Hello everyone I am very interested in growing fruit trees but before learning the hard way. I am asking for some support. First I live in the central coast of Florida and on a Barrier island surrounded by salt water. We have a Glen mango tree and banana trees that are growing and producing lots of fruit. Lots of fun, but problems with raccoons, Squirrels and Possums. I am growing in the ground and the location is full sun. The location gets a lot of wind during the winter. I am interested in growing apple trees,peach trees and cherry trees. Would this be possible and if so what will be my best choices? Thx
You need to figure out how many chilling hours you do get in the winters, and pick varieties that match your chilling hours. Dave Wilson Nursery and some others list the chilling hours required for each variety they sell. Other considerations include disease resistance, since I think your location have long humid/wet growing season, conditions that allow fungal and bacterial disease to flourish.
I have just started to read about chilling hours very helpful. I have ordered a Barbados cherry tree and it will be shipping tomorrow. As for an Apple tree I think I am not in a good area for growing. I have not looked at Dave Wilson’s sight but will check it out.Thx for the information!
I don’t know the geography of Florida a lot, but from your description I think you are on the tropical side with less chill hours. For peach/nectarine varieties, UFL has done a great job of introducing some low-chill varieties suited to FL. You can check these out here
Are you going to be growing in sand, or do you have real soil?
I would like it to a sandy soil. It’s got a lot of compost in it. After reading the UF link I am going to be looking at nectarine trees for central Florida. The chill hours of 45 degrees are only about 100 hours here.
@jeremymillrood @dutch-s i think you can give some great advice here on what works and what doesn’t in Florida.
Hi @Ftoop, for some fruits chilling hours are more important…Cherry trees, outside of the Barbado are going to be tough, but apples, peaches, pear and of course citrus will all grow down here.
I’ve found apples to be the toughest, more related to the humidity and soil conditions then chill hours. I’ve got an Anna and Dorsett in the ground now that are doing well, but I’ve had 6 or 7 others die on me…some times you have to experiment, chill hours aren’t always accurate, keep that in mind…@applenut for example has apples rowing in Africa…
My peach trees are all doing excellent, on one has fruited, the tropic snow ( I’d definitely recommend that one), but I feel like the others are close behind…They don’t produce huge fruit, but what they do is good…You can try Flordaking and Flordaprince if you can find them. Just Fruits and Exotics is pretty much sold out…You might want to also try some guava pineapple. I think it would do well there.
Are you on the Atlantic or the gulf coast? Either way, that far south I’d say the sub-tropicals will do much better, but it can’t hurt to give the others a shot. Good luck.
Hi thanks for the great suggestions. What nurseries do you like online. I have been looking at the Ana Apple so I will be giving it a try. I live in Hutchinson Island. Thx.
Lots of apple varieties you can grow, focus on disease-resistant Old Southern types like King David, Arkansas Black, Hunge, Rev. Morgan (Houston native), Dula’s Beauty, GoldRush. We have lots of clients in the Caribbean Islands and Hawaii, your chill is no problem, ignore the chilling hour ratings. I’m afraid however you’ll have the same problems with varmints.
Cherry of the Rio Grande may work there too.bb
I am looking at the Ana I have seen the Arkansas black what do you think? I am wondering if I need two trees for pollination?And if so should it be different varieties.And the varmints are a big problem I had to get rid of seven raccoons in my mango tree this season. And this morning it was my garbage can. I am sure they love apple’s and peaches as much as mangoes and bananas. Thx
With only 100 chill hours, Anna, Golden Dorsett, and tropic sweet are probably the best varieties.
Cherry of the Rio Grande is much better than Barbados cherry. It may take 4 or 5 years to produce since it will probably be grown from seed.
Just Fruits and Exotics nursery in Florida has several low chill peaches. Topic Snow and Tropic Beauty have good flavor and should only need 200 or so hours of chill. Maybe they would do ok.
I’ve purchased from this nursery in Lantana which is close to Palm Beach and It’s been a positive experience.
Brooding my Fascell mangoes to perfect ripeness indoors!
Looks like I will be going to lantana. I never knew about them thank you!
@chriso, those mangoes look great! @Ftoop, if I lived in Florida I would be growing very early, early, mid season, mid late season, late season/ Kent, and very late season Keitt mangoes. Probably the most quality fruit you can grow in Florida. A really good mango is hard to beat, kinda like a super good peach, nectarine, pluot, cherry, or apricot. I would also be trying the low chill stone fruit as mentioned above, as well as other tropicals like passionfruit, guava, pineapple, bananas, ect. I would also try Sweetcrisp blueberry and some other Florida blueberries. I would also grow citrus trees like mandarins, oranges, blood oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and limes. Florida is really a nice place to live, great fishing and lots to do, not to mention great weather! Good luck with your selections!
I’d just add one more bit of information on low-chill peaches. Folks in Arizona rave about FlordaPrince peaches. I don’t have any personal experience, but may be relevant to you as that’s a low chill area as well
Forgot to mention blackberries…they grow pretty well down here.
Hello everyone I hope all is well. I just wanted to let everyone know that I have enjoyed all of your suggestions on what to grow in Florida and this is what I have planted. 2 atemoya, 1 mango, 3 June plum, 3 figs,1 sapodilla,1 sugar apple, 2 lychees, 2 mulberry, 5 avocados, 1 achacha, 3 blueberry, 1 Jamaican strawberry tree, 2 Barbados cherry, 2 cherry of the rio grand. The avocado plants are wurtz,super hass,lula, and a Brogden. The lychees sweetheart and Brewster. Please let me know if you have any suggestions or questions Thx