Fruit growing is a popular hobby for many gardeners. There are a variety of fruit bearing trees, vines, bushes that do well in central Texas.
Success with fruit growing depends on careful attention to several key factors. Fruit producing plants need full sun exposure, good drainage, good soil depth and supplemental water and nutrients. Proper variety selection is critical. Most fruit varieties found in the supermarket produce section (as well as in many national home improvement stores) are not generally well adapted to central Texas. Our climate (particularly our mild winters), require special medium chill varieties of fruits like apples and peaches, while disease resistance is important in selecting grape varieties. Some fruit species only require one plant to bare fruit while others need a second variety for cross pollination. Many types of fruit are simply not adapted to our climate and soil type, and will probably not be successful (blueberries, avocados, oranges, bananas, etc.)
Before investing in fruit plants, take some time to check out the resources in this section of the website. There is a wealth of information here to get you off to a good start and help you maintain a productive home orchard, vineyard or berry patch. On the Texas A&M Extension Fruit and Nut site, you will find in-depth resources for choosing, planting, and caring for a wide variety of fruit and nuts. If you have further questions, call the Master Gardener Horticulture Hotline (512-854-9600), or consult with a fruit specialist at a local nursery.
These are some varietals that perform well in Central Texas:
Blackberry: Kiowa, Brazos, Rosborough, Arapaho, Natchez
Grape: Blanc du Bois, Black Spanish (or Lenoir)
Peach: Regal, June Gold, TexRoyal, Gala, Harvester, Dixieland, Redskin
Pear: Orient, Kieffer, Warren, Garber, Shinko
Persimmon: Hachiya, Eureka
Plum: Methley, Santa Rosa, Blenheim
Pomegranate: Wonderful, Surh Anor, Salavatski, Al Sirin Nar, Sumbar, Spanish Sweet, Russian 18, Kazake
The pecan is the state tree of Texas. Many of the major rivers of Texas are lined with giant pecan trees. Pecans thrive in deep river bottom soils. These stately trees are popular yard trees, but here in central Texas upland soils are often shallow and rocky. Such soil conditions along with some troublesome insect and disease problems often result in poor performance in the home landscape. We’ve included some helpful resources to help you select, plant and grow pecans in your landscape or orchard.
Other nut producing trees are much less common and largely unproven here. Black walnut has potential but improved varieties are not readily available (also note that they produce a chemical called juglone that can inhibit the growth of nearby plants). Carpathian walnuts have been tried with limited success.