21 Winter Fruits to Grow (or Buy) in Every Climate

In Colder Climates

If you live in zone 3 (parts of North Dakota) or zone 4 (parts of Nebraska), your growth options are somewhat limited. After all, these climates can reach minimum temps of -30 to -40°F. Still, there are some mighty fruits that can withstand the cold climate and even thrive in it. Consider growing these fruits in freezing climates:

  • Honeycrisp apples
  • Cherry plums
  • Pears
  • Apricots
  • Cherries

Your best bet: Pears

Not many fruits will ripen during winter when temperatures are below zero, so those who live in colder climates may need to purchase much of their fruit from other parts of the country between December and March. Of all the cold-weather fruits, though, pears are some of the most resilient, with a season that can last from August to May.

In Warmer Climates

Not all of the U.S. faces blizzards in the wintertime. If you live in a warmer climate, such as zone 8 (including parts of Arizona) or zone 9 (including parts of Nevada), you have a lot more growth options at your disposal. Temperatures in these climates seldom dip below freezing, and they present the ideal year-round growing conditions, particularly for citrus fruits. Consider growing these fruits in warmer climates:

  • Mandarin oranges
  • Lemons
  • Winter squash
  • Kumquats
  • Pomelos
  • Avocados
  • Passion fruits
  • Guavas
  • Kiwis

Your best bet: Kiwis

Kiwis grow quickly on vines and ripen in winter and spring, so you can enjoy them during the colder months. Kumquats also ripen in cold-weather conditions, so they may be a good option if they’re to your liking. Mandarin oranges are sweet and juicy in winter, but they take much longer to grow.

In Hot and Tropical Climates

Zone 11 makes up the warmest and most tropical-friendly climate in the contiguous United States. It’s also the smallest zone, limited primarily to the southern tip of Florida and a small section of coastal Los Angeles. If you live in one of these areas, you have access to cold-weather growth opportunities not found in other parts of the nation. For example, these warm climates can accommodate papaya and mango, which are otherwise difficult—if not altogether impossible—to grow in the United States. The warmer zones 10 and 11 can also accommodate these crops:

  • Grapes
  • Figs
  • Grapefruits
  • Pomegranates
  • Cherries
  • Plums
  • Guava

Your best bet: Grapefruits

Grapefruit comes into season in January, so it’s an excellent fruit to enjoy during those chilly winter months on the West Coast.