A deciduous tree, peach is native to Northwest China. The tree will bear an edible fruit, which can either be peach or nectarine. The main difference between the two is that the nectarine does not come with fuzz, which also makes its skin smoother. Although the two belongs to the same species, commercially, they are different. Peach typically grows at an average height of 13 to 33 feet. Its flowers appear in early spring before the leaves will grow. The fruit has a velvety aroma while the flesh is usually white or yellow.
As peaches are tall trees, the outdoor environment is favorable when they are already in their latter stages of growth. If you plan to grow them indoors, however, the most important thing is to pick the right variety. Choose those that are natural dwarfs, which will grow well in pots. Some of them will have a maximum height of only six feet. One of the best is El Dorado, which produces a medium fruit with a rich flavor. You might also want to consider planting Golden Gem and Southern Sweet cultivars, which will all bear fruit in early summer.
Planting and Growing Conditions
There are different methods to plant peach, but one of the most common is through seeds, although this will require you to be a bit patient. Dry the pit from a fresh fruit for about five days. Using a nutcracker, open the outer hull and remove the almond-like seeds that you can see inside. Place the seeds in a bag with at least two layers of peat moss. Refrigerate for up to three months. Remove it from the fridge and soak overnight in a jar with water. Using a glass jar, fill it with 2/3 of potting mix and bury the seeds. Cover the jar, refrigerate, and wait until the seed grows. Once it grows, transfer it to a small pot and wait until full germination.
If you are looking for an easier alternative, on the other hand, the best thing that you can do is to grow the plant through a sapling. There is no need to wait for a long time since you do not have to start from seed. Choose a container, the size of which will depend on the specific variety of peach that you will grow. Fill half of the container with loamy soil. Place the sapling on the top and cover it with more soil. Be sure to press the soil firmly and that there will be no air pockets.
Once you are done planting, your next concern would be the right position of the plant. Choose a location where the plant will receive up to six hours of sun in a day. Take note that since there is not much room to grow and the plant will search for nutrients in the soil, you have to be more conscious of making sure of the right growing conditions to ensure the health of the plant. Aside from light, it also needs the right amount of water, but make sure to not overwater to avoid root rot.
Peaches are not only delicious, but they are also good for the health. Below are some of their most popular benefits:
- Prevents Cancer: This benefit is possible because of the presence of carotenoid and phenolic compounds in the fruit, which are especially helpful in the prevention of lung, colon, and breast cancer.
- Improves Skin Health: Peaches are rich in antioxidants that can fight the cellular damages from free radicals. With this, it is an effective way to maintain radiant and youthful glow, as well as for the regeneration of skin tissues.
- Improves Eye Health: It is also a potent source of beta carotene, which becomes Vitamin A when it reaches the body. This compound will be helpful in making the eye healthier and in the prevention of problems like macular degeneration.
- Improves Digestion: The fiber and alkaline content of the fruit help it to be instrumental in having a healthy digestive system. It can also prevent digestive disorders, such as constipation and irregular bowel movement.
- Improves the Nervous System: Peaches have magnesium, which helps to combat the effects of anxiety and stress. Several studies in the past have also proven that magnesium is an excellent treatment for people who are suffering from depression.
- Fights Obesity: The phenolic compounds in peaches will help to fight metabolic syndromes that can possibly fight obesity. To add, because it is high in fiber, it can be a filling treat for those who are into weight loss.
- Controls Cholesterol: Eating peaches is also great in regulating the level of bad cholesterol in the body. Because of this, it can be effective in lessening the likelihood that you will suffer from heart diseases and diabetes.
Pests and Diseases
Fungal diseases, such as brown rot, are common in peaches. Other diseases that they can suffer from include anthracnose, bacterial canker, crown gall, peach leaf curl, and powdery mildew. When it comes to pests that could wreak havoc even indoors, some of the most common problems include aphids, nematodes, and plum curculio.
Care and Maintenance
There are different ways to ensure the healthy growth of peaches, such as through the following:
- Since the tree is indoors, encouraging pollination can be difficult. One trick that can prove to be effective is misting the flowers. Using a soft wet brush, lightly brush each flower, which will be a way of transferring pollens to other flowers.
- Fertilizing is critical to ensure the healthy growth of the plant and to supplement the nutrients that the soil cannot fulfill. As much as possible, feed the plant with a liquid fertilizer once in a couple of weeks. Look for fertilizers that are meant specifically to encourage fruiting and flowering. The best choice would be high phosphorus fertilizer.
- It will also be best to have a tray under the container. Water the plant as needed or when the soil is dry. Fill the tray underneath the pot with water. This will provide watering to the soil without overdoing it. Replace water in the tray once it dries out.
- Pruning is also necessary. You should prune regularly to encourage more compact growth of the plant. Also, you can prune smaller fruits to encourage the growth of larger ones. Whenever you are pruning, use clean shears only to lessen the likelihood of spreading pathogens.
Peaches need protection from harsh wind and frost. Because of this, they are one of the best trees to grow in an indoor environment. They will thrive pretty well in containers, especially with the right choice of the variety to grow and making sure that they have the growing conditions that they need to survive.