TropicSweet apples

'Dorsett Golden' apples. Credit: UF/IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center

Apples were once only grown in the northern regions of the U.S., but with varieties like 'Anna,' 'Dorsett Golden,' and 'TropicSweet,' Florida gardeners can now successfully grow apples as well.

To produce fruit, these varieties need about 300 to 400 hours below 45 degrees during the winter, so they’ll do well in central or north Florida.

Apple trees do best when planted in fertile, well-drained soil, between late December and February. Water and fertilize your trees on a regular basis, and they should bear fruit within a few years of establishment.

Your apples will require cross-pollination to set fruit properly. The varieties ‘TropicSweet’, ‘Anna’, and ‘Dorsett Golden’ bloom at about the same time and can be planted together for cross-pollination. The fruit on these varieties tends to ripen in June or July.

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