7 Reasons Why You Should Grow Exotic Fruiting Plants in New Zealand

NZ is known for its lush greenery and beautiful landscapes. But did you know that you can grow exotic fruiting plants like mangoes, lychee and tropical papayas right here in New Zealand? That’s right! There are adventurous growers here pushing the boundaries of what is the ‘accepted wisdom’. They have found ways to grow these exotic plants in their gardens despite the challenges of a marginal climate.

A Banana bunch

Here are 7 reasons why you should grow exotics in NZ:

  1. Reduce Food Miles: With the impacts of climate change, the climate is becoming more subtropical in northern New Zealand. This means that we have an opportunity to grow more tropical fruits themselves and reduce food miles while increasing food resilience.
  2. Challenge Yourself: Growing tropical fruits is not only a way to reduce food miles but also a way to challenge yourself as a gardener. It does take some effort and patience to grow these crops but the rewards are worth it. Imagine being able to enjoy fresh tropical fruits right from your own garden!
  3. Be Adventurous: Those of us drawn to tropical fruits have to be adventurous because we are trying to grow crops that don’t have a long history of being grown in our climate. But that doesn’t stop us. Remember, there was a time before feijoa, avocado, citrus and kiwifruit were commercially grown.
  4. Be Innovative: Gardeners in New Zealand are not only adventurous but also innovative. They have found ways to grow these exotic plants in their gardens despite the challenges of the New Zealand climate.
  5. Increase Food Resilience: By growing your own tropical fruits, you can increase your food resilience and reduce your dependence on imported fruits. Doesn’t it make sense to grow our own bananas and pineapples? Of course it does! In the case of bananas, not only can we introduce some genetic variability sorely missing from the commercial overseas crop, but we prevent rainforest destruction by reducing our need to import palm kernel extracts for farmers. Guess what? Cattle can eat banana leaves.
  6. Support Local Business: By growing exotic fruiting plants in New Zealand, you are supporting local businesses like “Tropical NZ” and contributing to a growing industry just at the time climate change and many pressures on farmers will mean traditional farming practises are not likely to survive as they are.
  7. Enjoy Fresh Tropical Fruits: Imagine being able to enjoy fresh mangoes, pineapple, lychee, banana, papaya, and all the amazing annona species right from your own garden! Growing exotic fruiting plants in New Zealand is not only good for the environment but also good for your taste buds.

So what are you waiting for? If you’re looking for a new challenge as a gardener, why not try growing some exotic tropical plants? You might just surprise yourself with what you can achieve.🌴🌺🍍