7 Best Varieties of Pear Trees to Grow in Florida

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Written By Kenique Ivery

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Home » Florida » 7 Best Varieties of Pear Trees to Grow in Florida

To start, yes, you can grow pear trees in Florida. Actually, some thrive there!

The challenge to growing pear trees and other temperate fruits in Florida is the requirements of the chill hours. That is the number of hours the tree needs with temperatures between 32ºF and 45ºF to produce blossoms, which are vital for fruits.

If you want to know which varieties of pear trees you can safely plant in Florida, this article is for you. I picked some of the juiciest and sweetest pears available.

7 Varieties of Pear Trees you Can Easily Grow in Florida

1. ‘Baldwin’ (Pyrus communis x Pyrus pyrifolia)

This pear is native to Europe and eastern Asia. It is famous throughout the eastern United States – including Florida.

The ripe fruit has a yellow to light green-red hue. Fruits are semi-firm with a sweet taste, making them great for fresh eating, canning, and desserts.

It has a low chill requirement, which means it will still produce flower buds even in the warm zone 9. The flowers are white to whitish pink with five petals. Due to its attractiveness, Baldwin is also an excellent landscape tree.

USDA Growing Zones: 5 – 9

Average Size at Maturity: 20 – 30 feet tall with a width of 10 – 20 feet

Harvest Season: August – September

2. ‘Flordahome’ (Pyrus communix x pyrifolia)

Flordahome is one of the most popular pear trees on the Gulf Coast. The University of Florida developed this tree by crossing Pyrus communis and Pyrus pyrifolia

The trees require roughly 250 chill hours (10 days with temperatures at or below 45ºF) to produce blooms. This is easy to attain in much of Florida.  

Flordahome features smooth yellow skin with soft, sweet, and juicy flesh. 

USDA Growing Zones: 8 – 10

Average Size at Maturity: 20 – 30 feet tall with a spread of 10 – 20 feet

Harvest Season: July – August

Available at: My Perfect Plants

3. ‘Hood’ (Pyrus communis ‘Hood)

Hood Pear Blossom
Hood pear blossom by Forest Starr and Kim Starr via Flickr

Hood pears are greenish-yellow, crisp, and juicy. Hood pears have a sweet flavor similar to that of Asian pears.

These trees are excellent for great for north and central Florida. They only need 100 – 200 chill hours to make flowers.

Hood is partially self-fertile, but you can cross-pollinate it with Baldwin, Pineapple, or Flordahome to get a big crop. These trees also have low chill requirements and bloom around the same time.

USDA Growing Zones: 7 – 9

Average Size at Maturity: 20 – 30 feet tall with a spread of 10 – 20 feet

Harvest Season: July

Available at: My Perfect Plants

4. ‘Kieffer’ (Pyrus communis x P. pyrifolia)

Kieffer pears are large and yellow. The white flesh is crisp and juicy. They are a cross between a European and Chinese sand pear which explains the coarse texture and white flesh. These pears are great for baking, canning, and preserves.

These pear trees are unique because they tolerate hot climates. In addition, they are self-fertile, though I recommend planting two for a larger crop.

Kieffer pears are fast growing and will increase more than two feet yearly.

USDA Growing Zones: 4 – 9

Average Size at Maturity: 20 feet tall with a similar spread

Harvest Season: September

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees, My Perfect Plants & Nature Hills

5. ‘Le Conte’ (Pyrus communis x pyrifolia)

Like Kieffer pears, Le Conte is thought to be a hybrid of the Chinese sand pear and European pear. The unique feature of this pear is its super soft texture. But they are also very juicy and romantic. 

The fruits are bell-shaped and have a pink-blushed color. As the fruit matures, the color lightens. 

Le Conte is one of the oldest pears grown in Florida. Helen Warner’s 1886 book, Florida Fruits and How to Raise Them, features this pear variety. It is perfect for the Florida panhandle and north Florida. 

USDA Growing Zones: 8A – 9A

Average Size at Maturity: 20 – 30 feet tall with a spread of 10 – 20 feet

Harvest Season: July – August

6. ‘Orient’ Pear (Pyrus communis ‘Orient’)

Orient Pear
Image via Nature Hills

The Orient pear has a juicy, melting flesh with a mild flavor. They are lovely eaten fresh, in desserts and salads.

Orient pears are beautiful. The fruits are large, smooth, and shiny. Some other distinguishing features of these fruits are their round shape, pink cheek, and thick skin.

These trees have relatively high chill hours requirements than the rest (350 – 400 hours). They are likely to produce blossoms and fruit in zone 8 (the counties bordering Georgia and Alabama). To avoid disappointment, I recommend you check your Florida USDA zone to ensure you can grow this pear.

Orient pears are on the smaller side compared to the others, so if you have a small or tight landscape, I recommend this one.

USDA Growing Zones: 5 – 8

Average Size at Maturity: 12 – 20 feet tall with a spread of 8 – 20 feet

Harvest Season: August – September

Available at: Nature Hills & My Perfect Plants

7. ‘Pineapple’ Pear (Pyrus communis ‘Pineapple’)

Pineapple Pear tree with pears on it
Image via Nature Hills

As the name suggests, pineapple pears have a pleasant pineapple flavor. The large fruits ripen late in the summer. They keep well and are suitable for canning.

Pineapple pears have a very low chill hour requirement – only 150 hours. So, you can expect pears at least in zone 9a northwards.

Pineapple pears self-pollinate, but they can produce much more fruit if you grow them with another variety. Flordahome and Hood Pears are excellent choices, which bloom around the same time and have low chill requirements.

USDA Growing Zones: 4 – 9

Average Size at Maturity: 18 – 20 feet tall with a spread of 12 – 13 feet

Harvest Season: August

Available at: Nature Hills & My Perfect Plants

How to Successfully Grow Pear Trees in Florida

Pear trees can grow in Florida, and quite a few varieties provide abundant fruit. Also, the trees on this list all have a great and sweet flavor.

A few notable ones are the ‘Pineapple Pear,’ which has a sweet and refreshing pineapple flavor. Then there are reliable Florida classics such as ‘Flordahome’ and ‘Le Conte’ – favorites of Florida growers for many decades. 

The biggest challenge for growing pear trees in Florida is the chill requirements. Pear trees need a specific duration of cold exposure to set flowers. For this reason, you must know your Florida USDA hardiness zone before you select a pear tree. 

All seven pear tree varieties on this list have low enough chill hours to bloom in north and, in some cases, central Florida

My apologies to those in south Florida; this article is not for you. Don’t disappear; you can grow an abundance of amazing and tasty tropical fruits such as mangoes and avocadoes

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Kenique Ivery

Global Green Thumb

Kenique grew up in Florida and currently lives in southern China. Before China, he spent many years in Portugal and the Caribbean. He studied economics and is a teacher, entrepreneur, and writer. Since he was knee-high, he has been gardening and was an active member of FFA (Future Farmers of America). He is his best self in a densely wooded forest or park. Depending on the day, you can find him reading, hiking, traveling, exercising, sipping lots of tea, or eating everything in sight.

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