7a-8b The Carolinas, southern Virginia and northern Georgia/AL/MS

Just jumping on this regional idea. I think of this region as wet winters, common cedar rust infected, and common (at least 3 per year) 100F+ days in summer.

What’s everyone’s favorite variety of stone fruit, bramble, apple, pear, persimmon, kiwifruit, blueberry, etc for this region?


I just changed the title of this region to see if we can’t get some more activity going. @Chonas feel free to tweak the title some more.

In my part of 7B central NC Apples are hard to grow even with a spray program especially in a wet season

Peaches do well with moderate spray but frosts can be a problem. High chill hour varieties like Contender help with the frosts

Blackberries and Rabbiteye Blueberries do well with no fungicides required but SWD can be a problem

Which blackberry varieties do you like? Have you ever tried any southern high bush blueberries?

Also, psa for this region, it’s currently morel mushroom season.

My blackberries have been plagued by borers with very few canes unaffected this spring. I normally remove the affected ones, but there won’t be much left if I did that this year.

Are borers a problem for you? If so, how do you deal with them?

My rabbiteyes do well, but the freezes this spring hit them while in flower, so this year’s harvest may suffer.

Anyone growing hardy kiwi? Between the spring freezes zapping the early leaves and the Japanese Beetles eating the rest, I’m not sure they will ever come into production. They are now entering their third season.

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I’ll let you know in 3 years on my fuzzies and hardies. Only Geneva leafed early for me this year (Lord willing no more freezes coming). @kiwinut grows lots of kiwifruit varieties in this grow zone.

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I have found hardy kiwi to be extremely susceptible to spring frosts. In middle TN, they typically get frosted 2 out of every 3 years, and the problem seems to be getting worse as spring arrives earlier and earlier, but our last frost is still in the first half to middle of April (we are expecting a freeze this coming Saturday night). As the vines mature, they will keep more reserve buds dormant, and those can push and flower if the first wave gets frosted. They also will slowly adapt and leaf out a bit later each year as they mature. However, it can take many years for them to get to that stage, and possibly as long as a decade if you are in a bad “frost pocket”. The tetraploid A. chinensis are much better adapted to zone 7-8 than hardy kiwi. They leaf out a bit later than hardy kiwi, and tolerate winter warm spells much better than fuzzy kiwi, but they tend to be all or nothing regarding bloom. I’ve never seen them push out a second wave of shoots with flowers after a freeze.

I have a female A. melanandra that leafs out 1-3 weeks later than my argutas. It’s the latest kiwi I have grown. It’s not very vigorous, but once it eventually blooms, I will cross it with arguta (and chinensis) and see if I can get some later breaking hybrids. Without new late breaking varieties, hardy kiwi will always be restricted to optimal sites with lower frost risks, unless you are very patient.


Illinois ever bearing mulberry, O’Neal blueberry are my top producers. I also have high hopes for a waneta plum that is a very late blooming graft I did last year. My native American plums also avoid late frosts and appear to be disease resistant. Finally I have three peach seedlings that are likely third generation seedlings from a contender that appear to avoid mid season frosts. We will see if they avoid brown rot this year, they are loaded with drupes.


kiwinut - Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience with hardy kiwi. I guess it’s good to know that I’m not the only one losing early spring growth each year to frost/freeze.

It sure is disappointing to go into the garden and find that 90% of the kiwi leaves are dead after a freeze. There are always buds in reserve that will make it through the season, but I can’t help but wonder how much more growth the plants would have had without these spring setbacks. Eventually they will produce, but as you said, it may take a while…

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“What’s everyone’s favorite variety of stone fruit, bramble, apple, pear, persimmon, kiwifruit, blueberry, etc for this region?”

Fun question!

Let’s see. Blueberries, I can grow any kind in my area, I’ve found. I’m still looking for my favorite for taste. I don’t like the rabbiteyes I have as much as the others. Sunshine Blue tastes very good and is the easiest to grow.

Bramble: Cherokee blackberry, definitely. And Caroline and Anne raspberries. The tayberries, loganberries, etc, hate the heat here and die for me.

Pears: Ayers! And Moonglow is good, too. That’s all I’ve fruited here so far.

Tart cherries and Canadian cherries all do great and taste great, but the birds are insane for them, lol. My sweets haven’t fruited yet.

Apricots: only Montrose is making enough due to frost in my orchard.

Redskin peach has been reliable and great. Elberta is actually just as reliable here. Hale Haven is more frost prone but definitely tasty. Springcrest is a tasty early peach but not particularly late blooming.

Bruce plum definitely is a reliable plum! Like crazy reliable. It’s tasty unless it doesn’t get our sun (I’m in the Piedmont).

@BerryGuy Which hardy kiwi cultivars do you grow? I suspect some A. arguta cultivars are more likely to fruit after late frosts than others. I’ve grown Meyer’s Cordifolia for 9 years now and didn’t get any fruit until year 6. But I added Issai and Anna 4 years ago and they both started fruiting in their second year, even after significant dieback from late frosts. I chose Cordifolia based on flavor after a visit to Edible Landscaping when their hardy kiwis were fruiting and available to sample, but Issai and Anna have proved much better adapted to my growing conditions.

Rabbiteye blueberries have been very productive for me. My favorite for taste has been Yadkin. My mid-to-late ripening cultivars (Tifblue, Onslow) haven’t tasted as good as the others for me, and I suspect it’s because I don’t water them and by the time they’re ripening it’s getting pretty hot. The southern highbush types I’ve planted haven’t grown as well - they seem much more particular about soil conditions. I’ve grafted O’Neal to rabbiteye, and it grows much better that way but hasn’t fruited yet.

My most reliable Asian persimmon is Tecumseh. The largest and best quality fruit has been Giombo.

My favorite Asian pear is Shin Li. My only European pear to fruit for me so far has been Magness, and it’s great, but I don’t have anything to compare it to yet.

My most productive and best tasting jujube has been Honey Jar.

My favorite mulberry for taste has been Oscar.

My most productive muscadine has been Lane. Supreme has had larger and a bit tastier fruit, but not by much.

I’ve been happy with my pineapple guava production along the south and west side of my house. They seem fairly resistant to late frosts, but in particularly cold winters they’ve lost all their leaves and not fruited the following year. The only named cultivars I’ve tried are Apollo and Mammoth. They’re both good, but no better than the best of my seedlings. The seedlings seem to vary significantly in fruit size and productivity, but they’re all tasty too.

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I have Issai, Anna and a male, all from Edible Landscaping. Good to know that Anna and Issai have done well for you. Last year my Anna and the male had a few flowers, but no fruit. Maybe this year I’ll get a small sample despite the frost and JBs.

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All the Arkansas floricane Blackberry varieties do well. They all taste similar to me but Ponca fruits for the first time this year. Testing a few Galaxy and Eclipse too. Expect their flavor will be very different from the Arkansas Blackberries. Hope they do not ripen too late.

We have tested quite a few SHB which are hard to grow in my area even with lots of pine bark and a low PH. Legacy grows the best but frost damage has been a big problem most years. My SHB produce about 1/4 of what the Rabbiteye produce.

Probably replace the SHB with Elderberries if they do not improve. Testing 8 varieties of Elders now

7b Georgia. Most my plantings are young but so far:

All Arkansas blackberries do well except PAF freedom which gets cane dieback from cold.

Rabbiteye blueberries

Chicago hardy fig
Calmondin (with protection from freezing)

Eggplant, okra, trombocino squash

Tried and failed with rhubarb, currant, gooseberry, honeyberry

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I also failed with rhubarb in 7b. Gooseberries do well with afternoon shade. Also do well planted under muscadines where they are mostly shaded by the time the heat of summer arrives, which works out great because their growth is early in the season.


I’m Northern Virginia, so a bit of an intruder in this thread, but for rhubarb you definitely want to try the Victoria variety in the warmer zones. I know Gurney’s and others claim they have great new varieties for the heat, but Victoria has proven itself for warmer areas and I’ve kept it alive and producing here while I’ve watched other varieties I tried get smaller each year and then disappear.


@GeorgiaGent @haldog @Marvin72
Any good fruit related stuff In Atlanta Georgia

I looked into some Arboretums (stone Mountain )
Which says it still has old Native Chestnuts
(and a old Osage orange tree)

Some type of fruit belt trail

God willing I already have my plane ticket
(I also posted this off topic, but some users have no access
(I do after over 2 years)

I also like rock music or billiards pool places
if there are any bars , and bicycle riding,

I guess I could check the DNR for Hiking forest preserves
but not sure which site would be best.

(edit in quick I have to go, but I wish they put the cities on the map below.

Even telling me what parks are close to Atlanta does very much help
as I do not have much time fiddling with it,

The Urban Food Forest at Browns Mill is 3 years old now, so the fruit may not be ready yet, but might be interesting.

The Atlanta Botanical Gardens has an edible section that has some varieties, but most of us have seen or grown these. The fun part is the layouts (espalier, hedging) that you can see there.

Zoo Atlanta has Figs, Feijoa, Blackberries hidden around .

Sweetwater Creek is probably the closest State Park, but I’ve never actually gone to that park, so not sure what’s there.

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Oh Atlanta is way up there

I could not figure out GA DNR map (why not list towns)
(our DNR for IL. got redone they ruined the site I use way back for the old, but takes a bit to reload.)_

Anyways Thanks a bunch