Although peaches are often associated with warmer climates, they are actually perfectly suited to growing in the UK. Discover some of the most delicious types of peaches to grow at home, including white peaches and flat peaches.
The cultivation of peach trees (Prunus persica) goes back thousands of years, and they are a hugely popular fruit around the globe. It is estimated there are over 200 different peach varieties to choose from.
What are the different types of peaches?
Peach varieties are commonly divided into groups based on their flesh, for instance white peaches, red-fleshed peaches, and yellow peaches. They can also be classified by shape, one example being flat peaches, also known as donut peaches.
Aside from colour and shape, characteristics such as time to maturity are also used to differentiate between different peach varieties. There are early varieties that ripen in July and later varieties that can fruit well into autumn. Frost hardiness and disease resistance, such as to the common leaf curl (Taphrina deformans), are also features that are sometimes used to classify different types of peaches.
Then there are also freestone peach varieties and clingstone peach varieties. Freestone means the flesh is not attached to the pit, while clingstone varieties have the flesh attached. Freestone peach varieties, also known as cling-free varieties, are easier to prepare, so lend themselves well to baking, cooking or canning. Clingstone peach varieties usually ripen earlier and the flesh browns if damaged when being cut from the pit. For these reasons, these varieties are best eaten fresh from the tree.
The best peach tree varieties for growing at home
There is a wide range of peach varieties perfectly suited to the UK climate. Most types of peach trees are hardy in all areas of the UK except for the farthest northern regions. However, they do need shelter to protect the delicate blossoms in spring and need at least six hours of sun each day during the summer. Keep reading to discover some of the best types of peaches to grow in your garden.
- ‘Peregrine’: The ‘Peregrine’ peach tree produces delicious white peaches from mid-August until early September. It is a peach best grown under cover in most of the UK, but could work in a sheltered spot in the south of the UK.
- ‘Duke of York’: The peach tree ‘Duke of York’ is an early-ripening and hardy peach tree which produces large and flavoursome white peaches. It is a reliable and heavy cropper that will provide a harvest from mid-July.
- ‘Amsden June’: This is the earliest ripening peach tree, ready in late June. Its tender and juicy fruits are slightly smaller than other peach varieties, and have a light-coloured skin with blushes of red.
- ‘Kestrel’: This peach tree reliably produces large white peaches in mid-August that have dappled white and red flesh.
- ‘Avalon Pride’: The ‘Avalon Pride’ peach tree is an early-bearing cultivar, cropping in early August, that is reputedly the most resistant variety to peach leaf curl. It is very suited to the UK and less susceptible to frost damage.
- ‘Red Haven’: This peach tree also shows some resistance to leaf curl and produces fruits with a strong flavour in early August.
- ‘Rochester’: A very reliable variety that consistently gives good harvests of large fruits in August. The peach tree Rochester is a late bloomer, which makes it less susceptible to frost damage.
- ‘Bellegarde’: A strong and late cropper that produces large deep red fruits from the start of September.
- ‘Sanguine de Savoie’: The peach tree ‘Sanguine de Savoie’ is a reliable heavy cropper, producing striking red peaches in September with deep red flesh that are very sweet and strongly perfumed.
- ‘Breda’: A hardy peach species that produces a heavy crop of orange-to-red peaches in August.
- ‘Early Alexander’: This is a very hardy type of peach that offers yellow fruits with a red tinge in late-July.
- ‘Saturn’: The ‘Saturn’ peach tree is a flat peach, or donut peach tree, and produces incredibly sweet fruit. Its juice-laden peaches are ready from early August.
- ‘Donut’: Peach tree ‘Donut’ produces a flat peach that is very sweet, firm and great for snacking. The fruits are ready to harvest in August.
- ‘Stark Saturn’: A peach tree that produces juicy, sweet fruits with white flesh from early August.
- ‘Garden Lady’: Perfect for growing in pots. ‘Garden lady’ produces juicy and sweet yellow peaches ready to pick in August.
- ‘Terrace Amber’: A naturally dwarf variety that has red-yellow fruits in August after pink flowers in Spring.
Tip: If you are growing a peach tree in a container, it is important to use good compost. Our Plantura Organic All Purpose Compost contains all the nutrients required to grow strong and healthy fruit trees.
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The nectarine (Prunus persica var. nucipersica) is closely related to the peach. This smooth-skinned alternative to a peach might be something to consider cultivating in your garden. Learn how to grow nectarines at home in our dedicated article on growing and caring for nectarine trees.