Peach trees are a good choice for growing indoors and if you choose to grow one of the many dwarf varieties they can be kept at a very manageable size that still produces enough juicy peaches to make it worthwhile.
Most people don’t realize you can grow a peach tree in your house or apartment and if nothing else they are a great conversation piece that will open peoples minds to growing fruit indoors.
I love my indoor peach tree and maybe that’s why I have been so successful at growing it. In this complete guide I am going to tell you how to grow a peach tree indoors, it’s not difficult and everyone should try it.
To grow a peach tree indoors you should choose a dwarf variety that you can easily prune to remain less than 5 feet tall. Use a 5-gallon pot and put it somewhere that gets at least 4 hours sunlight. Use a high potash fertilizer twice per month and enjoy your peaches.
What variety of peach tree is best for growing indoors?
There are so many different varieties of peach tree I am sure you will find one perfectly suited to your local climate, although, when you are growing a peach tree in your house the climate doesn’t matter so much.
What matters when you are growing a fruit tree indoors is what size will it grow to and is it self-pollinating?
I would always recommend growing one of the many dwarf varieties of peach tree or even a bonsai variety.
Dwarf varieties I recommend would include the ‘Bonanza’ ‘Peregrine’ ‘Elberta’ ‘Parade’ ‘Golden Glory’ ‘Pix-Zee’ ‘Honey Babe’ or any variety that is a dwarf, self-pollinating and suited to your local climate.
If you choose a bonsai peach tree go for an ‘autumn red’ or find a variety that will do well in your climate.
Should I grow a peach tree from seed or buy a young tree?
If you choose to grow a peach tree from a pit it will take at least 3 years for the tree to become mature enough to produce fruit.
If you buy a young peach tree then you might be able to get a harvest in the first year you own it.
It depends on what your priorities are, the joy of growing a peach tree from a seed or the joy of eating peaches.
How to germinate peach seeds
The first thing you have to do is test whether the pits you have are viable.
To do this simply put the pits in a glass or bowl of water and if they sink to the bottom this means they are viable and are likely to germinate.
When you have viable seeds you will have to stratify them, always do this to more seeds than required as there is no guarantee they will all germinate.
To stratify your seeds simply put them in a container with some potting soil and put them in the fridge for a few months.
The pits should start to grow roots whilst they are in the fridge and when you take them out and plant them in a pot shoots should sprout up the way quickly enough.
What sort of pot should I use for a peach tree?
Whatever pot or container you choose to grow your peach tree in make sure it has drainage holes at the bottom to drain excess water.
Then put your pot on a tray or dish that has a layer of gravel to allow for better drainage without wrecking your carpet or flooring.
I use a 5-gallon pot for my peach tree and my peach tree is 5 feet tall.
If you choose a pot that is too small it can sometimes limit the growth of your tree which can actually help if you are growing a dwarf peach tree indoors.
What sort of soil should I use for a peach tree?
Before you put soil in your pot or container you should always put a layer of gravel at the bottom as this helps create a good drainage system for your tree.
I use a loam-based compost for my peach tree, this is because it doesn’t become so impoverished of nutrients as quickly as a peat based compost.
To help your tree grow healthy I would recommend mixing some organic material into your compost.
Organic material such as manure, sphagnum or even cut grass from your lawn will add healthy nutrients.
How much light does an indoor peach tree require?
Peach trees do love the sun so the more sunlight you can get them the faster they will grow and the more peaches they will produce.
The ideal amount of direct light for a peach tree is 6 hours+, however, a peach tree will grow healthy with as little as 4 hours direct light.
This can be achieved in most houses or apartments, especially if you have a south-facing window or conservatory.
If you think you won’t be able to get enough light you could always purchase an LED grow light to top up the light as they are inexpensive to buy and very affordable to operate.
How often should I water my peach tree?
Peach trees that are grown in a pot or container will always need to be watered more often than a tree that is planted in the ground.
How often you water your peach tree depends on the season.
During the growing season when it is hot you will have to water more often than during the winter dormant period.
Stick your finger in the soil and if the top 2 inches are dry then it is time to water. During the hot summer months this could be as often as every day or two and during the winter months, this might be every couple of weeks.
What climate is best for peach trees?
There are so many different varieties of peach tree you will likely find a suitable variety for growing in your local climate. During the summer months, the best temperature for growing peach trees is around 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24C) which is right around the temperature of my house during the summer.
During the dormant period in the winter months, peach trees do need a period of cool temperature, pick a variety with suitable chill hours for your local climate.
During the winter months, your peach tree will need lower temperatures of around 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7C) for 300+ hours depending on the variety you have chosen to grow.
What is the best fertilizer for a peach tree in a pot?
Peach trees grown in a pot will require more fertilizer than one grown in the ground.
During the growing season, I fertilize my peach tree every couple of weeks with a liquid fertilizer that is high in phosphorus as this type of fertilizer encourages flower and fruit production.
A tomato plant fertilizer would be a good choice for peach trees.
After the growing season, I don’t use any fertilizer as the tree goes into its dormant phase for the winter months when growth is not likely.
How to prune an indoor peach tree in a pot
You should prune your peach tree every year in order to keep it healthy and promote fresh growth that will produce fruit.
The best time to prune a peach tree is when the buds swell enough that you can see some pink, this is normally spring when the tree has started to grow and is not in a dormant phase.
The peaches will grow on branches that are one year old so you should give a quite severe pruning and remove about 40% of the tree each year.
When you are pruning you should cut off any dead, damaged or diseased branches, any shoots that go straight up or down and cut the top off to keep it at the desired height.
You should also pull off any suckers that are growing at the base of the tree.
How to pollinate a peach tree?
Most varieties of peach tree are self-pollinating which means each flower contains both the male and female elements required for pollination.
Even although you have a self-pollinating variety I would still use the paintbrush method to help with pollination of your peach tree as there may not be enough wind or movement for your tree to pollinate itself when it’s grown indoors.
To do this use a small paintbrush and move the pollen from the male parts stigma on to the female stigma, do this with every flower to help with pollination.
Should I thin out clusters of peaches?
I would recommend that you do thin out the number of peaches on your tree as the remaining fruit will be of better quality, bigger and juicier.
When the fruit begins to grow and is about the size of a hazelnut (about 1 inch) you should thin it out so that there is approximately one peach every 3-6 inches.
For me, it is hard to cut off healthy fruit and it can seem irrational but the end result is always worth it.
When to pick peaches from a potted tree
You will have to harvest your peaches over a period of time as all the fruit won’t ripen at the same time.
There are several tell-tale signs that your peaches are ripe and ready to be picked. The peaches will start to smell of peaches and you should be able to smell them from a distance.
When you give your peaches a squeeze they should have some give in them when they are ripe, if they are still completely firm they are not ripe.
Your peaches will look ripe when they are ready to be picked, that is they will have no greenish color and will be a completely peach color.
Peaches will continue to ripen when they are off the tree so if you think they are nearly ripe you can pick them.
How to store freshly picked peaches from the tree
If your peaches are not completely ripe you should store them at room temperature until they are at your desired ripeness.
If you want to speed up the ripening process you should store them in a brown paper bag at room temperature.
When your peaches are ripe you should store them in a fridge and this will extend the life of them by approximately a week.
If you want to freeze your peaches you should peel and slice them up into a mixture of water and citric acid powder (this stops them turning brown when thawing), drain all the water before freezing them.
What to do if your peach tree stops producing fruit
There are several factors that could stop your peach tree producing fruits.
The first thing you need to check is your watering and fertilizing routine as too much or not enough could result in no peaches being produced.
Peach trees do need a period of chilling during the winter and if it doesn’t get enough chilled hours it may not produce any peaches the following season.
Is your peach tree mature enough to produce fruit as it can take 3-6 years for a peach tree to become mature enough for fruit production.
Improper pruning can result in no fruit being produced removing part of a branch encourages new growth whereas removing a whole branch encourages fruit growth.
It may be that your peach tree has had a bumper harvest the previous year, some fruit trees will have alternate years of a massive harvest then a small harvest the following year.
Common peach tree problems and how to solve them
Peach trees are an excellent choice for growing because they have relatively few problems compared to some other fruit trees.
Like all trees problems such as disease and fungus can occur and the sooner you treat them the better chance you will have of making your tree healthy again.
Here are some of the problems that could affect your peach tree:
Peach leaf curl – Peach Leaf Curl is a fungus that will make the leaves of your peach tree become severely marked with pink blisters and eventually become covered in white spores. This will lead to the foliage falling off and your tree will appear generally unhealthy. To help prevent this disease you should only water the soil and avoid the leaves when you are watering your plant.
Brown Scale – Brown Scale is an infestation where limpet-like insects suck the sap of peach trees. This leads to a sticky substance on the surface of your tree and all sorts of mold can start to grow because of this. You will find this insect generally on the underside of leaves and on the stems. If you discover this infestation early enough the best remedy is to pick the insects off.
Peach Scab – Peach scab doesn’t damage the leaves but will cause small velvety spots to appear on the fruit of your peach tree. It is mostly cosmetic damage and you can simply pick off the spots and eat the fruit. To prevent this annoying disease you should make sure you are only watering the soil and avoid the leaves and fruit. If you want to get rid of this disease there are many fungicide sprays you could use to treat it.
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