Discover 10 Fruit Trees That Grow In Southern California

Peach orchard
© Alexey Stiop/Shutterstock.com

Written by Theresa Pogach

Published: September 22, 2023

Share on:

Advertisement


Southern California offers an inviting climate ideal for sunbathers and fruit trees. Its varied regions and Zone 9 climate offer the perfect conditions for growing a wide array of fruits. From the sunny beaches of San Diego to the inland orchards, you’ll find nature’s candy is thriving. Let’s explore ten fruit trees to cultivate in Southern California, including why they perform so well there and what regions are best for specific fruits. 

1. Citrus Trees (Citrus spp.)

Orange Blossoms on an Orange Tree

Orange blossoms mix in with ripening fruit.

©Iness_la_luz/Shutterstock.com

As California’s poster child for their fruit offerings, citrus trees thrive in the Mediterranean climate. While citrus trees are native to Southeast Asia, Southern California farmers have cultivated these sour treats for over 200 years. The combination of mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers creates the ideal environment for oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits. Southern California is a citrus paradise with its long, sunny days. Farmers ensure well-drained soil and regular watering to grow them successfully, especially during dry spells.

2. Avocado Trees (Persea americana)

avocados

Avocado shrubs produce a bountiful supply of the creamy delight.

©Alexis Foto Guevara/Shutterstock.com

The love affair with avocado toast has brought this fruit into the limelight. Avocado trees adore California’s coastal climate, particularly in Southern California. While native to Central America, cities like Los Angeles and San Diego offer ideal conditions with mild winters and consistent temperatures. Farmers have been growing these green gems in that state for over 100 years. Rich, well-drained soil is crucial for avocados, and they flourish when planted in groups for cross-pollination.

3. Apple Trees (Malus domestic)

closeup of Empire apples on a tree branch in an orchard on a sunny day outdoors. Fresh, juicy and organic produce growing with leaves in a sustainable fruit farm. Ripe and ready for harvest

A wide variety of apples thrive in California.

©PeopleImages.com – Yuri A/Shutterstock.com

Northern California’s cooler temperatures and distinct seasons are an apple harvest’s dream. Varieties like Fuji, Granny Smith, and Gala thrive there, but they’ve also made their way down south. Apples might not be synonymous with Southern California, but you’ll find more there than expected. Apple trees are native to Central Asia but have found a home in California for over 150 years. Apples, of course, grow in other parts of the country and have varying peak seasons

4. Peach Trees (Prunus persica)

peach

Peaches enjoy the warm days and cold nights in their California orchards.

©iStock.com/takoburito

Georgia might be known for its peaches, but peach trees also thrive in Southern California, where hot, dry summers and chilly winters mimic the climate of their native China. Varieties such as the Elberta peach flourish in Southern California. They’ve been cultivated in that area for over 200 years. Pruning is essential for these trees to maintain their shape and health.

5. Cherry Trees (Prunus avium and Prunus cerasus)

Rainier cherries hanging on cherry tree branch

Tart cherries ripen on the branch before harvest.

©patjo/Shutterstock.com

Cherries are native to Europe and Asia but have come to adore California’s moderate climate. They’re particularly well-suited to the Southwest region. Elevation, average rainfall, mild winters, and warm summers make Southern California ideal for growing cherries. Sour and sweet cherry varietals can both flourish in these areas with proper care and attention.

6. Fig Trees (Ficus carica)

A closeup of the fruits of Ficus carica or the common fig tree.

A perfectly ripe fig is a sophisticated addition to your plate.

©simona pavan/Shutterstock.com

Figs have been a staple in California for centuries, and they adore the dry Mediterranean climate. These drought-tolerant trees, from San Diego to San Francisco, thrive throughout the state and have done so for over 200 years. They require little maintenance and grow beautifully in California backyards. The sweet centers are a perfect base for your best charcuterie board creations!

7. Apricot Trees (Prunus armeniaca)

Apricot Tree

Apricots grow in tight bunches.

©iStock.com/Zoya2222

Apricot trees, with their delicate blossoms and sweet fruit, are well-suited to California’s diverse climate. They flourish in regions like the Santa Clara Valley and the Central Valley. Native to Central Asia, apricots have grown in California for over 150 years. Regular pruning and thinning are essential to promote healthy growth and fruit production.

8. Plum Trees (Prunus domestica)

selective focus. Ripe blue purple plums in the plum garden. Agriculture Haversting background. manny ripe fruits in plantation. Ripe plums in orchad.

Plums are full of antioxidants and support digestive health.

©nnattalli/Shutterstock.com

Plum trees are versatile and can adapt to a variety of Californian climates. The San Joaquin Valley offers excellent conditions for plums. Fresno, Bakersfield, and Visalia are known for their plum orchards. An additional bonus? Plums require minimal maintenance. Proper thinning ensures larger, juicier fruits. Several varietals of plums grow all across the state and have done so for over 150 years.

9. Persimmon Tree (Diospyros kaki)

Persimmon tree with ripe fruit

Persimmon trees are a common site in the backyards of California.

©Supermop/Shutterstock.com

The sweet and vibrant persimmon thrives in Southern California’s mild climate. Native to China, these trees are resilient and require little care once established. Well-drained soil and protection from strong winds are essential for their growth. You’ll find plenty of persimmons in California backyards.

10. Pomegranate Tree (Punica granatum)

opened pomegranate with exposed fruits in from of two whole unopened pomegranates a wooden table

Pomegranate juice is a popular item made from its seeds.

©Gorenkova Evgenija/Shutterstock.com

Southern California is one of the world’s leading producers of pomegranates. These spheres, known for their ruby-red and sweet seeds, adore California’s hot and dry summers. With its scorching temperatures, the San Fernando Valley provides the perfect environment for these fruit-bearing shrubs. Some shrubs can grow larger than many fruit trees. Pruning and regular watering are helpful for robust pomegranate production, but you can also find them thriving unattended. Initially found in Iran and Northern India, pomegranates became popular as a desirable commercial crop in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Southern California’s diverse climate and geography offer an abundance of ripe and delectable fruits. From the sun-drenched citrus groves in the San Fernando Valley to the fig trees nestled along the coast, these top 10 fruit trees can thrive in the Golden State, particularly in Southern California. Success in cultivating these trees depends on proper care, including soil preparation, watering schedules, and pest management. Southern California provides an ideal canvas for some of the best fruit production in the country.


Share this post on:

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.