Cairns and Tropical Gardening with Rob Pyne

tropical fruits to grow

Tropical Fruits to Grow

Best Tropical Fruits to Grow

Tropical fruits to grow are worth close consideration. These often delicious fruits come in a range of shapes, sizes and flavours. Indeed the number and variety of fruits that originate in the tropics is amazing. When added to fruits from other regions that grow in the tropics, choice abounds.

tropical fruits
Tropical Fruits

Tropical Fruits to Grow in Australia

This is our list of favourites:

When considering what tropical fruits to grow, don’t let the fact some of these trees can grow very large put you off. The backyard gardener simply has to prune to keep those monsters under control. Indeed, when grown commercially, most of these trees, such as the mango, are pruned regularly as a matter of course.

Fast Growing Fruit Trees Queensland

Many of the non tropical fruits grown in the tropics are citrus. We are fans of the lemonade fruit in particular. However, there are many other citrus that will also grow and thrive in the tropics. We love them as they are fast growing produce abundantly. Below are some of our citrus champions.

  • Fingerlime
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemons (The Meyer Lemon in particular thrives in the tropics)
  • Mandarin
  • Oranges
  • Tangerine
  • Tangelo

Of course some citrus actually originate from the tropics! One of these is the West Indian lime, known as the key lime. The grapefruit is another. However, my favourite tropical citrus is the pummelo (aka pomelo).

The pomelo  is related to grapefruit, but is sweeter.  There are several types of pomelo, including Nam Roi, which produces a large sweet seedless fruit. 

The blood orange is another favourite of ours. It is attractive, hardy and loves the heat. Consequently, we love growing blood orange.

Non Tropical Fruit to Grow

Why not start growing mulberries?

Do mulberry trees grow in the tropics?

Unlike mulberries grown in southern climate, mulberries grown in the tropics will grow into a bush, not a tree. However the fruit is just as sweet.

Tropical Fruit Plants List

Before finishing, we should mention some of the ‘iconic’ tropical fruits to grow (that do not appear above), but are an important part of life in the tropics. That is, the lychee, bananas, pineapple, mangosteen and of course, the coconut!

Lychee fruit is the most obvious thing missing from the above list. We love to eat them, we just don’t grow them. Lychee trees are one of the larger trees and we just don’t have room for one in our yard. However, if you do – go for it! For us, eating lychees is a natural part of life in Far North Queensland.

Bananas are another fruit you can grow very easily. However, we are just not banana lovers. Fortunately there is a lot of information already out there on how to grow bananas.

Pineapple’s are iconic in Queensland and they do grow in the topics. However they take more than 12 months to grow (and we are just not that patient).

The mangosteen is another popular tropical fruit. Don’t let the name confuse you, it is nothing like a mango. The fruit has a white flesh with a ‘sweet and tangy’ taste. A tropical evergreen tree, the mangosteen is widely grown in Southeast Asia.

The Coconut tree is very important to the diet, landscape and culture of many tropical areas. It is easy to grow, provides food and milk and is much loved, especially in the pacific.

Tropical Fruit Vines to Grow

Of course not all fruits grow on tropical fruit trees. Indeed there are a number of fruits that grow on tropical vines. Passionfruit is a great example.

The monstera or Swiss cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa) is another popular vine. It requires rich, well-drained soil and a shaded spot and can grow to 30 feet. Monstera flowers are a long, white, spike that grows at ground level. The spike is surrounded by a boat-shaped spathe.

Kiwi vines (Actinidia deliciosa) are also grown in the tropics. Plant kiwi vines in well-drained soil and a sunny spot. Provide a support structure such as a trellis and cut back the branches that produce fruit to encourage fresh growth.

Don’t Even Try Southern Specialists

In these days of artificial micro-climates and genetic modification it seems almost anything is possible. However, it remains easier to work with the environment than to try to modify it. Consequently, some of the non tropical fruits we would not even try to grow in the tropics include apples, pears, peaches, cherries and other temperate specialists.

Tropical Gardening