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.
. 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.
. 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.