By: Teo Spengler
If you guessed that Nectar Babe nectarine trees (Prunus persica nucipersica) are smaller than standard fruit trees, you are absolutely right. According to Nectar Babe nectarine information, these are natural dwarf trees, but grow full-size, luscious fruit. Read on for info on these unique trees plus tips on planting Nectar Babe nectarine trees.
Nectarine Nectar Babe Tree Info
Nectarine Nectar Babes have smooth, golden-red fruit that grow on very small trees. The fruit quality of nectarine Nectar Babes is excellent and the flesh has a sweet, rich, delicious flavor.
Given that Nectar Babe nectarine trees are natural dwarfs, you may think that the fruit is small too. This is not the case. The succulent freestone nectarines are large and perfect for eating fresh off the tree or canning.
A dwarf tree is usually a grafted tree, where a standard fruit tree cultivar is grafted onto a short rootstock. But Nectar Babes are natural dwarf trees. Without grafting, the trees stay small, shorter than most gardeners. They top out at 5 to 6 feet (1.5-1.8 m.) tall, a perfect size for planting in containers, small gardens or anywhere with limited space.
These trees are ornamental as well as extremely productive. The spring blossom display is extremely, filling the tree branches with lovely pale pink flowers.
Growing Nectar Babe Nectarines
Growing Nectar Babe nectarines requires quite a bit of gardener effort but many believe that it’s worth it. If you love nectarines, planting one of these natural dwarfs in the backyard is a great way to get a fresh supply every year. You’ll get the annual harvest in early summer. Nectarine Nectar babes thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9. That means very hot and very cold climates are not appropriate.
To get started, you’ll need to select a full sun location for the tree. Whether you are planting in a container or in the earth, you’ll have the best luck growing Nectar Babe nectarines in fertile, well-drained soil.
Irrigate regularly during the growing season and add fertilizer periodically. Although Nectar Babe nectarine information says you shouldn’t trim these small trees as much as standard trees, pruning is definitely required. Prune the trees annually during winter, and remove dead and diseased wood and foliage from the area to curb disease spread.
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Read more about Nectarines
20 Different Types of Nectarines
One of the most common and yummiest fruits out there, the nectarine is actually a naturally occurring genetic variant of the peach. A member of the Prunus persica species of fruit-bearing plants, the nectarine and peach are so closely genetically related that there have been cases of a single peach tree producing both nectarines and peaches at the same time. Generally speaking, where you find peaches, you also find nectarines.
Nectarines are believed to have originated in what is now Zhejiang Province in China, where there is evidence that they were cultivated by humans as far back as 6,000 years ago. A relatively hardy plant that adapts well in non-tropical, moderate environments, peaches and nectarines made their way through Asia and the Middle East probably as the result of trade, landing in Ancient Greece in the 4 th Century BC and quickly spreading across Southern Europe. They were introduced to the New World by the Spanish explorers in the mid-1500s, where they immediately flourished.
An estimated 25 million tons of peaches and nectarines are cultivated every year, with China producing over fifty percent of the annual crop. Other major producers include the United States, Italy, Spain, and Iran. Nectarines do not grow well in very hot or very cold climates, and will usually require a moderate combination of both to thrive.
Due to their general adaptability and strength, many home gardeners around the world plant nectarine trees in their gardens. In the United States, most nectarine plants offered for sale come with a ‘Zone Rating’ from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) indicating in which Plant Hardiness Zones of the country that particular plant will best grow. The higher the rating, the warmer the climate will be.
The major difference between the nectarine and the peach is the skin: peaches have a slightly ‘fuzzy’ skin, while the skin of the nectarine is perfectly smooth. Nectarines also tend to be a bit smaller, and have a slightly tangier flavor and firmer flesh. The skin is edible and, like the peach, nectarines have a pit imbedded in the center of the flesh. Most nectarines have a white, yellow or reddish flesh, and are rich in vitamins A, C, B6 and E they are also a good source iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc.
While there are well over 1,000 nectarine variations (and more being created by horticultural researchers all the time), generally speaking there are two main types of nectarines: freestone and clingstone. In the freestone variety the pit in the center of the fruit comes away from the flesh easily. With the clingstone, the pit is deeply imbedded and is quite hard to remove, which makes them a bit messier to eat on their own. Both varieties can be consumed raw, or can be cooked for use in jams, preserves and other applications.
So let’s take a look at some of the most common and popular types of nectarines.
Planting and Growing Conditions
As noted earlier, the first thing that you need to do is to choose an indoor variety of nectarine. The dwarf varieties are the best since their average height is only six to eight feet, making them perfect indoor plants. It is best to grow nectarines from a young plant as against growing it from seeds. This is especially true if you do not want to wait long before the tree bears fruit and if you are a beginner in gardening. Now that your plant is ready, soak the roots in water for about an hour or two. Soaking it for a longer time is a no-no since this can damage the roots.
Next, prepare your container and soil. The container must have a capacity of 18 to 20 gallons. In the case of planting from a sapling, you can usually start with a small container. When the plant grows bigger, you need to transfer it to a larger container. Fill the pot with the right soil mix. Avoid soil that is too heavy and compact. Rather, use a moisture-retentive and well-draining soil. The soil should be neutral to slightly acidic.
It is Best to Grow Nectarines from a Young Plant
After planting the nectarine in a pot, the next thing that you have to do is to select the right location for the plant. A south-facing wall is a good choice. A windowsill is also excellent since it is bright and warm, yet there is no direct heat from the sun. It is important that the plant receives six to eight hours of full sun in a day.
Large in size with creamy-white skin, the Heavenly White nectarine has a white flesh that is adored by nectarine-lovers. It is a freestone variety that matures in mid-season.
This is an oval-shaped nectarine that is average in size and bright red in color. Its flesh is yellow with red streaks, and it is a delicious-tasting nectarine with a large stone.
Vertical splits in bark appear spring or early summer, usually on the south or east side of the tree. Disease or insect infestations may then occur.
Whitewash trunk and lower limbs with interior latex paint cut 50/50 with water each fall until bark has thickened. Avoid planting in frost pockets or where water collects in winter.
Injury occurs during pattern of warm days followed by freezing nights. Sap gets stuck in trunk, freezes, then rapidly thaws in the warm sun the next day, rupturing cells.