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Growing Tropical Fruits in Florida

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Growing Tropical Fruits in Florida

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Overview

Florida growers can choose many types of tropical fruit, including the papaya, pineapple, sapote, pomelo or jackfruit. Tropical fruit trees perform best in southern Florida, which has the warmest climate. Growers in other parts of the state may need to provide the trees with frost protection. Buy and plant a tropical fruit tree in the spring or fall in Florida. Choose a variety from a local garden center or nursery that's suitable for growing in your community.

Step 1

Select a tropical fruit capable of growing in Florida from the list at University of Florida's Fruitscapes (see Resources). Read the appropriate fact sheet to understand the exact growing requirements for that type of tropical fruit. Florida gardeners can plant dragon fruit, avocado, banana, pineapple or passionfruit, among other tropical fruits. Each fruit has different care needs.

Step 2

Locate a site that offers your tropical fruit tree full sun and protection from wind, such as the south or southeast side of your house. Ensure the fruit tree will have enough room to mature.

Step 3

Dig a hole that's twice the size of the plant's root ball. Remove rocks or roots from the hole before planting. Pull your tropical fruit tree from its container and break apart the root ball by massaging it between your hands. Untangle knotted roots since trees planted with tangled roots can choke.

Step 4

Place the tree in the hole so it sits at the same depth as it did in the container. Cover over the hole with soil to plant your tropical fruit tree.

Step 5

Water the newly planted tree until the ground becomes saturated and the soil compresses around the base of the tree. Water newly planted fruit trees every day for the first week, then every two days the following week. Slowly increase time time between watering until you're watering your fruit tree once a week until the soil becomes saturated.

Step 6

Fertilize your tropical fruit tree regularly. Follow the University of Florida's recommended guidelines for your type of fruit tree, using the Fruitscapes information as before. To apply the recommended dose of fertilizer, scatter dry fertilizer around the base of the tree then water to work it in.

Step 7

Prune your tropical fruit tree to remove dead or damaged wood. Also prune out branches that compress other branches or those that grow vertically and cast shade on lower limbs. For more specific pruning guidelines, refer to the Fruitscapes fact sheet for your tropical fruit cultivar.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Tropical fruit tree
  • Water
  • Fertilizer
  • Anvil pruners

References

  • Florida Agriculture: Tropical Fruit Index
  • North Carolina State University: Producing Fruit Trees for Home Use

Who Can Help

  • University of Florida: Fruitscapes - Tropical Fruit Factsheets
Keywords: growing tropical fruit, Florida tropical fruit, tropical fruit trees

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Elton Dunn is a freelance writer and nonprofit consultant with 14 years' experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, education and the legal fields. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English.