Or not growing in the Treasure Coast

People ask if their favorite fruit grows in the Treasure Coast.
A lot does grow here, but sometimes the answer is disappointing.
Some folks just take that as a challenge.

Too cold. These are true tropicals, and require a heated greenhouse to survive here.
.  Breadfruit
.  Durian
.  Mangosteen  – There is one in Fairchild Garden’s greenhouse.
.  Rambutan – Related to Lychee or Longan but milder, and it has soft spines.

These can be grown, especially in our southern range, with special care:
Cashew (will fruit in a container in a few years but can die in the 50s 1st year,
.                 Always requires extra cold protection in T.C.) Also remember the nut
.                 is in a double shell with toxic poison ivy goo that must be neutralized.
Cocoa   (I’ve seen one growing in an Aquaponic greenhouse in Ft Pierce.).)
Mamey sapote (seedlings can take 15-20 years to fruit, but seedlings also
.                tend to be more cold tolerant) A seedling is fruiting in Martin Co.
.  Soursop less than 40° can cause problems.

The What’s Growing page notes ❄ several other fruit that need special cold care.
The Cold Protection page has tips for protecting sensitive trees.

Not enough cold. Low chill varieties have not yet been developed.
.  Cherry
.  Kiwi
.  Olive   (high 3-400+ chill hour requirement; might fruit after our coldest winters)
.  Pawpaw  although a few smaller native relatives do grow in central Florida.

.  Pistachio  Needs 850 chill hours.
.     (An unrelated plant sometimes called “Florida Pistachio”,
.     or Physic nut, or Purging nut, has seed oil which is used as biofuel.
    The tree has many uses, but not as a food source since the oil is toxic.
    There are some trees said to be non-toxic, but they look identical so
.     you are on your own. They have a pleasant tasting but tiny nut that is
    white and not at all pistachio-like, 3 per pod inside a hard shell. Even
.     more work to get to the nuts than pistachio, and not as delicious.).

Too humid. These plants need a dry climate to get usable fruit.
.  Date  The palm will grow here, but rain & humidity ruin the fruit and make a rotting mess. Older dates (only the male trees) are often trucked in from the desert SW as specimens.

Too hot in summer. Not enough elevation / cooler mountain weather.
.  Cherimoya  [try Sugar Apple or Atemoya: a Cherimoya⇔Sugar Apple cross]

But lots of fruit does grow here.

2 Responses to Or not growing in the Treasure Coast

  1. spiritofthewind says:

    We tasted Naranjilla in Ecuador and it was heavenly. Has anyone grown it here? Or is it a problematic fruit? It is not on any of your lists. Thank you!

    • Larry says:

      Thanks for your mention of naranjilla.
      The fruit list keeps growing. I’m sure there are many more I have missed. The operative word is rare.

      I’ve added a page to the site for fruit that may be for more dedicated growers but is worth the effort.
      Until I get more feedback, I put the naranjilla there, because as you suspected it is not the easiest to grow in Florida.

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