Florida Fruit-Growing Zones

Contrary to what many outsiders (and even many Floridians) believe, Florida has greatly varied climate zones, which mean that drastically different fruits can grow (or not grow) in different regions of the state.

zones_florida

North Florida:  In the northern part of the state, warm-temperate zone fruits and nuts thrive. But the tropical fruits are difficult here — colder winters that get into the low twenties and even the teens every winter mean mean most tropical fruits need a greenhouse to survive in North Florida.

Fruits and nuts that do pretty well in North Florida include:

  • Persimmon, Asian & American
  • Muscadine grape
  • Pecan
  • Mulberry
  • Pear
  • Blueberry
  • Blackberry
  • Fig
  • Pindo palm
  • Loquat
  • Chestnut
  • Avocado (cold-hardy Mexican-subspecies varieties only)
  • Chinese jujube
  • Che fruit
  • Cattley guava
  • Prickly-pear cactus (some types)
  • Citrus (HLB disease is a major limiting factor these days)
  • Cherry of the Rio Grande
  • Peaches & nectarines (Florida varieties)
  • Plum
  • Feijoa

 

Central Florida:  The middle portion of the peninsula is an intermediate zone, where some tropicals and some temperate zone fruits can grow side-by-side, with microclimate and recent weather determining which types are doing best at any particular time and place. After one or two mild winters, the tropical fruits can bear heavily in central Florida. In years with colder winters, the tropicals take a hit, but the winter chill can make temperate zone fruits produce abundantly. Citrus fruits are particularly well-suited to the central portion of Florida, although HLB disease is a major problem for them these days.

Fruits and nuts for Central Florida include:

  • Loquat
  • Casimiroa (aka white sapote)
  • Wampee
  • Bananas
  • Pineapples
  • Atemoya
  • Avocado
  • Macadamia
  • Lychee
  • Longan
  • Cattley guava
  • Tropical guava
  • Jaboticaba
  • Cherry of the Rio Grande
  • Dragon fruit
  • Prickly pear cactus
  • Peruvian apple cactus
  • Papaya
  • Carambola
  • Passionfruit
  • Chinese jujube
  • Indian jujube
  • Persimmons, Asian and American
  • Muscadine grape
  • Mulberry
  • Pear
  • Blueberry
  • Blackberry
  • Fig
  • Pindo palm
  • Che fruit
  • Citrus (with HLB disease limitations)
  • Mysore raspberry

 

South Florida:  If approximately the southern third of the peninsula, winter low temperatures rarely dip more than a degree or two below freezing, and consequently a huge selection of luscious tropical fruits thrive here. Not every tropical fruit can grow in this region – some species from the equatorial tropics don’t like even the mild cold fronts which give South Florida some refreshingly cool breezes off and on through the winter, so durian for example is not possible here. But  huge number of tropical species are quite happy to grow and produce fruit in the southern part of the Florida peninsula.

Some of the fruit & nut diversity you can grow in South  Florida:

  • Mango
  • Jocote/ciruela
  • Jun plum/ambarella
  • Cashew
  • Canistel
  • Mamey
  • Green sapote
  • Sapodilla/Nispero
  • Caimito (star apple)
  • Casimiroa
  • Wampee
  • Rheedia
  • Jackfruit
  • Breadfruit (in the warmest parts of S FL)
  • Bananas
  • Atemoya
  • Sugar apple
  • Custard apple
  • Ilama
  • Rollinia
  • Soursop/guanabana
  • Avocado
  • Macadamia
  • Lychee
  • Longan
  • Quenepa/mamoncillo
  • Ackee (Caution, toxic when immature)
  • Tropical guava
  • Jaboticaba
  • Cherry of the Rio Grande
  • Pitanga
  • Pitangatuba
  • Grumichama
  • Wax apple
  • Rose apple
  • Java plum
  • Coconut
  • Peach palm
  • Dragon fruit
  • Prickley pear cactus
  • Peruvian apple cactus
  • Cocoplum
  • Imbe
  • Cherapu
  • Gamboge
  • Muntingia berry
  • Chocolate pudding fruit
  • Ice cream bean
  • Acerola
  • Carambola
  • Bilimbi
  • Passionfruit (many kinds)
  • Indian jujube
  • Fig
  • Che fruit
  • Bael fruit
  • Carissa
  • Monstera deliciosa
  • Darling plum
  • Kei apple
  • Velvet apple
  • Asian persimmon (varieties ‘Triumph’ & ‘Hudson’ in S FL)
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple
  • Tamarind
  • Governors plum
  • Mysore raspberry
  • Bignay
  • Peanut butter fruit