By Vanessa Richins
Mary C. writes: “I would like to plant a dwarf peach tree in a container and bring it indoors for the winter for year round peaches. Will this work? What size container? What kind of soil?”
Hello. I have some good news and some bad news.
You certainly can plant a dwarf peach tree in a container. Another possibility, depending on the height of your ceiling, could be one of the new columnar peaches, which grow in a very narrow, upright shape.
You would want to start with a container that is a few inches larger than the diameter of your peach tree root ball. The tree should be transplanted to larger pots over time as it grows. You don’t want to get too big of a container at first, or there will be problems with soil and water retention. You want a soil that is well-draining. A planting mix with perlite or vermiculite should do well.
The bad news…the only way that you can enjoy peaches year-round in your own home is if you canned some at the end of the growing season. The peach growing season here in the Northern Hemisphere is April (in mild climates) to September.
The reason we are able to buy peaches year-round is because of the difference in seasons between the two hemispheres. When it is winter here in the Northern Hemisphere,it is summer down in the Southern Hemisphere, and vice versa.
Another reason is that peaches actually do need to go dormant in the winter, so it would be best to leave the peach tree outside. A peach tree must have a certain number of chilling hours – temperatures around 32-50F – before it can come out of its dormancy and start blooming and fruiting again. If it doesn’t meet its chilling hours, the tree will be deformed and won’t produce much fruit, if any.
Good luck! I hope you will have a large crop of luscious peaches someday.