Dwarf Tropical Fruit Tree Recommendations

Central Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

Hi,

I am looking for some dwarf tropical fruit tree recommendations. Anyone have any suggestions?

Saint Petersburg, FL

Dean, are you looking to keep in pots and bring inside? If so, the sky's the limit, for the most part.

I've got a cocoa tree inside that blooms faithfully, although I haven't gotten lucky hand pollinating yet. I've also got Cherapus (a dwarf mangosteen relative), a Cinnamon tree and a Noni indoors.

If you're looking for more standard stuff, Dwarf Citrus is easy and pleasing as a houseplant. There's also a super dwarf banana.

It really just depends on your requirements.

Central Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

Yes, I'm looking for something more exotic. I already have a dwarf Citrus and a Dwarf banana. I'll have to look at the cacoa tree and Cherapus. I have a small GH and would like to give something a shot.

Central Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

Carolyn, where did you get your starts?

San Marcos, TX(Zone 8b)

How small do you want to keep it?

Here are some Tropical edibles that will stay pretty small in a pot. They will get much bigger in the ground. You may have to prune a little every year.

Barbados Cherry
Surinam Cherry
Cherry of the Rio Grande
Tree Fuchsia
Tomato Tree
Dragon Fruit
Miracle Fruit
Strawberry Guava
Naranjilla




Central Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

Under 6' tall would be great. Thanks jujube, I have some Dragon Fruit cuttings already too. Looking at expanding a little more.

San Marcos, TX(Zone 8b)

I have been hacking at my Starfruit tree for years so it will fit in my sunroom in the winter. I keep Jamaican Cherries in pots but they shoot up 6 feet in a season and have to be cut in half for the winter. They produce two crops a day so you cant beat that. My Cherimoya went from 18 inches to 40+ so far this year after sulking for a season. I decided to plant my Lychee outside in a cubby by the house. I plan on just enclosing that with plastic. The trimmed the Lychee into a bush for a few years and it really stayed compact while it was in the pot. That may be an option.

pic is Jamaican Cherry



This message was edited Jun 16, 2010 10:20 PM

Thumbnail by jujubetexas
Central Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

What does a Jamaican Cherry taste like? I have a Hak Ip Lychee seedling already. Sounds like you got lot's.

San Marcos, TX(Zone 8b)

I have a Brewster and Hak Ip. There really isnt a comparable taste for Jamaican Cherry. I told my wife it is like cotton candy and some old creme liquor that isnt good anymore.

he he

Have you thought about doing Maypop Passiflora. I have fruit bigger than chicken eggs right now. You would have to give it a structure to grow over but you can hack it apart and it doesnt mind.

Central Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

Well, a friend gave me some Passion Flower seeds. I guess that's what your talking about? It's a vine.

So you really think your Lychee will survive in the ground in San Marcos? Has it fruited yet?

This message was edited Jun 17, 2010 10:45 AM

San Marcos, TX(Zone 8b)

My Lychee fruited and dropped this year.
It wont survive in the ground but mine is in a L-shaped nook of the house outside that I can plastic up during the winter. This will let me get them over 10 feet high and 8 feet across. I can keep the temps above 40 in that spot by cracking my sunroom window on nights in the 20's.

There are only certain Passiflora with good eating fruit.
Try Maypop which can live outside.
Edulis which is what they use to make Hawaiian Punch. (keep in pot)
Granadilla which makes enormous flowers and fruit. (keep in pot)

All the flowers on these vines are amoung the most beautiful in the world.

Central Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

Thanks, for the pointers on the Passiflora. Good luck with your Lychees. Where did you get your starts? I was looking at Pine Island Nursery, but they are 3 gallon containers.

San Marcos, TX(Zone 8b)

The Brewster was from Home Depot via Pine Island. The Hak was from Riversend nursery and orchard down in south Texas. They have an internet site with all kinds of lovely fruit plants. You can visit their store, walk the orchard and buy fruit there too. It is outside Port Isabel/South Padre. The owners are a husband and wife and they are very nice. Their Brazos Belle Avocado is hardy down to 14 degrees.

http://www.riversendnursery.com/home.asp

Here is a picture of a 10 day old Maypop fruit.

Thumbnail by jujubetexas
Central Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

Quote from jujubetexas :
The Brewster was from Home Depot via Pine Island. The Hak was from Riversend nursery and orchard down in south Texas. They have an internet site with all kinds of lovely fruit plants. You can visit their store, walk the orchard and buy fruit there too. It is outside Port Isabel/South Padre. The owners are a husband and wife and they are very nice. Their Brazos Belle Avocado is hardy down to 14 degrees.

http://www.riversendnursery.com/home.asp

Here is a picture of a 10 day old Maypop fruit.


Wow, I'm going to check that out. I was thinking of an avocado. What Home Depot are you shopping at? Ha Ha!

That Maypop fruit looks nice. I still need to look into it.

Central Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

There out of the Brazos Belle.

San Marcos, TX(Zone 8b)

I shop at the Home Depot in Kyle. I have bought Starfruit, Barbados Cherry, Lychee and other tropicals at that store. It is really "hit or miss" when you go there looking for that stuff.

Check out the Lila Avocado at Riversend. It is also hardy to 14 degrees.
Avocados go by different names depending on who is selling it. If you want to research, I think that Brazos = Wilma and Lila = Opal. You will find more info under the Wilma and Opal names.

Maypop just opened about 6 new flowers. Their main problem is that they can take over an area very quickly if not kept in check.



Thumbnail by jujubetexas
Central Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

I'm going to look at Home Depot. May go there today, ASAP. Okay, I'll look at Lila. I'm only 45 min North of you.

San Marcos, TX(Zone 8b)

You may want to call first. I havent been there in months.

San Marcos, TX(Zone 8b)

You might want to check out The Great Outdoors on South Congress if you are heading South. They always have unusual stuff. I know that The Natural Gardener on HWY 71 has Dwarf Barbados Cherry for 7.99 which are more cold hardy and smaller but the fruit doesnt taste as good.
It's a Jungle Out There over off Palmer and North Lamar usually has some interesting tropicals as well.



Central Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

Okay, thanks! I just got back from two Home Depots in my area. One had Sea Grapes (which I wasn't interested), bananas, Satsuma oranges, and Avocados (unnamed grafted varieties). The other had Satsuma Oranges, and Haas Avocados. That's about it. Maybe this weekend I can check the others you mentioned.

Saint Petersburg, FL

Dean, I'm fortunate enough to live down the street from Jene's Tropicals, so I can pick up some of the more common exotics (Guavas, Sugar Apples, Jujubes, etc) there.

The harder to find stuff I source from various places. There's a guy in Puerto Rico who has all sorts of great stuff (got my Cherapus from him), but I don't think he ships outside of PR anymore.

Top Tropicals has a ton of stuff, but I usually only use them at last resort, since they're pricey and the quality is not great.

Pine Island I try to visit once a year. Their stuff is usually good sized and very healthy, a real value. River's End ships nice big plants as well, but the shipping from Texas is pricey for me.

Lastly, I belong to the local chapter of The Rare and Exotic Fruit Council, and I am able to acquire plants via their plant sales and raffles.

San Marcos, TX(Zone 8b)

Jene's Tropicals is known for having quality plants and unique varieties. They are also known for horrible internet order problems. If you have a problem, they stop returning your calls. I would recommend them if you are buying in person but not over the internet.

Only good experiences with Pine Island.

Central Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

Okay, I liked Pine Island's site. They seem to have a larger selection to. There are several out there and I'm kind of still looking around. There so many different kinds of tropical fruits. If there true to seed then I may just grow from seeds.

Saint Petersburg, FL

Jujube, I had heard that about Jene's and Internet Ordering. Also, to be honest, her site is not up to snuff. It has almost no information and is very rarely updated. However, since I'm literally about 2 miles away, it's a moot point for me. I like to go browse on a Saturday and see what looks good.

Dean, Pine Island has great stuff. If you're ever in the Homestead area, I recommend stopping in. They put you on a little golf cart and drive you around looking for your plants (they've got like 36 acres of exotic fruit trees).

The problem with seeds is it takes forever for most of them to fruit. Cuttings or Air Layers are usually the way to go. You get fruit in two or three years, rather than seven or eight.

Another couple to consider: Coffee (Pretty little tree, nice fragrant flowers) and Jaboticaba.

Central Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

Thanks Carolyn! If I'm ever there I'll stop by.

I'll have to look at the Jaboticaba. I've seen it mentioned a few times.

Gainesville, FL

Here's a few more:

Annona species; lots of different species with yummy fruit, many of them on relatively small trees.
Carissa macrocarpa; natal plum
Citrus; many can be kept small, such as key lime, kumquat, calamondin
Eugenia species; many kinds with good fruit on a small bush/tree
Garcinia species; " " " " " "
Spondias species; " " " " " "
Syzygium species; " " " " " "
Monstera deliciosa
Psidium species: various types & flavors of guava
Pouteria campechiana; canistel or eggfruit, I have had them fruit at a young age
Rheedia species;

Central Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

Thanks flabotany!

Central Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

Quote from carolyn_haack :
Dean, I'm fortunate enough to live down the street from Jene's Tropicals, so I can pick up some of the more common exotics (Guavas, Sugar Apples, Jujubes, etc) there.

The harder to find stuff I source from various places. There's a guy in Puerto Rico who has all sorts of great stuff (got my Cherapus from him), but I don't think he ships outside of PR anymore.

Top Tropicals has a ton of stuff, but I usually only use them at last resort, since they're pricey and the quality is not great.

Pine Island I try to visit once a year. Their stuff is usually good sized and very healthy, a real value. River's End ships nice big plants as well, but the shipping from Texas is pricey for me.

Lastly, I belong to the local chapter of The Rare and Exotic Fruit Council, and I am able to acquire plants via their plant sales and raffles.

I must have skipped this post. Thanks.

Davidsonville, MD(Zone 6b)

HI I'd like to chime in as I'm usually not around but heard you speaking of the Jamaican Cherry. This is one of my favorite's, mine died this past winter sadly so I've invested in another one that I picked up at the Tropical Fruit Tree festival at the university around here. They taste delicious, kind of like a sugar cube and popcorn, my kids love them. I have mine in a large pot, they are supposed to get big but so far I'm quite happy trimming mine back every so often. Very easy to care for (apart from the winter - guess I'll need to take it indoors this time round).

I have a jaboticaba in a pot also and even though it is in a pot it is doing well although it is a water hog in Florida. I've heard very good things about this plant, 1 that it tastes good and 2 that it is a good container candidate.

I have a sugar apple in a pot and finally this year has given me 1 fruit so far (still a little young) so my fingers are crossed that it stays on. Also have 3 mango's on my dwarf mango trees in pots. Since I have such a small yard, most of my fruit plants are in pots.

As for plants inside I've never had any luck, but that's probably because I don't get much sun inside the house other than in my sons room and I don't think he would appreciate me lining his bedroom window with exotic plants!

I've been to Jene's before and they do have good plants, although you really have to know what your looking for or catch them on a non busy day as I've gone before and been totally at a loss and just left because noone was there to help out.

Carolyn, it's sad that the guy on ebay from PR isn't shipping his plants here any more, I've been trying to find a cherapus for some time now. Have you had the opportunity to try the fruit yet?

Saint Petersburg, FL

astgirl, I love the Jamaican Cherry! Definitely a fruit tree worth keeping if one can. Dean, the fruit is small, maybe pea sized, but definitely delicious. And the tree is prolific.

Agree with you on Jene's, I'm most likely to go early though, so it's not crowded. Plus, I mostly can identify the fruit trees I want, although, her tagging system could be better. Jene herself knows her stock, and there's a young man who works there regularly who's most helpful, but some of the other workers are not as knowledgeable as one would like.

My Cherapus are still too little to fruit, as they're extremely slow growing. I figure I have at least another 3 years, but I'm willing to wait. Have never tasted mangosteen either, but cherapus are supposed to taste very similar to the regular mangosteens.

I don't have a large yard either (about 1/4 acre, but that includes house and pool), so many of my fruit trees are in pots as well. I also get enough sun indoors that I can keep a few exotics indoors for the winter. My cocoa and cinnamon trees are doing quite well as a result. Someday, I dream of having enough space (and a greenhouse) that they can all go in the ground.

Central Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

Thanks you all! I definitely want to try the Jamaican Cherry now. I to have a small yard. So dwarfs sound like the way to go.


What zone are you in, Carolyn?

This message was edited Jun 29, 2010 12:08 PM

Post a Reply to this Thread

Please or register to post.

Upload Images to your reply

    You may upload up to 5 images
    BACK TO TOP