Palm trees and other tropical plants I can plant in Ocala, Florida.?
I moving into a house around Ocala, Florida (50miles north of Orlando). What are the kinds of palms that will grow in this region? How about citrus and other tropical fruits? Thanks
I know Palmettos will and Coconuts wont grow in ocala.
1. A very cold-hardy palm is the Pindo Palm, also called the jelly palm. It is a stocky, grayish colored palm with arching fronds. It bears large clusters of orange fruits that are edible and make good jelly.
Cabbage palms will also do well there. That's the Florida state tree.
Truly tropical fruits are not suitable, since you will get freezing temperatures. But you can grow southern blueberries, persimmons, low-chill stone fruits and apples, and plenty of great things to eat and enjoy. Look up Just Fruits and Exotics. Great north FL nursery.
2. Yep, palmettos are a great palm for your area. But heres a list of others. You can check them all out and see which one fits best
Sabal Palmetto "lisa"
Saw palmetto (theres a green leaf form and a silvery blue one)
Wagners windmill palm
Stone gate palm
Trachycarpus martinus (spelling incorrect)
Pindo palm (the fruit it makes is used to make jelly)
Mule palm (thats a cross between a queen palm and a pindo palm and it looks a little like a coconut palm, but is much more cold tolerant).
(lots of other livistonia species as well).
These are just a few of the many palms you can grow. If you want to, you can experiment with more tender palms and plants and protect them, but dont invest too much money in them because a winter like last can wipe them all out!
Also passion fruit is an interesting vine, but it can really take over so be careful. Maybe its best in a pot. Oranges are a florida favorite. Blood Oranges are really cool looking ones because the inside is a deep red color. Lemons such as meyer lemon and improved meyer lemon are great and you can grow limes with success too. You may want to protect citrus from frost and freezes though so you dont lose fruit or get leaf damage. Papayas might be an interesting fruit tree to try. They arent long lived trees but they sure grow very very tall! Just make sure the tree you buy is female because if its all male, you wont get any fruit!! Also a freeze will defoliate them and if temperatures go below 30 for long, it will probably die. Loquats are interesting plants for there foliage but they also make fruit. They look tropical, but they are cold tolerant to about 0F! Figs are another nice plant to try if you like figs. They grow well without any protection in NYC and bare very well there. They should do well in floridas heat and turn into a nice sized tree with more fruit than you can eat!
Some tropicals that dont fruit but you might want to consider are...
Hibiscus (there are cold tolerant types such as texas star, confederate rose) that are bullet proof in florida. Swamp hibiscus is also a great choice. If you are willing to keep them above freezing, even the tropical hibiscus might manage to do well by you. Birds of paradise are great plants. The white birds of paradise get very tall and the orange ones stay small like shrubs. I left mine outside in a pot in NYC until Early December. It saw temperatures in the upper 20s and even a light coating of snow and had no leaf damage! Also southern magnolias are beautiful and cold tolerant. They are common in NYC and even more common in the southeast. They are pretty common in Northern and Central Florida as well.
And bananas are a great choice for fruiting plants. Musa basjoo will not produce edible fruit, but it will survive a Florida winter with no problems! Cavendish is a great fruiter and are common in Orlando. Orinocco is a little more cold tolerant than Cavendish and also makes edible bananas. Ice cream bananas and Musa Saba are also good choices. Keep them well watered and they should really thrive! They will get brown from a freeze, but as long as the main stem stays green, it will come back. Protect the more tender ones just in case.
Tree philodendron should survive your winters and I think they look very nice and tropical!
Hardy bamboo palm will survive your winters.
There are lots of real bamboo that will thrive by you also! They stay green all year long and there are quite a few that can handle temperatures in the 20s, teens, and even sub zero!!
There are so many more plants I could recommend but hopefully this will get you started. You can grow more tropical in pots and put them in a greenhouse or indoors. I love the look of plumerias for example. Desert rose is a nice bonsai-like flowering tropical.
Good luck! Hope I answered your question and you can use this