Advice sought from rare fruit growers here- mangoes/ soursop etc

troys123May 18, 2009

Hi, so far i have 3 seedling young mangoes (2 from a tree here in AZ/& 1 Haden) planted under my 1 half year old Ambrosia Pomegranate, which is behind my large Acacia tree.

These are all on the n. East side of my house. Gets 4-5 hrs filtered sun per day.

I want to create a Virtual tropical jungle on this side of my house.

Will a avocado, soursop, cherimoya(custard apple), maybe a breadfruit tree grow here. I am from the islands (Jamaica) and i am used to these fruits and would love to try growing these here.

Anyone know of an online nursery or any nursery in California i can purchase these from?

Thanks for all replies

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rockmaker(z9 AZ)

Well, you can forget about soursop and breadfruit. Jackfruit is possible but requires midday shade and frost protection. The cherimoya will grow like a weed but will never set fruit due to the lack of humidity. Atemoya is a better choice. For mangos, you can try Julie and Ice Cream, which seem to love the dry weather. For Avocados, forget the California varities that you see at Home Depot, Lowes or nurseries. They simply will not survive the summer here. You need a Brogdon, Winter Mexican, Lula, Day, Choquette, or Marcus Pumpkin grafted onto a Lula rootstock.

Some other easy to grow sub-tropicals are white sapote, Loquat, Jujube (both Chinese and Indian), tropical guava, cherry of the Rio Grande, passion fruit, ambarella, star fruit, and longan. Lychee will grow and fruit but not quite as well as the longan. Papaya are easy but don't live more than 3 or 4 years.

In the San Diego area Exotica and Ong's are two places to get most of these. For the avocados I would wait until the fall and then mail order them from Stoke's or someone in Florida.

The subtropical demonstration garden on Broadway 1/4 mile west of 48th Street has most of these growing.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 7:17PM
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Hi Troys123,

I too have some tropical fruit plants put in just a month ago. I have Custard Apple (sugar apple), Sapodilla (chico) (grafted plants)and they seem to be doing well so far. I have planted some Jackfruit seeds and they have sprouted and r catching up fairly well. These plants I got from Texas and florida nursery's. The main thing that these plants need are regular watering the first year and some organic manure. They fruit only after two years. So we need to be patient for the the fruits.


    Bookmark   May 28, 2009 at 4:15PM
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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

I just saw a bit on the noon news about tropical fruit in Arizona. Seems there's a nursery on Baseline that carries all the varieties that do well here. Sorry I can't remember the name, but the owner was interviewed and I was surprised at all the different tropicals that he has.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 7:58PM
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Old post, but here's the place ^... :)

    Bookmark   October 30, 2010 at 1:35PM
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I just bought a Valencia Pride Mango from Tropica Mango (the place on Baseline). I am new to gardening of all sorts and just bought a new house, so went super gung-ho with buying up the town.

Heard great things about the place and he was informative, but I paid ALOT of money for this tree that already had leaves that were browning/yellowing at the edges. Going into Lowe's and seeing a Manila Mango tree (the kind I wanted) for $20 bucks or so really brought on buyer's remorse (I, embarrassingly, paid 125 at Tropica). I hope that there is something special about that place that will make the investment pay off....but so far I feel like it was really pricey, considering I'm a complete novice. :/

I'll be posting "help" stuff about my little mango tree later, but be sure to cost compare. I got swept up in the hype in my head of having my little orchard.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 12:31AM
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agility_mom(z9 AZ)

You are right, you can get a Manila Mango at Lowes or H.D. for around $20 or so.

What you can't get at either "big box" store is access to someone that actually knows how to grow subtropical fruit here.
You won't find the variety either. TM has several varieties of Mangos and lots of other unusual fruiting plants like Longan, Surinam Cherry, Cherry of the Rio Grande, Star fruit and lots more.
Enjoy your new tree and if you really want a Manila, pick one up from Lowes. Then when you have any questions or problems with either tree, call TM and get some advice. If you call Lowes, expecting help, you'll be out of luck. They will however refund your money if you bring in your dead tree and receipt :)
Good luck with the new plants!

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 1:48AM
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Ill have a batch of Valencia Pride mangos ready for selling size in about 3-4 weeks, as well as some other hard to get types.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 10:18AM
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/\ Grafted or seedling?

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 3:39PM
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or did you mean actual fruit for sale?

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 7:12PM
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    Bookmark   November 16, 2010 at 11:06AM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

padma_2009, which nursery did you get the Sugar Apple from and the Chico? I'm looking for these two trees also and all the nurseries I find at Florida don't ship here in Az.

I'm also looking for these Fruit trees:

Annona Squamosa sugar apple
Manilkara zapota (chico)
Spondias mombin (sineguelas, spanish plum, java plum, hog plum)
Chrysophyllum cainito (Star Apple, Caimito)

anyone have any experience growing any of these trees here in Az?

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 1:48AM
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I have Lychee and Java plum if anyone needs.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 11:32AM
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agility_mom(z9 AZ)

Here's a link that can help you. This is the Tropica Mango link page.

At the page you'll find a link to the AZ Rare Fruit Growers page. I joined this group and you can go to their meetings and get answers to all of your questions.
The AZ chapter is a part of the Ca. Rare Fruit Growers. Their page has more info on it and also links for nurseries that sell tropicals.

Also check out Desert Tropicals. When at the site go to their link marked Trees. There is info on a whole bunch of trees and info on growing them in Phoenix. It is a great resource.

Another site that I regularly visit is Phoenix Tropicals and the link is on the page that I sent too.
There are pages with pictures and a description about the author's experience growing each plant in Mesa.
He has a nursery link page of places that sell Tropicals and ship to AZ.
While you are at Phoenix Tropicals, check out the forum. You get quick responses if you post a question.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 11:48AM
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agility_mom(z9 AZ)

Another site for growing Tropical Fruiting plants in Phoenix

I noticed that there is info on growing some of the plants that you are looking for.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 2:39PM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

Very helpful links! thanks guys!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 7:07PM
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nimbley(zone 9)

The best bet on growing tropicals in the Phoenix area is to get plants that can tolerate a high PH soil. Acid soil loving plants do best in large patio pots but in my experience will do poorly or even die once put in the ground. As for the cold, shade cloths and lights do a pretty good job of keeping plants through the winter.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 1:05PM
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