Arizona Fruit Planting Guide_ A Visual Planting Guide for Low Desert Fruit

Arizona Fruit Planting Guide: A Visual Guide for Low Desert Fruit

Many types of fruit and fruit trees are easy to grow and thrive year round in the low desert of Arizona. This Arizona Fruit Planting Guide provides planting dates and growing information for nearly 20 types of fruit in the low desert of Arizona.

With pictures and planting dates for close to 20 types of fruit that grow well in the low desert of Arizona, you are sure to find one to try. 

When choosing which type of deciduous fruit tree to plant, pay attention to the “chill hours”. This is the amount of cool temperatures certain types of fruit need to set fruit. In the low desert of Arizona, choose varieties that need 400 or less chill hours. The amount of chill hours required will be in the listing. All varieties listed require 400 or fewer hours. Warmer winters will have fewer chill hours than colder winters, so fruit set will vary from year to year. 

Be sure to check out the end of this Arizona Fruit Planting Guide for links to articles about what to do in your garden each month. 

Arizona Fruit Planting Guide: A Visual Guide for Low Desert Fruit

Click on fruit name to go directly to that fruit:

Apple

Apple trees should be thinned to produce the highest quality fruit.
Anna Apple Tree

How to grow apples in Arizona:

Varieties of apple trees that grow well in Arizona:

  • Anna – Self-fruitful (200 hours)
  • Beverly Hills – Self-fruitful (300 hours)
  • Ein Shemer – Self-fruitful (100 hours)
  • Gordon – Self-fruitful (400 hours)
  • Golden Dorsett – Self-fruitful (100 hours)

Best time to plant apple trees in Arizona: Fall or spring; when purchasing plants, choose container plants if possible rather than bare root. 

Months to harvest: June through September, depending on variety.

Tips for how to grow apple trees in Arizona:

  • Fertilize and prune before bud break.
  • Prune lightly removing only ⅓ of limbs. 
  • Thin fruit to 1-2 per bunch after fruit set. 

Apricot

Arizona Fruit Planting Guide
Apricot

How to grow apricots in Arizona:

Varieties of apricot trees of that grow well in Arizona:

  • Gold Kist – self-fruitful (300 hours)
  • Katy – self-fruitful (400 hours) 
  • Modesto – self-fruitful (300-400 hours)
  • Blenheim (Royal) – self-fruitful (400 hours) 

Best time to plant apricot trees in Arizona: Fall or spring; when purchasing plants, choose container plants if possible, rather than bare root. .

Months to harvest: May – June

Tips for how to grow apricot trees in Arizona:

  • Fertilize and prune before bud break.
  • Fertilize monthly during growing season.
  • Thin apricots to at least 2 inches apart as soon as possible after fruit set.

Asian Pear

Arizona Fruit Planting Guide
Asian Pear

How to grow Asian pears in Arizona:

Varieties of Asian pear trees that grow well in Arizona:

  • Shinseiki – self fruitful (350-400 hours)
  • Yakumo – pollinator required (450 hours)

Best time to plant Asian pear trees in Arizona: Fall or spring; when purchasing plants, choose container plants if possible, rather than bare root. 

Months to harvest: May through June, depending on variety.

Tips for how to grow Asian pears in Arizona:

  • Fertilize and prune before bud break.
  • Fertilize monthly during the growing season. 
  • Thin pears to at least 4 inches apart as soon as possible after fruit set.

Arizona Fruit Planting Guide: A Visual Guide for Low Desert Fruit

Blackberry

Arizona Fruit Planting Guide
Blackberry

How to grow blackberries in Arizona:

Varieties of blackberries that grow well in Arizona:

  • Brazos – thorny; large berries; heavy yield
  • Rosborogh – large, sweet fruit

Best time to plant blackberries in Arizona: Late January – March

Months to harvest: Begins in early May

Tips for how to grow blackberries in Arizona:

  • Water frequently when young. Once established, water deeply. Water more frequently during dry/hot weather, when flowering, and when fruit is ripening.
  • Fertilize in early March and in late July.
  • Blackberry canes are biennial. The canes are fruitless the first year, and then bear fruit the second year, and die after fruiting. Remove all fruiting canes in June after harvest.

Cherry

Arizona Fruit Planting Guide
Barbados Cherry

How to grow cherries in Arizona:

Varieties of cherries that grow well in Arizona: Barbados (Acerola)

Best time to plant a cherry tree in Arizona: Fall or spring; when purchasing plants, choose container plants if possible, rather than bare root. 

Months to harvest: March

Tips for how to grow cherry trees in Arizona: 

  • Protect young plants when temperatures are 30°F and lower.
  • Bushy shrub grows up to 10 feet high.
  • Drought tolerant once established; water well when flowering and fruiting.

Citrus

Three tips for juicing oranges #juicing #orangejuice #oranges #citrus
Orange Tree

How to grow citrus in Arizona

Varieties of citrus that grow well in Arizona: Nearly all varieties do well in the low desert of Arizona. Calamondins and kumquats are the most cold hardy; lemons and limes are the least.

Best time to plant citrus in Arizona: (usually mid to late February). Citrus can be planted from this time through May. Do not plant citrus from June through Septembersecond planting window for citrus is in the fall from October through December. 

Months to harvest: Late fall through early spring depending on variety.

Tips for how to grow citrus in Arizona: 

  • Newly-planted citrus is more susceptible to frost and needs frost protection. 
  • Fertilize mature citrus Valentine’s Day, Memorial Day, and Labor Day. 

  • Heavy pruning should be done after danger of frost is passed. 

  • Paint exposed bark to protect from sun.

Read this article for more information about how to grow citrus in Arizona.

Date

Date Arizona Fruit Planting Guide
Date

How to grow dates in Arizona:

Varieties of dates that grow well in Arizona: Date Palm

Best time to plant date trees in Arizona: Spring and fall

Months to harvest: Summer

Tips for how to grow dates in Arizona:

  • Trees are large, growing to 100 feet tall and wide.
  • Get damaged at temperatures below 18°F.

Arizona Fruit Planting Guide: A Visual Guide for Low Desert Fruit

Fig

Arizona Fruit Planting Guide
Fig

How to grow figs in Arizona:

Varieties of figs that grow well in Arizona:

  • Black Mission – large, long-lived tree
  • Brown Turkey – better in higher elevations (2000-3000 feet)
  • Conadria – tolerates heat well
  • White Kadota – hot weather helps ripen

Best time to plant fig trees in Arizona: Late spring through summer; do best with afternoon shade.

Months to harvest: May and late fall

Tips for how to grow fig trees in Arizona: 

  • Hardy to 10°F.
  • Fertilize mature fig trees in January and May.
  • Fertilize younger trees small doses less often throughout the year.
  • Trees grow very large, but can be pruned for size.

Goji Berry

Arizona Fruit Planting Guide
Goji Berry

How to grow goji berries in Arizona:

Best time to plant goji berries in Arizona: Spring and fall

Months to harvest: Spring and late fall

Tips for how to grow goji berries in Arizona: 

  • Berries form on current year’s wood. 
  • Pruning encourages new growth and keeps the plant open for light and air circulation. 
  • Plants begin producing at 2 years old and reach maximum production after 3-5 years. 

Grapes

Arizona Fruit Planting Guide
Grapes

How to grow grapes in Arizona:

Varieties of grapes that grow well in Arizona: Thompson Seedless; Ruby Seedless; Beauty Seedless; Flame Seedless

Best time to plant grapes in Arizona: March – April 

Months to harvest: July – August

Tips for how to grow grapes in Arizona: 

  • Roots go 2 feet deep; plant in rich soil.
  • Water slowly, deeply, and infrequently. During the summer, water every 7 to 10 days.
  • Fertilize mature grapes in February and May.
  • Learn how to train and prune.
  • Look out for Western grape leaf skeletonizer; use Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt.) to control.

Ground Cherry

Arizona Fruit Planting Guide
Ground Cherry

How to grow ground cherries in Arizona:

Varieties of ground cherries that grow well in Arizona: Aunt Molly’s; New Hanover; Ground Cherry

Best time to plant in Arizona: After frost through March, and Mid-July through August.

Months to harvest: May – July, and October – November

Tips for how to grow in Arizona: 

  • Seeds are slow to germinate. Start seeds indoors 3-4 weeks before planting.
  • Plants grow large, provide support.
  • Ground cherries are ready to harvest when they fall to the ground. 

Arizona Fruit Planting Guide: A Visual Guide for Low Desert Fruits (continued)

Jujube (Chinese Date)

Arizona Fruit Planting Guide
Arizona

How to grow jujube (Chinese date) in Arizona:

Varieties of jujube (Chinese date) that grow well in Arizona: Li; Lang; Sherwood

Best time to plant jujube in Arizona: Fall or spring

Months to harvest: Late summer to fall

Tips for how to grow jujube in Arizona: 

  • Hardy to -20°F.
  • Space trees 15-30 feet apart depending on variety.
  • Deciduous; has thorns.
  • Allow fruit to drop for harvest.
  • Drought tolerant.
  • Does not need additional fertilizer.
  • Prune in winter while dormant.

Peach

Earligrande peaches in Arizona Garden in April #arizonagardening #arizonagarden #aprilinthegarden
Peach

How to grow peach trees in Arizona:

Varieties of peach trees that grow well in Arizona:

  • Bonanza Miniature – freestone, self -fruitful (250 hours or less)
  • August Pride – freestone, self-fruitful (300 hours or less)
  • Babcock – freestone, self-fruitful (250-300 hours)
  • Desert Gold – clingstone, self-fruitful (250 hours)
  • Desert Red – clingstone, self-fruitful (275 hours)
  • Earligrande – semi-freestone, self-fruitful (275 hours)
  • Eva’s Pride – freestone, self-fruitful (100-200 hours)
  • Florida Prince – semi-freestone, self-fruitful (150 hours)
  • Floridagrande – semi-freestone (less than 100 hours)
  • May Pride – freestone, self-fruitful (175-200 hours)
  • Mid-Pride – freestone, self-fruitful (250 hours)
  • Tropic Beauty – freestone, self-fruitful (100-200 hours)
  • Tropic Snow – freestone, self-fruitful (175-200 hours)
  • Vallegrande – semi-freestone, self-fruitful (250 hours)
  • Tropic Sweet – freestone, self-fruitful (100-200 hours)

Best time to plant. peach trees in Arizona: Fall or spring; when purchasing plants, choose container plants if possible, rather than bare root. 

Months to harvest: April through August, depending on variety.

Tips for how to grow peach trees in Arizona:

  • Prune before bud break in January. 
  • Thin peaches to at least 4 inches apart as soon as possible after fruit set.

Pear

Arizona Fruit Planting Guide
Pear

How to grow pears in Arizona:

Varieties of pears that grow well in Arizona:

  • Floridahome – partly self-fruitful (400 hours)
  • Keiffer – self-fruitful; best for cooking (350 hours)

Best time to plant pear trees in Arizona: Fall or spring; when purchasing plants, choose container plants if possible, rather than bare root. 

Months to harvest: April – August

Tips for how to grow pear trees in Arizona: 

  • Fertilize and prune before bud break.
  • Thin pears to at least 4 inches apart as soon as possible after fruit set.
  • Fertilize monthly during growing season.

Persimmon

Arizona Fruit Planting Guide
Persimmon

How to grow persimmons in Arizona:

Varieties of persimmon that grow well in Arizona:

  • Fuyu – self-fruitful (200 hours)
  • Giant Fuyu – self-fruitful (200 hours)
  • Izu – smaller tree; self-fruitful (100 hours)

Best time to plant in Arizona: Fall or spring; when purchasing plants, choose container plants if possible, rather than bare root. It can be difficult to start from bare root.

Months to harvest: Late fall 

Tips for how to grow in Arizona: 

  • Trees may take 7 years to bear fruit.
  • Harvest fruit while firm; will soften indoors.
  • Prune little, if at all.
  • Does not need fertilizer.
  • Thin heavy crops.
  • Tolerates temperatures to 10°F.

Arizona Fruit Planting Guide: A Visual Guide for Low Desert Fruit

Pineapple Guava

Arizona Fruit Planting Guide
Pineapple Guava

How to grow pineapple guava in Arizona:

Varieties of pineapple guava that grow well in Arizona: Apollo; Coolidge; Nazemetz; Pineapple Gem

Best time to plant in Arizona: Spring and fall

Months to harvest: Between September and January, depending on variety.

Tips for how to grow in Arizona: 

  • Large shrub or small tree, up to 15 feet tall.
  • Grows well in containers.
  • Drought tolerant.
  • Evergreen shrub.
  • Prune only lightly as needed after fruiting.

Plum

Thin fruit trees in Arizona Garden in April #arizonagardening #arizonagarden #aprilinthegarden
Plums

How to grow plums in Arizona:

Varieties of plums that grow well in Arizona:

  • Beauty – self-fruitful (250 hours)
  • Gulf Gold – self-fruitful (250 hours)
  • Gulf Ruby – self-fruitful (250 hours)
  • Methley – self-fruitful (250 hours)
  • Santa Rosa – self-fruitful (300 hours)

Best time to plant plum trees in Arizona: Fall or spring; when purchasing plants, choose container plants if possible, rather than bare root. 

Months to harvest: May – June

Tips for how to grow plum trees in Arizona: 

  • Fertilize and prune before bud break in January.
  • Fertilize monthly during growing season.
  • Thin plums to at least 2 inches apart as soon as possible after fruit set.
  • Water trees well until established.

Pomegranate

Arizona Fruit Planting Guide
Pomegranate

How to grow pomegranates in Arizona:

Varieties of pomegranates that grow well in Arizona: 

  • Balegal – large fruits with pale pink skin; sweet flavored flesh; hardy to zone 7.
  • Crab – medium to large fruit with bronze skin; tart but rich flavor; productive.
  • Early Wonderful – large fruits with thin red skin; tart flavor; very productive.
  • Granada – medium fruit with crimson skin; semi-sweet; matures early; hardy to zone 7.
  • Sweet – medium fruit with pink skin; green skin with red flush; very sweet; productive; bears at a young age.
  • Utah Sweet – medium-sized fruit with pink skin; sweet flavor and soft seeds; pink flowers.
  • Wonderful – large fruits with red skin; tangy, flavorful, soft seeds; large red flowers; productive. This variety grows well in the low desert of Arizona. 

Best time to plant pomegranate trees in Arizona: Spring and fall

Months to harvest: October – December

Tips for how to grow pomegranates in Arizona: 

  • Give pomegranates plenty of sun.
  • Feed pomegranates with a layer of compost in the spring.
  • Prune lightly throughout the year as needed.

Read this article for more information about how to grow pomegranates in Arizona

Strawberry

Arizona Fruit Planting Guide_ A Visual Planting Guide for Low Desert Fruit
Strawberry

How to grow strawberries in Arizona:

Varieties of strawberries that grow well in Arizona: Camerosa; Chandler; Sequoia; Tioga

Best time to plant strawberries in Arizona: Mid-September through January

Months to harvest: April – June 

Tips for how to grow Strawberries in Arizona: 

  • You may need to plant new plants each year. Arizona summers are very hard on strawberry plants and they often die.
  • Strawberries in Arizona need afternoon shade.
  • Water strawberries every day in the summer.
  • Mulch strawberries well.
  • Strawberries are salt-sensitive, which can make them difficult to grow in Arizona’s salty soil. Regular deep watering can help wash salts from the soil. 

Read this article for more information about how to grow strawberries in Arizona

Would you like the low-desert planting dates for vegetables, herbs, and flowers in a convenient calendar? 

*PLANTING GUIDE: Each month has a planting guide (letter boards) for the vegetables, herbs, and flowers to plant in the low desert of Arizona. 

*HARVEST GUIDE: Harvest guides are the harvest photos of what it is possible to harvest each month. 

Wondering what to do in your Arizona garden each month?

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4 comments on “Arizona Fruit Planting Guide: A Visual Guide for Low Desert Fruit”

  1. I have a Desert Gold peach tree in a container that I am digging a hole for to plant before winter. According to your guide would it be better for it to continue in the pot?

    • Now is a great time to get it in the ground. When I say “container plants do best” I mean purchase plants already rooted and growing in containers rather than bare root trees. I can see how that is confusing. I may change the wording to make it more clear.

  2. I was told Desert Gold was by far the best peach for Arizona, but according to your article it is a clingstone peach, which is not what I want. What is your favorite freestone peach for Arizona?

    • I would recommend any of the freestones listed. I wouldn’t give up on the desert gold however, it is a great peach even if it is a clingstone.

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