Sunny and 75 degrees, does this sound familiar? The lovely Mediterranean climate of San Diego is just one of the many things to love about our fair city. Certain types of plants and trees also love the climate and we’re able to grow all sorts of things year-round without having to worry about snow or frost. Here are five types of fruit trees that grow especially well in San Diego.
Lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruits, kumquats, tangelos, and mandarins are all types of commonly grown citrus trees. This lovely evergreen tree is highly sensitive to cold and frost, making it an ideal choice to grow is San Diego. With varieties ranging from ultra-dwarf to full sized, any resident of San Diego can enjoy growing their own citrus tree. Citrus trees do not require much maintenance either. With regular watering and fertilizing, you can grow a healthy, productive tree that not only offers a healthy snack, but can also provide shade and privacy. With regard to health, just one orange provides the majority of the recommended daily value of Vitamin C, which supports a healthy immune system.
Even though avocado toast might be a newer food trend, us San Diegans have been familiar with this nutritional powerhouse of a fruit for a long time. Yes, avocados are considered a fruit even though their nutritional information reads more like that of a vegetable. This distinctive-looking tree is especially suited for the climate of San Diego because it is extremely sensitive to cold and frost and requires a lot of sunlight. Avocado trees also have shallow roots and must be protected from strong winds. Avocados won’t actually ripen on the tree; they only begin to soften after they have been picked. This means that while the rest of the country spends over $1 per avocado, you can have year-round fruits from your very own tree.
It’s no wonder that olive oil is a staple in the Mediterranean diet, as it grows so very well in the Mediterranean climate. Olive trees have lovely silvery-green elongated leaves and are easily recognizable due to their distinctive coloring. While olives require a lot of processing in order to actually eat them, they do offer benefits other than fruit production. Olive trees are often used as a privacy screen along a property line or as a beautiful tree showcased in landscaping. Olive trees can be very messy once they have dropped their fruit and are easily smashed underfoot. Careful consideration should be taken to place an olive tree to minimize the damage caused by dropped fruit.
Another fruit tree that grows extremely well in the San Diego climate is the pomegranate. Pomegranates are a large red fruit with a hard, glossy skin and the flower on one end. The tree tends to grow in a bushy fashion but can be trained to your liking. Even if you don’t enjoy all the little tangy seeds of a pomegranate, the tree itself can be grown for its lovely red flowers.
While technically not trees but vines, grapes also thrive in the San Diego climate. There are many varieties of grapes, including wine grapes and table (or fresh eating) grapes, which grow well here. Being a vine, grapes will climb anything near them including a trellis, a wall, another tree, you name it. It may be intimidating to look at a professional vineyard and want to try your hand at growing grapes, but as long as you aren’t looking for massive fruit production, grapes do very well in nontraditional settings. For example, planting a couple of grapevines on either side of an arbor or trellised walkway provides a lovely shaded structure during Spring and Summer and will produce fruit. Grapevines do require a little pruning and training but can be a lovely living addition to any San Diego yard.