Growing Peaches

Planning Tips:

Peaches are hardy to zones 5-9. There are several varieties suitable for backyard landscapes, all of which need some period of cold weather before heading into the growing season. Large, vigorous, disease resistant cultivars, at least 1 year in age, are the best choices for planting. Standard-size trees will usually produce fruit at 3 years of age, and dwarf-size trees at 1 to 2 years of age. Most varieties are self-pollinating so you can plant just one tree and get a whole crop.

Site Preparation:

Select a site that has full exposure to the sun and fertile, well-drained soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. Avoid low areas prone to frost pockets or standing water and sites where peach trees have been grown previously. Chokecherries harbor viral diseases and should be located well away from the site.


Peach trees should be planted in the early spring or fall (avoid fall in zone 5). Space standard-size trees 15 to 20 feet apart and dwarf trees 10 to 12 feet apart. Water newly planted trees thoroughly, especially during the first season, to aid in establishing roots.

Care & Maintenance:

Peach trees should be pruned annually so they develop an open center or vase-like shape in order to develop strong, well-positioned braches that will support the weight of their fruit. Young trees should be fertilized in the spring and early summer at a rate suitable for their size. Thin fruits to 6 to 8 inches apart approximately 4 to 6 weeks after flowering. This is to ensure that the peaches that remain grow to a good size for harvesting. Peach trees are highly susceptible to disease so be on the lookout for signs of fruit pests and diseases like rot and leaf curl.

Harvesting & Storage:

Peaches should be harvested when fully ripe as they will not continue to ripen while still on the tree. Fruit will have reached its mature color and will come off the tree easily with a slight lifting and twisting motion. Peaches are easily bruised and damaged and should be handled with care. They are highly perishable and will only last a few days in the refrigerator. Slightly under ripe fruit will last from two to four weeks at temperatures of 31º to 32ºF.
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Here are my peaches this year. I haven't had any peaches on this tree for the last few years, it almost died and has been making a slow comeback. This year, the tree was loaded!

Peaches growing on a tree.

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12 Questions

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How do I care for a Bonfire patio peach tree? It is in its first year.


July 20, 20180 found this helpful
Best Answer

Well, they certainly are pretty most of the time and they usually smell yummy! But, not very palatable, at least to me.


  • I live in USDA zone 9 so I cannot grow anything resembling peaches (or cherries) but I visited a friend in Georgia that had one of these on her patio and it smelled great but she said it did not taste good (but I had to see for myself) and it did not remain in my mouth very long.
  • It seems they can be used for canning, pie making and pickling.
  • I checked some web sites and it seems they usually say the same thing.
  • Here are some comments:
  • "From Edible Landscaping Nursery on Bonfire Patio peach "Fruits are cling stone with firm fruit used for canning, pickling, and pies. Can be eaten fresh but rubbery."
  • "The fruit are not toxic, just unsavory. So, for their food value unto human consumption, they might as well be toxic."
  • Here are a couple of very good links that have lots of care instructions.
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  • Hope you enjoy your pretty tree.

Just as a word of caution here is some information to remember:
"The leaves, twigs and stems are all poisonous and can be fatal if eaten, according to the North Carolina Cooperative Extension."

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July 22, 2019

My peaches have a slightly bitter taste. For the first few years they tasted great, but the last two the peaches have been bitter. Any suggestions?


July 22, 20190 found this helpful

You might have had a hot spell and didnt water enough. You also could have soil that is too alkaline.

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July 22, 20190 found this helpful

Not enough rain during hot weather causing rot coming from the core,so sorry

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August 11, 20190 found this helpful

That is so disappointing. When we had a peach tree at my grandmother's house, the peaches were really bitter (and rock hard) the summer before the tree died.


Back then (this was well over 50 years ago) we didn't have Google and she didn't care to go to the library to figure out how to fix it or what could have been done to prevent it from happening. I think she was secretly happy that it died because the fallen peaches brought bees and she couldn't enjoy her back patio when there were bees.

That we know that we should have checked for a fungus and found a home remedy if the tree had one (green or white scales on the bark--especiailly near the base could mean you have an issue).

And we would have better protected it during a frost (frostbit plants produce bitter fruit) or that are lack of pruning could be a strain on the tree. Unpruned trees often produce bitter fruit.

I do know that there was an old man in the neighborhood who took those bitter peaches and made peach wine with them. I was just a kid so no wine for me...but he was a true product of the depression and made something good from something bad.


I hope you find a solution and can save the tree and get a better crop next season. For these, maybe look into making some wine!!

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We have a small "patio peach" planted and after every rain this year we lose a bunch of little baby peaches which seem to be growing fine otherwise. We have had a few nice rainstorms and some showers for the last three weeks. Why are we are losing so many little peaches. I've included a picture and if you look closely you can see the baby peaches on the ground. Thank you.

Hardiness Zone: 7a

By APRIL from SC


June 5, 20090 found this helpful

You might try putting one of those patio umbrella over them this might help, of tie a large trash bags over them. This might help.

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June 5, 20090 found this helpful

I also live in SC and the same thing is happening to my peach tree

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May 27, 2009

I planted 3 new peach trees approximately 2 months ago (had buds). About a week after planting, we had frost twice, nipping the buds. Within the last month, it has rained about 8 inches and they are waterlogged.

One is OK, one has all but a few leaves left on it, and one has absolutely no leaves left whatsoever. The limbs are still very pliable, but there are no real signs of life.

What can I do, or is it too late to bring them back to life and leaf? Will they leaf back out? If yes, when? The branches are still very flexible and pliable and none are brittle. Please help if you can. I am new at fruit trees, so I need all the help I can get.

Hardiness Zone: 7b

By barb scheel from North TX


May 28, 20090 found this helpful

I don't have any real advice. I'm just lamenting with you. I see you're in north Texas; I'm in central Oklahoma. That was some crazy weather we had earlier this year. My parents have a few peach trees, and they had so many flowers turning into immature fruit. They figured they'd have to thin out the fruit so keep the limbs from getting too heavy. Then the first late freeze. They thought they'd have a few fruits. And then the second late freeze. No more fruit. They have leaves, but I think some of them have damage on their tips.

And I e-mailed a local pick-your-own strawberry grower -- he said that the strawberry crops were almost completely ruined. Boosupermarket strawberries for me. I hope your trees recover. I don't know how much chance of survival your trees have, but I think you should hang in there. Maybe next year will be a better year for fruit!

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May 29, 20090 found this helpful

Let me first say that I live in NE GA. It took 3 years for ours to start producing as most plants have a "settling in" stage, then a growing stage and then production.

It sounds to me like they have gone into what most would call transplant shock. With all the water and the cold temps on top of being freshly planted and not really having a good root system yet, that may have set them back a while. Don't be alarmed! This could be a normal thing for your area. Just keep checking the tree for signs of life, bugs and such. You will be amazed what mother nature can provide us if we just take the time to wait.

I recommend that you contact your county or states horticultural or agriculture dept. to see if they have pamphlets on growing peaches in Texas. They are a wealth of information.

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April 14, 2005

Does anyone know what makes a peach taste bitter,last year the peaches on our trees had a bitter taste, what can I do to help them have better flavor?


July 19, 20050 found this helpful

Hi Karen,
I've looked around and haven't found anything about peaches tasting bitter except when they were not ripe. Possibly waiting until they are totally ripe before you eat them will make a difference. Also another thing you could do is check with your County Extension Agent or Master Gardener and ask them it if is the variety of peach or your soil.
Susan from ThriftyFun

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March 30, 20090 found this helpful

I found out on the farm when growing any kind of fruit trees it makes the fruit much better to apply manure around the trees in fall or spring also a little 10-10-10- fertilizer & plenty of water,I also found that egg plants need lot of water if not they taste bitter,good luck.

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May 12, 2014

The fruit gets about a half inch, then dries up and falls off.

By Jose


May 14, 20140 found this helpful

Years ago when we had a peach tree which had that problem I came across an article in our local newspaper to use epsom salts. Can't remember if there was an amount given but perhaps you could check Google! You just had to sprinkle it around the trunk and root area if I remember correctly.

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August 19, 2010

I have a Red Haven dwarf peach tree and this year I noticed it had mold and fungus on the peaches. The season is over and the peaches were all full of bugs and worms. I want to help this tree for the future, so I pruned it and cleared all the debris off the ground.

I would like to know if there is something I can do to eliminate the mold and fungus without harming butterflies and hummingbirds?

Hardiness Zone: 6a

By Michelle


August 19, 20100 found this helpful

For worm and bugs put a gallon jug of water and sugar near the peach tree. The worms will crawl in the
jug and died. I read this in a garden book. I have never tried but its worth a try.

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March 12, 2013

We have two, from pits, peach trees. I hand thin the peaches as they grow. They get a little larger than a golf ball with some color, but never fully ripen. I fertilize twice a year and spray as needed. What do you think?

By Bill from Virginia Beach, VA

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August 21, 2011

This is a page about growing peach trees from pits. Peach trees can be started from pits. Should you want to try growing your own trees from seed, there are some important steps to follow to improve your success.

Peach pits and fruit on white background.

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May 31, 2018

The lovely light pink to light purple blooms of peach trees herald the delicious fruit to follow. This page contains beautiful peach tree photos.

Close up of ripe peaches on a tree.

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