The Q&A Archives: Fruit Trees

Question: What citrus and tropical fruit trees do well in Corpus Christi, TX?

Answer: Tropical and subtropical fruits, such as citrus, avocado, mango, banana, and papaya, are extremely sensitive to cold weather, which limits their planting to mostly coastal and deep South Texas, unless you take special precautions for freeze protection. Of these fruits, citrus has a greater range of cold-hardiness, with some types capable of surviving temperatures in the high teens. Some seedling Mexican-race avocados have survived in colder areas of South Texas, but the quality of those types is not particularly good.

Because mango and papaya are extremely cold-sensitive, with extensive damage occurring at freezing temperatures, they are limited mostly to the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Even without freezing, mango fails to flower or set fruit at temperatures under 40oF during bloom formation.

Bananas freeze readily, but the underground portions survive most South Texas winters and regenerate plants the following spring. To bear fruit, though, bananas require a frost-free winter.

Except for citrus, few varieties of the different tropical fruits are available in Texas nurseries.

Papaya can be severely debilitated by virus diseases, but there are no major insect or disease problems with most of the tropical fruits in South Texas.

You can also grow fig, pear, asian pear, persimmon, peach, nectarine, apple and plum trees.

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