Common Name: peach

Scientific Name: 
Genus: Prunus
Species: P. persica

Hardiness Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 12 to 15 ft
Width: 12 to 15 ft

Common characteristics:

The peach tree is a low-growing but broad multi-stemmed tree and forms a rounded crown that has upward reaching branches. These trees are fast-growing but often do not have a long life span, usually up to 20 years. The leaves are lanceolate in shape and are dark green. Flowers are showy and can range in colors from pure white to deep red. These flowers are pleasant smelling and some cultivars are grown just for their flowers and will not produce fruits. Peach trees are self-pollinating so there is no need for male and female trees. On fruiting cultivars, the fruits will mature in the mid to late summer and can be 3” in size. A mature tree can yield 50 to 150 pounds of fruit in a year.

Where it grows:

Grows best in medium moist, well-drained soil. This tree will benefit from regular watering, fertilization, and pruning. Plant in full sun in a site where regular chemical spraying will not damage adjacent areas. Avoid planting peach trees in the same soil where other stone fruits have recently grown. 

How it’s used:

The peach tree is often planted as an ornamental and food source tree. Some cultivars are developed solely for the showy early-blooming flowers rather than for the fruit. 

Ecosystem services:

Small mammals and birds will use peach fruits as a food source. Pollinators may visit flowers. 

Where it is native to:

Originally native to China, the peach has been cultivated to grow in the United States. Some cultivars can survive in cold weather climates such as Minnesota. 

Known Varieties and Their Traits:

Prunus persica 'Reliance': noted for its cold hardiness, and reportedly has produced crops after enduring winter temperatures as low as -25F.


Peaches can be susceptible to a large number of serious pest problems and a regular regimen of chemical spraying is needed in order to ensure harvesting a good crop. Some potential disease problems may include peach leaf curl, brown rot, bacterial leaf spot, and canker. Some potential insect problems include peachtree borer, plum curculio, oriental fruit moth, root nematodes, mites, and aphids. Very cold winter temperatures and late spring frosts often cause significant damage to the buds/flowers of peaches.  



Missouri Botanical Garden