Tropical fruits are truly in a league of their own—their tangy, full-bodied flavor and sweet, syrupy nectar make for a supremely satisfying, vitamin-rich treat. The store-bought stuff is pretty great, but they can be a bit expensive—and, as any gardener will tell you, nothing beats the flavor of freshly picked fruit straight off of the tree. Growing your own tropical fruit trees at home is a fantastic way to enjoy the healthiest, tastiest fruits without any of the downsides of purchasing the imported stuff.
If you’re looking to branch out (pun intended) and start growing some more exotic plants in your yard, these five gorgeous trees will definitely deliver a steady supply of delicious fruit. Don’t forget; we have curbside pickup and delivery options available for you to make your shopping experience as easy as possible, so feel free to place an order with us over the phone!
5 Tropical Fruit Trees For South Florida Gardens
Breakfast, lunch, and cocktail hour will never be the same after you start growing your own tropical fruits at home. Here are five of our favorites that are best-suited for South Florida gardens:
This is certainly one of the more underappreciated tropical fruits, as it’s most often paired up with other fruits like mango and pineapple in juice punches or fruit cocktails. However, it’s still quite delicious on its own and has a rich, sweet flavor that’s unlike any other. The fruits have a shiny emerald green rind, but the inner flesh can range from yellow, orange, pink, or red, depending on the variety.
Guava trees reach up to 20 feet tall and should ideally have at least 10 feet of space all around the base so their roots can spread. They’re very sensitive to cold winds, so if we ever experience an unexpected cold spell, it would be worth temporarily wrapping the tree in some protective burlap in case it gets a bit too chilly.
If you want a substantial yield from your fruit trees, papayas will win you over with their massive fruits that grow in big clusters. Many gardeners insist that growing them from seed is the best method. While this does require a little extra patience, it isn’t as easy to transplant a sapling because their roots are very sensitive. With that being said, it shouldn’t take as long for your papaya tree to bear fruit compared to other trees. You might even be able to harvest your first papaya in as little as ten months!
The key to growing a successful papaya tree is providing it with all the resources it needs—they tend to be a bit greedy. Papayas want plenty of sunshine and water, and a whole lot of nutrients from the soil, so don’t skimp on the compost and fertilizer. Make sure the soil drains well so the roots don’t end up sitting in stagnant water—that will lead it to rot, which won’t bode well for those sensitive roots.
Perhaps the most peculiar-looking of all the tropical fruits, this spiky, melon-like fruit is actually a member of the fig family. They grow pretty big—approximately 35 pounds on average. That’s bigger than a toddler! Jackfruit has had a huge surge in popularity lately because it makes an incredibly convincing vegan alternative to barbecue pulled pork. Yes, you read that right! If picked before they are fully ripened, cooked, seasoned and sauced up, the stringy texture of this tropical fruit is so similar to slow-cooked carnitas, you’ll barely be able to tell the difference. Taco Tuesday, anyone? If left to ripen naturally on the tree they are sweet and juicy. Some varieties taste a bit like Juicy Fruit gum.
To plant a jackfruit tree, it’s best to sprout from seed and then transplant the seedling while it’s still small and has no more than four leaves in total. Put it in a spot with excellent drainage, because even if the soil is sandy or rocky, that will be much more comfortable than compacted, waterlogged soil. You’ll be able to start harvesting fruits in about three to four years after planting, so you’ll have to wait a little while to enjoy the full benefits of your tree. However, if you love this vegan favorite, it might be worth the wait!
Looking for something extra exotic? The lychee tree will undoubtedly be a conversation starter if you start growing them at home. The size of your lychee tree can vary quite a lot depending on the variety and the conditions it’s grown in. While 30 feet tall is a pretty standard height for a lychee tree, some may tower up to 100 feet! Their dramatic leaves stretch out up to a foot long, and new growth comes in as a rusty golden color, adding gorgeous dimension and visual interest.
Despite its large size, this Chinese-native tree has small, red, golf-ball-sized fruit with a distinctive, textured rind. The rind itself is inedible, but the pulp inside is absolutely delicious—especially in blended drinks. Be careful not to eat the inner seed, as it can make you very sick. Always dispose of the seeds safely when preparing lychee.
This beloved tropical fruit is a staple in American diets, with its mild flavor and versatile uses. Whether you’re baking them into banana bread, blending them into your smoothies, or slicing them up to eat with your Cheerios in the morning, bananas are an easy way to get a hefty dose of vitamins. They’re particularly high in potassium, an essential nutrient that helps regulate your heartbeat and breathing.
The best way to grow fruitful banana trees is to grow them in a circle with a pit filled with organic matter in the middle. This helps deliver a steady stream of nutrients to the plants so they can properly develop. It also helps to grow them along with some companion plants like taro, lemongrass, and sweet potato.
Ready to start growing vibrant, exotic fruit trees at home instead of splurging on the store-bought stuff? The huge volume of harvestable fruits will be well worth the effort, so visit our garden center or place an order over the phone so you can get all the supplies you need to start your own orchard in paradise!