What exotic fruits are you growing?

morningloree(9b)August 31, 2013

Just curious about all these "super fruits?"
So far this year I am growing Cape Gooseberry, Miracle Fruit, Pineapple Guava, Naranjilla, Custard Apple, Surinam Cherry and Sherbert Berry. Only the Miracle Fruit and custard apple have produced, the rest are young plants, are healthy, but no fruit. I did not have luck with Kiwi, Akeebia, or Chinese Magnolia. The deer ate my Chinese Magnolia, Akeebia was weed whacked and Kiwi perished of unknown causes.
What is your experience with the exotic superfruits?

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I had no luck with kiwi either. I was told it goes down for the winter, but it never came back in the spring. I have bananas, red lady papaya, peaches, which the rats get before me, lime, key lime and meyer lemon and sambo lemon, which hasn't been doing very well and hasn't produced.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 10:36AM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

Have Barbados cherry - & papayas & bananas - tho I guess those last 2 are not too exotic for a FL yard. Also a macadamia tree that hasn't flowered yet. Also have pitaya (a.k.a. dragon fruit) - which rarely fruits - hibiscus sabdariffa(Jamaica flower/FL cranberry) & pineapple.

Barbados cherries taste much better than Surinams.

Also have several citrus, grapes, figs, blueberries, blackberries, elderberries, seagrapes & a very young Chickasaw plum still in its pot - plus a veggie & herb garden - it's getting hard to find room for everything!

FYI, elderberries definitely qualify as a superfruit & are very easy to grow...

This post was edited by carolb_w_fl on Sun, Sep 1, 13 at 11:06

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 11:04AM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

I guess exotic is in the eye of the beholder lol..but this is what I grow currently. The list is pretty accurate except for the figs which needs updating.

50 sweet Crisp
3 star
16 Windsor
2 southern Belle
14 Jewel
4 South Moon
51 Emerald
9 Sunshine Blue
1 scintilla
10 86-19 (V1)

2 Windy (rabbiteye)
2 Beckyblue (rabbiteye)
2 Snowflake (rabbiteye)

1 Tropic Beauty peach
1 UF Gold peach
3 UF Beauty peach trees
1 Florida Prince Peach tree
1 UFO peach tree
2 plum trees

Gulf Beauty
Gulf Rose

16 citrus trees (15 varieties)
Ambersweet orange
Taracco Blood orange
Orlando Tangelo
Mineola Tangelo
Meyer lemon
Ruby Red Grapefruit
Navel Orange
Dancy Tangerine
Sunburst Tangerine
Eustis Limequat
Gold Nugget

Pomegranates (26 varieties)(part of a University of Florida study)

Nikitski ranni
Shirin Zigar
Gissarskii Rozovyi

Mejhos 6269
Al sirin nor
Surh anor
Angel red

Kaj acik anor

Russian #8
5 Vietnam (Big yellow)

5 mulberry trees


1 Fuyu persimmon
1 Hana Fuyu

4 Bananas (2 types)
Ice cream
Dwarf Cavendish

100 row feet of black berry bushes


150 row feet of Mysore black raspberry bushes

2 Grumichama cherry trees
3 Pineapple Guava
Cherry of the Rio Grande

11 pineapples 2 types
started from grocery store pineapple tops plus
Kona Sugarloaf

figs nearly 70 varieties not all of which are listed below

Green Ischia
Black Mission
Panevino dark
Hardy Chicago
Giant Black German
White Triana
Takoma Violet
Bronze Paradiso
Salem Dark
LSU Gold
Panevino white
JH Adriatic
Sals el Gene
Sweet George
Morle Paradiso
Green Ischia
Ronde De Bordeaux
Genes paradiso
Violet De Bordeaux
Malta Black
Oregon Prolific
Lindhurst White
LSU Brandy
Kathleens Black
colasanti dark
Freds Celeste
Wilmington Creeper
Beers Black

10 20 foot rows of muscadine grapes
southern home
florida fry
Late Fry

Early Fry
Li Ci

Jujube Tigerclaw

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 11:48AM
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impressive collections everyone!!

I currently have an unknown variety of Indian mango that came with the house. I've also added the following :

ice cream mango (condo mango)
2 types of unknown bananas ( I think one is dwarf gran nain)
key lime
Persian lime
Meyer Lemon
Guava (Pink Lady)
Cashew (growing for the fruit not the nuts)
Barbados Cherry
Tropical Gooseberry (otaheite)
Miracle Fruit

I've had fruit from all except the Tropical Gooseberry, Fig, Papaya, Avocado, Cashew and SourSop

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 1:24PM
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I have Elderberries as well, they got mowed (story of my life) but I dug them up and potted them, recovering... I would like to try the Chicksaw Plum. What an extensive list, I am really impressed.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 1:52PM
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shavedmonkey (Harvey in South Fl.)Z10b

bamboo rabbit, how much land do you have? A very impressive list. I grow finger bananas, key lime, navels, 2 types of figs, pineapple, black sepote, avocado. I trade futures on whatever bears for very good mangos. Orchids are food for my head.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 5:07PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Shaved Monkey,

3 acres.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 6:36PM
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keiki(10 FL)

I love growing edibles! Below is my list, some super fruits some just plain yummy.

Bananas: ice cream, dwarf grand nain, raja puri, 1000 finger, ladyfinger, dwarf plantain and rojo.
citrus: key lime, blood orange, honeybell, dancy tangerne, sambokan lemon.
pineapples: smooh cayane, sugar loaf, variegated and spanish red.
figs: celeste and green ischia
Jack fruit: honey and NS1
papayas: solo, red lady, and 2 no ids
dwarf ambarella
dwarf mulberry
red sugar apple
green sugar apple
hayden mango
variegated monstera
carambola kary
sopadilla alano
tropic beauty peaches
nectarine (removing soon)
muscadines both red and golden
pitaya physical graffitti
pomegranate vietnamase
randia black berry jam

I am probably forgetting something, at least it feels like I am.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 9:55AM
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have had 3 soursops that tasted good this year, many different mangos, lots of bananas with 3 stalks of gran nain so far which have had the best flavor, 10 pineapples,lots of starfruit,many key limes, guavas,2 white sapotes (first crop).Awaiting 2 jackfruits,quite a few sapodillas,and a number of avacadoes(choquette).

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 11:34AM
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several varieties of banana but names all lost in moving
apples: anna and yellow dorset
fig-green ischia (just planted)
barbados cherry
Peach (UF Sun) plant it and step back fast! it's a grower
Sapote-young still in pot

Citrus greening is bad in this area...I've given up on citrus.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 12:39PM
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Hey StuartDave, that key lime of mine is the seedling I got from you and it produced like crazy this year. Yea!!!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 2:39PM
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ibarbidahl(9 (tampa-ish))

I am in Laura's area and if I was further south my list would be longer but here is what I have now:

Peaches (2 trees)
Apples (anna, ein shimer, dorset)
Coconut (Potted)
Key Lime (potted)
Red lime.... (Ok they are only a year old!)
Surinam Cherry
Avocado (4 trees)
Blueberries (10 bushes)
Pomegranate (2 varieties)
Strawberry Guava (5ea)
Pineapple guava (2ea)
Barbados cherry
Hibiscus safrodilla (hedged into my regular hibiscus!)

I also harvest my sea grapes in the years they don't freeze back. LOL. Oh, and don't forget Pinto palm jelly, I'll have that to harvest if mine ever gets large enough to fruit!

I don't consider much of that exotic though a lot of it is hard to grow here either because it stays too warm or doesn't stay warm enough. On the nights it threatens to get down to freezing my husband curses me because we have to bring in the coconuts, banana, keylime, etc. The house looks like a greenhouse and we have aching backs, but it's worth it!

The kiwi is 4 years old and I keep it trimmed back. So far it has not even tried to give me a single flower yet. As for the variety of it... Your guess is as good as mine. It was purchased on a clearance rack. I've never met any type of kiwi I didn't like to eat so I took my chance. I bought 3 pots one with 2 plants and 2 with one each. I have 4 plants now. It defoliates for just a couple weeks each year but is vigorous enough to grow a good 3-4 ft each year beyond what I prune out while it's dormant. I understand it takes 5-7 years for the first fruiting. I'm getting very impatient now so next year it had better flower even if it doesn't set any fruit!

Guavas took 3 years to set fruit. They are 5-6 ft tall now that they are fruiting. They need water so if we don't get a good summer rain pattern you'll need to water them if they are young.

Apples? UGH. Mine are 3 (or 4?) and still tiny.Under 6' and while I'm still willing to give them another year I had to cut one down to a foot above the graft this year because of an unknown disease. I'm just hoping it pulls through this winter and flushes well in the spring. No luck at all with the apples doing well.

Surinam take 1-2 years to get established. Then? WATCH OUT! THey grow slow at first but once they get going they'll really take off. If you are starting with a seedling you can expect fruit in 2-3 years Don't eat it until its DARK.

As for the pomegranate? I haven't figured out how to time the picking of the fruit. The tree doesn't flower and set fruit all at once so I'll have fruit that is 2-3 months old and then it will set again. I think this is because the trees are still young, though. I stillmanage to get decent aril even when I pick too soon or too late. So I must have a pretty good variety to be able to do that. :-D Still waiting on the pom wonderful. It sets then aborts at 2-3 months. Most poms are known to do this until they are about 3 years old. I had to move that tree about 18 months ago so pretty typical.It is only a 3 year old tree anyway.

Only 1 persimmon so far. Again, my trees are all young because I've only had the property for about 5 years. Put the fence up 4 years ago and had to pay it off before I could start buying other things. LOL.

What I can tell you about the avocado tree is to be rather careful where you plant it. I have one tree that has quite literally grown 25' in 2 years. It's the only one that hasn't flowered yet and I can see why. It will probably flower this coming year and I'm excited for it because the other trees that are flowering are only able to give me 1 or 2 fruits because the trees are too small to support much fruit. LOL.


This post was edited by ibarbidahl on Tue, Sep 3, 13 at 13:08

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 12:51PM
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Anna apple (my Golden Dorsett died of unknown reasons - will replace this winter).

Two unknown tangerine varieties (they were here when I bought my house).

Honeybell tangelo (absolutely huge and abundant, delicious fruit)

Rhode Red Valencia orange

UFO peach

Florda Prince peach

Unknown peach (was supposed to be Tropic Snow but flesh is yellow. Probably Tropic Beauty).

Cape Fear pecan

Sumner pecan

McMillon pecan

Elliot pecan

Jewel blueberry

Emerald blueberry

Sharpblue blueberry

Sunshine Blue blueberry

About 30 or so Festival strawberry plants (propagating lots of daughters right now)

20-something Murai sweet corn (just beginning to tassel)

4 Sungold tomatoes

4 Better Boy tomatoes

3 Beefmaster tomatoes

Supersweet 100 tomato

6 Kentucky Wonder pole beans

4 Sweet Sugar Pie pumkins

3 Pineapple (unknown varieties - tops of grocery store fruits)

Diva cucumber (a second one is being germinated)

I'll begin starting seeds for Pacman brocolli and some sort of lettuce at the end of the month for a succession planting.

I have a bed ready for Granex onion seeds in October.

I plan to add an Amling pecan tree in late fall.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 11:09AM
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WOW!! this is fantastic thread! my small patch sure cannot match most of you-all but I do try--- 2 haden mangoes, a pecan, several mulberry, one is so huge only the birds get them, kumquat, lots of bananas one of which is the ice-cream Keiki gave me at Lori's swap,some are the lady-finger... a whole-yard's hedge of several types of cherry, both black and red and orange, maybe 50-75 bushes.....2 .loquat, 4 fig ,a guava, a dozen papaya, kiwi that is trying to die, and some citrus that is not doing well due to the greening I think....a large red seedless grapefruit, a meyer lemon, a key-lime, a orange uncertain lineage...., and roses maybe abt 150, and more stuff I can't place right now, lots of flowers etc. also abt. 50-75 orchids both on the porch and in the guava tree....anyway it's a jungle out there! I think at my age it's time to 'down-size' but it would break my heart, what does one 'give-up' first?? LOL, sally

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 4:02PM
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keiki(10 FL)

Sally glad to hear the ice cream is growing well for you. Tell me about your black cherry. I have been on the hunt for a black surinam cherry, is that what you have? If so where did you find one? If not what is yours and how is the fruit?

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 8:56AM
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Hi Keiki-- the black cherry hedge was here when we bought the place, they had a cherry hedge all around the perimeter, some were red, some were more orange, and some were the black..and the black is by far the sweetest..I don't know the names, I'm just guessing the source but they do have some listed several Nurseries on-line, Pine Island, as I recall...there were others here in Fla. I noticed when I was looking for Loquat but I don't remember the name.... Google 'black cherry for Fla.'... the Ice Cream has 2 pups also and I plan on relocating them to a better place in the yard, I am 'tree rich' w/too much shade and they suffer... I need to get someone to cut a huge mango grown from seed, it doesn't taste good, has a 'medicine' taste, also a huge pecan needs to be removed.... we just had a large bunch of Ladyfinger bananas and they all ripened almost overnight, and the critters got most of them! the same w/mangoes, my Haden was loaded and most of them were 'tasted' by the squirrels! LOL, sally

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 4:18PM
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Sally, have you ever frozen the bananas whole in their skins? I do and I love them that way. I just peel them and eat them like an ice pop. So none go to waste. I cut them down before they are fully ripe and hang them in the garage to finish ripening so the squirrels don't get them. The same with the mangoes. With the bananas the skins turn black when frozen, but it doesn't effect the fruit inside. :o)

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 6:55PM
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keiki(10 FL)

The only source for the black surinam cherry I have found wants $50 when they have it which is pretty rare. I hear it is invasive so I really hate to pay that.

I cut my bananas down when the first one turns yellow or the stalk gets to heavy for the tree. I hang mine on the lanai so I can watch it closely, I might miss it in my garage. I also freeze bananas, some I mash and some whole skinless. I guess if I kept the skin on I wouldn't have to use ziplock bags but this way they are ready when I want to make frozen chocolate covered bananas. YUM

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 9:06AM
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I've never tried freezing, didn't know abt. it---will try it next bunch that ripens...Keiki the cherries don't seem 'invasive' to me, they are a neat hedge and we just whack it down occasionally, when my son feels like it! LOL... I did find some vendors w/google and sent them to you, I didn't notice the price but don't think it was that expensive, they were Eldon's Tropicals in Ocala, Manatee Rare fruit sale in May at the Convention center in Palmetto, Richard Lyon's nursery in Miami, and of course E-Bay.... my plants have never sent out 'runners' or popped up other places, they don't act invasive and that designation seems out of place, to me at least...I love the cherries, the black is the best....LOL, sally

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 3:28PM
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