Searching for a large, interesting shrub for your Southwest Florida beachfront home? Consider the sea grape. Just because it grows wild along the coast doesn’t mean you can’t introduce it to your residential landscape. In fact, its tolerance for salty, dry and windy conditions makes a perfect windbreak, noise barrier and sand-dune stabilizer around your property.
Reaching more than eight feet wide and tall, the sea grape’s female variety will produce clusters of fruit that resemble grapes. They start out green and ripen to purple in the summer. There’s no way to tell if you’re buying a male or female plant, so purchase several to increase your chances of cross-pollination (and the opportunity to eventually make your own jelly, honey or wine).
Sea grape can grow huge or be kept small as a hedge or even a tree. But since trimming sea grape is subject to legal regulations, check with your local authorities first. We promise you will love this old Florida favorite.