Houston is a city with a subtropical climate. What this means is that we border areas of the tropics, but don’t have a tropical climate. Subtropical climates usually feature extremely hot weather in the spring and summer and a mild winter. This is important to consider because many fruit-bearing trees require a “chill” to boost bud growth when the warmer weather picks-up. This is usually measured through how many “chill hours” does your area averages through the course of the year.
In Houston, the chill hours of each county range by their location. For example, Galveston Bay receives around 350-450 chill hours, and Cypress, Texas is closer to 600 chill hours. We recommend referencing chill hour charts like this one: https://etweather.tamu.edu/chill/ to determine what to expect in your area.
Stone vs. Prone Fruit
It is also a good idea to learn some of the fruit lingo that you may hear when visiting your local greenery. Stone fruit is another way to classify fruit that has a stone-like center or a solid pit. This would be your avocados, peaches, plums, and cherries. For fruit that contains multiple seeds surrounding a core, these are known as a pome fruit. This would be your pears, pomegranates, and apples.
To Pot or Not
The final item to consider is if you will be planting your fruit tree in the ground or will you be growing it in a pot. For smaller areas like a patio or balcony, a potted tree is a great option. Sometimes a potted tree might even be easier to manage. It allows you to keep a closer eye on the soli which can help you diagnose potential viruses or pests early to be treated. Not all fruit trees can grow well in pots, we suggest if you do plan to go through the route you consider small citrus fruit like lemons, kumquats, lemons, or limes.