How to Grow Nectarine Trees


The nectarine is genetically identical to the peach, but lacks the fuzz. Self-fertile, one nectarine tree can pollinate itself and produce ample fruit. Plant 1-year-old trees that stand approximately 3 to 4 feet in height, for ease of establishment. Older nectarine trees do not establish as easily as younger trees. Various nectarine varieties and cultivars offer differing chill time requirements to set fruit. Choose a nectarine variety that best fits the region it will be planted within. Nectarine trees grow in USDA Hardiness Zones 6 to 8.

Step 1

Select a site that offers full sunlight. The nectarine tree does not set an abundance of fruit in shady locations.

Step 2

Plant the tree in well-draining soil. The nectarine's root system cannot withstand flooded soil. Sandy loam soil is ideal for nectarine planting.

Step 3

Add ample organic matter to the soil prior to planting. Mix peat moss, leaf debris and aged manure into the soil until it feels crumbly to the touch. Till the soil 12 inches deep while working the organic matter into it.

Step 4

Dig a hole that is twice as large as the tree's root system in the spring. Place the tree into the hole so the tree's graft union is 1 inch above the soil's surface.

Step 5

Place 2 to 3 inches of mulch around the base of the nectarine tree to help the soil retain water during the summer heat. Mulch also helps make cultivation and weed removal easier.

Step 6

Fertilize the nectarine tree one week after planting. Use 10-10-10 granulated fertilizer. Spread 12 oz. of the fertilizer at least 10 inches away from the tree's trunk. Water the fertilizer into the ground. Reapply 40 days later. Fertilize mature nectarine trees in March and May using 1 to 2 lbs. of fertilizer per tree.

Step 7

Prune the young nectarine tree in the spring. Remove any dead, weak or damaged growth. Maintain the vase-like appearance of the tree by removing any low growth and opening the middle of the tree up to air circulation when the tree is 2 years old.

Things You'll Need

  • Mulch (peat moss or bark chips)
  • Shovel
  • Pruning shears
  • Granulated 10-10-10 fertilizer
  • Aged manure
  • Leaf debris
  • Peat moss


  • University of Florida: Alternative Opportunities for Small Farms: Peach and Nectarine Production Review
  • Ohio State University: Growing Peaches and Nectarines in the Home Landscape
  • Virginia Tech: Growing Peaches & Nectarines in Virginia
  • Clemson University: Peaches & Nectarines
  • University of Missouri: Home Fruit Production: Peach and Nectarine Culture

Who Can Help

  • University of California: Growing Temperate Tree Fruit and Nut Crops
Keywords: growing nectarines, planting nectarines, caring for nectarines

About this Author

Kimberly Sharpe is a freelance writer with a diverse background. She has worked as a Web writer for the past four years. She writes extensively for Associated Content where she is both a featured home improvement contributor (with special emphasis on gardening) and a parenting contributor. She also writes for Helium. She has worked professionally in the animal care and gardening fields.