Essential tropicals for limited space

Friend is buying a 3acre rocky, elevated tropical island wants me to plant it. Its got a house and is covered with trees, so full sunlight is at a premium. No hurricanes. Doesnt want old growth trees cut. list of essentials include.
Key Lime, meyers lemon, cherry tomatoes to go wild, chilis avocado, manioc, herbs, starfruit, mamey, anonnas of differimg types, breadfruit and mango if space available.
Any ideas for others a must have?


Cambuca and Green Sapote.

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This is a fun question.

Avocadoes and breadfruit are pretty big; mangoes can be even bigger so your friend might want to consider that when prioritizing space. Another problem with mangoes is their shade is super dense, so hard to grow anything underneath them.

Bananas and papayas are classic backyard fruits in Central America and the Caribbean. Papayas especially don’t take up much space and can produce repeatedly over a period of time.

Guavas are a nice small tree and can handle dry, rocky soil. I personally love them but the hard seeds are a turn-off for some.

Viny plants like passionfruit and pitaya could fit along fence lines or other in-between spaces.


Availability of water and annual rainfall pattern might help narrow down suggestions a bit. Some things can handle dry seasons better than others, for example.


The only thing I remember picking from under a mango tree is culantro leaf:)

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What is the fruit fly situation there? That will also affect what can be grown without a thorough pest control program, bagging individual fruit, or learning to live with maggoty mangos, guavas, papayas, etc.


Jackfruit, Bananas, Pineapples, Mangosteen, Sapodilla, Ross Sapote, Citrus, Jaboticaba,
Anonnas: Soursop, Atemoya, Rollinia, Cherimoya?

If it is really tropical, Durian, Marang, Dabai?, mmm.
Plus what was already mentioned above. A lot depends of the specific climate. Also you sure want to get a lot of small crops in like sweet leaf (katuk), yucca, taro, chaya, sweet potato or yam. etc.


Wondering about pests too,.but island might be isolated enough. Maybe existing fruit might have helped establish insect population…

There are many annonas, guanabana and Colombian small yellow species.
Its definitely tropical and imagine a low of 65. Off the e coast of pananma


They’ve developed a lot of dwarf mangoes recently like Pickering, Dwarf Hawaian, etc.
But I second bananas, carambola, papayas, maybe Tamarillos depending on the climate…


Hmm… must be a dwarfing rootstock for mango. In s.florida, i see the pruning of 8" wood to keep them in line…


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Good idea

Longan is one of my favorites

jackfruit, kwai muk, mangosteen, achacha, luc’s garcinia, imbe, pomelo, jaboticaba, pitomba, grumichama, pitangatuba, miracle berry (for the pitangatuba), soursop, rollinia deliciosa, durian, lychee, longan, ice cream bean (especially for the nitrogen fixation), white sapote, syzygium jambos…

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Nice additions and welcome:)

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