How to grow peaches in your sub-tropical Florida Garden!
Prunus persica 'Florida Prince'
It has taken 45 years of research and very hard work, but finally Florida scientists have come up with peach trees that will not only grow, but produce fruit in Florida as far south as Miami!
Developed by University of Florida researchers with cooperation from Florida growers, the Florida Prince Peach was specifically created to produce in the warmer climates of Florida. The result is a delicious and juicy early-season peach.
Here you see a peach tree growing in the Mounts Botanical Garden in West Palm Beach, Florida.
The great thing about the Florida Prince Peach is that it needs only 150 "chill hours" to produce flowers, new leaves and fruit -- that is 150 hours of temperatures at or below 45 degrees fahrenheit.
Althought the chilling hours are down, there are still some issues to be aware of when growing peaches in South Florida. The first issue is the Caribbean fruit fly which lays eggs in the developing fruit and spoils it. Because of these critters you will need to bag the peaches to keep the fruit fly out of them (like you would do to keep them out of papaya fruit). Another issue is soil chemistry. Peach trees don't like high pH (alkaline) soil (found where there is limestone or shell underlying the soil). In high pH soils, certain nutrients are chemically unavailable to peach trees which causes deficiencies of iron, zinc and others. However, micronutrient and chelated iron sprays can be applied to prevent nutrient deficiencies.