Popular Nectarine Trees! Plus Planting, Pruning & Care

Popular Nectarine Trees! Plus Planting, Pruning & Care

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Juicy sweet cousins of the Peach, the clean-shaven Nectarine is one of the most iconic fruits of summer! A juicy sweet reward for enduring the sun, heat, and humidity.

Easy to grow and self-fertile, Nectarines (Prunus) come in just as wide a selection and form as their stonefruit cousins. In fact, Nectarines are nearly identical except for one recessive gene that makes Nectarine skin smooth! Although, today's Nectarines do have a slightly different flavor profile as well!

You’ll find a delightful array of Nectarine trees for sale right here at Nature Hills Nursery!

Nectarine Tree Basics

Easier-to-eat and kid-friendly ‘fuzzless’ fruit, these deciduous ornamental beauties produce fragrant pink flowers in the spring and delicious selections with fruit ripening throughout thenectarine infographic summer and into the autumn. 

Overall, Nectarines grow throughout USDA growing zone 5-9, and have the characteristic pinkish, reddish, or ruddy blush to their smooth yellow to orangy skins, but Nectarines tend to have slightly smaller fruit than Peaches and display more color.

The spring blooms attract loads of pollinators and even hummingbirds! Filling out in lush green foliage that makes them the perfect shade tree to rest under while watching your harvest ripen.

Do you need 2 Nectarine trees to produce fruit? The beauty of Nectarines is that they are all self-pollinating! Perfect for home gardens, especially if you don’t have room for a second pollinator tree. Having that second tree that flowers at the same time significantly boosts the yield per tree. Try high-density planting if you’re short on space!

Nectarine Tree Sizes & Shapes

There are tons of choices available from dwarf, columnar, and semi-dwarf forms in addition to large and small trees. There are also freestone and clingstones, white-fleshed and yellow/orange-fleshed, and flat (donut or saucer-style)!

Freestone vs Clingstone

If the flesh sticks to the pit, it is a clingstone, but if the flesh falls away from the pit easily, it is freestone. Some varieties are in between and are known as semi-cling or semi-freestone.

Clingstones are sometimes smaller but very juicy and sweet! They’re also traditionally the perfect choice for canning and other preserves. Freestones are larger and eaten fresh off the tree. The easy-to-remove pit makes them ideal for use in cooking, baking, and freezing.

Nature Hills Favorite Nectarines

Can Nectarines grow in cold climates? Yes! There are tons of options for Northern Growers! From Sunglo to Arctic Glo, to Red Gold, Mayfire, and Independence! With cold-hardy rootstock and earlier harvests to beat the fast-approaching autumns, these are some of the best Nectarine Trees for Growing zones 5 and up!

Nectarine Trees For Cold Climates

fantasia nectarine

1. Fantasia Nectarine

Fantasia is very adaptable to cooler zones and always produces a nice crop. Its flavor is what all Nectarines are compared to! Traditional high acid with just the right amount of sweetness, Fantasia is a winner! The Flamekist Nectarine is very similar and the perfect counterpart for hot climates.

2. Heavenly White Nectarine heavenly white nectarine

Pure creamy white flesh, with a dark umber/russet blush, the Heavenly White is delectable with complex flavor and sweet smooth flesh. This is a precocious, mid-sized tree that ripens as early as July.

3. Hardired Nectarine Tree

Gold and red blushed fruit with tasty yellow flesh, this Bacterial Spot and Brown Rot resistant Handired Nectarine tree is a mid-season semi-cling. The fruit is firm, flavorful, and very reliable.hardired nectarine USDA growing zones 5 - 8 and developed in Ontario, Canada, so you know it handles cold!

4. Harko Nectarine

The high-yield, Harko Nectarine is a disease and pest-resistant mid-season Nectarine! Featuring sweet and flavorful yellow flesh that’s freestone and wonderfully vigorous. Great flavor, it’s widely adaptable in zones 5 and up.

5. Arctic Jay Nectarine arctic jay nectarine

This classic white-fleshed variety is rich and sweet, with just the right amount of acid for a bit of zip. It’s a firm and versatile freestone and blushed inside and out. Arctic Jay is a mid-sized tree that’s low chill.

Best Nectarines in Hot Climates

Thriving in the heat and humidity, these low-chill options are easy to grow! Check out these Nectarines for mild winters and tropical climates!

1. Honey Halo Nectarine Tree

A saucer-style donut, the Honey Halo is sweet and juicy. The red fruit has a snappy bite and the yellow-orange speckled flesh is fantastic for fresh eating!

2. Spring Bright Nectarine

The commercial quality Spring Bright is a rosy blushed clingstone that ripens earlier than many other Nectarines and has a very long harvest period so you don’t need to use your whole harvest at once! Hardy zones 7 - 9, Spring Bright has red skin with rich yellow flesh.

double delight nectarine

3. Double Delight

Tropical climate Nectarines can stand up to the hottest parts of the US. The Arctic Rose with crunchy white-fleshed for zones 8-10, and the Zephyr grows in zones 6-10. But the Double Delight Nectarine (zones 7-10) is as pretty as it is tasty! Featuring beautiful double-petalled pink blooms and perfect size fruit, the flavor is modern with a super sweet finish. 

4. Candy Sprinkles Nectarine

candy sprinkles nectarine

One of our new favorites! The burgundy-colored skin of Candy Sprinkles features bright yellow flesh sprinkled with red and pink! Beautiful fruits are slightly acidic with subtropical flavor! Smooth, and sweet with a spicy aftertaste, these freestone fruits grow throughout USDA planting zones 6-9 and have a huge harvest!

5. Snow Queen Nectarine snow queen nectarine

One of the oldest white-fleshed Nectarines and the largest at 20-25 feet tall and 20 feet wide! It sets fruit well in southern California, and this trooper thrives in planting zones 8-10. The flavor of the Snow Queen is the reason it has remained #1 for so many years. More acid than most whites, the rich flavor and high-sugar content are unique!

Dwarf Nectarine Trees

There are quite a few space-saving Nectarines available! These mini trees are porch and patio container-ready, or in small-scale orchards! Check out these pint-sized options that stay around 5-6 feet tall, and are laden with easy-to-reach, full-sized fruit!

Columnar Nectarines

Space-saving columnar trees are the perfect solution for a tight squeeze!

  • Sugar Pie Columnar Nectarine

Sugar Pie has fantastic donut-style fruit and sweet creamy flesh! The narrow footprint and versatile saucer-shaped fruit make this an especially easy-to-grow delight! Hardy in zones 6-9.

  • Flavor Gold Columnar Nectarine flavor gold nectarine

Flavor Gold is a wonderful clingstone for growing zones 6-9, with red skin and yellow flesh. Sweet and juicy with a smooth texture, Flavor Gold fits into those tight squeezes in the sunny landscape.

Nectarine Tree Location & Care

Nature Hills Nursery makes it easy to order your own Nectarine online without leaving the comfort of your home. Raising Nectarine trees in the landscape is no different than raising them in an orchard setting. In fact, they’re fantastic ornamental edible landscaping options to make your garden serve up a healthy summertime treat! You’ll love having food sustainability and homegrown produce right outside your front or back door!

Nectarine Flowers and Bloom Time

The flowers are susceptible to early frosts, so a season's fruit production may be lost because of a few lower degrees of temperature. Plant a Nectarine tree in a protected location away fromnectarine tree blooms low spots where cold air can pool.

Nectarine Tree Planting

Where is the best place to plant a Nectarine tree? Find which tree is best for your climate, then find a sunny spot in your yard with a minimum of 6nectarine fruit in sunlight hours of direct sunlight a day.

Nectarine trees won’t tolerate water-logged soils. If water sits in an area for more than one hour after a rain, find another location for the Nectarine tree, or try planting into a berm or mounded location that raises the roots above the water table. If you have a dwarf tree in a container or planter, ensure it has adequate drainage.

Prepare the soil prior to planting by adding organic matter if needed, and check the nutrient status should you be unsure if it’s lacking anything essential, the soil pH should be around 6.5. Your County Extension Office can assist with this. Then lime and fertility levels should be modified based on the soil test results. 

Don’t forget to contact the Diggers Hotline in your area before planting any large shrubs or trees! digging a hole

Be sure to plant no deeper than the trees are growing in their nursery pots. Use Nature Hills Root Booster for life-long root support. Add a 3-4” layer of arborist mulch chips over the soil surface for insulation and moisture retention, while holding off evaporation in the summer sun.

For more detailed information on how to plant your fruit tree - check out our #ProPlantTips Blog here!

Pruning Nectarine Trees

Pruning Nectarine trees should begin at an early age and will produce better quality fruit and live longer if properly maintained and pruned.

Pruning for Height Control

Tree height is a decision for the pruner. Pruning or pinching back all new growth and removing anything above the height you wish to maintain your tree at, in late spring or early summer.pruning nectarine limbs Encourage and maintain some more horizontal branches to hold the weight of the fruit. Size development and low fruiting wood are determined in the 3rd year. Each branch should have at least 6 inches of free space around them. Removing all crossing branches and keeping canopies open allows more light and freedom for bee movement is important.

Thinning Fruit

Sometimes a fruit tree produces more fruit than it should or produces lots of fruit that are very small. So thinning your crop is a heartbreaking task that should be done to reduce how many fruits are on each branch. This way more energy can go into the remaining fruit, therefore making them larger and safer for the tree since they will have less weight per limb. 

Nourishing Nectarines!

How long does it take for a Nectarine tree to bear fruit? Typically 3-5 years, but Nature Hills sells trees with mature root systems already at least 3 years old, so you can expect fruit muchman picking nectarine fruit sooner!

Homegrown fruit is one of life's simple pleasures! Get growing your own orchard of juicy gems, or just a single specimen that serves double-duty in your yard today by ordering your Nectarine tree from NatureHills.com!

Nature Hills Nursery prides itself on meeting the needs of customers with an ever-growing collection of online plants backed by our product guarantee and protected by Plant Sentry™.

So give one a try! You won't be disappointed!

Happy Planting!

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