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Texas has a unique climate which makes things interesting when figuring out what to grow. Depending on what part of Texas’s great state, certain plants will do well while others will not. At first, this may seem annoying, but it allows Texans to grow an astonishing array of plants.
For example, in north Texas where it gets colder, trees like apples, peaches, and plums grow well. On the other hand, citrus and tropical fruits like grapefruit and pomegranates enjoy Texas’s warm southern areas. We researched to find the best information on which fruit trees do well with Texas’s unique climate. Here’s what we found.
The producing trees that grow best in Texas include:
Remember that Texas is a big state. Trees that grow well in northern Texas may not do as well in southern Texas. Keep your specific hardiness zone in mind when choosing plants and varieties to grow. Let’s take a closer look at these fruit trees and which might be a good fit for your area.
Apples, Malus domestica, are harvested July through November in Texas. A perk of growing apples is the many different varieties, making it easy to grow something suited to your area and taste.
Apples, like many fruits, need a certain number of cold days to produce well. Because of this, they will generally perform best in the panhandle and north Texas. However, certain varieties have been bred to grow with fewer hours of frost.
Popular varieties include Red Delicious and Gala apples. Gala apples are especially great for smaller yards as the trees do not spread as much as other varieties.
Prunus aviums, better known as cherries, are a great small-fruit option for Texas. They like the cooler part of Texas, like the panhandle, and will take some effort to grow in other areas. Depending on the variety you get, cherry trees also produce beautiful blooms.
Pick a cherry tree suited to your area by asking your neighbors or local master gardeners. The most common variety in Texas is the black cherry or Prunus serotina.
Peaches, Prunus persica, are harvested from June to September. They need some wintering to produce in the spring, so they are best in the state’s cooler regions. However, some varieties like Florda Prince and Gulfking have been bred to grow in warmer parts of the state.
Peaches need well-draining soil and are particularly susceptible to getting wet feet. If possible, do a soil test before planting your peaches.
Plums, Prunus domestica, are in the same family as peaches but have a lovely purple color that makes them stand out. Santa Rosa is a popular variety for growing in Texas since it grows well in a wider range of hardiness zones.
Like peaches, plums also like well-draining soil. In particular, they grow best in sandy loams. If you have thicker, clay soil, amend with organic matter or sand to improve soil drainage. Worm castings, compost, and coco coir are especially good for helping with water management.
When you think of grapes, you probably think of California. But grapes, Vitis vinifera, grow do fairly well in most of Texas.
When picking grape variety to grow in a home garden, it is generally best to go for easy-to-grow plants. While they may not yield as much, they will be more likely to survive. Popular varieties include the Miss Blanc white grape and the Muscadine.
Pears, Pyrus communis, are a great option for the northern parts of Texas. Unfortunately, they do not grow well in the southern parts of Texas because they require a winter chill to grow properly. However, they can usually adapt except for in the southern tip of Texas like Galveston or Corpus Christy.
Common pear varieties for Texas include Beth, Warren, and Ayres. When choosing a pear variety, consider your personal preferences as flavor ranges depending on the variety.
While not technically fruit trees, pecans or Carya illinoinensis are extremely popular in Texas. In fact, the pecan tree is the state tree for Texas. Likewise, they can be grown in all parts of the state but do best in central and southern Texas.
Pecans are odd because they grow in cycles. One year they will have a large harvest then, the following year, they will have a small or no yield.
Figs, Ficus carica, are a versatile and increasingly popular fruit tree due to their striking leaves. Figs love the heat, so they grow best in central Texas. With proper care, they can grow in other areas of Texas but will need overwintering care.
Fig trees are also commonly known as money trees, and small varieties can be grown indoors. However, such varieties do not produce much, if any, fruit. So make sure to do your research before purchasing a fig tree.
Persimmons, Prunus persica, are a great option for people who enjoy growing unusual fruits. The combination of their striking orange color and rarity makes them a great conversation starter. While they may look like a tomato, persimmons have a unique flavor and texture. The flavor is sometimes described as being like a mango. There are two groups of persimmons, Fuyu and Hachiya. Each has its own flavor and profile, so pick according to your tastes.
Persimmons are not only delicious and striking, but they are also hardy. They are fairly easy to grow, making them great for people who are new to fruit trees. Likewise, these plants can be grown in most parts of Texas.
Pomegranates enjoy the warm, humid weather Texas offers but fruit late in the year, usually from October to December. In colder regions of Texas, especially in the panhandle, they may need to be moved inside. While this may sound difficult, pomegranates are fairly small and bush-like, which makes them easy to grow in containers. Their fruits’ lovely colors make them perfect for both landscaping or an interior conversation piece despite their size.
Pomegranates are fairly easy-going about soil as long as it is fairly well-draining. Like many fruit trees, they do not like wet feet and are prone to root rot. If you want to plant your pomegranates in a container, make sure you take steps to avoid root rot and strategically water.
While not technically trees, many varieties of berries do well in Texas. Blackberries especially stand out as they have the ability to thrive almost anywhere. They are especially great for a late-season fruit, as it is harvested from May to July.
If not kept in check, blackberries will happily take over your yard. This makes them some of the easiest fruit to grow in Texas. However, they can have thorns and be difficult to harvest. Other varieties of berries can be grown in Texas but will require a bit more work. Strawberries and blueberries are other good options but, like blackberries, are not a true tree.
A Note On Citrus
While citrus fruit does not make it onto the list of the best fruits to grow in Texas, it gets an honorable mention. Citrus plants like lemons, oranges, and grapefruit do extremely well in the very southern reaches of Texas. However, the majority of the state does not stay warm enough for citrus trees to thrive.
Citrus can be grown in north texas, but it will take a lot of effort, and they will usually need to be moved indoors for the winter. When the plants are small and young, that may not be a problem, but citrus trees can grow very large.
So, you can definitely grow citrus trees in Texas and do well with it, but you need to carefully consider your specific climate. If you are interested in growing other types of fruit, check out “How Do I Get My Banana Tree to Produce Fruit?” and for the indoor gardener, “What Fruit Can You Grow Indoors?“