University of Maryland Extension

Comparison of Fruit Plants for Maryland Gardens

Comparison of Fruit Plants for Maryland Gardens

Tree Fruits or

Small Fruits

Common name

Genus/species

Origin

Grow without
pesticides?

Notes

Apple*

Malus domestica
Malus pumila

Europe/Asia
Minor
DifficultSelect disease-resistant cultivars; train highly dwarfed trees on wires 
European pear*Pyrus communisEuropeSomewhat difficultTrees can tolerate sub-optimal soil drainage. Ripen fruit off tree
Asian pearPyrus pyrifoliaAsia  YesFruits 2-3 years after planting; susceptible to fireblight
Peach/nectarinePrunus persicaAsiaDifficult10-12 year life max; brown rot is major disease
ApricotPrunus armeniacaAsiaDifficultFruits only once or twice in five years due to early flowers killed by frost
Sweet cherry*Prunus aviumEurope/AsiaDifficultBrown rot and birds are major problem. Look for Gisela (German) dwarfing rootstocks
Tart cherryPrunus cerasusEurope/AsiaYesMore reliable harvest than sweet cherry (less tasty for birds)
European plumPrunus domesticaEuropeSomewhat difficultBrown rot is a major disease of plums
Japanese plum*Prunus salicinaAsiaSomewhat difficultJuicier but more difficult to grow than European
Pluot/apriumPlum X  apricot crossesNorth AmericaSomewhat difficult“Dinosaur eggs” found in supermarkets are pluots (higher % of plum parentage)
FigFicus caricaAsiaYes‘Celeste’ good in containers
Native persimmon*Diospyros virginianaNorth AmericaYes30-60 ft. in height when mature (or taller!)
Asian persimmonDiospyros kakiAsiaYesGood ornamental qualities
Paw paw*Asimina trilobaNorth AmericaYes10-25 ft.; can reach 40-50 ft.
ServiceberryAmelanchier spp.North AmericaYesMany species; good wildlife plant. Some are shrubs, of all sizes; trees can reach 20-25 ft.
MulberryMorus spp.Asia and N.AYesRed, white, and black types 

Small Fruits

common name

Genus/species

Origin

Grow without
pesticides?

Notes

Strawberry Fragaria XN.A./S.A. crossYesJune-bearing and day-neutral are best
Blueberry*Vaccinium spp.7 native MD speciesYesNorthern highbush, Southern highbush, and rabbiteye (Southern MD and Eastern Shore only) will all grow in MD
Grape

Vitis labrusca
Vitis vinifera

North America/
Asia

Somewhat difficultMany good seedless table grapes available. ‘Concord’ not well-adapted to the warmer sections of MD
BlackberryRubus ursinusNorth AmericaYes…butMany choices; trailing, thornless cultivars can be difficult to control in a small area
RaspberryRubus idaeus and Rubus spp.North AmericaYes…butMany choices; primocane-bearing are easiest to manage
Currant*Ribes spp.Europe and North AmericaYesEasy, underutilized plants. Red, white, and black cultivars. Plant more than one cultivar with black currant
Gooseberry*Ribes spp.Europe N.A.YesNeed 2 different cultivars, like currants
Hardy kiwi*aActinidia spp.AsiaYesRampant grower
Elderberry*SambucusNorth AmericaYesFairly large plants
Beach plum*Prunus maratimaEast coast, U.S.Yes?Wild, native plum; unreliable fruiting. For the adventurous gardener 
Black chokeberry (Aronia)Aronia melanocarpa North AmericaYesAstringent but healthful fruit. Good for juice and jelly. Good wildlife plant

*These fruits usually require two cultivars (cross-pollination) for best fruit set.
a-hardy kiwi has potential to escape cultivation and establish in woods.

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Prepared by Jon Traunfeld, University of Maryland Extension; 2/16

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