Dwarf Fruit Trees for Small-Space Gardens

dwarf peach tree at untrained housewife

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.

dwarf fruit trees at untrained housewife

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 on the untrained housewife

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

Green Thumb Thursday

About Chris

Chris McLaughlin has written 35 posts in this blog.

Chris is a freelance garden writer, blogger, and author of six books including her latest project A Garden to Dye For (St. Lynn's Press, March 2014). She balances family, writing, and all things modern homesteading from their hobby farm in the Northern California foothills. Chris' pet project is the Mother Lode Seed Library that will launch in January, 2014. She's blessed with four fabulous kids and four darling sugar babies. Follow Chris on Twitter: @Suburban_Farmer and her website: www.home-ag.com.



  1. says

    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.

  2. says

    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!

  3. 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?

    • says

      Hi RS,

      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!


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