What would be the best Peach for Central FL?

South/Central, FL(Zone 9a)

I have the old timey type that makes the small peaches. I would like to have one that makes bigger peaches. Anyone have one, and know what it is? Also, apple trees, blueberries, or any fruit you really like. : )

I have a 3 different grapes I'm gonna try to root this year,...any advice on that?
I could ask all this in the fruit forum, but I figured you all would know what does best down here. : )

Citra, FL(Zone 9a)

Oh, I have all the same questions and no one gave any answers...
How did you do? I've been studying this site for months now; if I lived closer, I'd go shopping, but hope to find plants locally. I'd like peaches, blackberries, grapes, boysenberry, looking at Starfruit after reading about them here, maybe an Asian Pear...

Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

Maybe you can get your questions answered here:


Citra, FL(Zone 9a)

lol-thanks Kay; it's linked to in many threads. In fact, that's the link I was supposed to add when I wrote, "studying this site" for months ...the Just Fruits.

However, I wanted to get experience from other north central Florida gardeners. Just Fruits is good, but does anyone in North central FL grow peaches?

I was also hoping to find a tree locally, as the shipping plus cost of the plant from that nursery is out of my budget.

This message was edited Jan 18, 2010 3:44 AM

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

I grow 'flordaglo' peach http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/88150/ and am now beginning to get peaches from it after about 7 years (but the dern squirrels eat them before they get fully ripe --- cayenne pepper here I come this spring to dust all the peaches and hopefully have a few to eat myself). 'Flordaglo' doesn't seem to be offered by Just Fruits (though they do have 'flordaking'. (Note - when searching for these cultivars developed by the U of Fla, the "i" is left out of "Florida" for some arcane reason).

Check your local Big Lots store now and within the next few weeks. That's were I got my 'flordaglo' peach for $12.99 about 7 years ago. I think Big Lots still gets in a shipment of tree saplings each spring in about 1 gal plastic bagged root balls. Make sure you get a healthy tree because from what I found from another tree I bought from Big Lots, they have a "no refunds" policy on the trees. I got a cherry tree (unknown cultivar) from Big Lots at the same time I got my peach tree, and the cherry tree is still doing well. I don't think I will ever get cherries from it, but the flowers are nice and are in greater profusion after cold winters like we are having this year. You might also check your local Lowe's and Home Depot. Lowe's stores in my area now have fruit trees about 8 ft high for $19.99. I haven't seen any peach trees lately, but they do have pear and apple cultivars (apple 'Anna') with low chilling hours that are appropriate for our climate. In the past they have had Starfruit trees for about $40 ( I got mine at 75% off on the distressed plant rack for about $7). Wal-Mart also carries fruit trees in the springtime and mark them down within a few weeks if they don't sell and start to look distressed.


Archer/Bronson, FL(Zone 8b)


3 years ago I bought 2 peach trees from Walmart in Chiefland. Last spring I discovered these peaches bear pears. I was annoyed.

Anyway, I found the Alachua Feed and Seed in Gainesville had peach trees (truly, they are) and I bought 4 of them. Now I wait again for them to settle and hopefully bear fruit. These people are old farm boys, they know what grows here, when to plan, how to plant etc.

They also sell blueberries and other fruit trees, apples, etc. The shipping would be whatever you spend for gas to get up here......but wait, let me respond to your d-mail of today.


Citra, FL(Zone 9a)

Thanks, Molly. And Jeremy, you have all the information I seemed to need today. I'm heading back to Lowe's tomorrow. Brought home a carload of sad plants yesterday, and hope to do the same tomorrow (affordably).

Wauchula, FL(Zone 9b)

Lucy, I was in Bartow Lowes Fri. & they had small blueberry bushes full of berries & bloom for I think 5.95 they had the bareroot ones inside but I think they were more.

Citra, FL(Zone 9a)

I saw gallon blueberries at Lowe's in Ocala Saturday, too. They seemed strange, all loaded with berries and so small the berries almost seemed fake. I bought 12 from a Hawthorne nursery in the fall for $3.95/gallon. They seem to be doing great, but not with the numbers of berries those in Lowe's had.

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

On my last visit to Lowe's, I tried to finagle the garden center manager to knock 50% off the price of the 'Anna' apple trees because their leaves were dried up as if freeze damaged, but she was too smart for my ploy and informed me they were just showing dormancy. Dern, I hate it when the garden center employees actually know something about plants. LOL

On the subject of all the fruit on the small blueberry bushes, I'm not sure any grower would go to the trouble and expense of doing it, but they may be able to expose the bushes to ethylene gas to promote sudden flowering and fruiting. It is the gas that is sprayed on fruit that is picked green to give it the appearance of being ripe (and is why those luscious peaches with such pretty red blush colors in the grocery stores turn out to taste like pithy, flavorless cardboard -- they are green peaches made to look ripe by exposure to ethylene gas). You can put overripe fruit and wilted flower arrangements around pineapple plants and other plants to promote flowering and fruiting because the overripe fruit and decomposing flowers emit ethylene gas. Here's an interesting article that shows a chart for which plants emit the most and least ethylene gas and which are most susceptible to its effects in promoting ripening. http://www.ethylenegas.com/ethylene.htm

As a botanical paraphrase of the old adage, "mixing apples and oranges," the result will not only be an unequal comparison, you will also get faster ripening oranges. LOL


Jacksonville, FL(Zone 9a)

LOL! Jeremy those garden center employee's are getting to know you. You are spending WAY to much time around them! lol


Citra, FL(Zone 9a)

More good information; thank you Jeremy. I would hope the Lowe's person would know that about apples, at least...lol...

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

Just Fruit is within a easy day trip!!!! I know I have been there 3 times!!!!!! LOL


Citra, FL(Zone 9a)

Yes, an easy trip (except when one has a disagreeable back for sitting that long), but not so easy on the wallet. If I were to go that far, I'd want to get a lot, not just be able to afford one tree on my budget. :-)

I think I'll find what I need locally now that I have more information about what to look for. :-)

South/Central, FL(Zone 9a)

Thanks, Lorine, I'll check Lowes out next time I go by there. : )

Saint Petersburg, FL

As far as low chill apples, I've got an Anna, a Dorset Golden and a Pettengill. The Anna was too small last year to bear fruit, but the other two gave me about 5 or 6 apples each (they're VERY small still). While the fruit is not as good as the ones I remember from New York, they beat most of the mushy supermarket fruit hands down.

In terms of blueberries I have several each Jewels and Sharpblues (southern highbush) and they bore nicely last year and are already blooming/fruiting this year. These were better than store bought as well.

The low chill peaches I've recently acquired are a Florida Prince (no fruit yet) as well as a Desert Delight Nectarine. I've added one each FloridaHome and Hood pear trees and a Scarlet Beauty plum. None are old enough to fruit yet, but all added significant growth last year and are heavy with buds already.

Raspberries and blackberries I've had almost no luck with. Cherries will most likely fail as well, but I've got 2 low chill ones on order, so we shall see.

I'm in st. Pete, so I get less chill than you probably do. Hope this helps.

Citra, FL(Zone 9a)

It helps! Thanks!

Titusville, FL

Florida Prince, Tropic Beauty, and Tropic Snow hands down. I grew all the UF series. Beauty and Gold will bear here but are hard as
rocks ripe, small even thinned, and will not slip skin when blanched and change flavor when heated! Nasty and I dug them all up.
We use too much Splenda so now are ---finally --- trying tropic snow. It is growing like crazy and have tropic beauty is also very good.
Set up micro sprinklers one 180 degree pointing one way, one the opposite near the trunk. Doing this will keep disease like shothole I
used to have to spray captan and plant guardian 3 x a year for and each time lost 1/3 of the leaves. Now I only spray after the crop so
fruit is not affected. The other UF's one won't set fruit even if blooming like crazy if temps are over 55 degrees. This I got from the
person who created it!
I thin thin thin. No peach closer than 8" on a branch. That is the only way to get size. some girdle, don't know how or want to learn.
Note the Florida Prince is not for the warmer areas like Tampa. I bag all my fruit with bags made from sewer cloth at Home Depot or
the thinnest possible row cover in 12" x 6" strips stapled to form a 6" square bag like the Japanese. Do so when fruits are 1". Same
with nectarines. Deters all insects and birds and if you need to spray (1 cup molasses and 3 T plant guardian if wanted per gallon) for
brown rot the disease will not spread from bag to bag nor will fruit get fruit flies Or fall on the ground to infest next years crop. worth all
the effort for those perfect peaches. Prune out wide and if you are just starting with peaches make 3 scaffold branches between 2
1/2 and 3 1/2 ft from the ground in a spiral. Not all at the same level or your branches may split off when loaded.
You now have all my 20 years growing peaches and nectarines in central Florida. I also put a 24" square of window screen around
the base of the trunk and mix borer spray with white latex paint and paint the trunk up to the branches. Organic? lose the spray.
Prune to a vase shape and nip any branches going into the middle when tiny. Then no pruning till Spring. google that. I use canola
oil, spreader sticker and pyrethrin as a dormant oil and a month later sulfur guard before leaves come out and never when temps ove
80. the molasses has some sulfur but will not hurt the leaves in the heat so you can safely spray fruit for brown rot.

Apopka, FL(Zone 10a)

Several years ago we tried to grow a flowering peach tree from home depot and it lasted a month. A borer-grub ate the inside of the trunk and it died ASAP. When we drive through southern Georgia on I75 they have great peaches in that area.

Wake Forest, NC(Zone 7b)

thanks for the peach info - it may be more helpful to me than the NC Ag extension bulletin which tells me all the commercial products I should use. I am just printing your post right now and will study it later.

Paul ( an unhappy transplant from FL)


Gainesville, FL(Zone 8b)

Quote from BlueGlancer :
I have the old timey type that makes the small peaches.

I worked with peaches for part of my masters degree research. ALL peaches require thinning or they will make small fruit.

Most other common fruit undergo a natural fruit drop, usually early in development. (Some folks think there's something wrong with their trees when they see it, but it's part of the natural process.) But I've never heard of a self-thinning peach.


Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

I have had my best luck with Florida Prince and Tropic Snow (white).

Your have to thin them. And spray them with wettable Sulfur. I usually wait until mid-March to spray. I also use Citrus Nutritional Spray for foiliar feeding, a couple times early in the season and Trace Elemements in the planting hole to get them off to a good start. Both are from Southern Ag in Palmetto. Sandy Central Florida soils are very poor in trace elements.

This year I am adding UF One (or is it Won?) Floradabelle, Tropic Beauty, Floradagold. Also a volunteer seedling peach that showed up under the Florida Prince a couple years ago.

Florida Prince is a yellow flesh, firm, sweet and a little tart. Very good peach.

Tropic Snow is white, juicy/soft and very sweet. Delicious peach.

I moved last June. I had a Florida Prince that was 7 years old. I got a good crop every year except the second summer, I didn't know that you had to spray the peaches to keep Brown Rot from taking the crop.

There is one great guy near /in Brandon. He has coreless Pineapples, Dorman Red Raspberries, Thornless Blackberry, Plums (Gulf series), Peaches, Nectarines, Blueberries, Figs, Chestnuts, etc -- and tons of knowledge and free advice. Trees are $29, Berries $8

Dee's Trees
Contact: George Hoagland
911 S Taylor Road
Seffner, FL 33584-
Phone: (813) 685-8035

Another place is out in south Plant City, I don't remember the name. Corner of Hwy 39 south and Hartnell Rd. He is more expensive than Dee's, but, he has slightly different stock and is exclusively a fruit guy these days.

Another place is east of Bartow on the south side of Hwy 60. About 5 miles east. Small nursery, but, they graft there own trees. They cost $20 each 4 yrs ago.

Thumbnail by DaleTheGardener

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