Will Cherries Grow in Florida?

Wet cherries on a branch.

Cherry trees have been farmed in the United States for hundreds of years, whether for their fruit or blooms. Many cherry trees, such as the Bing, require a lot of chill hours in the winter (between 32°F and 45°F).

Although the traditional cherry cannot be grown in Florida due to its tropical climate, certain variations can bring color and tasty fruit to your yard.

Sargent Cherry

Sargent cherry is a flowering cherry that grows to be 25 to 40 feet tall in residential gardens. It prefers cold winters, like many cherries, and thus grows exclusively in Florida.

Sargent cherry has a slow growth rate. It blooms pink and has a cinnamon brown, gleaming bark. Its pea-sized fruits begin red and turn purple as they ripen in June and July. The dark green leaves of the Sargent cherry grow to be 3 to 5 inches long and turn a beautiful yellow, orange, or red in the fall. It thrives on slightly alkaline, well-drained soil and is drought resistant.

Black Cherry

The black cherry (Prunus serotina) is an oval-shaped tree that grows 60 to 90 feet tall. It’s a deciduous tree with glossy dark green leaves that turn yellow, orange, or red in the fall, depending on the weather. According to the University of Florida extension, black cherry leaves and twigs are deadly to animals if taken in significant quantities.

In well-drained soils, you can grow black cherry trees in half shade, part sun, or full sun. Drought resistance is excellent in black cherry trees, which are hardy in USDA zones 3B through 9A. Cherry laurels (Prunus caroliniana) are evergreen trees with weak limbs and untidy berries, comparable to black cherry trees.

Barbados Cherry

When pruned to a central trunk, the Barbados cherry (Malpighia glabra) becomes a big shrub or small tree. Its glossy light green to deep green leaves vary in size and form, and its blossoms range from pink to rose, depending on the cultivar.

Barbados cherry blossoms in the spring and continues until the summer. It bears fruit from May to November, producing an edible crop that may be eaten raw, juiced, or turned into jams and pies.

Barbados cherries should be grown in well-drained, protected areas in central Florida and northward. Allow at least 15 feet between plants, or even closer if they’re grown as a hedge. For the best fruit output, plant a variety of cultivars.

When temperatures drop below 30°F, young trees should be protected. For limited periods of time, mature trees can endure temperatures as low as 28°F.

Weeping Higan Cherry

The beautiful Weeping Higan cherry (Prunus subhirtella cv. Pendula) grows 20 to 30 feet tall with a 15 to 25-foot spread. It’s a deciduous tree with drooping branches covered with glossy green leaves that turn yellow in the autumn. Each spring, before the leaves emerge, showy light pink 1-inch blossoms adorn the branches. Squirrels and other small animals are drawn to its little fruit.

Weeping Higan cherry can be grown in full sun on a variety of well-drained soils. USDA zones 5A through 8B are suitable for growing.

Will Rainier Cherries Grow in Florida?

No, rainier cherries won’t grow in Florida; they require colder climates. They are best for hardiness zones 5 to 8. Plant the tree in a full-sun position with loamy soil. Rainier cherry tree care is similar to that of other cherry kinds, and it includes irrigation, pest control, and the use of organic fertilizer on occasion.

What Kinds of Fruits Can Grow in Florida?

Florida has a unique climate that allows for the cultivation of a wide variety of fruit trees. Fruits such as avocados, apples, bananas, figs, citrus, guava, jackfruit, Japanese persimmons, lychee, loquats, mangoes, papayas, peaches, mulberries, and tamarind thrive in Florida.

Where do Cherries Grow Best?

Washington, Oregon, and California produce more than 97 percent of the sweet cherries in the United States, while Michigan is the top tart cherry producer. That should give you a good idea of what kind of climate they enjoy.

Final Thoughts

Most cherries require colder climates which is why they won’t grow properly in Florida. However, some varieties like the Sargent cherry, Black cherry, Barbados cherry, and Weeping Higan cherry can grow in the Sunshine state.

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