Minimum Temperature Tolerances of Sub/Tropical Fruit Trees

It is usually best to direct seed, to have specifically adapted varieties for exact microclimates on your site (from birth/germination). Temperature swings also vary greatly in urban environments compared to more stable temp changes on heavily vegetated sites. Seasonal temperature variations are highly relevant to any specific locations’ environmental health/stability. For the best results integrate as complete an ecosystem around each and every vulnerable fruit tree as possible, on every scale as possible (residential… local… regional…). Lots of understory – rapidly growing herbs, help to humidity and subsequently warm the immediate environment (especially year after year, when the soil is well structured and efficiently fertile (high Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC)/nutrient cycles). In most cases the most helpful frost protection is thin-canopied evergreen, overstory trees (or thick-canopied deciduous trees: moringa, tipuana) that still allow great light exposure and ventilation. (prosopis sp., pinus sp., aracauria sp., casaurina sp.,..) – Natural Greenhouse.
Absolute hardiness by climate zone is extremely difficult to measure, because while two different plants may succumb at temperatures below 32F, one may survive fine in winter regions where temperatures regularly drop between 32-40F, while the other may decline and eventually die if temperatures stay between 32-40F for more than a few days. Nevertheless, knowing the absolute minimum temperature a tropical/subtropical plant can tolerate can still be quite useful, so below we have listed a number of plants, sorted by minimum climate zone.
Plants are listed by USDA zone, with general winter temperature minimums.
Below Zone 8 (below 10F/below -12C)


Actinidia arguta – Hardy Kiwi (to -25F)

Cydonia oblonga – Quince

Ficus carica – Fig

Salvia sclarea – Clary Sage

Vitis californica – California Wild Grape

Zone 8a (10 to 15F/-12 to -9.5C)


Actinidia chinensis – Golden Kiwi Fruit

Actinidia deliciosa – Kiwi Fruit

Butia capitata – Jelly Palm

Butia eriospatha – Wooly Jelly Palm

Camellia pitardii – Camellia

Eriobotrya japonica – Loquat

Morus nigra – Black Mulberry

Punica granatum – Pomegranate

Tecoma sambucifolia – Waranway

Zone 8b (15 to 20F/-9.5 to -6.5C)

Arbutus unedo – Strawberry Tree

Berberis nevinii – Nevin’s Baberry

Brahea armata – Mexican Blue Palm

Drimys winteri – Winter’s Bark

Feijoa sellowiana – Pineapple Guava

Morus macroura – Himalayan Mulberry

Myrtus communis – Myrtle

Olea europaea – Olive

Zone 9a (20 to 25F/-6.5 to -4C)

Acmena smithii – Lilly Pilly

Aegle marmelos – Bael Fruit

Araucaria bidwillii – Bunya-Bunya, False Monkey Puzzle Tree

Araucaria aracauna – Monkey Puzzle Tree

Aracauria angustifolia –

Azara petiolaris – Holly Azara

Brahea edulis – Guadalupe Palm

Canna edulis – Achira, Arrowroot

Carica pubescens – Mountain Papaya

Carica quercifolia – Oak Leaved Papaya

Carissa macrocarpa – Natal Plum

Caryota urens – Wine Palm, Toddy Palm

Casimiroa edulis – White Sapote

Casimiroa tetrameria – Wooly-Leaved Sapote

Ceratonia siliqua – Carob

Psidium guajava – Guava

Citrus sp. – Citrus Fruits (mandarin, tangerine)

Clausena lansium – Wampee

Dovyalis caffra – Kei Apple

Eugenia aggregata – Cherry of the Rio Grande

Eugenia uniflora – Surinam Cherry

Fuchsia boliviana – Bolivian Fuchsia

Fuchsia triphylla – Honeysuckle Fuchsia

Macadamia integrifolia – Smooth Shelled Macadamia Nut

Malpighia glabra – Acerola

Myrciaria cauliflora – Jaboticaba

Persea americana – Avocado

Phoenix dactylifera – Date Palm

Prunus lyonii – Catalina Island Cherry

Vaccinium gaultheriifolium – Chinese Blueberry

Zone 9b (25 to 30F/-4 to -1C)


Aleurites moluccana – Candlenut

Aleurites trisperma – Otaheite Walnut

Annona cherimola – Cherimoya

Annona cherimola x squamosa – Atemoya

Annona montana – Mountain Soursop

Annona reticulata – Custard Apple

Annona squamosa – Sugar Apple

Antidesma bunius – Bignay

Aristolochia ringens – Gaping Dutchman’s Pipe

Aristolochia trilobata – Dutchman’s Pipe

Averrhoa carambola – Star Fruit

Brosimum alicastrum – Breadnut

Calyptropsidium sartorianum – Sartre Guava, Arrayan

Citrus sp. – Citrus Fruits (orange, blood orange, grapefruit, meyer lemon)

Cyphomandra betacea – Tree Tomato

Davidsonia pruriens – Davidson’s Plum

Dimocarpus longan – Longan

Diospyros digyna – Black Sapote

Eugenia brasiliensis – Grumichama

Fuchsia procumbens – Creeping Fuchsia

Litchi chinensis – Lychee

Mangifera indica – Mango

Manilkara zapota – Sapodilla

Marliera edulis – Cambuca

Musa acuminataxbalbisiana – Banana (Orinoco, brazil apple, ice cream, red, tai black)

Tamarindus indica – Tamarind

Zone 10a (30 to 35F/-1 to 2C)


Anacardium occidentale – Cashew Nut

Ananas comosus – Pineapple

Annona diversifolia – Ilama

Annona glabra – Pond Apple

Annona muricata – Soursop

Artocarpus heterophyllus – Jackfruit

Azadirachta indica – Neem

Bixa orellana – Lipstick Tree

Blighia sapida – Akee

Bunchosia armeniaca – Peanut Butter Fruit

Carica papaya – Papaya

Cereus repandus – Peruvian Apple Cactus

Chrysophyllum cainito – Star Apple

Cinnamomum zeylanicum – Cinnamon

Coccoloba uvifera – Sea Grape

Coffea arabica – Coffee

Dillenia indica – Elephant Apple

Eugenia reinwardtiana – Cedar Bay Cherry

Grewia subinaequalis – Phalsa

Harpephyllum caffrum – Kaffir Plum

Hylocereus undatus – Dragon Fruit

Inga edulis – Ice Cream Bean
Inga feuillei – Pacay

Leucaena leucocephala – Koa Haole, Leadtree

Mammea americana – Mamey Apple

Manilkara bidentata – Ausubo

Melicoccus bijugatus – Mamoncillo

Melicope ternata – Wharangi, Gum Tree

Murraya koenigii – Curry Leaf

Myrciaria dubia – camu-camu

Zone 10b (35 to 40F/ 2 to 4.5C)

Pandanus tectorius – Screw Pine

Byrsonima crassifolia – Nance

Cocos nucifera – Coconut

Durio dulcis – Durian

Eugenia megacarpa – Giant Lau Lau

Morinda citrifolia – Noni

Theobroma cacao – Cacao

Zone 11+ (40 to 45F/ 4.5 to 7C)


Cola acuminata – Cola Nut

Garcinia mangostana – Mangosteen

Lansium domesticum – Langsat

Zone 11+ (45 to 55F/ 7 to 13C)


Artocarpus altilis – Breadfruit

Zone 11+ (55+F/ 13+C)


Areca catechu – Betel Nut

Bertholletia excelsa – Brazil Nut

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