Bulletproof Stone Fruit for the Deep South/Gulf Coast - Zone 8b

Hey everyone! Newbie here. I’m planting fruit trees and edible perennials in south Mississippi about 50 miles from the gulf coast. Soil seems to be a silty sand with a bit of clay. Poplarville Area.

I’m trying to build up food security and grow as many varieties of fruit as I can. Because I’m not always at my cabin all the time, I’m looking for fruit trees that will do well without much babying. Ive used a lot of compost and mulch and remineralized the soil with rock dust and some other amendments. Trying to keep it simple and pretty natural.

So far I’ve got a couple dwarf mulberries, figs, Fuyu persimmons, arbequina olives, pear trees, top grafted Anna and golden Dorset apples onto wild crab apples.

I’m really trying to find resilient and disease resistant stone fruits.

Trees I’ve planted in the last 2 years:

2 Santa Rosa plums (both suffering some leaf scorch I think)
1 burgundy plum - grown better than Santa rosa gave me 4 fruit that are ripe this week (they split in recent rains but man they packed some flavour)
2 June gold peaches
2 Florida king peaches
1 Florida Prince
1 Ne plus Almond (surprisingly growing great so far)
1 non pareil almond (suffering some die back)
1 methley plum (died in the drought last year)
2 unnamed Chickasaw plums
2 unnamed American Plums
2 seedling peaches

Any low maintenance recommendations that have consistently grown well for you over the years?

Thanks in advance!

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First let me say welcome to the forum. Second how far away is the cabin from where you normally live? The longer the distance the harder it is going to be to manage the orchard you have and the more you will need to pick fruits that require less care.

Stone fruits are not low maintenance fruits in general. You can reduce the effort needed to keep them by choosing good cultivars that have some disease resistance. For example in peaches Glohaven and Elberta have some resistance to brown rot which helps you avoid losing peaches.

Brown rot makes growing stone fruits challenging as well as insect pests like plum curculio. Most growers end up spraying for brown rot and many cases for insects as well. How many times a year are you willing to spray-none, 1-2, 3-4, or more? I don’t think no spray peaches are possible in Mississippi. It is possible to have no spray peaches in arid regions with low humidity Summers but that isn’t my situation or yours.

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Agree stonefruit do require significant almost at times daily if not weekly attention, if curculio is involved you need to consult someone with successful experience. That’s not me, but you can probably grow apples and pears or all the berries and mulberries you may want with ease. I would not add stonefruit trees until you see how these do! Maybe add some varieties by grafting if you find some more insect resilient. BTW what variety of dwarf mulberry do you have, and how are they doing for you?
Dennis
Kent wa

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Thanks for the warm welcome! I will live at the cabin. But I may sometimes be away for weeks or months at a time for work.

Have Thai dwarf and dwarf everbearing mulberries as well as some barefoot native red mulberries.

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Bulletproof stone fruit don’t exist, especially not in the deep South.

That being said, people often experience a bit of a grace period before pest pressure really starts to build up. The first five years or so you might be ok without doing extensive spraying. Eventually though, you will have to have a thorough spray regime if your want to keep those trees. That grace period also means that there are a lot of people who “grow” no spray stone fruit and post about it on YouTube and Permies and other social media claiming it can be done. Such people almost always suddenly go quiet about their great no spray success after a few years, especially if they’re in the South. Eventually, you’ll get some combination of brown rot, PC, black knot, Japanese beetles, SWD, rust, scab, aphids, late frosts, scorch, canker, borers, leaf spot, mites, powdery mildew, codling moth, tent caterpillars, psyllids, stink bugs, apple maggots, squirrels, armillaria, oriental fruit moth, deer, root rot, racoons, mockingbirds, phytophthera, root knot nematode, etc. The list goes on and on and on and on.

But if you’re on the Gulf Coast, then you’re either 8b or 9a at this point (check the new USDA map, they updated it this year). You’ve got a lot of options for stuff that isn’t a pest and disease black hole like stone fruit are. Figs, rabbiteye blueberries, blackberries, perhaps subtropical raspberries, raspberry/blackberry hybrids (tayberry is a great one), Asian persimmons, American persimmons, hybrid persimmons, mulberries, pineapple guava, muscadines, some kiwis, jujube, maybe clove currant, passion fruit, some subtropical fruits, some of the weird rare solanums, loquat, annual strawberry varieties, and of course the hardier edible citruses like satsumas, Thomasville citrangequat, Changsha mandarin, and perhaps kumquats.

You could probably grow every fruit on that list for less work than a few stone fruit trees in my jaded opinion.

If you must have stone fruit in the deep South, Chickasaw and Chickasaw hybrids are the best option. There are some threads here specifically for that, Marcus O’Toole is the Chickasaw guru here.

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I grow Guthrie, Odom, Drag Queen, Robusto, and Toole’s heirloom Chickasaw hybrids along with unimproved Chickasaw, spring satin plumcot, and another seedling plumcot, in zone 8a west central Georgia. This is year 9 of growing them along with peaches, pears, muscadines, apples, blueberries and pawpaws. By far the easiest to grow are pawpaws. The easiest stone fruit is Robusto. The aphids that relentlessly attack Guthrie leave it alone. Rarely gets brown rot. No black knot. Sets very heavily most years. Plum curculio prefer any other stone fruit over it. Downside-usually requires heavy thinning to get good tasting fruit, and the fruit often cracks.

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How big do your dwarfs grow? Have they fruited yet?

Thanks for the thorough response. My sympathies for your hard times with stone fruits. Thanks for the warnings.

I think I’ll stick with some Chickasaws and wild hybrids and then do other fruits like you listed. According to the new USDA map I’m just within zone 9a but got a 15F freeze this past winter so I still consider myself 8b. My neighbor’s satsumas and Meyer lemons all froze back to root stock. I’m originally from New Orleans so I’m going to miss in ground citrus. I’m curious to check out some of the rarer citrus you listed, I haven’t heard of.

I’ve got about 15 rabbit-eye with a few southern high bush blueberries planted but they all look like they’ve suffered drought stress since I haven’t been around to water them despite planting them with good compost and mulch. Unless they’ve all got leaf scald/scorch or shock cuz the leaves are unevenly burnt. They’re newly planted this year so I’m gonna wait and see.

Do you or anyone else have experience with pawpaws in the coastal plain? I’ve seen pawpaws growing a good bit in the piedmont area around Auburn, AL, or in Appalachia but I don’t see any or hear much about pawpaws further south than that. I’ve planted a bunch this year that I got from multiple nurseries. Some named, some wild types. All in partial to deep shade, growing but they’re all still small. Wondering if anyone has had success growing good fruiting pawpaws near the Gulf. Any tips very appreciated.

Thanks!

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Thanks for the tip about Robusto. I wonder if pawpaws would do as well down but the gulf as they do for you in 8a. Are you on red clay or sandier soil. The little bit of pawpaws I’ve seen have been in Auburn, AL on red clay.

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I’m definitely on red clay. For several years I’ve added 6+ inches of fresh leaves to the top of the soil, which has slowly decomposed and improved the soil a bit. No idea how PawPaws, or really anything else, do on sandy soil.

I second the suggestion to get in touch with @coolmantoole, as he grows fruit in zone 8b, with I believe much sandier soil.

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You can easily still do in ground citrus, just think outside the box a little. I’m in North Carolina and have 17 in ground and have no die back ever. I did however lose almost all Nagami kumquats last Christmas. Just use Christmas lights and get a smart outdoor plug that turns them on when the temps get into the 20s or low 30s. A roll of frost cloth is almost free (the bags are pricey however). Just plant them against a wall or house or structure. My mother was 8a until the updated map and she has an Owari by their shop, no protection, no die back. So it can easily be done, just takes some planning and/or prep. Also will likely be long term way less work than stone fruit, since you never need to spray citrus, just protect them half a dozen to a dozen nights a year usually

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The USDA zone is based on a 30-year average, so it’s completely normal to have 15 F winter lows in 9a. My thinking is, you have various chores and tasks for growing fruit, planting, fertilizing, weeding, watering, pruning, etc. All of which take time and money to some extent or other. I might as well include “winter protection” to that list of chores and tasks. Just like pruning, it’s some menial activity and physical labor I have to perform a few times a year and for which I need a one-time investment of a few bucks in equipment (pruning sheers and a ladder vs frost cloth and Christmas lights). Compared to weed control and pruning/trainingt/rellising/tying up, winter protection is a pretty minor gardening chore for me. An added bonus is it’s a chore that’s done in the winter when I’m not otherwise busy, and in the evening when I’m home from work. And in your climate, you might not even need to do it every year, and having a frost cloth handy might end up saving your stone fruits from late frosts some years as well. I’d say go for it. Between Xie Shan, St. Anne, and Owari type satsumas, you could have a several-months long mandarin harvest.

I’d wager that’s the issue. Either soil pH and organic matter isn’t where it needs to be yet, or more likely their roots just aren’t well settled yet. I’ve always fall-planted my blueberries.

I’ve not grown them myself (yet), but there were a handful of wild ones at my parent’s place when I was a kid. They grew both at the forest margin and deep in the woods, with the one at the margin producing more fruit. Not only coastal planes, that whole forest is deep, deep sand on a slope, there’s basically no water or nutrients and all the trees top out at about 50 ft.

That being said, those were just the local wild pawpaws. They did not fruit much and had very small fruits. I think most of the selected varieties are both from further north and from regions with heavier soils.

My guess as to the best thing to do for yours is to keep them well mulched, give them rich soil and ample fertilization, water them well the first few years, and keep them in the shade until they start fruiting. Once they start fruiting, you can start pruning away the shade and giving them more and more light. That’s what I’m planning to do once I get around to getting some pawpaws myself. And just be patient, pawpaws are very slow to establish and can be pretty slow growing and reluctant to fruit for quite a while.

Granted, all fruit and berries take lots of patience. It takes a long time for fruiting to start, and the first round or two or fruiting are almost always subpar. Even fast stuff like blackberries don’t really reach normal productivity and flavor until they’ve been in ground for three years or so. But on the scale of blackberries to pecans, pawpaws probably favor pecans.

This 10X. Zone-pushed dwarf citrus are pretty darn low-maintenance. Nothing is plant-and-forget, but my citruses have been very low effort so far, and I’m a half-zone colder than you at least. Ok, maybe feijoa are close to plant-and-forget, I think so far they’re the lowest maintenance fruiting plants I have, but the citruses aren’t much more work.

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I don’t have experience with PawPaws, so I’m not the one to ask about them.

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Good points. My cabin is fully in the country so no warming benefit of being in a town. And my orchard is a good 200ft from my cabin. I’m giving citrus a try though. I’ve got 2 Meyer lemons and an owari satsuma in ground I took from cuttings so no hardy trifoliate orange rootstock, though I have some seedling trifoliates growing to be used as rootstocks. I’ll likely get rolls of frost cloth like you recommend.

I really appreciate your list of hardy varieties and rarer fruit types.

Are there more fruit varieties or species you know of that you could add to the lists for zone 8b/9a?

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If you are pretty remote then you can take advantage of using big black barrels of water around your citrus to store heat overnight. It’s a method that doesn’t work as well in places like the PNW where their winter day/night differences are smaller and their sunlight is weaker, but in the South it works quite well–just be sure to cover both the tree and the barrel so that the stored heat doesn’t just blow away (I think some people use multiple layers of frost cloth for better and more consistent protection. I’ve also used cardboard, straw, and tarp with good results, though that’s not something you can just leave on the tree.).

Keep in mind that Meyer lemon is considerably less hardy than Owari. Meyer is hardy for a lemon (well, technically it’s not a true lemon, but anyway…). Own roots is useful in that if they freeze to the ground they’ll grow back true. I’ve seen arguments both ways as to if trifoliate rootstock adds any hardiness. I don’t have evidence either way myself.

Oh, it’s a long list. I’ll start with the list I gave earlier and include more details and expand it a bit.

Figs, perhaps one from each “flavor group.” If you have root knot nematodes then LSU Purple is one you’ll want as it’s considered resistant. If you have them real bad you could probably graft other figs unto LSU Purple rootstock (it’s extremely vigorous, even for a fig, so that would probably help too). Alma, Celeste, Brown Turkey, Smith, Chicago Hardy, Hunt, and
Hollier are the classic varieties for the south. Most of the LSU figs are solid choices as well, and there are a decent number of other varieties that, while less commonly grown, are worth considering, such as the Adriatic types, Colonel Littman’s Black Cross, Verdelino, Yellow Long Neck, Atreano, Olympian, Mt. Etna’s beyond just Hardy Chicago, and Ondata. Avoid bad splitters and super late figs like Black Madeira, Craven’s Craving, and many of the CDD figs.

Rabbiteye blueberries. Whichever ones best fit your chill hours. Try to have early, mid, and late varieties. If you have an especially good blueberry spot, you can try some southern highbush, but there’s no guarantee they’ll do well. Plant in late summer/fall.

Blackberries. U of Arkansas varieties were bred for the South, so I’d lean towards those. Thornless are easier to manage, but birds and deer strongly prefer them too. My overall favorite so far is the thorny monster called Kiowa, especially when dead ripe, but Prime Ark Freedom has a lot going for it with primocane fruiting and all that. If/when I get Ponca perhaps my ranking will change.

Subtropical raspberries. Mysore raspberry is the only one I have experience with. It is root hardy but I’ve not gotten it to overwinter well enough to crop yet. Despite the thorns, it’s very easy to manage because it’s so upright and erect.

Raspberry/blackberry hybrids. Again, I’ve only got much experience with Tayberry, but I really like it. It takes the heat way better than a true raspberry, it’s very fast growing, thorny so the deer and birds don’t ravage it, and tastes great with both excellent flavor and good sweetness. Loganberry is pretty well-regarded, but I’ve consistently heard it’s very much on the tart side of things.

True raspberries. I’m testing out Bababerry this year, I’m really hoping it does well. Raspberries in the South need part shade, and in general are short-lived. Earlier varieties that ripen before the heat really sets in will have better flavor and the drupes will be properly filled.

Asian persimmons, American persimmons, hybrid persimmons. There’s a lot of variety to choose from. PVNA (coffee cake, chocolate), PCNA (Tam Kam, Fuyu), astringent (Saijo), hybrid (Rosseyanka), and American run the whole spectrum of flavors, textures, and ripening times.

Mulberries. I don’t have much insight here. They grow fast and taste good.

Pineapple guava, aka feijoa. There are newer varieties from NZ that are now available in the US that are well-regarded. This thing is so far my lowest maintenance fruit.

Muscadines and hybrids. I’ve had and really enjoyed Razzmatazz. It’s less strongly flavored, which is a plus or a minus depending on if you like the muscadine flavor, but overall it’s a very approachable and easy to enjoy fruit. Oh My! has gotten a lot of discussion on this forum, but I’ve never had it myself.

Kiwis, I also don’t have any insight on.

Jujube. Another really easy one with low maintenance. Avoid Lang as it is a drying variety for arid climates, not for fresh eating. The plant is drought tolerant but produces much better with rain/irrigation.

Che. There’s one particular user on this site who hates Che with a burning passion and has devoted his life to telling people not to grow it. Most other people on this site say it is mild but good to very good. Expect a few years of fruit drop. Deer absolutely love my plant, so be warned.

Clove currant may or may not be legal where you live. Check that first. It’s almost certainly the only current you’d have a shot at being able to grow near the gulf coast. Crandell is the variety most people have and enjoy.

Passion fruit. I don’t think you can grow standard P. edulis, but you can certainly grow the native maypop. Some people have varieties that they say are improved. I myself grow hybrid passionfruit. There’s a thread called Passionfruit in Zone 8 where I talk about those ones more.

Hardy guava. Psidium logipetulatum miiiiiight be hardy to zone 9. I grow Psidium cattleianum var littorea and really like it–it grows fast, set fruit at one year old, has no pest problems, and the fruit, which are ripe a few days after they detach from the tree, taste like a really good goldenberry/cape gooseberry. I think it’s hardy to like 20 F or something, but I’ve not tested it yet. It’s semi-hardy. Psidium robustom is another one that’s possibly semi-hardy.

Cherry of the Rio Grande is a semi-hardy Eugenia species that a lot of hobbyists grow.

Chilean wine palm should be hardy in your zone. I don’t know that you’ll live long enough to taste it, but that’s no biggie.

There are a bunch of unusual solanum species that folks grow. I’ve grown pepino dulce and litchi tomato and plan to grow them again. The latter might even be a semi-perennial for you. Other folks grow lulo, Brazilian sunberry, tamarillo, hardy tamarillo, etc. Feel free to search the forum, there’s a bunch of those things.

Loquat might not produce every year for you, but my guess is you’ll get fruit most years. Raleigh NC had loquats fruiting this year.

Myrcianthis pungens is looking like it might be hardy to zone 8. A few other guys on the forum and myself are growing them to test.

Technically some edible bananas will be root hardy for you. But you need the psuedostem to survive a winter to get fruit. Edible bananas are not as hardy as edible citrus, so you’d need a lot of protection. It can be done, but, well, it’s a lot of work just to get some bananas. Sure, some of the cold hardier ones taste better, are sweeter, and creamier, but you can get specialty bananas that are just as good at Whole Paycheck, Food Lion, or your local hispanic store. To me, bananas are not worth it.

Cape gooseberries are usually grown as an annual, but they’re also considered fruit, so I’ll include them here. There are two different species, and a lot of different varieties that range a lot in size, flavor, and sweetness. Since the genus is native to the east coast, there is a bit more pest pressure. Specifically, there’s some native fruit moth that lays eggs on the young fruitlets. The worm eats the developing fruit within the safety of the papery bag–you’ll never even know it’s there eating your prized fruit until it comes time for harvest and you find there’s a little hole in the bag and a bunch of worm poop where the fruit is supposed to be… It’s annoying as heck. The moth seems highly periodic, sometimes it destroys every stinking fruit, sometimes it doesn’t touch one. I think time of year makes a difference too. Also, you can totally overwinter cape gooseberries in pots indoors to get a jump start on next year’s harvest, which might also help with the moth, and I think the Hawaiian varieties actually need that long to produce fruit.

Strawberries are best grown as annuals in the south. Your state should have recommended varieties and guides.

Ok, Citrus time.

Satsumas. Xie Shan is probably the earliest, and is highly regarded for flavor as well. Owari is the classic Louisiana variety, can’t go wrong there. A lot of Owari bud sports and nucellar seedlings exist, such as Brown’s Select, Silverhill, and Kimbrough. They should taste similar and just have small differences in growth habit and ripening. I don’t know much about the other satsumas other than LA St. Anne being another very early one.

Thomasville is a kumquat x (trifoliate x sweet orange) that is a bit late ripening but extremely productive that tends to bloom and rebloom through the year and set new fruit. Because it is mostly used as a lime substitute, those later set fruit are generally still usable even though they wouldn’t fully ripen until late winter ordinarily. It’s supposed to be juicy, fragrant, and have just a few seeds. Fully ripe they apparently taste mostly like an orange with a bit of kumquat. It’s quite hardy. I’d protect it the first few years just so that it gets established faster, but you probably don’t need to if you don’t mind a little defoliation and die back.

Yuzu and sudachi are also well-regarded and cold hardy. They seem to do better in PNW winters than in Southern winters though.

Ten degree tangerine or clem-yuzu is fairly hardy and fairly decent. Stan McKenzie, a really good citrus nurseryman in upstate SC, recommends this one a lot. I recommend Stan a lot as he has a lot of stuff no one else has and his prices are really good. He’s a fun guy to talk to as well.

Ichange lemon is pretty hardy as well, though it’s not a true lemon.

Bloomsweet grapefruit is similarly pretty hardy, and similarly is not a true grapefruit.

Changesha is probably one of the hardiest ones so far on this list, with the exception of Thomasville. It is a true mandarin, and is sweet, but people usually say it is just ok as it is seedy and does not have much acidity.

Kumquats. While not very edible, Hong Kong kumquat is hardy to zone 7b if you can believe it. For edible kumquats, marumi is supposedly the hardiest, though I don’t know that there’s much any difference between them. Madison Citrus Nursery in GA is a great source for kumquats and most citrus on this list.

Trifoliate is of course completely hardy where you are. I’d argue it is also completely inedible, but to each their own. Sure, you can pick the fruits, squeeze some juice from the seedy, sticky, stinky mass, let it sit overnight in the fridge, drain off the juice from the sludge, mix the juice with water and sugar, and pretend it was worth the effort, but…

Dunstan. With the exception of pure trifoliate, Dunstan is the hardiest on this list. It’s a trifoliate x Duncan grapefruit. Of the 50% trifoliate hybrids, it’s the one people usually say is the best. The ones I have had, which were well-ripened and off of a fully mature tree, tasted great and were sweet-tart. The fruit is large and the seeds are all at the center of the fruit and easy to avoid. I think Stan is the only one who sells mature grafted Dunstan. Woodlanders sells Dunstan, but they are nucellar seed-grown, so it’ll take a half decade or so for them to fruit.

Ok, I think that’s enough from me.

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This is awesome. Thanks a lot. I imagine you’re growing most of these. Must have a veritable garden of eden.

Anything else you growing or plan to grow?

I’m open to zone pushing with things like Mexican avocado cultivars or Barbados cherry, but still exploring the potential options.

Or Have you see other lists like this on this forum or elsewhere for my zone?

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A lot of them, yes. Ha ha, once everything is mature, and all the landscaping and ecosystem improvement plantings have gotten where I want them. Granted by then I’ll hopefully have bought more land and started all over again.

I personally wouldn’t zone push avocado, but to each their own. Avocado is a fussy plant, and most varieties are very big trees, which makes them hard to zone push. And the end result is… you’ll have an inferior version of something available in every grocery store for less then a dollar. What’s perhaps more of a deal-breaker though, is both you and I are in the range of laurel wilt, which is a pretty significant disease of avocado and related species. But if you’re set on it, @swincher is the cold hardy avocado expert and has a long thread on cold hardy avocados in Seattle.

I do have Barbados cherries. They’re… meh. They fruit easily and ripen crazy fast, but the fruit is pretty boring. It’s decent, has some sweetness when fully ripe, but it’s small, seedy, and hasn’t impressed me in any way. Not all at cold hardy, but very easy to keep indoors over the winter (and drought deciduous, so you could probably just water very infrequently over the winter so it stays dormant inside and you wouldn’t have to worry about fungus gnats, spider mites, etc. but that’s just a theory, I’ve not actually tried it myself.). The cattley guavas I mentioned earlier have been much more fun to grow, and don’t defoliate nearly so easily in cool weather. I’ve got a few fruits from mine that are close to ripe, I can send you seeds of you like, they germinate easily.

I do realize Barbados cherries are famous for their vitamin C content. But vitamin C is probably the easiest nutrient to supplement, and really isn’t one that’s lacking in the modern diet, so growing it for it’s nutritional value is kinda pointless in my opinion.

I did forget to mention Myrcia rubra. But, well good luck getting a hold of that one. Last I saw, grafted plants were going for $200 and up each. Give it a few years for the supply to get going (it’s a very recent introduction to the US). I’d like to get some myself, but I think I’ll Wait a decade or so before doing so. Pawpaws are another that I’ll get eventually, but I want to get everything else where I want it first.

Oh, I also forgot to mention Goumi. That’s another really easy plant according to most people here. You might be warm enough to try the Indian species as well. Prickly pear is a less infrastructure heavy version of kiwi (well, I think they taste similar anyway). You might be able to grow the true Opuntia ficus-indica, the one they eat in Mexico.

For zone pushing, @Gkight has a lot of experience in a similar climate zone (but he’s on an island, so he’s cheating), and he grows a lot of stuff I don’t, like Plinia. Star fruit is relatively hardy, isn’t super big, and is sweeter when actually ripe, not like in the store. There are surely others. If you have or get a greenhouse, that changes things significant as far as what potted plants you can easily protect.

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I live about two hours north of Poplarville.

Blackberries do really well for me up here.

I have muscadines. They’re young, but seem happy so far.

I have two seto satsumas that survived in the ground this past winter when it got down around 10 degrees. I covered them, and I had some 5 gallon buckets of water under the covers as well with the lids on. They’re only a few feet from the southeast side of the house. The seto satsumas had some branch death, but they are growing. They didn’t flower this year. I don’t know if that is due to them being young, the temperature getting down around 10 degrees, or a mix of the two.

All of my edible plants are mounded, because I have a lot of clay soil.

An okay number of people in my neighborhood grow figs and pears.

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Wow, @a_Vivaldi , what a great pair of posts. Gonna bookmark them.

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I pretty much second everything @a_Vivaldi mentioned. I have two avocados in ground but they have been there 2-3 years and haven’t grown much, likely due to a few factors including some type of wilt and mainly them being fussy plants. If they die I doubt I’ll replace them with more avos. I’d venture to say Barbados Cherry is a zone 10 plant. I had two so I stuck one in ground and last winter was as mild as they come here (2 nights that dipped into the 20s) and the in ground one died. My potted one fruits profusely but the fruit is bland and as he mentioned also, vitamin C I’m not lacking for.

Starfruit I think I could keep alive in ground. With the fruit I get this year I’ll maybe grow out a couple seedlings to test them instead of risk my grafted tree. Problem with starfruit for me (pot also) is wind. I lost all my spring flowers due to a few windy days, they really hate it.

There are so many psidium and Eugenia varieties that I’m growing seeds of and will certainly stick some in the ground.

Has a lot of cool stuff that may grow well in your zone. I’m definitely trying a good amount of them haha

@a_Vivaldi oh btw I know someone who may have ordered one of those grafted Myrcia Rubra. Also some seeds of them. Pretty excited for it even took some yard and mulched it while on paternity leave

Lila right pancho left
From drought stress (year 1 & 2) sunburn (year 1) and some disease caused from a pine limb falling and breaking branches on both during a mild hurricane they have struggled until now. Finally I think I’ve learned enough about them to keep them alive long term. Until they get too large to protect but I plan to get another drum of water and move each one right beside them. So it can be done, but there is a curve, also I killed a Lila (it came really sick) and a Joey (didn’t water daily and sun killed it) so we will see. Pancho is by far the hardiest of the 3 varieties I’ve grown (due to leaf size being smaller and taking less dehydration from wind which is a real issue here) I don’t want to discourage you, because it’s satisfying having avos growing with minimal protection in NC however it won’t be without tribulation

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