Florida has a unique climate that resembles that of tropical to subtropical regions. It is perfect for growing most plants, especially those that thrive in warmth and humidity. But, do apple trees grow in Florida?
However, Northern Florida and South Florida present slightly different weathers. The first has plenty of chilly nights during the winter, while the latter is warm and humid all year round. So, generalizing might be challenging. A tree that thrives in Northern California might not do as well in the Southern parts of the state.
Still, you can select from a wide variety of fruit trees to grow in Florida. You can successfully plant plenty of fruit trees too. Of course, before your plant them in your garden, you must ensure you can meet their basic requirements.
But what about one of the most popular fruits in the United States? Do apple trees grow in Florida? Keep reading to learn about growing apples in Florida and what to do to ensure you can get successful results even in this warm region. Indeed, while apples require a set amount of chill hours to grow buds in the spring and produce fruits, you can still find varieties that will work well with Florida’s conditions.
Don’t think of apples as northern trees anymore! There are species you can grow with only about 300 hours of chill per year. While you might find it more challenging to grow apples in Southern Florida, you shouldn’t have problems in the Northern parts of the state.
Do Apple Trees Grow in Florida?
So, in short, it is possible to grow apples in Florida: you only have to pick the suitable varieties. However, because most need at least 300 hours of temperatures below 45F, you might not get the results you wish in Southern Florida.
But that shouldn’t stop you from trying if you want to have an apple tree in your yard. Still, if you live in the warmest parts of the state, consider switching to another fruit tree instead. Don’t worry: the selection is rich!
But now, let’s look at the varieties that perform well in Florida’s climate.
If you like crisp apples, you’ll fall in love with the Anna variety. They are perfect for beginners, so if you don’t have experience growing fruit trees, don’t worry. These plants don’t require attention from your side, provided that you place them in a suitable spot.
Under optimal conditions, Anna’s apple trees are prolific and will give you plenty of fruits. Not to mention that they will make for ideal shade trees, especially during the hottest months of the year. In Florida, Anna’s apples ripen between June and July. However, you will need to add more than one specimen to your garden to ensure fruit production. These plants do not self-pollinate.
The Dorsett Golden apple is one of the few apple trees that will thrive even in Florida’s climate. Indeed, they prefer Mediterranean climates over colder weather. While you can grow this variety even where temperatures get low, you will have better results in Florida or South California.
The fruits are yellow and crispy, perfect for fresh eating. They work perfectly in a salad or apple pies. Dorsett Golden apple tree withstands harsh winds and isn’t susceptible to pests or diseases. Still, you will have to keep your tree under control to prevent damages.
This plant does well even with just 100 hours of chill time, making it better suited to the warmest parts of the state. Pick its fruits between June and July, and don’t forget to prune them in the winter to boost fruit production.
The Tropic Sweet apple tree is a low-chill variety that, under proper conditions, requires little to no assistance to grow. These trees need warmth to bloom in the spring and result from the University of Florida’s attempts to create a variety suitable to this state.
If you like gala apples, you will fall in love with Tropic Sweet’s crunchy texture. With proper care, you can ensure consistent fruit production in your garden. Ensure you add mulch around your plant to increase water retention and regulate the temperature in the soil. Compost or manure is essential to growing an apple tree, and don’t let it suffer during the hot months of Florida’s summer.