Can You Grow Pistachios In Florida?

If you live in Florida and love the taste of pistachios, you may have wondered if these nut trees can grow in your yard. With the right climate conditions and care, growing pistachios in Florida is possible for many gardeners.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Yes, pistachios can be grown in parts of Florida if the right cultivars are selected and trees are cared for properly.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about growing pistachios in Florida. You’ll learn about ideal climate conditions, the best pistachio varieties to plant, where to buy trees, how to plant and care for them, and what pests or diseases to watch out for.

Climate Requirements for Pistachios

Chilling Hours

Pistachio trees require a certain number of chilling hours in order to produce a good crop. Chilling hours are the number of hours below 45 degrees Fahrenheit during the dormant period of the tree. This period usually occurs during the winter months.

In Florida, the number of chilling hours can vary depending on the specific region. According to the University of Florida IFAS Extension, some parts of Florida may not receive enough chilling hours for pistachios to thrive.

However, other regions, such as northern Florida, may have sufficient chilling hours for successful pistachio cultivation.

Source: University of Florida IFAS Extension

Heat Tolerance

Pistachio trees are native to regions with hot and dry climates, such as the Middle East and parts of Asia. They are known for their ability to tolerate high temperatures. In Florida, where the summers can be hot and humid, pistachios can still grow successfully if the other climate requirements are met.

The trees can adapt to the heat, but it is important to provide them with proper irrigation and shade during the hottest months to prevent stress and ensure optimal growth.

Sun Exposure

Pistachio trees require full sun exposure to thrive. They need at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day. In Florida, where the sun is abundant, this requirement can be easily met. However, it is important to consider the placement of the trees to ensure they are not shaded by other structures or trees that could obstruct sunlight.

Proper sun exposure is crucial for the development of healthy and productive pistachio trees.

Soil Conditions

The soil conditions play a crucial role in the successful cultivation of pistachio trees. They require well-drained soil with a pH level between 7.5 and 8.5. In Florida, the soil can vary significantly depending on the region.

It is important to conduct a soil test to determine the pH level and make any necessary amendments to ensure it falls within the appropriate range. Additionally, pistachio trees prefer soils that are rich in organic matter, so adding compost or other organic materials can be beneficial.

Choosing Pistachio Varieties for Florida

When it comes to growing pistachios in Florida, choosing the right variety is crucial for success. While Florida’s climate may not be ideal for pistachio cultivation, there are a few varieties that have shown promising results in the state.


The Kerman variety is one of the most popular choices for pistachio cultivation in Florida. It is known for its high yield and excellent nut quality. Kerman pistachio trees are also well-suited for Florida’s warm climate and can tolerate the humidity.

They require a chilling period during the winter months to ensure proper fruiting.


The Peters variety is another suitable option for growing pistachios in Florida. It is known for its early ripening and high yield. Peters pistachio trees are also resistant to various diseases and pests, making them a reliable choice for Florida farmers.

This variety is particularly well-adapted to Florida’s subtropical climate.

Lost Hills

The Lost Hills variety is a newer addition to the pistachio market, but it has shown great potential in Florida. It is known for its large, high-quality nuts and high yield. Lost Hills pistachio trees are also resistant to heat and drought, making them a suitable choice for Florida’s challenging climate.


The Kalehghouchi variety is a Persian pistachio variety that has gained popularity in Florida. It is known for its excellent nut quality and high yield. Kalehghouchi pistachio trees are also well-adapted to warm climates and can tolerate Florida’s humidity.

This variety requires a chilling period during the winter months to ensure proper fruiting.

When choosing a pistachio variety for Florida, it is important to consider factors such as climate suitability, disease resistance, and nut quality. Consulting with local agricultural extension offices or nurseries can provide valuable guidance in selecting the right variety for your specific location.

Where to Buy Pistachio Trees in Florida

Online Nurseries

If you are looking to buy pistachio trees in Florida, online nurseries can be a convenient option. There are several reputable online nurseries that offer a wide variety of pistachio tree cultivars suitable for growing in Florida’s climate.

These nurseries provide detailed descriptions of each tree, including information on its growth habits, disease resistance, and yield potential.

Some popular online nurseries that offer pistachio trees for sale include:

  • Fast-Growing-Trees: This online nursery offers a variety of pistachio tree cultivars, including the popular Kerman and Peters varieties. They provide detailed information on each tree, along with customer reviews to help you make an informed decision.
  • Nature Hills Nursery: Nature Hills Nursery is another reputable online nursery that offers pistachio trees suitable for growing in Florida. They have a wide selection of cultivars to choose from and provide helpful information on each tree’s growing requirements.

Local Nurseries

If you prefer to see the pistachio trees in person before making a purchase, local nurseries in Florida can be a great option. They often carry a variety of fruit trees, including pistachio trees, that are suitable for the local climate.

Visiting a local nursery allows you to speak with knowledgeable staff who can provide guidance on selecting the right pistachio tree for your specific needs. They can also offer advice on planting and caring for the tree to ensure its success.

Some reputable local nurseries in Florida that may carry pistachio trees include:

  • Palm Beach Nursery: Located in Palm Beach County, this nursery offers a variety of fruit trees, including pistachio trees, that are suitable for Florida’s climate. They have a knowledgeable staff who can assist you in selecting the right tree for your garden.
  • Morales Nursery: Morales Nursery, located in Miami, is another reliable option for purchasing pistachio trees in Florida. They offer a variety of fruit trees and have experienced staff who can provide guidance on tree selection and care.

When purchasing pistachio trees from a local nursery, it’s important to inquire about the tree’s source to ensure it is healthy and disease-free. Additionally, ask about any warranties or guarantees offered by the nursery.

Planting Pistachio Trees

When to Plant

If you’re considering growing pistachio trees in Florida, it’s important to choose the right time to plant them. Pistachio trees thrive in warm climates, so it’s best to plant them in the early spring after the threat of frost has passed.

This allows the trees to establish their root systems before the hot summer months.

Preparing the Planting Area

Before planting your pistachio trees, it’s essential to prepare the planting area properly. Start by selecting a location that receives full sun and has well-draining soil. Pistachio trees prefer a soil pH between 7.0 and 8.0. If your soil is too acidic, you can add lime to raise the pH level.

It’s also a good idea to have a soil test done to determine if any other nutrients are needed.

Planting Process

Once you have your planting area ready, it’s time to plant your pistachio trees. Dig a hole that is twice as wide and just as deep as the root ball. Gently remove the tree from its container and place it in the hole, making sure it is planted at the same depth as it was in the container.

Fill the hole with soil, firming it gently around the tree. Water the newly planted tree thoroughly to help settle the soil.

Pro tip: It’s a good idea to add a layer of mulch around the base of the tree to help retain moisture and prevent weeds from growing.

Caring for Young Trees

After planting your pistachio trees, it’s important to provide them with proper care to ensure their healthy growth. Water the young trees regularly, especially during dry spells, to keep the soil consistently moist. However, be careful not to overwater, as this can lead to root rot.

Fertilize the trees annually with a balanced fertilizer to provide them with the necessary nutrients for growth.

Pruning is also an essential part of caring for young pistachio trees. Remove any dead or damaged branches, as well as any branches that are crossing or rubbing against each other. This will help promote proper airflow and prevent disease.

For more detailed information on planting and caring for pistachio trees, you can visit the Almond Board of California website. They provide comprehensive resources and guidelines for successful pistachio tree cultivation.

Caring for Pistachio Trees


Watering is an essential aspect of caring for pistachio trees, regardless of the location. In Florida, where the climate is generally hot and humid, it is important to provide consistent and adequate water to pistachio trees.

These trees have deep root systems, so it is recommended to water them deeply but infrequently. This helps promote deep root growth and increases the tree’s ability to withstand drought conditions. It is important to monitor the soil moisture level and adjust the watering accordingly to avoid overwatering or underwatering the trees.


Fertilizing is crucial for the healthy growth of pistachio trees. In Florida, the sandy soil may lack certain nutrients necessary for optimal tree growth. Therefore, it is recommended to fertilize the trees regularly with a balanced fertilizer.

The ideal time for fertilization is in early spring before the tree starts actively growing. It is important to follow the instructions on the fertilizer package and avoid over-fertilizing, as it can lead to excessive vegetative growth and reduced nut production.


Pruning plays a significant role in maintaining the shape, size, and overall health of pistachio trees. In Florida, where the climate can be unpredictable, pruning can help manage the tree’s growth and reduce the risk of damage from strong winds or storms.

It is best to prune pistachio trees during the dormant season, typically in late winter or early spring. Remove any dead or diseased branches, as well as any crossing or rubbing branches. Pruning can also help improve airflow and sun exposure, leading to better nut production.


Pistachio trees are dioecious, meaning they have separate male and female trees. In order to produce nuts, both male and female trees need to be present for pollination to occur. In Florida, it is important to select the appropriate cultivars that are compatible and bloom at the same time for successful pollination.

Some varieties, such as the ‘Kerman’ pistachio, are known to perform well in Florida’s climate. It is also beneficial to attract pollinators, such as bees, by planting flowers or providing nesting sites nearby. This can help enhance the pollination process and increase nut production.

Caring for pistachio trees in Florida requires attention to watering, fertilizing, pruning, and pollination. By following these guidelines, pistachio trees can thrive in the Florida climate and produce an abundant harvest of delicious nuts.

For more detailed information on growing pistachios in Florida, you can visit the University of Florida’s Extension website.

Pests and Diseases

When it comes to growing pistachios in Florida, it’s important to be aware of the potential pests and diseases that can affect these trees. While pistachios are generally a hardy crop, they can still fall victim to certain insects and illnesses that can impact their growth and overall yield.

By understanding and being proactive about these issues, Florida farmers can ensure the success of their pistachio orchards.

Common Pistachio Pests

Pistachio trees can attract a variety of pests, including aphids, mites, and mealybugs. These tiny insects can cause damage to the leaves, stems, and nuts of the tree, leading to reduced production and overall health.

Additionally, pistachio trees can also be susceptible to infestations by pests such as navel orangeworm and pistachio fruitworm. These pests can cause significant damage to the nuts and can result in economic losses for farmers.

Implementing proper pest management strategies is crucial in preventing and controlling these pests. Regular monitoring of the orchard, along with the use of appropriate insecticides when necessary, can help keep these pests at bay.

It is also important to maintain good orchard hygiene by removing fallen nuts and debris, as these can serve as breeding grounds for pests.

Diseases to Watch For

While pistachio trees are generally resistant to many diseases, there are still a few that Florida farmers should be aware of. One of the most common diseases affecting pistachios is Verticillium wilt.

This fungal disease can cause wilting, yellowing of leaves, and eventual death of the tree if left untreated.

Another disease of concern is Botryosphaeria blight, also known as limb dieback. This disease can cause dieback of branches and cankers on the trunk, leading to reduced yields and overall tree health. Regular pruning and removal of infected branches can help prevent the spread of this disease.

Organic Pest Control Options

For farmers who prefer organic methods of pest control, there are several options available. These include the use of beneficial insects, such as ladybugs and lacewings, which can help control aphid populations.

Additionally, the use of organic-approved insecticides, such as neem oil or insecticidal soaps, can also be effective in managing certain pests.

It’s important to note that organic pest control methods may require more frequent application and monitoring compared to conventional methods. However, they offer a more environmentally friendly approach to managing pests and diseases in pistachio orchards.

For more information on pistachio pests and diseases, you can visit the American Phytopathological Society website or consult with local agricultural extension offices.


Growing pistachios in Florida takes some preparation and care, but it can be a rewarding endeavor for gardeners who are up for the challenge. With the right cultivar selection, planting techniques, and tree care, it is possible to harvest tasty pistachios from your own backyard. We hope this guide gave you all the key information you need to get started growing pistachios in Florida. Let us know in the comments if you have any other questions!

Happy gardening and may your pistachio trees thrive!

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