No spray fruits

Seems like people in my area always ask the same question which is “which fruits are zero spray fruits? “ From my perspective it’s relatively easy to answer Pawpaw, mulberry, some pears, persimmon, autumn olive, June berries, blackberries, black raspberries, and jujubes if you can find an area warm enough to grow them here. I’m sure I left some off and I was hoping you might know a few more. Most recently I was contacted by children that are organizing a community garden at a church in a neighboring town. Glad to see the kids trying to make the world a better place because God knows they have an uphill battle. I’m glad to see people thinking of maintence prior to planting.


There are sour blackberries that produce here by June! That would be prior to SWD showing up I think. If you want I will look for a seedling mulberry that producers prior to the others that you could graft your trees over with.


It’s probably too cold in Kansas, but I think that figs and muscadine grapes can often be grown without sprays (at least I have).

Hardy Kiwi as well, though those grow very quickly and may need lots of pruning maintenance.

June strawberries should be before SWD. Same for Honeyberries, which should be plenty hardy enough though they may need more water.

I haven’t needed to spray Goji berries, but they don’t really taste like fruit…More like a bad tomato (and I don’t even like good tomatoes).

Gooseberry and currants are mostly no-spray. There is a worm I got on the gooseberries (which eats all their leaves), but I dusted with Spinosad and they haven’t come back in later years.

I think for Kansas, jujube sounds like it could be the winner. Unless you fall plant it, I haven’t had any issues with their winter hardiness. I’ve gone down to -10F.


try the ohio treasure black raspberries. they set a primocane and florocane crop! :wink: just put some in last spring. got a few berries of some of them. vey good!


How many times a year do they set berries 2-3?

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I’ve not sprayed anything on my blueberries in 10 years.


Not botanically a fruit, but yacon is very much a set it and forget it plant. In my area you have to lift the tubers and overwinter in a cool basement or such, but minimal attention for huge yields.


2 xs. on primocanes and florocanes. only black raspberry cultivar nowadays that does this.


Persimmons are the king of this category for my area (Asian and hybrid specifically). Next in line is muscadine, then probably pecan (I know, it’s a drupe). In my opinion the nutrient profile and taste of pecans are far superior to anything else I grow. The birds eat way too many of my blueberries for it to rank as well, but they are still up there. Like Clark said, “some pears” (although some apples are right up there with some pears).


Cornelian Cherry is probably the most carefree plant I grow,just water and fertilize a bit. Brady


A few more to add. Goumi, autumn olive, Trifoliate orange, shipova, pomegranate, Siberian C Peach, hall’s hardy almond, Yellowhorn nut.

May want to look into flowering quince and medlar



Great additions thanks for adding those. Welcome to the forum!


Thank you, this topic is a major focus for me


Strictly speaking, about anything can be grown without spray. It all depends on what you’re willing to live with. I put up a 50 quarts of applesauce and several gallons of apple cider this year just from neglected apple trees nearby. None are sprayed, pruned, or irrigated. Many apples fall useless, and most of the “good” apples have bumps and blemishes: evidence of a battle waged with nature. I cut around the bad spots when I see them for applesauce. All but the rotting ones can be used for cider.

I have a personal theory that the frost pocket we live in keeps the bug population from reaching equilibrium with the fruit population. Late frost knocks out all the blossoms every few years. The boom bust cycle pushes trees toward biennial production, which starves the bugs in the lean years. I may be way wrong; this is just my observation. Native nut trees bear in alternate years specifically for this reason. I’m smarter than a squirrel and can put up two years worth of food.


It would be awesome to have a ripening chart of all of the listed fruits from this thread, even if just for a particular area. I didn’t see strawberries mentioned yet, plenty of them are no spray to my knowledge. Especially Alpines. Tiny but packs a flavor punch.

I think the spirit of this thread, although not necessarily stated, kind of leads to another topic which would trim the list significantly, which is low maintenance no spray fruit. I see that as caring for a plant as a seedling or bench graft, but after achieving a desirable form with a bit of pruning, having to do little other than possibly mulch. This could also be titled “The lazy fruit grower’s fruits” :sweat_smile:


Does anyone know if Nanking cherry are no-spray fruit? Thank you


I agree with JVD. In my experience most “small fruits” grown on shrubs and bushes are generally low maintenance and sprays are not neccessary to get perfect or near perfect fruit. This has been my experience in KY which is a very, very challenging place to grow organic fruit. SWD as mentioned can be a challenge but honestly in my experience if the fruit is kept picked and fruits are not allowed to rot on or under the plants then SWD is not that huge of a deal in many circumstances, especially if you keep plants pruned and if you can avoid mental negativity around possibly eating SWD eggs. Refrigerating the fruit after picking also inactivates the SWD larva and prevent eggs from hatching. I know that SWD lays eggs in non-rotting or pre-peak ripeness fruit, unlike many other fruit flies. If this is a major issue then plant early-ripening cultivars (or spray).

This includes:

Red and black raspberries
Gooseberries and currants
hardy passionfruit
goumi/autumn olive
cornelian cherry
hardy figs
bush cherries
Juneberries - get Cedar apple rust resistant species if this is an issue in your area!

and many resilient tree fruits as have been mentioned: disease resistant pears, pomegranates, jujubes, pawpaws, persimmons, etc. The fruit may not always be perfect but these will crop without sprays and be totally edible and good for home use, possibly even marketing some years or with some cultivars annually.


This is my focus also. Here’s what has worked so far in mid-atlantic 7A…


Muscadine has been the big winner for me when it comes to the combination of excellent flavor and ease of maintenance. They’ve handled the climate in coastal 7A just fine so far.

I also love Goumi as a plant. The berries are pretty good if ripened and I think the plant is really pretty. Silvery speckled leaves, fragrant little yellow flowers, and nitrogen fixing. Cannot be killed and has not been invasive or aggressive at all.

I think well ripened Honeyberry is delicious and the plants have done fine here with no maintenance other than a few extra waterings during drought. They don’t really like it here though and won’t exactly thrive. They look terrible by mid July and you might think they are dead. They are fine though and will bloom again next year.

Potential no spray fruits i’ve tried but didn’t work out here? Black currant…couldn’t get them to thrive. They just don’t seem to like the humidity despite afternoon shade. Aronia…never really took off despite trying them in a number of conditions and the rabbits/deer like to eat it down to the ground. Serviceberry…i’ve tried it twice and it just rusted away to nothing both times before getting well established. Black huckleberry…finicky about soil conditions and I couldn’t find the right place to mimic their natural habitat.

I think my next installs will be persimmon and rabbiteye blueberry.

I had apples and peaches in the ground for 3 years but pulled them all out because I realized I would never commit to the spraying. Now everything I grow is almost entirely maintenance free except for pruning and some extra watering here and there.


@Blake, do you recommend any juneberries with rust resistance? I’ve got a small planting of “Regent” (I prefer the running, saskatoon-type of “sarvis” for ease of picking—and bird protection!). They set their first small crop this season, and I did notice some infected berries. There weren’t too many of them—and I managed to keep them picked off before any of them sporulated; but I wonder if it could be worse in the future: some folks have complained about Regent being pretty prone to juniper rust infection of the berries, and this whole area is red cedar city. Seems like I’ve read reports of “Timm and Success” being pretty resistant to such maladies. T&S appears to be hard to find these days.

(EDIT: @Lucky_P , was it you who had luck with Timm and Success? Or seedlings thereof? I read somewhere that T&S seedlings are pretty true-to-type; has an apparent tendency toward apomixis.)

@Jujube Welcome to the forum, Ethan. Out of curiosity: has your Shipova fruited yet? I understand that in some climates it can be a fire blight magnet. Mine is on Aronia and is a runt that hasn’t done much for me in the past few years—not a single bloom. It did have one minor fire blight strike about two years ago. I’ve also had a “Baby Shipova” for the past three years. It gets some sort of ugly fungal malady on its leaves every year. No fruit (or flowers) on that one either, but I’m still hoping.

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Yes the Nanking are 100% spray free here in Kansas.