tropical fruit trees for northern GA?

kawaiineko_gardener(5a)May 1, 2013

NOTE: I don't plan on growing them in my current zone, I know I can't. The zone I plan to grow them in is 7b.

Basically I've been looking for an area where I can grow
normal fruit trees as well as some sub tropical varieties and citrus without having to worry about protecting them over the winter.

The garden zones I'm finding in northern GA are 7b.

I'm wondering if I can grow things like bananas, pineapple guava, and mangoes in this area or will it be too cold?

They'd be grown in the ground.

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I'm in zone 7b (Raleigh NC) and can only grow pineapple guavas in the ground. I think mangoes would never take any freezing at all but I don't grow them so maybe there's a hardy one out there. There are bananas that will grow here but the fruiting type need to be pot grown until they get mature (usually one full year) and then placed out in the ground. They often bloom towards the end of the summer and the fruiting stem has to be cut down and brought indoors to finish ripening. The mama plant then dies in the winter. The problem then being that all the fruit ripens at the same time so you have a lot of bananas to eat in a short amount of time. Most of the cold hardy bananas either rarely fruit or have fruit that are full of seeds.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 9:49AM
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mangodog(palm springs 9B)

K-Gardener - the only hope you MIGHT have with a mango, would be to grow it right up against some southern corner of the house, where it would POSSIBLY survive the Arctic cold-rushes you inevitably have there every winter...but it's a long shot...

Wouldn't hurt to put a thermometer in this kind of spot at your house, if you happen to have it, and go out there on those really cold mornings and see what it says.........

There is no cold hardy mango that I've heard about in this forum or any others to date...but maybe some day???


    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 7:29PM
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I am also debating growing sub tropical trees (same ones listed) in central GA where the gardening zone is 8a. Would it be possible to grow them in the ground here without protection?

I do have one other question and sorry if this is off topic.

I know apple peach plum pear quince and apricot trees are more difficult to grow the further south you go.

If I were to try to grow them in 8a in central GA
then could i grow conventional varieties without too much difficulty or would they be more 'fussy'?

By conventional varieties i mean normal varieties where I won't have to get low-chill varieties cause of it being too hot/humid.

I have the same questions regarding berries and grapes. Can you successfully grow berries and grapes in central GA and get a reliable harvest?

The area I'm thinking of is Macon.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 9:08PM
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8a - I really don;t think so - all it takes is one night into the 20's for a few hours and unless you have it in a warm pocket near the house, I just don't see any mango success coming there unless they are protected, and probably quite substantially - meaning, more that just a sheet or blanket thrown over the plant.

As far as berries and apple, pear, peach type trees, I think it best to check with the local Agriculturl Extension office to see what they recommend....or do the work and find the "chill hours" for your area and go look up the types you want to plant and see if there is a match.....


    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 2:04AM
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Understand that a lot of the information out there concerns commercial growing - so there are plenty of people saying "you can't grow apples here" when what they really mean to say is "apples take some extra effort to get a decent harvest".

The southeast is full of pests and diseases that affect fruit trees. You can manage most of them but you'll only win the battle and not the war. New pests pop up every now and then - things our grandparents never had to deal with.

In my zone 7b Raleigh NC garden I get good crops with no spraying on mulberries, muscadines, table grapes, serviceberries, strawberries, goumis, jujube, elderberries, raspberries, blackberries, wineberries, aronia, kiwi (fuzzy and hardy), cranberries, figs, pawpaw and blueberries. I get good crops with low spraying on quince, cherries, bush cherries, 'Arkansas Black' apples. I get good crops with lots of spraying on Asian Pears, Asian Plums, European Plums, 'Orient' Pear, 'William's Pride', 'Gold Rush', 'Horse' apples.

Note that most of the named cultivars are "disease resistant" and I still have to spray them because they still catch diseases, they just don't get overwhelmed with disease like most of the more common cultivars.

Regardless of what the books say, if you snoop around you will find gardeners growing things that aren't supposed to do well in your area. Sometimes that means you have to do a lot of extra work. Some people might not think it is worth it.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 9:54AM
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I grew up in NE GA. Mangos are impossible there without some kind of greenhouse or indoor lighting arrangement. Why don't you try their North American cousin, the pawpaw? Selected pawpaw cultivars can rival mangos in flavor.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 4:40PM
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