Brisbane is one of the warmest areas in Australia, and is categorized as agricultural zone 11a. It’s a subtropical zone that’s absolutely ideal for growing all kinds of fruit trees. If you’re interested in growing your own food, you may be interested in fruit trees that grow in Brisbane, to compliment your veggies and fruits. Below are 20 fabulous varieties that thrive in your area!
What are Some of the Best Fruit Trees that Grow in Brisbane?
Brisbane’s climate is ideal for many different kinds of fruit trees. Those that thrive in mid-range to northern US states and most of Europe and Canada may not do well, however, because those trees require cold winters to trigger their fruiting.
When you’re shopping for fruit trees, try to buy from a local nursery or garden center whenever possible. This is because the trees have been cultivated in similar conditions to your own yard. As a result, they will be more likely to grow well in your own space.
Dwarf Wurtz avocado trees are ideal for Brisbane backyard growers. They won’t grow taller than about 10 feet, compared to the 60 or 70 feet that standard avocado trees can reach upon maturity. These trees grow beautifully in containers, as long as they’re grown in full sun and get plenty of water.
If you’re aiming to get fruit asap, then get a grafted avocado tree that’s at least two years old. Sure, you can grow your own avocado tree from a seed, but it can take anywhere from 9 to 20 years to start bearing fruit. This is great if you’re really patient, but most of us prefer to start harvesting and eating sooner rather than later.
Are you an apple fan? Then get yourself some Tropical Anna or Tropic Sweet apple trees. These don’t need the cold winters that most other apple trees need to induce flowering and fruiting, and do well in your area’s sub-tropical heat.
Note that while Tropical Anna is self-fertile, Tropic Sweet is not. This means that you’ll need another apple tree growing within 10 to 20 feet to pollinate it.
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If you have a very sunny, well-draining area in your yard, you may consider growing a banana tree or two. Just make sure that you apply for a permit beforehand! Banana growing is extremely regulated in Australia, and people can only buy from certified distributors. Additionally, you can only grow up to 10 banana trees on a single parcel of land.
These trees are very susceptible to a variety of diseases. Be sure to buy yours from a reputable nursery, and do a ton of research to learn how to care for yours properly.
These Philippine lime trees need well-draining, light soil. They don’t thrive in soil that holds onto water for very long, as their roots are very sensitive to damp. They need regular fertilizing and a ton of sunshine, and are quite abundant producers in time.
As an additional benefit to their tastiness, their juice and leaves can be used to treat insect bites. Just crush up a leaf and rub it on the bite, or rub a halved fruit over the bite to neutralize the itching.
Additional Reading: 24 Fruits Found in the Philippines
Acerola and Barbados cherries are the best choices for the Brisbane area. In fact, if your yard gets partial shade rather than full sun, aim for the Barbados varieties. Not only do these thrive in dappled sunlight, they’re also remarkably drought resistant once established. Although you’ll need to water them regularly as their roots take hold, you’ll only need to drench them sporadically once mature. Since they thrive on neglect, they’re ideal for backyard farmers who can be on the neglectful side.
It probably won’t surprise you that crabapples grow well in your locale, seeing as how they can thrive pretty much everywhere. They need full sun and fertile soil, but since they’re self-fertile, you only need to plant one in order to produce abundant fruit. These are high in pectin, and are great for making jelly… provided you add enough sugar that your jaw won’t seize up.
7. Custard Apple
These fruits, also known as sweetsops, have creamy flesh that tastes like apple custard. Pretty sure that’s where they got their nickname. They need well-draining soil, as their roots will rot badly if they’re left in wet conditions for long periods of time. If you’re looking to grow fruit trees in containers rather than in-ground, definitely add these to your list! Just make sure they have enough room to stretch out: choose containers at least 20 inches deep, and 24 inches across.
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8. Dragon Fruit
These luscious fruits are relatively easy to grow in Brisbane, provided you fulfill their finicky sun and soil requirements. They also hate to have “wet feet”, so you’ll need to plant them in well-draining soil. If the soil in your yard is too compacted or moist, be sure to work plenty of sand and/or perlite into it for drainage. Be sure to plant yours in the sunniest spot possible so it can provide you with fruit for years to come.
Not only are fig trees remarkably easy to grow in your area, they’re practically un-killable once they’ve been firmly established. They’re vulnerable for the first few years, so be sure to keep their roots well-watered until they’re established. These trees should start to bear fruit around the third year after they’ve been planted.
Some of the best fig varieties to grow around Brisbane are Black Genoa, Deanna, Brown Turkey, and Archipal. Keep in mind that figs can live up to 200 years, so your great, great, great grandkids might end up harvesting fruit from your trees!
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Guava trees are remarkably versatile for the home fruit grower. They’re short enough to grow in containers, and also make beautiful hedging for the perimeter of your property. As long as you plant them in full sun and offer them a good, well-balanced fertilizer every six to eight weeks, they’re sure to do well!
Brisbane’s climate is perfect for citrus, and lemons do exceptionally well there. The most common (and most beloved!) lemon variety grown in that area is Eureka. It’s a productive, happy little tree, and one of the few thornless lemon varieties around. Expect it to grow about 20 feet tall, and it’ll produce fruits that are practically seedless.
Alternatively, you can also grow Meyer or Lisbon lemons. Meyers are particularly lovely, as they have low acid and a slight sweetness to their juice.
Juicy, delicious longan fruits are also easy to grow in Brisbane’s zone 11 weather. Two of the best varieties to choose from are Haew and Biew Kiew, as they’re both quite vigorous and have a long growing season. Kohala is another option, but takes longer to establish, and won’t be as productive.
Keep in mind that longan trees need a lot of moisture. In dry weather, spread aged tree bark mulch 12 to 20 inches all around the tree’s base to retain moisture. As a side note, dwarf versions of these trees grow quite well in pots, provided that you add in moisture-retaining amendments like peat or vermiculite.
Further Reading: 10 Fruit Trees that Grow Best in Pots
If you can be a bit patient about harvesting your fruit, consider growing a lychee tree. They thrive in your area, and can offer abundant yields… but only after about 10 years. They’re dormant for the first few years, then only create fruit sporadically until they’re nine or 10 years old. That said, these trees are self-fertile, so you don’t need more than one in order to get decent fruit yields.
The one downside to lychees is that they need at least a week of cool temperatures before they start flowering. If they don’t chill deeply enough, there will be more male flowers on the tree(s) than female ones. Since only the female flowers will produce fruit, you can imagine how this imbalance will affect yields.
We’ve mentioned that dwarf fruit trees do exceptionally well in Brisbane yards. In that same vein, let’s take a look at the dwarf Alison Red mango variety. These trees are self-fertile so you don’t need more than one for fruiting. They don’t grow very tall, and are exceptionally well suited to container growing.
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Many different orange varieties can grow well in and around the Brisbane area. The most popular orange variety to look into is Valencia, which has few seeds, and grows easily on disease-resistant, hardy trees. These oranges are super sweet, juicy, and magnificent for backyard growers.
In addition to creating truly magnificent fruits, these trees also produce some of the most fragrant flowers out there. Be sure to gather them to make orange blossom water, or homemade perfume.
These fruits are both Carica papaya, but have different names in the Australian food industry. The red-fleshed version has sweeter fruit, and is known as “papaya” or “red papaya”. In contrast, the fruit with yellow flesh is also known as “yellow papaw”: it isn’t as sweet, and is used in savory dishes rather than desserts.
Note that the latter have absolutely nothing to do with the American pawpaw fruit (Asimina triloba). Those are cold-weather perennial fruits that will not do well in Brisbane.
Fuyu, Izo, and Jiro persimmons are the most commonly grown varieties throughout Australia. You can buy rootstock trees that have bloom-producing branches grafted onto them, and they should start producing fruit within a year of planting. Just make sure to cover these fruits with netting! Birds and various mammal predators alike are very fond of these fruits, and you probably don’t want to have to fight local wildlife to have a harvest.
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These sun-loving fruits thrive all over the continent, and should do well in your Brisbane yard. They need well-drained, moderately fertile soil, so you may have to amend your garden soil before planting them directly. Just work in some well-aged compost and a drainage medium to make sure it’s happy.
They also grow well in pots, but it’s better to choose a dwarf variety if you’re going that route. Try the “Nana” cultivar, which produces many sweet, red-orange fruits on a relatively short tree. You’ll also need to provide really good drainage, as they’ll die off in overly moist soil.
Most people find soursop fruit a bit too… well, sour, for their liking. If bitter foods are your bag, however, then know that you can grow plenty of your own. These trees need well-draining, slightly sandy soil, and a lot of moisture. You’ll also need to fertilize them regularly, as they’re quite heavy feeders.
Talk to the people at your local garden center for advice about the cultivars that will suit your needs the best!
Related Article: What does Soursop Taste Like?
These fruits are members of the nightshade (Solanaceae) family, which makes them cousins to tomatoes and goji berries. In fact, the fruits look like overgrown goji, ranging from orange or red to deep purple in hue. They’re rich in antioxidants, and have high vitamin C and iron content as well.
The trees need light, well-draining, but very fertile soil in order to thrive. Amend your soil with well-aged compost, and either perlite or volcanic rock for drainage, if needed.
As mentioned earlier, many fruit-bearing trees such as stone fruits (like peaches and plums), as well as apples and pears, need extreme cold during the winter to induce springtime flowering. This means that many of your favorite imported fruits may not be growable in your own yard.
When in doubt, make an appointment to chat with someone at a local tree nursery, or else have a consultation with an edible landscape designer. Either of these can help you with guidance as to which varieties will do best with the land you have to work with.