When it comes to fruit trees, those of us with small-spaces have more choices than we think. Small gardens won’t be able to handle standard-sized trees, but there’s always the semi-dwarf and dwarf varieties. The shorter versions are created by grafting standard cultivars on dwarfed rootstock.
Dwarf fruit trees can grow to anywhere from 4′ to 6′ tall and are perfect for the small garden or yard. If you’ve always dreamed of a mini-orchard, dwarf peaches and nectarines are the perfect solution as they’re miniature versions of their larger, standard cousins, maturing at merely 5′- 6′ tall.
Planting Dwarf Fruit Trees
The best way for any fruit tree to become established in a new yard or garden is to purchase bare-root trees and get them into the ground while they’re dormant. If you miss that window, you’re certain to find some that are planted and already happily growing in containers. They’ll go through a little transplant shock when they’re first planted as opposed to the bare-rooted ones that simply “wake up” in the spring not realizing that they’ve been disrupted at all.
Both dwarf peaches and nectarines like to be situated in full sun and prefer to have their feet in a loam or sandy-loam type soil. So if your soil is clay, you’re better off planting them in half-wine barrels or a raised bed. Choose a protected area as they dislike strong wind. Both peaches and nectarines produce an amazing amount of fruit, so when new fruits are about 1″, remove some of them so that those remaining are around 8″-10″ apart.
Dwarf Peach Tree Varieties:
• Golden Glory: 5′ tall
• Garden Pride: 4′-6′ tall
• Garden Gold: 6′ tall
• Southern Sweet: 4′-5′ tall
• Honey Babe: 4′-6′ tall
• El Dorado: 4-5′ tall
• Bonanza II: 5′ tall
• Pix Zee: 5-9′ tall
Dwarf Nectarine Tree Varieties:
• Nectar Babe: 5′-6′ tall
• Garden Delight: 6′ tall
• Golden Prolific: 5′ tall
• Red Sunset: 5′ tall
• Southern Belle: 4′-5′ tall
• Goldmine: 3′-4′ tall
• Necta Zee: 5′ tall
Standard-sized peach and nectarine trees are pruned heavily, but the dwarf types can get away with much less. That said, some good pruning will encourage the fruit to be produced all over the tree branches instead of just at the tips – which may cause them to break. Additionally, most (though not all) peach and nectarine trees have the benefit of being self-pollinating. Which means you can get away with planting a single specimen and still have fruit.
Dwarf fruit trees by RBerteig
Peach by Airdrie.m
Dwarf nectarine tree by Living in Monrovia
I’ve wanted to try growing these for years and I keep putting it off. Pinning this page so I’m reminded in the spring to give this a whirl.
Hi! I’ve been following your website for a long time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Porter Texas! Just wanted to mention keep up the great work!
R S Rawat says
I grafted Nectarine Scion on a Plum & it succeeded. The tree is now 10 feet tall & bore fruit for the last 2 years. Since it was grafted, I have transplanted it twice – the last only a month back. It started oozing sap from all over. I have sprayed cow’s urine & it seems to have worked. I am at Dehradun, Northern India. Is it okay if I try grafting on a plum sapling at this time – 26 Jan 2014?
I wish I could help you, but I’m quite unfamiliar with the weather and the seasons in India. My best advice would be to consult with a fruit grower in India.
Best of luck to you!