Tropical fruit is tasty, rich in vitamins and beautiful to sight and smell.  Depending on where you live you may pay a lot of money in grocery and specialty stores for certain types of fruit that aren’t widely grown in your area. 

However, if you have the right climate and can dedicate the proper care and attention to tropical fruit trees then you can by-pass that extra cost and grow those fruits and vegetables right in your own tropical garden.

Besides the benefits of the fruiting aspects, these tropical plants can add that special “tropical appearance” to your home garden.

You probably won’t be able to grow all of these trees and plants on your property (kudos if you can!) but you can choose which ones interest you the most and try one or a few I your tropical garden.

10 Fruit and Food Trees that will Look Awesome in Your Backyard:

Papaya:  Papaya trees can grow from 7 to 10 feet tall, unless you go for the dwarf variety.  If you’re pressed for space that might be the best bet, but I like the full size plants.  Besides the papaya they have a beautiful canopy with almost snow-flake shape leaves. 

The papaya fruit is nutritious and has a sweet mellow flavor, almost like a cantaloupe.  Papaya is perfect for smoothies and a great addition to certain salsas.

Papaya treeCredit:

Sugar Cane:  Looks like bamboo and grow up to 10 feet tall.  Once the stalks are grown and
 matured you can chop them down and into little pieces for a delightful, sweet snack that can be sucked on for hours.  Growing sugar cane against property boundaries and such can make for a great sound barrier to the outside world.


sugar cane for gardensCredit: Ken Muise


Taro:  Asian native, Taro is a tuberous root.  The leaves and root are both used extensively in the pacific islands in rolling and cooking.  The plant is fast growing with velvet feeling, heart shape leaves that are very tropical in appearance.  Water a lot and plant in moist, rich soil.

Taro plants being harvestedCredit:

Asian Guava:  The guava fruit is tasty and has long been used in jams and juices, as well as peeled and eaten alone.  Perhaps one of the easiest bushes/trees to grow in tropical areas.  Guava is another fruit that does well in certain smoothie recipes.  If you want your garden to look like a tropical landcape, then Guava is the way to go.

Asian guava plants for tropical gardensCredit: Ken Muise

Kona Coffee:  Get yourself a one of these plants and you’ll definitely start a conversation amongst neighbors!  Kona coffee is the most popular in Hawaii and loved around the world for its rich and clear flavor.  These are upright bushes that grow from 6 to 8 feet.  Having on tree can yield up to 1 pound of coffee at harvesting time that you can enjoy right away or keep in the freeze until the beans are ready to grind for special occasions.

Kona Coffee in your gardenCredit:

Pomegranate:  Dwarf pomegranate begin to flower at only 1 foot tall.  The salmon colored flowerings beautiful and unique.  Dwarf species grow dense and up to 3 feet.  Once the fruit is ready, the delectable, tasty seeds inside will prove worth it. Careful, they stain!

Pomegranate tree in tropical gardensCredit:

Star Fruit:  One of the taller trees on the list, growing to 15 feet tall.  Star fruit has a beautiful geometric five-pointed appearance.  They feel  almost leathery when handling the fruit but once you bite into the yummy goodness you’ll never want to let go.  Beautiful, fragrant and easy to grow.  May flower twice per year!

Star fruit trees being gronwCredit:

Tamarind: Ever wanted to make authentic tasting African, Indian and Asian chutneys, curries and drinks?  Then fresh tamarind is the way to go.  The pulp is “tarty-sweet” and sticky.  As for the plant, it is thick and provides great shade for hot climates.  Perfect to enhance the landscape of your tropical garden.

Tamarind tree in garden with lizardCredit:

Cacao:  Yes, cacao!  You may not have the ability or time to make your own chocolate with a cacao plant but if you do what could be more rewarding?  It is native to tropical regions of the Americas and has the a nice canopy and distinct seed.  

Plant a cacao treeCredit:

Pineapple:  Pineapple is the Hawaiian King.  It grows so well down here that James Dole started his plantation around 1900 and quickly became the Pineapple King of the World.  The Pineapple plant is distinctly tropical and will also give your garden a sweet bouquet that makes those who smell think of Pina Coladas!

Pineapple in my gardenCredit: Ken Muise


Most of the above plants, trees and bushes will do fine in a tropical environment.  Even if the area you live in is not perfect to their needs then with a little gardening TLC you can make it work.  Soon you’ll have a garden with tropical fruit and landscape that will everything you could ever envision when you set out on your Tropical Garden adventure.

Try growing fruit trees in accordance with your favorite types!

Paradise Found: Growing Tropicals in Your Own Backyard
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