Durian is one of those fruits you just need to be able to try fresh if you can find one. Obviously, there are many Durian trees and durian fruits in tropical countries such as the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand, but what about the United States? The best place to start is Florida Miami for acquiring a fresh or frozen Durian fruit. But first, can you grow Durian in Miami?
Durian trees can be found in Miami, Florida in the United States. There are not very many durian trees in Miami as the climate does not tend to suit them well. In Fairchild Botanical Gardens located in Coconut Grove, South of Miami, you will find a few Durian trees growing. However, to date, none have fruited. The natural pollinator is the fruit bat, so any Durian tree grown in a greenhouse or glasshouse would need to be pollinated manually.
First let me explain what conditions Durian trees are well suited to, and hence what conditions would, therefore, be needed to replicate in Miami to grow this fruit. We will discuss later where you can buy the fruit.
Durian fruit is strictly a tropical fruit and will thrive well in those areas with a very warm and humid climate. Any location with a very warm and slightly damp or wet condition is ideal. So, in countries that are not considered tropical, you would need to successfully grow your Durian using a greenhouse or hothouse.
You must remember too that the Durian tree can grow as high as 25 meters to 50 meters high, so a greenhouse may be impractical unless you can prune or graft to keep its size down. Which raises a question: Can you have a miniature Durian tree that will bear fruit?
The answer to this unusual question is apparently yes. But even so, the grafted Durian trees will reach a height of 12 metres. They also like a lot of rainfall, as much as 1.6 meters to 4 meters of rainfall a year. So if you live in a place that doesn’t get that much rain, you are going to have to make sure you give them plenty of water with the garden hose.
To grow a Durian fruit from a graft its best to use a native rootstock, since it will be well conditioned to the soil that is naturally available. Of course, that is if you live in a tropical country. You would then graft a different variety of Durian onto the rootstock to produce the desired type of fruit.
You need to realize that the seeds from the fruit of a grafted durian tree will grow into the same variety as the rootstock. So, to get the same fruit from a grafted tree you will need to take a cutting and graft the cutting into another native rootstock. The graft will bear the same fruit that the grafted tree was bearing.
If you are wondering what countries you can definitely grow Durian trees in then here is a list:
Native Geographic Locations: Indonesia, Malaysia
Exotic Geographic Locations: Cambodia, Australia, India, Dominica, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Thailand, Zanzibar
As you can see Miami is not included in the Geographic Locations so it will take a little work and dedication to not only grow a Durian tree but to get it to flower and fruit. To date, we know no one who has yet successfully done this.
Where Can You Buy Durian Fruit in Miami?
You can still buy the durian fruit either fresh or frozen within Miami by going to your local Asian store. I have heard that the fresh Durian is extremely expensive, costing as much as $177 US per whole Durian. This is the Fresh Monthong Durian. It can be obtained at Miami Fruit
But you can also find frozen durian at many other local Asian stores for a fraction of the price. We bought some frozen Monthong Durian, which contained a number of pieces of fruit, from an Asian local store for less than $10 US.
However, the flavour, taste, texture and smell of a frozen durian will be inferior to fresh durian fruit.
A few have successfully sprouted the seed from their purchased Durian fruit. You might like to try but you will need to ensure that you place the seed somewhere where it is moist and warm, like in a ziplock bag with some soil and water. You might get a few failures before you get a successful seed sprouting and germinating, but it is well worth the journey.
In its tropical climate, a Durian tree can bear fruit within four to five years if looked after properly by fertilizing and allowing it to get enough sunlight along with good soil that has good drainage.
We haven’t sprouted or germinated a Durian seed from a frozen durian fruit as yet, but we could well try. I feel that obviously a fresh fruit would be a lot easier to sprout, but the cost of one whole fresh durian fruit is a little restrictive. It seems that the first person to successfully get a Durian tree to bear fruit in Miami will be onto a lucrative business selling the fresh fruits at $170 US per fruit.
In conclusion, Durian trees have been known to grow in Miami, Florida, but they need to be grown in a humid moist condition such as a greenhouse. None have fruited to date, so the race is still on to get a fruiting Durian tree in Miami.
Lastly, you can buy Durian fruit in a local Asian store in Miami, but they are very expensive. It may also be possible to sprout the seed from one of these freshly bought durian fruits.
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