How to Grow Nectarines – A Beginner’s Guide

nectarines plant growing in garden
Nectarines, which are known botanically as Prunus persica var. nucipersica, are a type of fruit that can easily be grown at home. Continue reading to learn the basics of growing nectarines as well as common mistakes to avoid along the way.

Best Time to Plant Nectarines

This will depend largely on your local climate, but as a rule of thumb, begin to plant the nectarine seeds in late fall or early spring, using bare-root or container-grown trees. This is the best time to ensure that the seedlings survive the weather.

To check when nectarines are most likely to thrive in your area, see the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. If you live outside the US, do a quick search for ‘plant hardiness zone + [city]’.

How to Plant Nectarines the Right Way

There are a number of things to consider that will help you avoid some of the common mistakes of growing nectarines in your home garden.

Often overlooked, your soil can have a huge impact on how well your nectarines grow. Generally, your soil should be well-drained and fertile. Soil PH levels should be around 6.0 to 6.5.

12-20 feet apart in rows 15-20 feet apart, depending on the rootstock. 12-20 feet apart in rows 15-20 feet apart, depending on the rootstock. The seeds should be sowed at a depth of about 24-36″. For each plant, be sure to sow at least a few seeds to ensure that at least one of them will germinate.

Begin thinning your nectarine seedlings 12-20 feet apart when trees are 1-2 years old, depending on the rootstock.

How Much Sunlight is Needed to Grow Nectarines

The amount of sunlight is another key to a successful harvest. Too much sunlight will dry out your nectarines. Not enough sunlight will stunt your its growth or even kill it.

Ideally, your nectarines should be getting full sun, which means as much sunlight as you can possibly give it, or at least 6 hours or more.

How Much to Water Nectarines

As you’ve figured by now, a lot can have an impact on how well your nectarines do, and the amount of water is no different.

Ideally, the soil should be damp to touch; not soggy or bone dry. If the leaves on your nectarines begin to change colors or start to look droopy, you need to adjust how much water you’re giving it.

Unfortunately, if you give it too much or too little water, you can kill it, so it’s best to just keep an eye on it and water as needed.

How Long Does it Take Nectarines to Germinate and Grow?

Now the fun part begins and you get to watch your nectarines grow.

It takes approximately trees do not need to germinate to germinate, and a total of 3-4 years for fruit production from seed to harvest.

When to Harvest Nectarines

The best time to harvest your nectarines is when nectarines are fully colored, slightly soft to the touch, and separate easily from the tree.

Nectarines can grow up to about varies by variety, typically 2-3″ diameter fruit.

What Can Nectarines Be Used For?

Food Use: great for snacking, baking, and preserves.

Flavor Profile: varies by variety, from sweet to tangy and juicy to firm.

Can Nectarines Grow in Pots and Containers?

Yes, you can plant dwarf varieties in 18-24″ containers. This can help control weeds and keep your plant from growing out of control.

It also gives you the flexibility to move your nectarines around if you need to adjust sunlight or bring it indoors to avoid harsh weather conditions.

Are Nectarines Safe for Bees?

Yes, nectarines are safe for bees.

According to, bees pollinate human food crops that make up about 90% of the world’s nutrition.

Given their importance in our ecosystem and food supply, I feel it is important to note that growing nectarines is bee-friendly.

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