don’t overwater them.
South Florida is an ideal place to grow sweet delicious Mangoes. There are a number of Florida friendly varieties available such as the Edward, Glen, Hayden, Carrie, Bombay, Graham, Julie, Irwin and Van Dyke.
Some of the newer Florida friendly varieties for home growers you might like to try are the Cogshall, Angie, Fairchild, Nam Doc Mai, and Rosigold.
The best variety for the Florida home growers are the Fairchild and Gold Nugget with their excellent flavor and very good disease resistance.
If you are in North Florida, you can still grow Mangoes, but you will need the smaller Mango tree varieties that you can grow in a pot and bring it in doors during the colder months. Don’t despair though as many of the pot varieties are very excellent in flavor such as the Fairchild Mango.
Mature Mango trees can tolerate temperatures as low as 25°F (-3.9°C) for a few hours. However, young trees may be killed at 29°F to 30°F (-1.7°C to -1.1°C), so make sure you either plant in a pot indoors or in a warmer outside climate.
If you plan to grow a Mango tree then choose a healthy nursery tree. You should find that a good nursery Mango tree is grown in 3-gallon containers, and that the tree should stand about 2 to 4 feet.
Plant the tree in direct full sunlight, and will need occasional pruning, fertilization, and treatment for pests.
Depending upon the Mango variety, the fruit can be harvested from May through August, so making this sweet treat available to enjoy right through summer.
Papaya tees grow well in South and Central Florida, but can also be grown in North Florida if kept in containers indoors.
Florida friendly varieties of Papaya include Maradol, Red Lady, Tainung No. 1 and various Solo-types.
Since Papaya trees can be female, male or a combination of both it is best to plant at least a couple of Papaya plants near each other to ensure pollination.
Papaya trees will grow and fruit best in places where temperatures are warm to hot (70°F–90°F; 21°C –32°C). You will need to also keep in mind that Papaya trees are damaged or killed with temperatures below 31°F (-0.6°C). So, in colder regions and during colder times of the year you would be better to grow your Papaya tree, such as a dwarf tree, in containers so that they can easily be moved indoors when temperatures fall.
Papaya trees should be planted in full sunlight and can tolerate many well drained soil types such as sands, loams and rocky soils.
Like apples, peaches require a number of chill hours to set fruit, so do well in North and Central Florida, but not so well in South Florida.
Florida friendly varieties of peaches include FloridaCrest, Floridaprince, Sunbest, FlordaGlo, UF Gem, and UF Sun, UFGold and UF Best.
Florida Glo is a very popular peach tree that will grow in Florida. Because It requires only 150 chill hours, it can be grown in the lower central part of Florida.
Check the Table below for the chill hours of various Florida friendly varieties of Peaches.
Florida friendly Pineapples are the Del Monte Gold (also called MD2) and the Tropical Gold. Smooth Cayenne was previously one of the most common varieties grown in Florida and can still occasionally be found.
Other less common varieties include Sugarloaf, Red Spanish, Singapore Spanish, Green Spanish and Queen.
Pineapples are seedless and will propagate from a crown or top. It is very easy to start your own pineapple plant by saving the top section (called the crown) of a pineapple you have bought in a store. Plant the Pineapple top 3 to 4 inches deep in good potting soil in a well-drained container.
Pineapples are fairly drought tolerant but do best when watered during dry periods.
Pineapples prefer warm temperatures whereas temperatures below 28 degrees Fahrenheit will kill a pineapple plant. If you live in colder regions then you will need to protect pineapple plants from frost or bring containers inside to avoid freeze damage.
You will have a home grown ready to eat Pineapple about 18 to 32 months after you plant the top or crown. When it smells ripe and the outside peel has changed from green color to golden brown, it is ripe and ready to be picked and eaten!
Pomegranates get a lot of attention as a ‘Superfood’. And rightly so as they have a lot of beneficial effects on the body.
Pomegranates will grow well in North, Central and South Florida. In South Florida you have the advantage of producing fruit all year round, and in North Florida you will produce fruit from July to November.
Depending on the variety you grow, Pomegranate arils range from tart/tangy to very sweet.
Florida friendly Pomegranate varieties include: Al-sirin-nar, Girkanets, Kazake, Wonderful and Medovyi Vahsha. Additionally, Christine and Salavatski are popular with Florida home garden growers.
Pomegranates need moist, deep, slightly acidic soil for best fruit production and growth. They will need watering every 7 to 10 days during drier and drought periods.
If you plant your tree in full Sun you will get more fruit than planting it in a shady area. Since Pomegranate trees are self-pollinating, you will only need one tree in order to get fruit.
Regions with cool winters and hot, dry summers produce the best quality pomegranate fruit.
Tamarind is a tropical tree with fruits that mature from April through July in South Florida. These trees can live for 200 years and reach 100 feet tall. But generally, they grow much smaller.
Tamarind fruit trees should be grown only in full sun in frost-free regions on moist, fertile, sandy soil. They can be grown from seeds which readily germinate or from cuttings.
Tamarinds have a hard shell and inside the fruit tastes much like a sweet prune.
Blueberries are really a shrub and not a tree as such, however they get a mention here because they really are so easy to grow and very hardy to different climate conditions.
Florida friendly varieties of blueberries: rabbiteye and southern highbush. If you are in North Florida grow rabbiteye blueberries, but if you’re in Southern Florida, choose the Southern Highbush variety.
Blueberries like well-drained, acidic soils pH 4.0 – pH 5.5) and do best in a sunny area. If your soil is too alkaline it can be acidified by mixing a small amount of granulated sulfur into the soil a few months before planting.
Because they need to cross-pollinate, you will need to plant two different varieties near each other. To make your blueberry plants stronger the following year and firmly establish them, during the first growing season, remove all the flowers before they turn into fruit.
The growing season in Florida for blueberries is between May and August. If your Blueberry leaves are turning red or purple take a look at the article: Why Are My Blueberry Leaves Turning Red for an explanation and solution.
Previously, most of the different blueberry varieties required 300-500 chill hours, but now there are some varieties that can produce berries with less than 150 chill hours.