10 Best Fruits to Grow in Tennessee

Our experienced writers spend hours deep researching, considering both scientific and experimental info to bring the insights you can trust.  

Quick Answer: Best Fruits to grow in Tennessee

The best fruits to grow in Tennessee are apple, pear, peach, plum, apricot, cherry, persimmon, fig, raspberry, and blackberry. The best seasons to grow fruits in Tennessee are spring, summer, and fall.

If you are interested in finding out which types of fruit are most suitable for growing in Tennessee, this article will give you information on ten options and tell you why to grow them.

I will also offer some advice on how to properly care for these fruits to ensure their success.

Let’s dive in and explore these options!

Best Fruits to Grow in Tennessee

Most regions of Tennessee have a humid subtropical climate, with hot-humid summers, cold-mild winters, and abundant precipitation.

Higher elevations, however, endure a humid continental climate with warm to hot, mostly humid summers and freezing winters.

The state soil is Dickson soil which is very deep and well-draining. There are also various types of soil in Tennessee, including loamy, clayey, and rocky soil.

Know your soil and local climate before picking a fruit variety.

Your county Extension office, local nurseries, or local commercial and home fruit growers can provide information on fruit varieties suited to your area.

Here are 10 of the best fruits to grow in Tennessee.

1. Apple

Apples (Malus domestica) are small, deciduous trees that belong to the rose family. Native to Central Asia, apple trees take 7-10 years to mature and bear fruit.

Why Grow Apples?

The temperate climate of Tennessee is suitable for growing apple trees. The state also has a range of soil types that can support apple trees, including clay, loam, and sand.

 In addition, Tennessee has a long growing season, with frost-free periods ranging from 150 to 210 days in different parts of the state.

This allows apple trees to grow and produce fruit over an extended period of time.

Apple trees can produce a significant amount of fruit each year.

These trees live a long time and can continue to produce fruit for many years, often beginning to bear fruit within 3-4 years of planting.

Maintenance and Care

Apple trees can grow in a variety of soil types as long as they have access to adequate water and nutrients.

It is important to avoid planting apple trees in heavy, poorly drained soil or in low-lying areas prone to frost pockets, as these conditions can hinder the tree’s growth and fruit production.

The potential pests and diseases that can affect apple trees include apple maggots, plum curculios, green fruit worms, codling moths, apple scabs, Marssonina leaf blotch, black rot canker, and powdery mildew.

Here’s a growing guide for apple trees:

2. Pear

The pear tree (Pyrus communis L.) is a type of deciduous tree native to central and eastern Europe and western Asia known for its smooth, thin-skinned and juicy, sweet, or tart-fleshed fruits.

It can take between 3-10 years for pear trees to reach the fruiting stage.

Why Grow Pear?

Tennessee’s climate, soil, and growing season are conducive to the success of pear trees. There are many different varieties of pears available, each with its own unique flavor and texture.

Pears can be stored for several weeks or even months in a cool, dry place, making them a convenient fruit to have on hand.

Pear trees are low-maintenance and can be trained to grow in small spaces.

They have attractive blossoms and can add beauty to your orchard. They are also more resistant to pests and diseases than apples.

Maintenance and Care

Plant pear trees in a site with good air circulation and slightly sloping, elevated terrain to avoid frost damage to the flowers. They prefer heavy, clay loam soil with a porous subsoil or medium to sandy loam, but not overly saturated soil.

 Plant in the fall when the weather is mild or in the spring when it is cooler, and prune lightly in winter by removing thin, weak central branches and any blight-infected growth.

Pear rust, pear scab, fire blight, and Fabraea leaf spot are common diseases that can affect pear trees, while codling moths, pear psylla, mites, and borers are common insect pests.

Here is a guide for growing pear trees:

3. Peach

Peach (Prunus persica) is a deciduous tree native to China that produces fuzzy, orange, or yellow-skinned and juicy, sweet, or tart-fleshed peaches.

It can take between 2-4 years for peach trees to reach the fruiting stage.

Why Grow Peach?

Peaches, sometimes referred to as the queen of fruits, can be grown throughout most of Tennessee, except in the higher elevations in the east, and does well in the state.

The peach harvest season in the state typically runs from early June to August, with clingstone peaches being considered the best quality.

Peaches are great to eat in the summer and can be used in many different recipes.

Maintenance and Care

Choose soil that drains well and maintains consistent moisture levels for peach trees, especially during the first two years of growth.

Peach trees require direct sunlight and cannot tolerate shade.

Enrich the soil with decomposed compost.

Buying a young tree from a nursery and transplanting it into your garden is best.

Use a dormant tree spray on peach trees to prevent diseases and insects before bud opening in the spring.

Common pests affecting peach trees in Tennessee include aphids, mites, peach tree borer, and plum curculio, while common diseases include brown rot, leaf curl, peach mosaic, and powdery mildew.

Here’s a guide to growing peach trees:

4. Plum

A plum tree belongs to the genus Prunus and produces fruit with smooth, thin skin and juicy, sweet, or tart flesh.

Among different types of plums, the common plum is native to Europe, and it can take 3-6 years for a plum tree to reach maturity.

Why Grow Plum?

Plums are a good choice for Tennessee gardeners because many varieties are hardy and can withstand unexpected cold spells.

They are also immensely productive, producing a large amount of fruit that is ideal for preserving and using in desserts.

There are two main types of plum trees – European and Japanese – which are suited to different climates.

European and American plums are best suited to cooler regions in Tennessee, while Japanese plums thrive in warmer areas.

Plum trees are also resistant to many diseases and pests and require little maintenance. They can be trained to grow in small spaces and are easy to harvest and handle.

Maintenance and Care

Regular watering, especially during dry periods, is necessary for plums.

Mulch helps retain moisture and reduces the need for watering, while regular fertilizing improve fruit production. Plums prefer about 8 hours of direct sun per day.

They also flower early in spring and need protection from frost to prevent blossom drops.

Well-draining soil is important to prevent root rot, but the soil should also contain organic matter to retain moisture.

Common diseases affecting plums in Tennessee include black knot, brown rot, leaf curl, and plum pox, while common pests include aphids, Japanese beetles, plum curculio, and various types of mites.

Here’s a growing guide for plums:

5. Apricot

The apricot (Prunus armeniaca), another type of stone fruit, originated in China around 2000 B.C.

It can take between 3-5 years for apricot trees to reach the fruiting stage and begin producing apricots.

Why Grow Apricot?

Apricots are a good choice for Tennessee gardens because they can be difficult to find fresh in some areas, and growing them in your own backyard allows you to enjoy these tasty fruits.

As they are self-fruitful, you do not need to plant different varieties for pollination, and the trees remain relatively small, making them suitable for small gardens.

Apricot trees grow well in  Zones 5-8 of Tennessee. Choose a hardier variety in regions with late spring frost.

Apricots prefer conditions similar to peaches and thrive in warmer regions around Zones 7 and 8.

Maintenance and Care

Apricots are prone to pests and diseases and benefit from consistent pruning to promote airflow.

They need consistent watering for the tastiest fruit, but not as much as other stone fruits like plums.

 Plant in spring in full sun, but they may tolerate some partial shade. As a smaller tree, apricots will require a stake for support.

Protect from wind, especially while establishing, to prevent the tree from tipping over.

Common pests affecting apricots in Tennessee include aphids, caterpillars, and mites, while common diseases include brown rot, leaf curl, and powdery mildew.

Here is a guide for growing apricot trees from seeds:

6. Cherry

Cherry (Prunus avium), yet another stone fruit tree, is native to Europe, Asia, and North America. It can take between 3-5 years for cherry trees to reach the fruiting stage and begin producing cherries.

Why Grow Cherries?

Cherries prefer cooler weather and take a few years to mature and produce fruit, but the sweet harvest is worth the wait. In addition to providing delicious fruit, cherry trees offer stunning blooms in the spring and benefit the ecosystem.

Sweet and sour cherry varieties can be grown in Tennessee and are both well-suited to the climate.

Sweet cherries are eaten fresh and grow best in Zones 5-7, while sour cherries are used in jams and other preserves and grow best in Zones 4-6.

For small gardens, consider dwarf cherry varieties like ‘Bing’, a popular cultivar.

Maintenance and Care

Cherries need regular watering and mulching but do not tolerate waterlogged soil.

Prune annually to remove dying branches and fertilize in spring for improved fruiting. Plant in early spring, giving each tree plenty of space for good air circulation.

Some common pests that can affect cherry trees include cherry fruit fly, aphids, cherry slug, and Japanese beetles, and some common diseases include cherry leaf spots, blight, brown rot, and leaf curl.

Here is a guide for growing cherry trees:

7. Persimmon

Persimmon (Diospyros kaki or Diospyros virginianna), the fruit with red-orange tomato-shaped skin and jelly-like flesh, is native to China and Japan. The tree can start bearing fruit 5-7 years after planting.

Why Grow Persimmon?

Persimmons can be a delicious and low-maintenance addition to your garden and are known for their cold hardiness. Persimmon trees are easy to care for and tolerate a wide range of soil conditions.

The common persimmon grows well in Zones 4-9, while Japanese persimmons prefer warmer temperatures.

Asian persimmon varieties are known for producing smaller, more compact trees that can be grown in smaller spaces

They are also resistant to pests and diseases and do not require regular watering or pruning. They are essentially drought-tolerant.

You can enjoy fresh persimmons all season by growing them in your own backyard.

Maintenance and Care

When planting persimmon trees, it is best to allow them to acclimatize to their new environment rather than adding organic matter or fertilizers to the soil.

Add a layer of mulch once the soil has warmed.

Remember that persimmon trees usually need cross-pollination, so plant two compatible varieties together. Hybrid cultivars are a good option for better fruit production with minimal effort.

Prune and thin fruit seasonally to prevent overbearing and fruit drops on persimmon trees. Avoid excessive use of nitrogen fertilizers.

Persimmon trees are relatively resistant to pests and diseases in Tennessee, but they may be affected by a few common issues, such as fungal diseases, aphids, and mites.

Here’s a guide to growing persimmon trees:

8. Fig

Figs (Ficus carica) are deciduous trees or shrubs that belong to the mulberry family. They are native to the Middle East and Western Asia.

It typically takes 3-5 years for a fig tree to reach maturity and start producing fruit.

Why Grow Figs?

Figs are a delicious fruit that can be grown in Tennessee, especially in the warmer regions around Zones 6 and 7.

However, some hardy cultivars can also be grown in the cooler regions with a bit of extra care, such as by protecting the tree from the cold in winter by bringing it indoors or growing it in a container.

Fig trees are low-maintenance and don’t require much pruning or fertilizing if grown in the right soil.

They can start producing fruit within a few years of planting. Some popular fig cultivars for the moderate Tennessee climate include ‘Celeste’ and ‘Hardy Chicago’.

Maintenance and Care

Fig trees have shallow roots and should be planted at a shallow depth. Because of this, they will require frequent watering.

 Mulch can help create optimal growing conditions for figs, even in containers.

It is important to prioritize soil health before planting fig trees, as they can be prone to soil-borne pests and diseases.

Common pests affecting figs in Tennessee include aphids and mites, and common diseases include fig mosaic and root rot.

Here is a guide for growing figs:

9. Raspberry

Raspberries (Rubus idaeus) are native to many regions, like North America, Europe, and Asia. There are several different varieties of raspberries, including red, black, purple, and blue.

It typically takes 1-2 years for a raspberry plant to bear fruit after it has been planted.

Why Grow Raspberries?

Raspberries are a relatively easy and productive fruit to grow in a garden of any size, including in containers.

They have rapid and vigorous growth, are generally resistant to frost damage, and produce high-quality fruit.

 You can choose between summer-bearing and ever-bearing (fall-bearing) varieties, and the berries ripen quickly and are simple to harvest.

Maintenance and Care

Raspberry plants need full sun and should be pruned annually.

To prevent root rot, it is helpful to plant them in raised beds. Be sure to keep them watered during the summer to prevent them from drying out.

Raspberry plants in Tennessee may be affected by pests such as aphids, Japanese beetles, and raspberry crown borer, and diseases such as raspberry mosaic virus, verticillium wilt, and raspberry leaf spot.

Here is a guide for growing raspberries:

10. Blackberry

Blackberries (Rubus fruticosus), like raspberries, are a type of bramble plant. Native to Europe, Western Asia, and Africa, it takes about 1-3 years for a plant to grow to maturity from the time it is planted.

Why Grow Blackberries?

Blackberry plants can be a good choice for Tennessee gardens because they are easy to grow and produce an abundant crop of fruit.

They are also relatively resistant to pests and diseases, making them low-maintenance plants.

In addition, blackberries have a long growing season, allowing them to produce fruit over an extended period of time.

They are well-suited to Tennessee’s humid subtropical climate. Both thorned and thornless varieties do well in Tennessee.

The plants are also popular for their attractive flowers and leaves, which are often used in ornamental plantings.

Maintenance and Care

Blackberry plants need full sun and well-drained soil to grow well. They should be watered regularly, especially during dry periods, and mulched to help retain moisture in the soil.

It is also important to prune the plants regularly to remove any dead or damaged canes and encourage new growth.

Powdery mildew, blackberry rust, aphids, and other diseases and pests can potentially harm your plants.

Here is a guide to growing blackberries:

What is the easiest-growing fruit in Tennessee?

Most of the berries, including blackberries, raspberries, etc., are easy to grow. Among fruit trees, pears might be the easiest to grow, and best to thrive in Tennessee.

What is the best time to grow fruits in Tennessee?

In general, it is best to plant fruit trees in the spring, after the last frost has passed.

Some fruit trees, such as peaches and plums, may also benefit from being planted in the fall.


What fruit is Tennessee known for?

Tennessee is known for several different types of fruit, including apples, peaches, blackberries, and raspberries.

How do I choose the right fruit tree for my Tennessee garden?

It’s important to consider the hardiness zone, the size of the tree, your soil type, and the amount of sunlight your garden gets when choosing a fruit tree.

How do I care for fruit trees in Tennessee?

Some general care tips for fruit trees in Tennessee include watering regularly, fertilizing in the spring, pruning to maintain shape and size, and protecting trees from pests and diseases.

Quick Recap: Top fruits to Grow In Tennessee

fruitsWhy grow?
Apple1. Easy to grow
2. Low maintenance
3. Good yield for many years
Pear1. Cold-hardy
2. Low-maintenance
3. ornamental
Peach1. Wide varieties
2. Plentiful producers
3. Can grow in small spaces
Plum1. Good yield
2. Perfect for small gardens
3. Hardy
Apricot1. Suitable for small garden
2. Resilient and low maintenace
3. Self-fruitful, ornamental
Cherry1. Has many cultivars well-suited to the climate
2. Ornamental
3. Can grow in small spaces
Persimmon1. Cold, disease and pest-hardy
2. Can grow in small spaces and variety of soils
Fig1. Hardy varieties
2. Low-maintenance
Raspberry1. Easy and quick to grow
2. Produce abundantly
3. Do well in containers
Blackberry1. Wide varieties
2. Easy to grow
3. Little maintenance


I hope this article was helpful in providing information on the best fruits to grow in Tennessee.

If you have any further questions or suggestions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Additionally, feel free to share the article with your friends and family in Tennessee.

Related Content: Best Trees / Veggies / Fruits