Peach trees are a hardy, deciduous species that grow well in desert climates. Peach trees grow quickly, producing fruit in two to three years, and make beautiful additions to desert gardens and orchards. Desert varieties are available on-line, in catalogs and from local desert nurseries.
Plant Bare-root trees When Dormant
Bare root trees are sold dormant, and should be planted before buds break and new growth begins. Planting bare root peach trees when dormant will limit the amount of stress the plant receives, and allows the tree to grow strong anchoring roots once growth resumes. Bare-root peach trees should be planted in January/February.
Plant Potted Trees During Active Growth
Potted peach trees purchased from nurseries should be planted while the tree is still in active growth. The tree should be allowed to grow for a few months before it goes into winter dormancy. This will allow the tree to grown new permanent roots and become established before winter. Plant potted peach trees after the summer heat has passed, ideally September/October.
Avoid Hot, Windy Weather
Do not plant peach trees during the summer or when hot, drying winds are expected. Newly planted trees lose too much water in these conditions, stunting or killing the tree. If drying winds are inevitable, plant the tree in a sheltered spot to protect the transplant.
Avoid Freezing Temperatures
Some high desert regions get an occasion frost or freeze during certain times of year. An occasional freeze is also common in desert regions surrounded by mountains where cold continental air settles in desert valleys. While established peach trees can withstand and actually thrive in cold temperatures, newly transplanted trees are vulnerable and should not be planted if a cold spell is in the forecast. Protect new transplants with an old sheet if a frost is expected.
The most important variable in successfully growing peaches in the desert is choosing the right variety. Some full size varieties that do well in the desert are: "Phoenix," "Early Grande," "Florida Prince," 'Desert Gold," "Early Elberta," "Bonita," and "Rio Grande." Smaller desert adapted dwarf trees are "Bonanza II," "Southern Sweet," and "Southern Flame."
- Growing Peaches in the SW
About this Author
Charles Thomas has been a freelance writer since 2005. He is an active contributor to the "Van Nuys News Press," including its "Government Center Gazette." Thomas is pursuing a Master of Arts in anthropology at California State University-Northridge.