Is there anything better than a fresh peach plucked just at the peak of ripeness? Add variety to your Orlando home orchard with delicious Florida peaches.
Peach trees reach heights of 15 to 25 feet at maturity. The crown is dense, irregular and rounded, and the branches droop attractively. The leaves are long, narrow, gently rippled and dark green. The sweetly fragrant flowers range in color from pure white to pink to variegated pink, white and red. The peaches themselves average three inches in diameter and are greenish-white to apricot in color, blushed with pink or red.
Peaches are a stone fruit that traditionally required a lengthy period of cooler weather to set fruit successfully, making them difficult to grow in warmer climates. Fortunately for Florida gardeners, new varieties have been developed with drastically reduced chill hours, meaning it’s now possible to grow delicious peaches in Orlando.
Peach trees grow quickly and are hardy but they do require a little special care during the early years to guarantee a fruitful harvest. Peaches prefer bright, sunny locations and loamy, nutrient-rich soils. They dislike alkaline environments where limestone or shell is present. Augment the soil with mulch or other growing mediums before planting for best results. Regular watering after planting is necessary, at least until the start of the rainy season. Encourage flowering by carefully pruning young peach trees during the dormant winter months to open the crown and allow air and sunlight to fall onto the inner branches. Thinning the blossoms when they appear can boost fruit size. Our nursery professionals can assist you with these processes and with developing fertilization and spraying schedules for your new Florida peach.
With proper planting, pruning and fertilization, you can expect your peach tree to set fruit in its second to third year. Florida peaches ripen early, usually beginning in May and June. Peaches will continue to ripen when stored off the tree, and it’s important to remove the fruit before the rains arrive.
It takes a little extra effort to grow peaches in Orlando, but the sweet results are worth the work!