Cherimoya_Growing_Florida

Can Cherimoya Grow In Florida?

Cherimoya is apart of the Annonacae family, it is part of the same family as Sugar apple, Atemoya, Rollinia, Soursop, Custard apple & various more Annona varieties.

Cherimoya (Annona Cherimola) originated in South America and prefers to grow, fruit, and flourish best when grown in the mountains & highlands in tropical to subtropical climates.

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Growing Cherimoya in Florida

If your ‘re in Florida growing Cherimoya will be difficult, the reason why growing Cherimoya in Florida is difficult is because of our elevation & lowlands.

Cherimoya in Florida does not grow, fruit, and flower as successfully as some of our gardening states such as California.

Cherimoyas do not like to grow in the low lands of Florida, they prefer higher elevations and mountains.

Can I grow Cherimoya from seed in Florida?

If you plant a Cherimoya seed in Florida you will be able to sprout it and watch it grow.

The challenging part after you plant the seed is trying to care for the cherimoya seedling as it is very sensitive to our Florida heat and may require great amounts of shade protection (such as under a large canopy of a tree).

Can Cherimoya Fruit In Florida?

If you happen to have a mature cherimoya tree in Florida you still have a chance at fruiting it.

Although cherimoya fruits much more in higher elevated states such as California, it is still able to flower and fruit here as well.

If you do happen to flower Cherimoya in Florida, it is highly recommend to hand-pollinate the flower as it will increase the chances of fruit set nearly by 100%.

Can Cherimoya be used as Rootstock in Florida?

In Florida, we plant and grow cherimoya seeds mainly for the roostock.

What is a rootstock? A rootstock are the roots of the plant that can be used with another compatible species of the same plant to grow another variety of tree while utilizing the Cherimoya roots.

Cherimoya rootstock are very vigorous growers, they seem to grow roots at a faster rate than other Annona varities.

In Florida we use the cherimoya as rootstocks for other superior Annona varieties that are capable to thrive in Florida such as atemoya and sugar apple, or custard apple.

Where does Cherimoya grow best in Florida?

Since all of Florida is flat and considered low-lands, Florida does not make the best spot to Cherimoya as they need higher elevations to thrive.

In Florida, is it best to grow Cherimoya in the Southern and Central parts of the state. North Floridas conditions are too cold and will require a greenhouse for any growing of tropical fruit trees such as Cherimoya.

The cherimoya will be able to grow in Florida but will require extra care if you are trying to make it fruit. A greenhouse is recommended to start and care for cherimoya seedings, a list of affordable greenhouses can be found here.

Where can I get Cherimoya seeds in Florida?

At Garden Florida, we carry Cherimoya seeds at different times of the years, typically during the Cherimoya fruit seasons as well as many months after the season has passed. Cherimoya seeds are viable up to a year once out of the fruit.

You can buy fresh cherimoya seeds below.

Sugar_Apple_Mummification

Why are my Sugar Apples turning black?

Its June and your seeing the first baby fruits on your Sugar apple tree – suddenly as you check your sugar apples – oh no! They have turned black.

Frustrated and confused because how could one of your precious sugar apples rot when you were doing everything right?

Look no further – Here is why your sugar apples are turning black.

The Sugar Apple Turns Black Because Of The Annona Seed Borer a ‘Sugar Apple Pest’

The Annona Seed Borer or also known as the ‘Chalcid Wasp’ Is an Annona pest in Florida that burrows its way into Sugar Apples. Once they manage to infest the sugar apple they lay their eggs in the tiny seeds. This process creates a fungus in the sugar apple turning it black & hard. The process of the sugar apple turning black is known as ‘Mummification’.

The Annona Seed Borer will crawl out of the black sugar apple and attack other Sugar apples, so its important to take care of this problem in your garden to ensure the best sugar apple harvest.

In this video I explain why the sugar apple (annona squamosa) turns black on the tree before reaching full maturity (harvest).

The Sugar Apple Turns Black Because Of Too Many Sugar Apples on one tree

If you perform hand pollination on your tree and the tree is too small to hold many fruits – it will naturally turn some black so it can focus on a few.

This occurs more often in trees that are still young (3 or less years) that are over (artificially) pollinated.

How Can I prevent my Sugar Apples From Turning Black?

Enable to prevent your sugar apples from turning black you will need to follow the following steps

  1. Remove all Mummified Black sugar apples from the tree and the base of the tree. (This is very important to stop the cycle of the wasp)
  2. Cover your healthy sugar apples with a protective bag. We recommend these bags from amazon.
  3. Make sure to throw any black sugar apples far away from the tree.

Are there any Pesticides or Sprays I Should Use?

There is currently no-spray available on the market to combat the Annona seed borer (chalcid wasp). By removing black mummified sugar apples from your yard and bagging the fruit it provides excellent defense for your sugar apples.

How does the Annona Seed Borer (Chalcid Wasp) Look Like?

Below is an image from Annona Breeding Projects Instagram of the chalcid wasp.

The wasp itself is very small and has potential to pierce

Red_Jaboticaba_Fruit_Florida

Planting a Jaboticaba? Here’s what you need to know before doing so.

The Jaboticaba is a fruit that is unlike no other, purple, sweet tangy taste with a softcore. If you are gardening in Florida and are obsessed with tropical fruit, the Jaboticaba tree is a tree you need in your garden.

There are many things to know before you consider ordering your very own Jaboticaba, or decide to visit your local nursery such as knowing the varieties of which Jaboticaba there are as well as how to plant and care for one.

Here are important things to know before purchasing and planting a Jaboticaba tree.

The Jaboticaba Is A Slow Grower

If you are considering having a Jaboticaba in your garden, consider keeping it for the long haul.

Jaboticabas are very slow growing trees, it usually takes them 5-8 years from seed to fruit, and during the year the Jaboticaba tree might not make much of a change in appearance while growing its roots below.

If slow growth is not what you had in mind you can always take the route of purchasing an already fruiting Jaboticaba to save you the years of having to wait.

The Jaboticaba Grows Great In Partly-Shaded Areas

Location is very important when it comes to planting your Jaboticaba – of course, if you are like most gardeners you would think that the sun is great for fruiting trees. Jaboticabas are able to do great under canopy situations or in part shaded areas. The trees would also thrive in full sun areas as well but if you don’t have space in your garden to receive the full sun – don’t feel bad putting it in a dappled light setting they will do just fine.

Here is a video from Pete Kanaris GreenDreamsFL showing how the Jaboticabas grow under a shaded light situation.

Some gardeners have even reported that Jaboticabas grow at a faster rate in the shade than those planted in the full sun.

When Should I Add Fertilizer To My Jaboticaba?

It is typically known that once you plant trees to wait about a year before fertilizing – but every gardener is different and knows there plants best.

Jaboticabas don’t like nitrogen very much in their fertilizers. A fertilizer with a composition of 4-6-4 – or organic material such as rock dust. Too much nitrogen to your Jaboticaba can cause leaf burn.

How Do I Tell If My Jaboticaba Is Healthy?

The best way to tell if your Jaboticaba is healthy and happy is to check if the bark is peeling. This is typically a great indicator that your Jaboticaba is thriving. Also, another way to tell if your Jaboticaba is doing great is by looking out for new growth on your tree.

The bark peels on the Jaboticaba to make room for new flower buds that will form off of new bark growth.

Is the Jaboticaba Cold-Resitant?

Yes, The Jaboticaba can take cold temperatures as low as the 20s in Florida, making it an excellent fruit tree to grow in Central and South Florida and even North Florida.

What Types Of Soils Do Jaboticabas Prefer?

Jaboticabas prefer well-drained soils with a slightly acid pH. The trees don’t tend to like alkaline soils. In Florida, before you plant a Jaboticaba it is highly recommended to test your soil with a pH reader.

When planting a Jaboticaba tree in Florida we recommend filling your hole in the ground with peat-moss first as the Jaboticaba roots do not like to be planted in straight sandy soils.

How Do I Prune My Jaboticaba?

Pruning your Jaboticaba can be optional depending on the shape that you would like your tree pruned to. In the world of Jaboticaba, it is not a common practice to prune the tree as you would other fruit trees.

Since the jaboticaba is a slow grower- gardeners tend to perform a light prune to the jaboticaba to allow more sunlight to penetrate the bark to stimulate more flowers & fruit as the bark will often be covered by the jaboticabas natural branching growth habit.

Should I Prune my Jaboticaba?

Pruning your jaboticaba tree is optional. You may want to consider pruning your jaboticaba if you are having trouble fruiting your tree or if your tree is not receiving enough light on its bark. Since pruning is done so rarely and little on the jaboticaba considering how long it takes to grow, it is recommended to only prune your Jaboticaba if it really needs it.

How much should I water my Jaboticaba tree?

Jaboticaba trees LOVE water, in-fact it is really hard to overwater this tree. Since the tree originated in the rainforests of Brazil the tree naturally is used to receiving heavy amounts of rainfall. In Florida your tree will thrive off our heat and rainfalls we have – but the tree still is going to be needed to be watered regularly to maintain proper health.

Tip: Consider planting your Jaboticaba in a part of your yard that would typically stay flooded after heavy rain as those spots is where a Jaboticaba would love as it prefers wet areas.

Should I plant my Jaboticaba or leave it in the pot?

Jaboticaba is an excellent pot culture plant if you choose not to plant it directly in the ground. In fact, many gardeners claim that they have been able to maintain a healthier, heavier fruiting Jaboticaba when in the pot.

You should consider growing your Jaboticaba in a pot if you live in certain areas where it might get too cold, or if you don’t have the healthiest of soils or enough room in the ground to grow Jabtoicaba successfully.

Growing Mulberry In Florida

How To Grow A Mulberry Tree In Florida

Are you considering growing a berry in your yard but are stuck on which one? Look no further – Mulberry is the berry that your garden needs.

Mulberry is a delicious fruiting tree that produces blackberries that are sweet tasting to the pallete. The mulberry is part of the Moraceae plant family, which is also family to the tasty jackfruit, fig, and breadfruit – no wonder why this fruit is delicious!

Where Should I Plant My Mulberry Tree?

If you are planning on growing this fruit tree in Florida, make sure to select an area where it will receive plenty of sunlight. Although the mulberry plant is also found growing in the wild under the shade of taller trees – so ideally it could still grow in part shade as well.

A tip for home gardeners growing Mulberry is taking into account that when the berry falls off when ripe it can stain your driveways, sidewalks, concrete, etc. It is better to plant this plant away from those to decrease staining.

You can order the Mulberry plant perfect for your garden or patio here. Mulberry can grow well in the hardy zones 7-9 or even indoors with sufficient lighting and heat.

Challenges of growing mulberry

What Type Of Soils Do Mulberry Like?

Mulberry trees prefer deep, moist soils. Mulberry can also grow well in native soils well and can be found often growing under the shade of larger trees.

The Types of Mulberry Available

There are 150 varieties of Mulberry but only 10 of them are grown in popularity for use in the garden. Two varieties are widely grown across the United States and Florida which are the Red/Black Mulberry (Morus Ruba) and the White Mulberry (Morus Alba)

How Does Mulberry Grow?

Mulberry is a tree that grows very fast, throughout the spring and late summer you will notice plenty of new growth and also berries with fruit will be harvestable. The berry will start off green, then turn into a bright red, then finally it will ripe to a black color – looking just like a skinny blackberry.

In a typical Floridan garden, it is recommended to look for the black variety mulberry (Morus nigra) as it fits the Florida garden well considering its mature size. These mulberry plants also tend to have a bush-like formation.

You should prune your mulberry to keep the desired shape, if not the mulberry tree can grow up to be 30 to 70 feet high depending on the species. The mulberry tends to spread its branches to form a crown.

Can I grow Mulberry in a pot?

Mulberry grows excellent in a pot too, just make sure to provide it adequate drainage as they like that. Growing mulberry in a pot allows you to move it and keep it to a chosen size.

It is recommended to add soil amendments to your pot such as compost to give your mulberry plant the nutrition it needs to thrive in a planter.

Make sure to be careful transplanting mulberry from pot to pot or from planter to ground. Mulberries transplant fairly easy – your plant might look stressed once transplanted but with enough water days following the transplant, your mulberry should be fine.

What is Mulberry used for?

According to the University of Florida, The Mulberry has been used in early human civilizations as early as the 1500s. Native Americans would store these berries and preserve them for use in jams and dyes as they produced an abundance in nature. In today’s society Mulberries are used for jams, pies, jellies, marmalades, icecreams, and juices. Mulberry tree wood is sometimes used in the production of fence posts as well.

Are Dogs And Cats Allowed To Eat Mulberries?

Dogs and cats can consume mulberries if they like, although highly unlikely they will enjoy the taste. Although you might find other outdoor animals sharing your mulberry plant with you such as raccoons, rats, birds, and insects.

Are Mulberries Safe For Children To Eat?

Mulberries are safe for everyone to eat – just make sure that they are fully ripened to avoid any bitterness. Also before you consume any of your fruit harvests it is highly advised to wash your produce thoroughly to make sure any insects or outdoor material has washed off.

Make sure to supervise your children eating Mulberries as they are small and can prove to be a choking hazard if not chewed properly.

Does the Mulberry Tree Grow Fast?

Yes, the Mulberry tree is a very fast-growing tree. In Florida, we notice a growth on our Mulberries all year (slowed during winter). If you plant a mulberry plant make sure to keep this in mind to make sure it gets the best planting spot it can receive.

Soil in hand Garden FL

Are Rocks In My Soil A Good Thing? All about rocks in your soil.

You’re ready to plant your favorite plant, you have your soil ready, shovel, and favorite gardening gloves on. You start digging away at the dirt but then you notice you hit a hard surface, you try to force your shovel again and discover hard rocks! You wonder to yourself, rocks? Could it be beneficial to my plant or can it hurt it? Lucky for you we have the answers below on how to deal with rocky soil and if they are beneficial to your plants.

The answer is rocks in your soil can cause damage to your plant’s roots if not removed. Heres why. Soils that contain rocks are more compacted due to there being less space taken up by all the rocks. This can affect your plant’s roots and nutrient intake as they need a softer soil base for there roots to push through and grow and absorb.

Soil and gardening planters Garden Florida
Biodegradable peat pot on greenhouse compost humus soil, organic farming and cultivation

Why are rocks in my soil?

Rocks can be in your subsoil for many reasons. When new homes are built a layer of subsoil is used to fill in a yard for the future lawn. Usually, this subsoil is of the least expensive earth filling they can use to pass inspection. Often this layer of earth soil is rocky and not optimized for the longevity of plants but rather for lawn grass that does not require much-optimized nutrition compared to that of a fruit tree.

It could take up to 4 times as long (or even longer!) and might be quite the workout on your back trying to remove all the rocks from your soil when digging a hole for your plant. Also, since the earth crust is made up of rocks – the constant movement of tectonic plates deep down in the earth constantly forces rocks up to the surface.

Does having rocks in my soil mean I cant plant?

Not necessarily! If you have a great spot picked out in the yard for your favorite fruit tree or flower that receives plenty of sunlight and have rocks there are options available for you.

One option you have is planting on a raised bed. Consider purchasing some gardening soil one that is best optimized for your plant’s needs. We recommend using a soil amendment that is rich in organic matter such as compost. Compost manure is a great solution to add to your raised bed and into your rocky soil as well as it will provide excellent nutrition for your plants to thrive.

Composted animal manure is one of the best things to add to your garden bed or dug hole. Diffrent manures will range in their nutrition content for your plants and not always completely balanced fertilizers. It is recommended to add a complete garden fertilizer such as 6-6-6 to your mixture to provide optimal nutrition.

If you want to add organic matter to your plant bed, we recommend digging a hole at least 2-3 inches deep first (depending on how rocky and how far you can dig down) then add another layer of 2-4 inches of organic matter (such as compost manure). Then mix the organic matter with the native soil using a shovel, your hands, a tiller, or digging fork.

How can you remove rocks from your soil?

Of course, you could do the hard work and remove the rocks as you dig because eventually, you will remove enough rocks that you can dig freely once again. For those who have a bigger budget and want to use machine power – we strongly recommend using a Tiller.

Whether you are a seasoned gardener or just a beginner, having the right tools at your side can make your life as a gardener much easier and enjoyable when doing the hard work. Using a tiller can help break down soil and remove rocks from the earth and subsoil.

Another reason to remove rocks from your soil is to prevent damage to lawnmowers. Often rocks can damage the blades of a lawnmower and make it difficult to tend to your lawn.

How to Plant In The Ground Once Rocks Are Removed

Now that you have removed the rocks from your soil, you will want to amend your hole in the ground. Dig the hole at least twice the size of the planter size to ensure it is rock-free enough. If you can, it is recommended to at least dig a hole at least twice as deep as the size of the potter it came in to allow soil amendments to occupy enough space for future root development.

Mixing a good compost into the soil is key. Your plant needs all the nutrition it can get to provide you with the best plant possible. Compost is also great because it improves the soil’s ability to hold water and important nutrients. On the other hand, it attracts important organisms such as earthworms, fungi, molds, bacterias, sowbugs, and larva all-important microorganisms that are essential to the health of your plant. As time goes on, the nitrogen in the compost is turned into materials that your plant can intake.

You might also want to consider making your own compost ditch from kitchen scraps.

Removing Rocks From Floridas Sandy Soil

In Florida most of the soil is sand – and often can contain rocks. It is important to remove these rocks because they can damage root development and make it difficult for roots to absorb optimal nutrition.

Removing rocks from Floridas soil may be difficult at first due to the compactness of the sand. We recommend using power tools that help you remove rocks and heavy sands such as a tiller. Once the rocks are removed it is important to add a soil amendment such as compost to help optimal plant nutrition.

Organic Soil Vegetable Garden Florida
Organic homegrown produce and gardening equipment with copy space, top view of greenhouse peat soil

Soil Amendments To Add Nutrition To Sandy Soil

Soil amendments added to sandy soil can be essential to providing that boost of nutrition your sand needs to survive and thrive. Here are great soil additions to add to your sandy soil.

Vermicompost- Have you ever heard about raising red wiggler worms in a bin to produce rich compost from your everyday kitchen waste? By giving your worms kitchen scraps such as leftover fruit peels, coffee grinds, vegetable leftovers and so much more – but be careful not everything in the kitchen is compostable! (Learn what you should and shouldn’t compost here).

Vermicompost consists of rich nutrient worm castings and a liquid referred to as “Worm tea” that fruit trees and flowers just love to have.

How To Hand Pollinate Sugar Apple or Atemoya Flowers in Florida

If you are growing sugar apple (Annona squamosa) or atemoya in Florida you want to be able to maximize your chances of getting healthy, big, and delicious sugar apple fruit from your trees.

Since both the sugar apple and atemoya tree is capable of having both female and male sexual parts that mature at diffrent times of the day (known as ‘Dichogamy’), it is possible for gardeners to carry out artificial hand-pollination on sugar apple tree which almost increases the setting of fruit up to nearly 100%.

Lisa Atemoya Fruit Growing
Lisa Atemoya growing in the shade

The best time to artificially hand pollinate sugar apple flowers is in the morning time from 5:00 AM – 8:00 AM. The best time to artificially hand-pollinate atemoya flowers is in the evening time from 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM.

It is recommended to hand pollinate your sugar apple and atemoya flowers to produce a better fruit set and yield.

Materials You Need To Artificially Hand Pollinate Your Sugar Apple and/or Atemoya Flowers

  • Pipe cleaner, a horsehair paintbrush with soft hairs, or Q-tip
  • Black film canister, pill jar, dark-colored cup

3 Steps To Hand Pollinate Your Sugar Apple Tree Successfully

  1. Identify your sugar apple is in the stage of pollination. When sugar apple flowers first open they are females, but then they will turn to males by the next day. The male stage is when to collect the pollen. The way to identify if it’s a male flower is by identifying their open pedal formation compared to the female flower which is slightly closed.
  2. Use your pipe cleaner (or selected pollen-collecting tool) and brush the insides of the male flower while holding your film canister (or selected cup) under and lightly brush the inside of the flowers while observing the pollen from the male flower fall.
  3. Once pollen is collected from the male flower, look for a female stage flower and take the pollen and collect it onto your tool. Take the pollen and slightly open up the pedal and brush the pollen inside the female flower. It is recommended to use your brushing tool more than once to maximize the amount of pollen in the flower.
Female Male Sugar Apple Flower
Female Flower compared to Male Flower

How Do I Pollinate My Sugar Apple Flowers Naturally?

In Florida’s nature, the Nitidulid beetle is the natural pollinator of the sugar apple flower. Without these beetles present in the yard, the flowers may not pollinate or semi-pollinate leading to irregular fruit growth or no fruit at all. If your garden has no nitidulid beetles present it is because there is not enough rotting fruit and vegetables around the yard.

Creating a compost ditch is very beneficial in any Florida garden, check out this article on how to make your very own.

Nitilud beetles in Florida are typically found where decomposing fruit and vegetable are. In these areas is where they like to feed and reproduce. We recommend either having a compost ditch on your property or in a bin. Although the nitidulid beetle is attracted to the strong aroma of flowering sugar apple flowers it also needs food to feed on.

Here is a video by Truly Tropical on hand pollinating annonas (sugar apples)

How Old Does A Sugar Apple Tree Have To Be Before Having Flowers?

Sugar apple grown by seed takes around 2-3 years before it is able to flower and set fruit. It is recommended to allow plants to grow vigorously the first few years to not allow your sugar apple to fruit to encourage root development – but if you love the taste of the fruit it might be difficult waiting.

Problems After Artificial Aand Pollination Of Sugar Apple Flowers

Some problems growers might face after hand pollination of sugar apple flowers although winds, fruit pests, disease, and fruit rot.

Sugar apple fruit may face several diseases or problems while bearing fruit. Dry fruit rot is a disease to sugar apples caused by fungi. Typically these fungi appear on your tree after the emergence of an Annona Seed Borer.

Annona Seed Borer is the most focused on pest when it comes to sugar apple trees in Florida. Female Annona seed borers will lay their eggs inside the seeds of small fruit. Once the larvae develop in the seed it will burrow out of the fruit essentially ruining the whole fruit.

Symptoms your fruit has had the annona seed borer is a small black hole on the fruit or browning on the fruit itself

The solution to prevent the annona seed borer is to bag up your fruit once they reach a size. We strongly recommend using a protective fruit bag like this one here to prevent the annona seed borer laying eggs in your fruit.

Benefits Of Having Both Sugar Apple And Atemoya In Your Garden

Some gardeners have reported successful atemoya hand pollination with the pollen of a sugar apple flower.

Harvesting Of Sugar Apple

Sugar apple is harvested typically in the late summer throughout the fall season.

Sugar apples will ripen naturally if left growing on the tree and eventually fall down. It is recommended to pick these fruit while they are large, green, and hard and place them to ripen inside. Often outside critters such as raccoons, squirrels, birds, and other pests will compete with you for this tasty fruit.

The sugar apple when ripen will have a yellow lining within the bumpy eyes of the fruit. Also, the fruit will become somewhat soft, so soft that you could puncture the skin of the fruit if you applied very little pressure.

It is recommended to pick your sugar apple or atemoya fruit before they fall to the ground because there skin will be so soft and will most likely split on impact.

Where To Purchase Sugar Apple Trees In Florida

Sugar apple is grown in the southern parts of Florida and is widely loved for its delicious custard taste. If you would like to purchase a sugar apple tree you could do so here.

Where to Purchase Atemoya Trees In Florida

If you are having trouble finding atemoya trees we recommend buying Atemoya trees here. Atemoya are not as common as the sugar apple tree in Florida but it should be grown more widely. The atemoya is much more cold-resistant making it ideal for the colder nights in Florida.

5 Things You Need To Know Before Growing Sugar Apple in Florida

Growing Sugar Apple in Florida is an excellent tropical tree for eating and landscaping purposes. Before you decide to grow your sugar apple in Florida here are 5 things you should know to grow your best tropical sugar apple tree.

Sugar Apples Trees Love Sunlight

When planting your sugar apple tree make sure to select a well-lit area that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight.

Sugar apple trees can also be grown in a pot moved to diffrent areas of the yard depending on where the sunlight hits best in your Florida yard.

Sugar apples grown in shaded areas might not grow as fast or produce as much fruit as those in direct sunlight.

Sugar Apple Trees Grow Excellent In A Pot

If you happen to not have enough space to plant in your yard or live in an apartment with a balcony – planting a sugar apple in a pot is an alternative in Florida.

Heres a video of me planting a sugar apple tree in a pot

Make sure to provide your trees with a nutrient mixture of compost and soil to ensure healthy growth.

Sugar Apple Fruit Can Sell For A Lot Of Money

In Florida, if you want to buy sugar apples at your local garden market be ready to spend a fortune. Sugar apples are a delicacy here in Florida and typically at your farmers market, they will go for about 6-10$ the fruit for a nice sized healthy one.

It is recommended to grow your own sugar apple tree in Florida as they grow very easily and can provide you with the delicious fruit.

Beware of purchasing cheaper sugar apples at your local market as they may have an awful taste on the inside. (From personal experience I’ve tried to save a few bucks by purchasing more of the less expensive not-so-pretty sugar apples over the healthier and costlier ones. In return I ended up buying a bag of expensive awful fruit)

Sugar Apples Thrive In Sandy Soils Of Florida

Sugar apples have adapted very well in Florida’s soils. Most of Florida has sandy soils and sugar apples prefer well-drained soil type.

If you are planting your sugar apple in an area where it has mucky soil – it may experience fast growth but often less fruit.

Sugar Apple Flowers Can Be Hand Pollinated

If you want to increase the overall yield of sugar apple fruit on your trees you should consider hand pollination of your flowers.

Artificial pollination of your sugar apple is recommended because the sugar apple flower rarely gets pollinated by insects and if by chance it does the fruit comes out irregularly shaped and the overall yield of the fruit may be low.

Here is a video of hand pollination of a sugar apple tree

What Tropical Fruit Trees Grow The Best In Florida?

Florida’s climate is special and because of it has the ability to grow a wide variety of fruit trees.

What tropical fruit trees grow the best in Florida? Avocados, Papayas, Figs, Star fruit, Sugar Apple, Peaches, Mulberries, Pomegranate, Coconut, Mangos, Lychee, Longan, Jackfruit, Citrus, Dragon Fruit Cactus, Soursop, Guava, Bananas all grow very well in Florida.

Florida has a tropical and subtropical climate. Northern parts of Florida are much colder during certain times of the years – while South Florida experiences a humid climate most of the year.

Because of the difference in climates North and South of Florida, diffrent fruit may be easier to grow depending on where you are located in Florida.

Fruit Trees That Grow The Best In Florida

Papaya Trees in Florida

Papaya is a fast-growing Florida fruit that has a tasting characteristic very sweet and texture of a cantaloupe.

This fruit tree is a very easy and fun tree to grow due to its beautiful flowers, tasty fruit, and its appearance.

It is important to provide these plants with plenty of water and sun as they are heavy feeders and love nutrients.

Papayas grow well in South Florida and Central Florida as well but can be damaged by light frosts of Northern Florida.

Papayas are large trees and can reach about 8-15 feet tall while producing for about 4 years on average. After that, the fruit production of the tree begins to decline.

The papaya tree can come in three sexes, Male, Female, or bisexual (both male & female). When the female plant bears the flower she needs a male pollinator, so planting more than one Papaya is recommended.

If you purchase papaya from a nursery they will more than likely provide you with a bisexual Papaya that is capable of pollinating itself.

Avocado Trees In Florida

Avocados love the warm Florida weather. Grown easily in central and south Florida the avocado tree might be more difficult to grow up north.

Avocado trees can get very big – up to 60 feet tall depending on which type of Avocado you plant.

Some Florida types of avocado are the Bermicker, Brogdon, Choquette, Day, Hall, Hass, Lula, Marcus Pumpkin, Mexicola, Monroe, Pollack, Russell, Simmonds, and Winter.

If you are planning to plant an Avocado up north, we recommend a variety that can withstand colder temperatures up to 20-30 F such as the Brogdon, Choquette, Day, Mexicola and Winter have a much higher cold tolerance than the others.

It is recommended to prune these trees often because of their ability to grow tall and large.

Carambola (Star Fruit) Trees In Florida

Carambola or star fruit is a sweet fruit grown in Florida. Its starlike appearance when cut into slices gives its name ‘Star fruit’.

The carambola tree can be a large tree reaching from 22 – 33 feet at its final height.

The carambola tree loves warm weather. Growing them in central and south Florida is no problem – but northern Florida may need to be cautious with this tree.

The best temperature to grow Carambola (star fruit) in Florida is 68-95 F. Temperatures as low as 27-29 F is enough to kill a young Carambola tree so it growing it up north would require a heating element for the colder months.

Some popular varities of Carambola grown in Florida are the Arkin, Fwang Tung, Kajang, Kary, Lara, and Sri Kembar.

Star Fruit is a delicious fruit and nutritious and is recommended in every Florida food garden.

Sugar Apple (Annona squamosa) Trees In Florida

Sugar apple is a tropical fruit tree that bears a delicious creamy custard tasting fruit with a taste similar to soursop. It grows very well in warm climates such but struggles in colder temperatures – often losing all of its leaves during winter.

The sugar apple tree can grow up to 15 to 20 feet and spread out, proper pruning is encouraged in Florida.

The sugar apple flowers emerge mid to late spring as trees flourish in new vegetative growth.

In Florida generally, two types of sugar apple are sold in nurseries. The more common green sugar apple the Thai Lessard, and the red colored sugar apple variety Kampong Mauve.

Optimal growing temperatures for sugar apple or Annona squamosa in Florida ranges from 73 to 94 F. Sugar apple trees can face death if temperatures reach below 30 – 32 F.

The fruit of the sugar apple can be round, oval, or heart-shaped and has many seeds.

Peach Trees In Florida

Peaches up until recently were very difficult due to peaches needing a certain amount of chill hours to produce fruit. Typically peaches will grow better in northern parts of Florida such as Tallahassee but in recent times newer varieties have made there way to southern Florida gardens that are adapted to more warmer environments – requiring much fewer chill hours.

It is important to select a variety of peach with low chill hours such as Florida Crest, Florida Dawn, Florida Glo, Florida Prince, Sunbest, UF Gem, UF Sun, UF 2000, UF Best and UF Gold as they are all common Floridan varieties that need low chill hours.

What are chill hours?

Chill hours are the number of hours during the night when it gets cold. Peaches need a certain amount of those cold night hours between 32 F – 45 F for their fruit to become perfect.

Here are the chill hours required for some of the Floridan variety peaches

  • UF Best: 100 chill hours
  • Florda Grande: 100 chill hours
  • UF Gem: 175 chill hours
  • Florida Crest: 350 chill hours
  • Floridaglo:  150 chill hours
  • Florida Prince: 150 chill hours
  • UF Gold: 200 chill hours
  • UF 2000: 300 chill hours

Mulberry Trees In Florida

The mulberry tree in Florida produces a fruit that once ripe – has a similar appearance to a blackberry. The berry starts off green on the tree, then turning to a red color, then finally black once ripe.

Native Florida Mulberry is red/black but there is another variety that is grown in Florida as well that is of a white variety.

The mulberry tree thrives in the sandy soils of Florida, making it an excellent choice to include in your garden.

Did you know the mulberry plant family (Moraceae) is in the same family as figs, jackfruit, and breadfruit?

This fruit tree produces an abundance amount of berries plenty for the whole family.

Pomegranate Trees In Florida

The pomegranate in Florida can be somewhat tricky to grow. Due to Florida’s tropical climate. The pomegranate fruit prefers a Mediterranean climate over a tropical one – but still can grow in Florida.

The pomegranate tree is a bushy, often thorny shrub that dark green skinny leaves that cover its branches. It is recommended to trim the tree to maintain it at your desired height. Pomegranate trees also produce suckers around the crown or base or the trunk. Commercial growers remove the suckers to allow maximum growth to the pomegranate.

Its flowers are considered ornamental as they produce a beautiful orange-red flower. The flowers of a pomegranate are usually self-pollinated

Coconut Palm Trees In Florida

Growing a coconut tree in Florida can be very rewarding. In Florida, coconut trees grow excellent and are widespread throughout the tropics.

The coconut palm is the most important palm and has thousands of uses worldwide. Practically every part of this tree can be used in almost every industry. Its most important feature is the fruit – which is loved for its water and flesh.

The coconut palm tree starts producing fruit 6 – 10 years after the seed germinates and also reaches its full production 15- 20 years of age. It usually produces around 50-200 coconut fruit per tree.

The Malayan Dwarf Palm and the hybrid Maypan Palm have been widely planted in Florida because of their reported resistance to LY, a fatal disease of coconut palms in Florida
and in parts of the Caribbean region.

The coconut palm tree is usually found along tropical, sandy shorelines since it can tolerate brackish soils and salt spray. However, salt is not required for the growth of healthy coconut palms, which can be successfully grown well inland.

The coconut palm in Florida gives a tropical effect to the Florida landscape and provides fruit for home use.

Mango Trees In Florida

Mango trees grow very well in Florida. Mangos around the world are recognized for their sweet-tasting fruit compared to no other. There are endless uses for this delicious fruit.

Mangos are adapted to a tropical, subtropical climate and warmer temperature areas that do not experience freezing

In South Florida mangos are grown commercially – and typically the mango tree is found alongside yards in South Florida.

Mangos come in diffrent sizes and shapes but nearly most of them have an oval/oblong shape with colors ranging from yellow, green, red, orange and even purple.

Lychee Trees In Florida

Lychee is a subtropical fruit tree that grows excellent in central and southern parts of Florida.

Lychee trees can grow up to 40 ft in height and can be very ornamental in their shape and leaf design. The fruit of lychee is jelly clear like with a leathery red outside shell when fully ripened.

Lychee flowers are pollinated by bees and the wind. Typically one isolated lychee tree on a property will produce an acceptable amount of fruit alone – but gardeners have said to experience more fruit when cross-pollinated by having more than one lychee tree in the garden.

Young lychee trees can be damaged by temperatures as low as 28 F to 32 F and can even be killed by colder temperatures ranging from 24 F to 25 F.

Longan Trees In Florida

Longan is a subtropical tree that grows very well in Florida’s climate.

Longan trees produce fruit that is very similar in characteristics to lychee – being in the same family (Sapindaceae).

Its fruit is a small circular jelly-clear fruit with a leathery light brown coat. The fruit is very sweet and has a seed in the middle.

The Longan tree in Florida can grow up to 30 ft – 40 ft and is recommended to prune to keep to manageable height to pick the fruit.

Longan tree are less cold-resistant than lychees. Longans can be damaged by cold temperatures in Florida as low as 29 to 31 and can even be killed from temperatures as cold as 26 to 28. Older longan trees will be able to withstand colder temperatures.

Jackfruit Trees In Florida

The jackfruit tree in Florida is a large tree growing 30 ft – 40 ft. Jackfruit is the world’s largest fruit and once seen it cannot be forgotten.

In the Florida landscape, the jackfruit makes an excellent choice for its vitamin-packed fruit and sweet taste that’s unlike no other fruit.

Jackfruit when fully ripen can weigh anywhere for 10 – 60lbs. That’s a whole lot of fruit!

The Jackfruit tree is adapted to Florida’s hot tropical climate. For the best growth, warm areas are preferred by jackfruit.

The Best Types Of Potting Soils To Order Online

Thinking of planting some of your favorite plants but are stuck on deciding what soil to use? Perhaps your soil is just not great and wants to introduce a more nutrient mixture to supplement your plants. This guide will demonstrate the best types of soil mixtures to use for some of your favorite tropical Florida trees.

Here in Florida, many of our soils are a sandy – limestone mixture (found in Southern Florida). Although it may depend in your zone and are in Florida as your soil type may be diffrent.

Espoma AP8 8-Quart Organic Potting Mix

Price: $13.23

This potting soil is great for all indoor and outdoor solutions. Made by Espoma this 8-quart organic potting mix will be a great supplement for your favorite Florida fruit tree. Either add this mixture to your tree outside or use it in your planter.

Burpee Natural Organic Premium Growing Mix, 8 quart

Price: $12.28

Formulated with coconut coir this potting mix is great for the gardener who is looking for great soil with the capabilities of less watering. Included with slow-release plant food for up to 3 months this potting mix is sure to be liked by your plants.

Fox Farm Bush Doctor Coco Loco Potting Mix Coco Coil Coco Fiber Blended Potting Soil Organic

Price: $39.99

This potting mix is for those who want to keep it very natural. Coco-Loco is a great potting soil- especially for sugar apples (Annona squamosa). This potting soil has excellent water-holding capabilities which acts like a sponge. Fox Farm Bush Doctor Coco Loco potting mix is more than just coconut, included is coco coir, perlite, worm poop, bat poop, composted forest humus, dolomite lime for pH balance, etc.  It’s a coco-based complete potting mix and not just coco.

Should I Bury My Sugar Apple Tree Or Plant it in a Pot?

For all sugar apple lovers, deciding whether to plant your sugar apple in a pot or ground is something we all have to face. Maybe you don’t have the land and have to grow it in a pot, or maybe you want to plant it in the ground but also want it in your favorite pot. This article will help you decide what you should do with your favorite sugar apple tree.

Sugar apple or Annona squamosa is a tropical tree widely grown in Florida. It is loved for its sugary custard taste and sweet aroma.

The grand question is it better to grow sugar apple in a pot or in the ground – here are the factors that matter and the pros and cons of doing so.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rt25t386yr4&feature=youtu.be

About the sugar apple tree

Sugar apple trees can grow 15-20 feet and spread out. Sugar apple roots are shallow – so if you are considering potting it think of a planter consider one that is both wide and deep to accommodate the roots. Sugar apples are not very tolerant of excessively wet or flooded soil conditions, flooding as little as 7 – 10 days may result in root rot and death of the tree.

The leaves of a sugar apple are a green color with a smooth texture and round-shaped appearance.

In Florida, the sugar apple fruit can sell for quite a lot at your local market. Many cultivators of this fruit in Florida do so for the use of commerce making quite the sum. (Check out this article here of the best fruit to grow in Florida to make money.)

Growing Sugar Apple in Pot

Grow your sugar apple in a pot if you

  • Don’t have the yard or space to plant the sugar apple
  • Have no fertile land available
  • Are located in a flood zone that floods often
  • Are located in a colder climate and need to move your sugar apple
  • Want to maintain the size while in a pot
  • Want to move the sugar apple around for decoration

Growing Sugar Apple in the ground

Grow your sugar apple in the ground if you

  • Want to establish a long term fruiting sugar apple tree
  • Want to leave in one spot and manage from where its planted
  • Establish a stronger tree overtime

Which planter should I use to plant my sugar apple?

Sugar apple tree roots are shallow so a pot that can hold at least 5 gallons of dirt is recommended. Here are a few planters that would be great with a sugar apple tree (Annona squamosa).

How to plant sugar apple in a Pot

  1. Pick your planter and add your desired soil mix. Sugar apples like and are well adapted to soils that well-drained – this includes sandy soils and limestone-based soils found all around Florida. You may add fertilizer tom your sugar apple tree. If planting with sandy soil it is recommended a fertilizer formulations such as 2-8-8, 4-8-8, 6-6-6-3, or 8-6-9-5 or similar materials.
  2. Take sugar apple and gently scratch the base of the root system all around to allow the roots to untangle and be able to loosen up to its new planter.
  3. Add a mulching material around the base of your planter. It is recommended to mulch your sugar apples grown in planters due to the plant not being tolerant of colder weather conditions. Mulching also prevents fertilizer from splashing back or out of the planter as well as maintain soil moisture – so it’s recommended to add mulch your sugar apple.

Growing sugar apple in a pot will ensure your maximum mobility with your sugar apple tree. During the colder months in Florida, it is highly recommended to move the tree into a greenhouse or provide a degree of warmth. (Check out this article here on the most affordable greenhouses for your Florida garden.)