Author Topic: Subtropicals for California Zone 9  (Read 12710 times)

joehewitt

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Subtropicals for California Zone 9
« on: August 06, 2016, 02:49:44 AM »
I've posted before about my attempts to grow marginal subtropicals here in zone 9b in the San Francisco Bay Area. With all the plants I've accumulated and all the time I've spent researching, I've started to have a hunch of which trees have the best odds of surviving and/or fruiting here. I've broken that down into a ranking, informed partially by seeing how my plants have done this summer, but mostly by talking to people and reading old forum threads. At this early stage in my experiment, I am full of na´vetÚ, but soon Mother Nature will set me straight. I thought I'd post my list here as well so that the kind folks of this forum can set me straight as well. Opinions appreciated!

This is not a comprehensive list of every fruit, just the trees that I have in my collection and have either planted in the ground outdoors or intend to do so one day.

Bulletproof

Avocado (Mexican strains)
Frederick Passionfruit
Cattley Guava
Feijoa
Ugni
Guabiju

Easy with little to no protection

Avocado (Guatemalan strains)
Cherimoya
Lucuma
Banana (cold tolerant varieties)
Macadamia
White Sapote
Cherry of the Rio Grande
Suriname Cherry

Needs protection only in very cold years

Jaboticaba
Green Sapote
Imbe
Longan
Tropical Guavas
Pitomba
Pitangatuba
Cedar Bay Cherry
Tamarillo
Luc's Mexican Garcinia
Kwai Muk
Cinnamon Apple (Pouteria hypoglauca)
Guabiroba (various Campomanesias)

Possible with serious protection and lots of luck
Mango
Black Sapote
Carambola
Canistel
Sapodilla
Lychee
Wax Jambu
Atemoya
Grumichama
Dragonfruit
Ceylon Cinnamon
Allspice
Ice Cream Bean
Achachairu
Strawberry Tree (Muntingia calabura)
Wampee
Peanut Butter Fruit
Rainforest Plum
Babaco

Very difficult but worth trying

Sugar Apple
Rollinia
Jackfruit
Mamey
Papaya
Lemondrop Mangosteen
Seashore Mangosteen

sjtropical

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Re: Subtropicals for California Zone 9
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2016, 03:21:35 AM »
Wampee is cold hardy.  No protection is needed.  Mine is fruiting and doing well for 4 years in bay area.  Also dragonfruit do well here.  No protection needed. 

ScottR

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Re: Subtropicals for California Zone 9
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2016, 11:25:00 AM »
Joe, I have a Sapodilla seedling that has been in ground for 15+ years has flowered yet but is happy on South side of house with mexicola overhead canopy protection! It's protected from winds by house also!

dwfl

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Re: Subtropicals for California Zone 9
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2016, 11:40:27 AM »
Joe, I suppose time will tell. If you are giving these species a shot in your yard, let us know with updates in this thread how they are doing thru your climate/winters and how you had to protect them or not. Maybe keep your precious ones in containers for mobility and safety from cold ground/weather.

simon_grow

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Re: Subtropicals for California Zone 9
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2016, 12:14:47 PM »
My Lucs Mexican mangosteen has survived light frost at a very young age with no protection, I'm sure it will be even more cold Hardy when it is older.

Simon

Stan

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Re: Subtropicals for California Zone 9
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2016, 12:53:32 PM »
Lychee will grow in NorCal. Its been grown in Stockton for many years. The problem there was the flowering timing- too cold. I would think in the bay area's warmer climates it should do fine.
Papaya- the tropical types- Its possible to grow. Look at Dave's Garden for my photo of a Papaya loaded with fruit here in Hayward. The rub? The owner told me he planted it "last year" at the time I took the photo. I'm almost positive he got the plant from a relative down south with that big trunk..then it fruited here. Growing one from small to fruiting is still something I have to see. And if the fruit are sweet is another question.
Coffee- easy. Just loads of water. Keep that in mind.
Mango- easy IF YOU COVER THE FIRST 2 WINTERS in any frost. After that it takes the quick dip below 32f with singed leafs only. Again,one at least was grown in a Sunset Z14 central valley for years. He said he cut it down because it was seed grown and "too fibrous". I guess he wasn't into grafting?
Ice Cream bean is  easy. Wax Jambu is easy but- not all that tasty I hear.
Babaco is very easy. The problem with them I found was...Just as those big fruits were ripening- late November- we would get a wind and rainstorm that would easily knock them off the tree. Plus,Babaco fruit are another not tasty off the tree..you have to cook them,add sugar,etc. Plenty have grown them,then sent them to the compost pile because of the taste. The plants look great though. I kept it for years for that. Plenty hardy.
Dragon fruit- EZ.  I see big plants all over town. With fruit around September. Across the street they have a big heavy trellis covered in that cacti. 2007 was rough on it...but 9 years later its a hefty massive "vine".
Seeing that Jackfruit in the Los Angeles front yard? I think it can be done here too. But,that's going to be a long wait from seed. Better for those who go south and get some nursery plant of size and return to plant.
A guy in San Mateo has grown the African Sausage Tree for a couple of dangling fruit. Not that they are edible- for people they are said to be highly hallucinogenic- but that shows you can get some tropicals to fruit of all kinds..just not at the size of in the tropics of course. But really,who needs or has room for giant 100' Mango trees?

edzone9

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Re: Subtropicals for California Zone 9
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2016, 01:42:19 PM »
Go for it !
Zone 10

Bush2Beach

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Re: Subtropicals for California Zone 9
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2016, 01:50:04 PM »
Joe, I amended your list based on experience from the other side of the hill. Through trial and error I've found some plants thrive great in 1 part of the yard and died in another, or planted out early and died versus up potting and planting out a bigger tree. Keep it growing!

Bulletproof
Capulin Cherry
Cape gooseberry
Loquat
Cattley Guava
Feijoa
Guabiju

Easy with little to no protection

Avocado
Frederick
Cherimoya
Atemoya
Lucuma
Banana (cold tolerant varieties)
Macadamia
White Sapote
Cherry of the Rio Grande
Suriname Cherry
Ugni Molinae
Babaco
Ice Cream Bean

Needs protection only in very cold years

Jaboticaba
Green Sapote
Black Sapote
Imbe
Longan
Tropical Guavas
Pitomba
Pitangatuba
Cedar Bay Cherry
Tamarillo & Pepino Dulce (an easy to grow annual that dies in winter)
Luc's Mexican , Achacha, Lemon drop
Cinnamon Apple (Pouteria hypoglauca)
Guabiroba (various Campomanesias)

Possible with serious protection and lots of luck
Mango
Kwai Muk
Carambola
Canistel
Sapodilla
Lychee
Wax Jambu
Grumichama
Ceylon Cinnamon
Allspice
Strawberry Tree (Muntingia calabura)
Wampee
Peanut Butter Fruit
Rainforest Plum



Stan

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Re: Subtropicals for California Zone 9
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2016, 02:27:23 PM »
If we are talking 1990 type cold - and NOBODY is going plant a list of only hardy to that, I know- I would say Avocado,Citrus,White Sapote,Macadamia is about it. So if you wanted a hardy framework to plant the more dicey plants around...
« Last Edit: August 06, 2016, 02:49:16 PM by Stan »

BrianL

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Re: Subtropicals for California Zone 9
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2016, 02:37:31 PM »
Has anyone actually gotten Sapodilla or Canistel fruit?  I can keep mine alive and I have got flowers on both now, but no fruit.

Stan

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Re: Subtropicals for California Zone 9
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2016, 02:55:28 PM »
A member here in Hayward said he got Sapodilla to that same stage. I read they are not usually self pollinating,better to have two at least. Some CAN self pollinate...luck of the draw.
I would think an in ground plant that's strong and some help with bay breezes could get them to produce. My conjecture. I had to hand pollinate Cherimoya back in the 80's. 1990 took the whole tree out.

JF

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Re: Subtropicals for California Zone 9
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2016, 03:16:53 PM »
Has anyone actually gotten Sapodilla or Canistel fruit?  I can keep mine alive and I have got flowers on both now, but no fruit.

Brian
I doubt sapodillos or canistel would survive let alone fruit. Neither one are easy here in SoCal. The ones I recommend are Alano, Silas Wood, Makok.....,they've fruited fairly quick. Trombo and Bruce are two canistel that have fruited after a year on the ground

Pix of 3 gallons Alano, Makok and Trompo planted May 2015 all fruited and blooming









« Last Edit: August 06, 2016, 05:26:51 PM by JF »

Stan

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Re: Subtropicals for California Zone 9
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2016, 05:31:49 PM »
What you have to keep in mind in the bay area- the inner and maybe outer too- is that winter frost wont start until mid December and ends by mid Jan or sooner. So,you only have to shelter or heat for maybe - at most 10 days- in that period for very young plants. For doing that you are rewarded with 355 days of plain ordinary water and feeding.
The last couple of years,I haven't covered anything though..Papaya and Mango held up fine.

But if 2007 kind of cold rolls around again? I'm covering and dropping a spotlight under the valuable tropical tree's. I'm not giving away years without a fight!

JeffDM

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Re: Subtropicals for California Zone 9
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2016, 07:02:21 PM »
My vote is for Papaya plants due to the ease of growing from seed and the low cost.  I start all mine from seeds that come from grocery store bought fruit. 

Stan

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Re: Subtropicals for California Zone 9
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2016, 11:58:43 PM »
My vote is for Papaya plants due to the ease of growing from seed and the low cost.  I start all mine from seeds that come from grocery store bought fruit.

Its still iffy if Papaya can fruit well in the bay area. But I tell ya Jeff, posts from Myrna or Raider sure show why the USDA moved the bay area up to 10a and 10b for the last 20 years of temps..
I stand in awe-lol- at my almost 4' Maridol. 3 years old!

sjtropical

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Re: Subtropicals for California Zone 9
« Reply #15 on: August 07, 2016, 12:45:31 AM »
Here is my wampee fruiting. I never give it protection from winter. It stays green throughout the year.



CGameProgrammer

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Re: Subtropicals for California Zone 9
« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2016, 01:36:26 AM »
I doubt sapodillos or canistel would survive let alone fruit. Neither one are easy here in SoCal.
Well here in San Diego sapodilla is easy but takes forever to fruit. My current crop set exactly a year ago and are still not ripe. New fruits haven't yet set. I also have green sapote, canistel, and ross sapote, all of which survive and flower (no fruit yet but they're young), but they're all really slow growing. The pouterias are by far my slowest-growing trees.

Stan

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Re: Subtropicals for California Zone 9
« Reply #17 on: August 07, 2016, 01:13:27 PM »
Here is my wampee fruiting. I never give it protection from winter. It stays green throughout the year.


Again,a great example of something that's not supposed to grow in the bay area...growing and fruiting. I see tropicalia all the time- not just fruit tree's- growing around here that's not supposed to grow here.
Its why you have to try.

Bush2Beach

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Re: Subtropicals for California Zone 9
« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2016, 01:29:18 PM »
SJ tropical nice Wampee report and thanks for posting a photo.

CG Programmer, add a Garcinia to the collection and your Pouteria's will seem to grow much faster ;)

Stan,  winter frosts in the Bay Area can happen well before mid December and well after mid January . It's nice to Romanticize about the beautiful warm days we get randomly all winter. Most Christmas , New Years and thanksgiving its 70 + degree sunny skies, good surf. Often sandwiched around cold weather before or after. I remember it snowing on the beach without sticking 1 Thanksgiving day and frosts into March . I bet this info is archived on weather station websites. It's great for people to go for it but inserting beautiful Milpeatass/ Bay Area weather arguments into all your posts can be perceived as slightly misleading and also all right we get it, Hayward is very warm and everything grows there very well, especially after 2 winters.  I don't expect anyone from outside the area to understand the microzones of Hayward vs SF vs Concord vs Half Moon Bay , they are all totally different and Hayward has more advantages than most, still the arguments just done.

Stan

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Re: Subtropicals for California Zone 9
« Reply #19 on: August 07, 2016, 02:54:21 PM »
Bush- I'm not even sure why you are even here. If all you want are the solidly hardy fruits..nothing to do but plant them.
I notice that you sound like the cloudforest guy from a decade ago,that I was "repeating miraculous" growths. lol. Now? He pushes those very same plants on that very same board. Mangoes in nor cal. Amazing.
Also Bush..if you don't live here,going by all time records is ridiculous. Most of the San Diego area has colder lows- all time- then SF or even Berkeley. So,San Diegans better not take a chance..oooooh.
Telling me not to grow something while saying "Great Wampee"..or being silent on other bay arean posts tells me you have some agenda. Mine? To grow things.
You maybe shouldn't read my posts. Because,you don't prove one iota I'm wrong.

Bush2Beach

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Re: Subtropicals for California Zone 9
« Reply #20 on: August 08, 2016, 01:01:38 PM »
You know Stan, I don't know why I'm even here either. I attempted to leave your posts alone but the nonsense somehow drew me out, and now in trying to have a constructive reasoning with you I realize I'm not willing to work that hard at it. The last thing I'm growing is all the solidly hardy fruits, theres a list attached to my profile. Cloudforest guy left nor cal partly for cold growing conditions and now has "cold hardy" Mango in San Diego county. I have long been pessimistic about growing Mango's in the Bay Area , though I wish it could be more successful.
Telling you not to grow something? your comprehension levels are proving to be questionable , put whatever seed in the dirt you want, please.
If you don't live here, going by all time records is what you got, because ...it's a factual history of the temperature's, daytime highs and nighttime lows that can give you a base of information.
Stan , Stan .... It's a nice Wampee, don't get down on me for large'ing up the next person growing something that's uncommon and looks good. I've never seen Wampee growing in the Bay. If you post a picture of something growing good at your house that's exciting I'd big you up the same way but I feel like mostly I read about your failures. San Diego has a proven track record of many different rare subtropical tree's growing to maturity and producing well, SF Bay Area not so much , the words you are writing do not compute well for me. I agree that I should block your "posts" . Your right , no one can prove one iota your wrong, you need no help in that department.

Bush- I'm not even sure why you are even here. If all you want are the solidly hardy fruits..nothing to do but plant them.
I notice that you sound like the cloudforest guy from a decade ago,that I was "repeating miraculous" growths. lol. Now? He pushes those very same plants on that very same board. Mangoes in nor cal. Amazing.
Also Bush..if you don't live here,going by all time records is ridiculous. Most of the San Diego area has colder lows- all time- then SF or even Berkeley. So,San Diegans better not take a chance..oooooh.
Telling me not to grow something while saying "Great Wampee"..or being silent on other bay arean posts tells me you have some agenda. Mine? To grow things.
You maybe shouldn't read my posts. Because,you don't prove one iota I'm wrong.

joehewitt

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Re: Subtropicals for California Zone 9
« Reply #21 on: August 08, 2016, 01:14:52 PM »
Very excited to see that fruiting Wampee in San Jose, thanks for sharing sjtropical! My little Wampee is in a pot but now I plan to put it in the ground next year in a good spot.

Bush2Beach, thanks for the modified list. I see you upgraded the Garcinias. Can you tell me your experience growing those in Santa Cruz?

I go by the assumption that I must be on guard and ready to protect my trees from mid-November through early February, though the most probably dangers are in December. Last year we had a light frost on Thanksgiving which caught me off guard.

Lots of people tell me Babaco is so cold hardy, but I had one in the ground loaded with fruit last year which died after three nights in the 29-30F range, meanwhile my cherimoyas were completely unharmed. Probably came down to the microclimates I had them them in.












Stan

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Re: Subtropicals for California Zone 9
« Reply #22 on: August 08, 2016, 01:17:01 PM »
You know Stan, I don't know why I'm even here either. I attempted to leave your posts alone but the nonsense somehow drew me out, and now in trying to have a constructive reasoning with you I realize I'm not willing to work that hard at it. The last thing I'm growing is all the solidly hardy fruits, theres a list attached to my profile. Cloudforest guy left nor cal partly for cold growing conditions and now has "cold hardy" Mango in San Diego county. I have long been pessimistic about growing Mango's in the Bay Area , though I wish it could be more successful.
Telling you not to grow something? your comprehension levels are proving to be questionable , put whatever seed in the dirt you want, please.
If you don't live here, going by all time records is what you got, because ...it's a factual history of the temperature's, daytime highs and nighttime lows that can give you a base of information.
Stan , Stan .... It's a nice Wampee, don't get down on me for large'ing up the next person growing something that's uncommon and looks good. I've never seen Wampee growing in the Bay. If you post a picture of something growing good at your house that's exciting I'd big you up the same way but I feel like mostly I read about your failures. San Diego has a proven track record of many different rare subtropical tree's growing to maturity and producing well, SF Bay Area not so much , the words you are writing do not compute well for me. I agree that I should block your "posts" . Your right , no one can prove one iota your wrong, you need no help in that department.

Bush- I'm not even sure why you are even here. If all you want are the solidly hardy fruits..nothing to do but plant them.
I notice that you sound like the cloudforest guy from a decade ago,that I was "repeating miraculous" growths. lol. Now? He pushes those very same plants on that very same board. Mangoes in nor cal. Amazing.
Also Bush..if you don't live here,going by all time records is ridiculous. Most of the San Diego area has colder lows- all time- then SF or even Berkeley. So,San Diegans better not take a chance..oooooh.
Telling me not to grow something while saying "Great Wampee"..or being silent on other bay arean posts tells me you have some agenda. Mine? To grow things.
You maybe shouldn't read my posts. Because,you don't prove one iota I'm wrong.

You contradict yer self left and right. To you my failures "count" the successes "don't count". People all over Cali and Az to Larry in Lou. should stop because "record lows are terrible!". Failures- lol.
The only nonsense is a guy who see's Myrna,Raider and San Jose guy...then comes to me and says "Its all a fantasy"..!  The Fremont Mango in my years of hort and gardening experience? It means its probably not the only one or maybe not even the largest around.
Look,if you don't want to grow something- don't! You are not the voice of reason,but of unreasonable.
You are incredibly vain to tell others to not try. I will leave it at that.

Stan

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Re: Subtropicals for California Zone 9
« Reply #23 on: August 08, 2016, 01:17:50 PM »
Joe, I amended your list based on experience from the other side of the hill. Through trial and error I've found some plants thrive great in 1 part of the yard and died in another, or planted out early and died versus up potting and planting out a bigger tree. Keep it growing!

Bulletproof
Capulin Cherry
Cape gooseberry
Loquat
Cattley Guava
Feijoa
Guabiju

Easy with little to no protection

Avocado
Frederick
Cherimoya
Atemoya
Lucuma
Banana (cold tolerant varieties)
Macadamia
White Sapote
Cherry of the Rio Grande
Suriname Cherry
Ugni Molinae
Babaco
Ice Cream Bean

Needs protection only in very cold years

Jaboticaba
Green Sapote
Black Sapote
Imbe
Longan
Tropical Guavas
Pitomba
Pitangatuba
Cedar Bay Cherry
Tamarillo & Pepino Dulce (an easy to grow annual that dies in winter)
Luc's Mexican , Achacha, Lemon drop
Cinnamon Apple (Pouteria hypoglauca)
Guabiroba (various Campomanesias)

Possible with serious protection and lots of luck
Mango
Kwai Muk
Carambola
Canistel
Sapodilla
Lychee
Wax Jambu
Grumichama
Ceylon Cinnamon
Allspice
Strawberry Tree (Muntingia calabura)
Wampee
Peanut Butter Fruit
Rainforest Plum


What?? Failures! Why didn't you stop when you had a failure?..lol.

Funny how so many on this forum who don't live in the bay area? Want to put a big "X" over it and pronounce what can't be done. Even with photo proof tea bagging them-lol.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2016, 01:31:10 PM by Stan »

starch

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Re: Subtropicals for California Zone 9
« Reply #24 on: August 08, 2016, 01:42:28 PM »
Thanks for the list Joe!
- Mark

 

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