Home gardeners find definite advantages to growing dwarf peach trees. Because numerous genetic dwarfs only reach 6 feet tall, when compared with conventional varieties which can be 25 feet high and as wide, ladders are unnecessary for pruning and harvesting. If pests or diseases strike, signs are probably discovered sooner. Dwarf trees produce well, because more could be planted in a small place, and they fruit previously. All peaches perform best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 to 9.
The Way Dwarfs Developed
Drastically shortened internodes — the distance between buds — on a dwarf peach cause the diminutive size of this tree. A couple of times as many buds form in the same space on those trees as on a standard peach. Subsequently, at least one leaf grows under every bud, accounting for dwarfs’ dense foliage. The very first mini peach trees were organic mutations of seedlings, in accordance with Mother Earth News. Beginning from the mid-20th century, breeders grew millions of trees in test fields to find the rare seedlings that displayed compact character. The testers hand-pollinated these seedlings with pollen in the very best varieties. The present dwarf varieties evolved in the years of breeding to blend genes for great flavor, pleasing color and disease resistance with genes for mini dimensions.
Popular Dwarf Varieties
Different cultivars of dwarf peaches (Prunus persica) fare better in specific climates, even if your house is in a suitable USDA zone for peaches. Consulting your county extension office prior to planting is advised. Even though standard-size trees keep their initial peaches in about three decades, dwarfs set fruit in just one or two decades. Varieties that reach crop in early summer include “El Dorado,” a rich-flavored, medium-sized peach; “Golden Gem,” a large, red-pitted peach, famous for excellent taste; and “Southern Sweet,” another flavorful medium orange with red and yellow skin. Among those maturing in mid-summer have been “Bonanza II,” a large, aromatic peach with deep yellow to orange flesh; “Southern Flame,” with comparable characteristics to the prior variety; and “Southern Rose,” a medium orange with yellowish skin and red blush. “Garden Gold,” a large, red-pitted fruit, is among the few late-season dwarf peaches.
Importance of Pruning Dwarfs
Peach trees may be pruned more badly than other fruit trees, particularly those with foliage as thick as the dwarfs’. Yearly pruning should eliminate weak divisions that may break when fruit-laden and those growing in the wrong direction. Do your pruning during the dormant season from late autumn through the beach. Thinning the developing fruits is also significant. Though it may test your willpower, remove all the tiny immature fruits from the initial year to allow the root system to become established. After the initial year, thin the young fruits to just one every three or four inches on the divisions. Failure to do this could cause grape-sized peaches which are too crowded to ripen properly.
Due to their size, dwarf peaches can thrive in large containers. Choose a pot at least 18 inches in diameter (and preferably 36 inches or more). The plant will be able to grow and bear fruit for many years without undermining. “Honey Babe,” a little, sweet, mid-summer variety, and “Pix Zee,” a large, flavorful, ancient peach, grow well in containers. The late-bearing “Garden Gold” is just another good container variety. Dwarf trees planted in the ground outproduce container-grown peaches. But if you simply have a deck, porch or rooftop terrace, you may enjoy seasonal blooms and edible fruit in your urban setting.