Tropical & Semi-tropical Fruit Trees, Spring 2019
(Subject to availability)
An evergreen, small to medium-sized tree. It produces flowers in clusters that become small berries which contain one or two large seeds that are dried and used to produce allspice. It may take up to three years to produce berries. These trees like well-draining soil and will need protection from frosts and freezing weather. This is a good choice for an indoor plant if given bright light.
For the first few years after planting, avocados need protection from winter cold and extended hours in direct sun in summer. Green trunks and branches of young trees help the tree photosynthesize but are susceptible to sunburn. Protect for the 1st year or 2 by building a simple shade structure covered with burlap or shade cloth or whitewash with a mixture of 1/2 white latex paint and 1/2 water until tree develops enough leaves to shade the trunk and branches. Must have good drainage. They generally grow about 25–30' tall by 20' wide. Note that avocados ripen after picking. Mexican varieties are ready to harvest in late summer. Due to our temperatures and humidity, it is not necessary to have more than one avocado for pollination.
Medium-size, egg-shaped fruit with thin, purple-black skin and excellent flavor. Originated in Uvalde, Texas. Heavy producer; ripens September–October. Mature trees are cold-hardy to the mid-teens. Flower type B.
Identical to Opal™. Mexican variety with medium-sized, green, pear-shaped fruit. Very rich-tasting. Hardy to the mid-teens, once established. Originated in Uvalde, TX. Season: Sept–Oct. Flower type B.
High quality, medium-sized, round fruit with paper-thin, purple-black skin and a rich, nutty flavor. Tall, spreading tree produces heavily both in coastal and inland areas. Fruit ripens August–October. Mature trees can take temps down to 15°F for short periods without significant damage (one survived temps around 10°F near San Antonio). Flower type A.
Small, oblong fruit with thin, dark green skin and a rich, nutty flavor. Vigorous, heavy-bearing tree. Fruit ripens December–January. A Mexican-Guatamalan cross. Mature trees are cold hardy to approx 18°F. Salt-tolerant. Flower type B.
Piper nigrum, or peppercorn plant, is a tropical plant cultivated for its black, white, and red peppercorns. The three colors of peppercorn are simply different stages of the same peppercorn. This afternoon shade-loving vine thrives in humid conditions and well-draining soil. This is a great plant to grow in a container because it cannot take frosts or freezing temperatures. May take a year or more to produce.
A fruit-bearing cactus vine with fleshy stems that climbs with aerial roots up and over a structure (trained stems can reach up to 20' long). Night-blooming white flowers are followed by intensely colored fruit with a unique shape and a delicious taste. This vine may have several fruiting cycles per year. Established plants are cold hardy to a light freeze. Afternoon shade, organically rich soil, and regular watering is best in our climate.
Red-skinned fruit with red flesh that gets its color from lycopene, a natural, disease-fighting antioxidant. Refreshing when eaten chilled. Mild melon-like flavor with seeds and texture like a kiwi.
Generally a slow grower, the grumichama likes year-round water and care should be taken to avoid periods of drought. It is hardy to 26 degrees and can be grown in sun or in shade. It produces small, dark red, almost black colored berries with soft, juicy pulp that taste like cherries.
Small tropical tree with spreading branches and attractive flaking bark. White flowers appear heaviest in spring followed by aromatic fruit extremely high in Vitamin C. Fruits are ripe in summer when they soften and change color from greenish to yellow. They can be eaten fresh or used in jam, jelly, and other recipes. Young trees may be killed by frost but older trees are hardy to about 29°F. If frozen to the ground, they usually re-sprout and bear fruit within two years.
Large, white-fleshed guava with smooth, sweet, aromatic flesh good for fresh eating with few seeds. These guavas are good for containers and are not very picky about soil type or fertilization.
A compact guava tree that produces large, yellow-skinned fruit with pink flesh. The Tikal guava is fast-growing, up to 20 feet, and is generally pest and disease resistant.
Consistent producer of huge, heart-shaped, super sweet fruit with a very small seed. This is the second largest of the lychee fruits achieving almost golf ball size. The tree is a slow, compact grower.
Jackfruit is a tropical plant that can grow up to 80 feet tall and live for 100 years. They can be grown in containers (and kept much smaller) and are known for straight trunks and pretty, oval leaves. They require lots of water, sunlight, humidity, and warmth to thrive. They cannot tolerate frost or extended periods of drought. Young trees grow quickly under good conditions. The giant, bumpy fruits taste like a combination of banana, mango and pineapple, and the texture allows it to be used as a meat substitute when cooked.
A beautiful specimen tree with its shiny leaves and attractive fruit, lychee thrives in deep, fertile, well-draining soil. They prefer an acidic soil of pH 5.0–5.5. When growing lychee trees, be sure to plant them in a protected area. This variety is known for superb flavor, large sized fruit, small seeds and nice coloration.
Large, evergreen trees that do best in full sun and require heavy watering when young. Protect young trees from frost and they should produce within 2 years.One tree can produce 30–50 pounds of nuts that taste best when roasted and should be allowed to ripen and fall from the tree before harvesting.
Unlike grocery story mangos, these varieties have delicious mango flavor without the stringy texture. They are all small growing trees, making winter protection easier when needed. Plant in full sun in a well-drained location or large container and fertilize lightly only in spring. Protect young trees from frost and freezing temps. After about two years, trees will be damaged at approx 26°F. Fruit is ripe about 4–5 months after flowering when stem snaps easily with a slight pull. Sap can irritate the skin, so wear gloves when picking fruit and wash fruit and skin immediately after harvesting. Remove fruit the first year to allow tree to focus on root growth.
A fiberless Florida cultivar that is super sweet. Its compact size makes it an excellent tree for small yards. Very disease resistant. Fruit ripens from June to July.
Sweet, fiberless fruit that ripens from June to July. Can easily be maintained at 8' tall. Very good flavor and disease resistance. Good production. ‘Ultra-compact’ grower that is also good for containers.
Small tree with heavy production. Known for exceptional sweetness and flavor. Ripens June–July. Very disease resistant.
Nam Doc Mai
Premium Thai variety with firm, sweet, completely fiberless, green to yellow-skinned fruit that ripens from June to July (branches bloom at different times for an extended summer ripening season). Eaten green or ripe, a Thailand favorite. Highly productive with very good disease resistance. Semi-dwarf tree is great for a small backyard or container growing.
AKA "Horseradish Tree" or "Tree of Life". Very fast-growing, medium-sized tree considered one of the most useful trees in the world. Produces clusters of off-white, fragrant flowers followed by long green pods almost continuously. The leaves, pods, and roots are all edible (use roots as a horseradish substitute). Cook leaves and pods in stir fries or curries. This tree has a long history of medicinal uses (check online). Does best in full sun in very loose, well-drained soil. Mature plants can tolerate a light freeze.
Possum purple passion fruit is considered an exceptional fresh eating variety and is known for its vigorous growth. It is a cold-hardy subtropical vine that easily withstands frosts and the occasional freeze. Grows 30 feet in a season. Medium to full sun.
Soursop (Aka Guanabana)
The flavor of this 4–12" long prickly fruit is described as a combination of strawberry and pineapple with sour citrus notes and an underlying creamy flavor similar to banana or coconut. Fruit up to 10–15 lbs soften and turn yellowish-green when ripe. Will grow and fruit in containers if protected from cold temps. Leaves and small branches are damaged by temps below 41°F and plant may die below 37°F, so always protect in our winters.
Sugar apples are one of the most delicious tropical fruits that can be grown at home. Heart-shaped, custard-textured fruit do not store or travel well, making them hard to find in grocery stores. Vanilla flavor and smooth texture are reminiscent of melted ice cream. This tropical tree can reach 15 ft tall and will need to be protected during freezing weather.
Grow your own vanilla beans for baking and adding vanilla flavor to foods. The vanilla bean plant is a flowering vine that is actually part of the orchid family. Vanilla plants are climbing plants that prefer high humidity and bright, indirect sunlight. They will need support as they climb and hand pollination to produce vanilla beans. Pods take approximately 9 months to ripen for harvest.