J. G. Williamson, P. M. Lyrene, and J. W. Olmstead
Florida's winter season is short and mild with intermittent periods of warm temperatures. Most deciduous fruit cultivars have high chilling requirements and do not grow well in Florida. To produce optimum fruit yield and quality, most deciduous fruit cultivars require more exposure to temperatures below 45ºF during the winter than they are likely to experience in Florida. With insufficient chilling, plants do not flower and leaf out satisfactorily during the spring. Growth can be weak and erratic. However, low-chill cultivars of some deciduous fruits, including blueberry, have been developed by plant breeders at the University of Florida and elsewhere. These cultivars were developed specifically for regions with mild winter temperatures such as in north and central Florida.
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