The Best Fruit Trees for Hot Climates!

The Best Fruit Trees for Hot Climates!

fruit tree

Growing fruit trees at home opens up a whole new world of possibilities for food sustainability and expanding fresh food access right in your own backyard!

While there are already many incredible options for tropical fruit trees that are highly adapted to growing in the hot and humid south, the problem arises when Southern growers try growing fruit trees not typically adapted to growing in the tropical heat and humidity! It can be challenging to find some of our favorite fruit trees that we’d normally see growing in climates that usually have winter chill.

couple picking apples

The main issue that comes up when growing non-tropical climate geared fruit trees is the fact they don’t experience frost, freezes, and well … winter! This leads to a lack of what’s known as ‘Chill Hours’ in these warmer climates. Hot climate orchards need a certain breed of plant that can handle the intense sun, summer heat, the sticky humidity, and the lack of winter cold, and still produce fruit.

But growing what everyone else on the block is growing is…well, kind of boring! Although the heat and humidity have tons to offer, there are now loads of new cultivars that are expanding your options tenfold!

Tropical Fruit Trees

These trees are well-known standards that endure tropical heat and thrive in completely frost-free climates. Many of these are broad-leaved evergreens as well and provide year-round color!

  • Achacha - Orange egg-shaped fruit & white sweet/tangy flesh
  • Avocado Trees
  • Banana Trees
  • Barbados Cherry Tree
  • Citrus Trees - The most well-known tropical fruit trees with fragrant white flowers!
    • Lemons, Limes, Grapefruits, Kumquats, Oranges, and Hybrids!
  • Custard Apples - Honey Heart Cherimoya and Red Custard Apples
  • Guava Trees - 
  • Jaboticaba - Brazilian Grapetrees have round bubblegum or root beer-flavored fruit
  • Jackfruit - Huge fruit that grows right on the trunk and has a well-known fruit gum flavor
  • Jujube - Also known as Chinese Dates, handle the heat and some cold too!
  • Loquat Trees - Unique hot climate tropical fruit!
  • Mango - Syrupy sweet pulp and large seeds
  • Papaya Trees - Small-sized trees with large melon-like fruit
  • Olive Trees - Thrive in Mediterranean climates

The Best Hot Climate Fruit Trees

mango tree

These are the a-typical fruit trees that still grow in spite of the heat and lack of cool/cold weather! Selecting and growing fruit in a hot climate can be tricky, but Nature Hills has you covered! Just remember to also pick up a pollinator plant that also works for your growing zone to ensure a hefty harvest!

Apple Trees For Warm Climates

You’ll still enjoy an Apple a day in the hottest of growing zones! Just be sure you find an appropriate Crabapple or Pollinator Apple species that is also good for your growing zone to enjoy a large harvest!

  • Anna - A mid-sized early season Apple tree that just needs 200 chill hours
  • Dorsett Golden - Semi-dwarf early season Apple needing just 100 chill hours
  • Fuji - A fan favorite that needs just 200-400 chill hours
  • Pixie Crunch - A semi-dwarf with little crispy Apples and just 200-400 chill hours
  • Sundowner - Semi-dwarf that is resistant and late-season needing just 300 chill hours


Apricot Trees

Self-fertile and sweet-tart fruit, Apricots are easy-to-grow healthy fruit trees, and there are many that do well in frost-free growing zones. Some low-chill Apricot options include:

  • Flavor Delight Aprium - A Plum/Apricot cross that needs just 300 chill hours
  • Katy - An early-season producer that needs just 200-300 chill hours
  • Tropic Gold - A larger early-season tree that needs just 350 chill hours


Cherry Trees

Sweet or tart, Cherry Trees are usually best in cold climates, but there are a couple that do well in tropical growing zones.

  • Royal Crimson -Self-fertile, needing just 150-300 chill hours, and ripens early
  • Stella - A self-fertile semi-dwarf sweet Cherry that requires around 400 chill hours


Fig Trees

Sweet and succulent, Fig trees do amazing in coastal and hot, humid growing zones!

  • Celeste
  • Violette de Bordeaux
  • Olympian
  • Chicago Hardy
  • Black Jack
  • Peter’s Honey
  • Panache Tiger
  • Excel


Peach and Nectarine Trees

Fuzzy Peach and smooth Nectarine trees are juicy must-have summer fruit and are self-fertile gems!

  • Low Chill Peaches can be found Here.
    • Bonfire just needs 400 chill hours
    • Donut just needs 200-300 hours
    • Florida Prince - is very low chill at just 150-200 chill hours
    • Galaxy Donut just needs 200-300 hours
    • Bonanza low chill at 250 chill hours
    • Red Baron just needs 250-300 hours
    • Saturn Donut needs 300 chill hours
  • Zone 10 Peaches include 
    • Babcock - just needs 300 chill hours
    • Florida Prince
    • Santa Barbara
    • Tropic Beauty
    • Tropic Prince
    • Tropic Snow


  • Low Chill Nectarines can be found Here.
    • Double Delight just needs 300 chill hours
    • Fantasia - 200-300 chill hours
    • Snow Queen 250-300 chill hours
    • Spring Bright
    • Zephyr
  • Zone 10 Nectarine Trees
    • Arctic Rose White
    • Double Delight
    • Snow Queen
    • Zephyr Nectarine


Pear Trees

Succulent juicy Pears are luxurious fruit trees with decadent fruit! Just be sure to pair it with a suitable pollinator that also handles warm growing zones!

  • 20th Century - An Asian Pear with just 400 hours
  • Chojuro - Needs 450 chill hours
  • Hosui - Needs 400 chill hours
  • Kieffer - 300-400 chill
  • Korean Giant Asian - 300-400 chill
  • Orient Pear - Needs 300-400 hours of chill
  • Pineapple - Very low chill at 150-200 chill hours
  • Shinseiki - Needs just 300-400 hours of chill


Persimmon Trees

Both heat and cold-hardy, Persimmons especially thrive in hot growing zones.

  • Fuyu Persimmon Tree
  • Hachiya Persimmon Tree
  • Magic Fountain™ Weeping Persimmon Tree


Plum Trees

Plum trees are favorite summertime treats that are healthy pick-me-ups and snack-sized! There are even some Pluots that do well in these climates.

  • Beauty - A clingstone that just needs 200-300 chill hours
  • Burgundy - A semi-freestone round fruit needing 250-300 hours
  • Flavor Grenade Pluot - A Plum/Apricot hybrid that needs just 300-400 chill hours
  • Geopride Plumcot - A Plum/Apricot hybrid that needs just 400 chill hours
  • Methley - Very low chill at just 150 chill hours
  • Spice Zee Nectaplum - A Nectarine/Plum hybrid that needs 200-300 chill hours
  • Superior - A rosy orange fruit needs 300-400 chill hours


Pomegranate Trees

Jewel-like fruit and unique flowers, the tropical Pomegranate is a gorgeous fruit tree that offers beauty all year round! Some of the top-rated Pomegranates include:

  • Wonderful Pomegranate
  • Sweet Pomegranate
  • Parfianka Pomegranate


Fruit Tree Care

Something to keep in mind is that fruit trees in frost-free-climate can be especially susceptible to cold temperatures during their growing season. Unexpected dips in temperature at crucial times, or an unexpected freeze, can kill flowers and cause fruit drop.

frosted apples

For more accurate information on your area’s estimated chill hours, first and last frosts, and potential unexpected freeze warnings, you can reach out to your local County Extension Office or a fruit tree/gardener-friendly weather service.

All fruit trees flower best and fruit the most in full sun which is easy to find in most warmer climates, but try to find a location that provides at least 6 hours of direct sun a day.

Provide well-drained enriched soil and regular fertility and regular access to moisture. All plants appreciate a 3-4 inch thick layer of mulch to help maintain soil moisture and further protect and enrich the soil.

Nature Hills lists pruning times on each plant's individual page.

Luscious Fruit That Handles The Heat

Whether you grew up in the steamy southern states or are a northern transplant, you’ll still be able to enjoy your favorite fruit trees without worrying about chill hours or the heat and humidity!

Pies, jams, health snacks, and incredible desserts are mere seasons away once you plant a few ornamental edible fruit trees!

Cool off and beat the heat under the shade of your own orchard trees while snacking on homegrown goodness! Nature Hills is here to help you create the flowering or fruiting oasis in your landscape no matter where you live!

Happy Planting!

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