Peach (Prunus persica) is a fruit tree grown in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres in the warmer temperate regions. Peaches are usually eaten fresh or baked and used in pies and cobblers.
In many countries, canned peaches are a staple product, and because they are such a favorite product, I bet that you’ve eaten them. In particular, yellow-fleshed varieties are rich in vitamin A.
The peach originated in China and then expanded to the Mediterranean region and other European parts westwards via Asia.
|Botanical Name||Prunus Persica|
|Plant Type||A Perennial Tree|
|Size (Fully Grown)||About 18 To 20 Feet (About 5,4 To 6,1 Meters) Tall And Wide|
|Sun Exposure||Full Sun|
|Soil Type||Prefers To Grow In Light, Loamy Soil That Drains Well|
|Soil pH||From 6.0 To 6.5|
|Flower Color||Whitish Pink|
|U.S. Hardiness Zones||4, 5, 6, 7, 8, And 9|
How Many Peach Varieties Are There?
Believe it or not but there are over 2000 peach varieties in the world! Take a sniff first to find the right for your taste buds. As a general rule, a ripe one should be sweetly fragrant.
Next, give the fruit a gentle squeeze; a ripe one should feel smooth when you squeeze it. Bear in mind that the color peach has tells you its variety, not it’s ripeness or maturity.
But, before you get completely bored, let’s look at some of the most common varieties:
- Dixie red
- Early Amber
- August Pride
- Early Elberta
- Dessert Gold
- Golden Glory
- Baby Crawford
- Arctic Supreme
Where Did Peach Originate?
Peaches originated from China and then traveled to the Mediterranean region, where they later found their way to other European countries westwards via Asia. The Spanish explorers brought peaches to the new world. After that, the fruit was brought to Mexico in early 1600.
The cultivation and selection of new peach varieties have traditionally been limited to the nobility’s gardens for decades. This is also why large-scale commercial cultivation in the United States did not begin until the 19th century.
Seedling peaches, invariably variable and mostly of low quality, were the early plantings. The practice of grafting improved varieties on hardy seedling rootstocks, which came later in the century, contributed to large commercial orchards’ growth.
Peach trees are small to medium-sized and seldom exceed 21 feet in height (about 6,5 meters). But, under cultivation, they are usually held between 10 and 13 feet (3 and 4 meters) by pruning. The leaves are glossy green, lance-shaped, and long-pointed. At their bases, they usually have glands that secrete a liquid that attracts ants and other insects pretty well.
What Does The Peach Tree And Fruit Look Like?
Peach, in the Rosaceae family, is a deciduous tree or shrub cultivated for its edible fruit of the same name. The fruit is a red to yellow-orange velvety, smooth, fleshy fruit, which is oval and 1,2 to 3 inches (about 3 to 8 cm) in diameter. The trees can grow to heights of up to 19 feet (about 8 meters) and produce fruits for 10 to 20 years.
With slender and supple leaves, the peach tree is relatively short. The leaves, thin and pointed, are alternately arranged.
The flowers, borne in the leaf axils, are clustered at nodes and the previous season’s growth shoots. On the outer edges of the short tube, known as the hypanthium, which forms the flower’s base, the five petals, typically pink but sometimes white, five sepals, and three whorls of stamens are born.
We already talked about the fruit, but as a reminder, it is a red to yellow-orange, smooth, fleshy fruit, which is oval-shaped and 1,2 to 3 inches (approximately 3-8 cm) in diameter.
Best Growing Conditions For The Peach Tree
When we compare it to other fruit trees, peaches are relatively short-lived. In some areas, growers replant their trees after 8 to 10 years. In other areas, depending on their resistance to diseases, pests, and winter damage, the trees can satisfactorily produce fruits approximately 20 to 25 years, or even more.
So, to ensure that you’ll grow the best peaches in town, let’s go through some ground rules that’ll make it happen!
How Cold Can Peach Trees Tolerate?
Peach trees aren’t cold tolerant, so you’ll face difficulties if you want to grow them successfully in climates where temperatures drop to -10 to -15°F (about -23 to -26°C).
But, if you live in an environment where winters are incredibly mild, the plant might not grow satisfactorily. This is because most varieties need some winter chilling, which, as a result, speeds them up for growth after their dormant period.
Soil And Sun
Peach trees grow well on many different soil types, but they still prosper on well-draining sandy or gravel loams. But don’t forget that the soil pH needs to be slightly acidic, which in numbers is 6.0 to 6.5.
Growing a peach tree requires well-draining soil, a daily water supply, and a full sun growing environment. This means that there is at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight every day, which helps the tree grow faster and healthier throughout the growing season.
Water And Fertilizer
When your peach tree is mature, it’s summer, and it tries to produce fruits, it will need a lot of water. During this time, the trees are at the peak of their water needs and can consume even 35 to 45 gallons (about 132 to 170 liters) of water per day. But this is only the case when its watering needs are at their highest.
When it comes to fertilizing peaches, there is one type that works exceptionally well. Nitrogen-rich fertilizers, particularly manure or compost, are excellent ways to ensure satisfactory growth.
One thing you might want to do to prevent your peach trees from being too tall is annual pruning.
Is It Safe To Eat / Consume Peaches?
Peach, a plant that improves your heart health and may keep your skin in good condition by retaining its moisture, is a healthy plant. But let’s find out if you should be careful with it if you are pregnant or have some common medical condition.
Pregnant And Breastfeeding Women
Peaches are an excellent addition to your diet if you are pregnant. Why? They are a great source of iron, Vitamin C, potassium, and dietary fiber. All of which are healthy and essential nutrients for pregnant women. So, yes, go ahead and eat them when you are pregnant or breastfeeding, but in moderation, of course!
Peaches don’t contain sodium, but they do have a massive amount of different nutrients. So as you might expect, many physicians even say that babies between ages 4 and 6 months can start consuming these delicious fruits.
Especially canned peaches are easy to digest and eat as long as you remember to cut them into smaller pieces so your little one won’t choke on these yummy, juicy, and soft fruits.
People With Allergies
If you are allergic to peaches, the only thing I recommend you to do is avoiding them. This advice is especially relevant to people who have a birch pollen allergy, where pitted fruits, raw apples, and carrots are plants that you should be careful with.
People With Diabetes
Yes, peaches are a great addition to your diet if you have diabetes. That’s because even one medium-sized peach contains only 59 calories and 0,5 ounces (about 14 grams) of carbohydrates.
Peaches are an excellent source of fiber and vitamin A. The flesh in them is safe for your pets but only in small amounts. This is because peaches can cause stomach pain and even transient diarrhea.