Are White Peaches more challenging

Or is it just me? I have several white peach trees that have fruit for the first time this year (my first white peaches ever, in fact). Even though my white peaches are located in a variety of conditions, spread around my property,
and are different varieties and ages, every one of them have more bug bites and more disease issues both. They even get a lot more bird bites! My white peaches get the same spray program and are treated equally in every way. But they just have more problems in general- as if they are just weaker in general, or somehow more attractive to bugs, disease, fungus, birds, etc.

So I’m just curious…am I just extremely unlucky or are white peaches considered generally harder to grow/ more plagued with problems? Thanks.

My white is probably 6-7 leafs and has never produced well. This year it is not even making new wood, hardly, with only a 1/2 dozen peaches. This is it’s last yr, I will replace it with Red Haven. I haven’t noticed anymore bug bites than my other RH trees or Elbertas. I see no reason to grow much else here but RH. They are just so reliable and way over produce.

I not have difference between my peaches, insects or birds attack like some than to others

If you love 'em, the only real reason to grow another variety would be to extend the harvest season.


Interesting. THanks for the input. Sort of mixed responses so far. I’ve always been told that nectarines are considered harder to grow and general have more issues that peaches, so I thought the same might be true for white peaches vs yellow.

White lady is very productive here in missouri and taste good


I have a 3rd year Saturn peach that produces more than it can handle. I’ve trimmed off about 80% of fruitlets early after marble sizes but still end up too many. Hence the under size at maturity, which is about now…

My chest height Saturn peach…


Birds, squirrels and raccoons all like as little acid with that sugar as possible and the sweeter the better. Often a net is needed if you want to grow Saturn peaches around here, I was at a site a couple days ago where they were destroying green ones. I thought only squirrels and chipmunks enjoyed chewing up green fruit. Not only was the damage obvious bird pecking but a pair was dive bombing into the tree while I tended others nearby. Nets were supposed to go up within an hour after I left.

I’m glad I like acid with my sugar. It isn’t just white peaches- any low acid peach or nectarine have similar attractiveness, it seems.

Now I don’t know about greater insect attraction- but I take care of the insects.

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Last year, I have only 3. This year, if I didn’t prune, trim and pluck, I would have way more than 300 little white peaches.

The squirrel stole one last year but somehow, I don’t see much stolen this year, not many insect bites nor fungus. Only the rabbits chewed off the lower branches, hence the green fence around this tree.

Maybe next year yours would pick up after a year of root building, energy storing…?


Again, all great information and I loved the photos of those Saturns! I’ve always wanted to try them and your report and photos make me want to even more.

I am especially interested in Alan’s comments because just like he said, the birds are hitting my white peaches while they are still very, very green. I’ve never, ever had that happen with my yellow peaches. Usually the birds start on them just about 2-3 days before I would be picking them for myself (which makes it all the more aggravating). But they are hitting my white peaches while they are still hard as a rock and haven’t even started to color up. Like Alan, I didn’t know any animals liked completely green fruit like that. Even my free range chickens will- at the very most- only take about one small test bite (peck?) on a green peach and then walk away. In fact, I have literally watched them spit out the one bite they take from a green peach. haha

Thanks again for the information and interest. Still seems to be some mixed experiences but the commonalities are also informative. Thanks.


I have more problems by far with most white peaches than yellows (although of course there are exceptions). The one problem you left out is that many white peaches brown easily and bruise easier.

My biggest problem with white peaches is bac. spot though. Many of them are very susc., but would probably not be near as much of a problem in backyard orchards. Many whites also taste yucky, yucky.

There are some good whites which perform well for me. Spring Snow has been an excellent early white peach for me the last two years. Very high quality in the flavor category. It does get some bac. spot, but still plenty of marketable fruit (even though the fruit is small). Compare that to a couple other early white peaches like Sugar May (Blahhh) and Early Red Fre (Double Blahhh). Early Red Fre is so bad, I have a tree which produced probably 3 bu. of fruit and didn’t sell a single one. They just taste awful to me. No sugar, yucky. Same story last year, lots of large beautiful looking fruit, which tasted horrible.

In contrast to Jwsemo, I pulled my White Ladys out last year. It was strictly a bac. spot issue for me. They got spot so bad they dropped their leaves and fruit, as do most Ziager creations for me.

Raritan Rose is a decent white peach for me. Nothing outstanding in the flavor category, but decent.

Klondike will go this year because of bac. spot. Trees drop leaves and fruit.

Ditto for NJ252 (Summer Pearl)

Removed Sugar Giant last year for the same reason

Blushingstar is better, but it still gets bac. spot worse than average.

Lady Nancy is a nice clean white peach with good flavor. Easy to grow.

I love Saturn (except for the stem pick damage). It sells so easily. I’ve yet to hand out a sample where someone didn’t like it, and almost everyone is wowed (like Spring Snow). As Alan pointed out, birds did attack Saturn last year in a disproportionate sense, but they couldn’t seem to find my one Saturn tree this year. I like this variety enough, I made 14 copies of it last fall.

TangOs 2 is another good one. It’s about like Saturn, but non melting and less pick damage. Very sweet.

Overall, I’ve found white peaches about as hard to grow as nectarines, but there are some whites as easy to grow as yellows.


That is odd, although my white lady is only 4, so not long enough for a long term opinion, my friend who has been growing them for many many years in his roughly 60 acre orchard, has very little trouble. And at least here it is a good peach, and hangs on the tree a long time for a peach. I guess everything is local. How do you rate lady nancy, I have thought about it but if it’s not really good I would pass on it and add silver gem nectarine. Have you tried spice z, my tree is only 3 but has done well and has a good flavor.

Squirrels have been into my sugar pears this year, too

Not the other pears that I don’t care so much about, just the 2 dozen of these - and they’re in bags!

I netted the tree

Adding - it’s been very dry this season

Here, Rariton Rose is actually relatively easy even compared to yellows. I’ve seen perfect, unblemished peaches without a single fungicide application here when weather is particularly cooperative. Boy, do they look beautiful in the tree.

Saturn has a bit more sugar than most spherical whites, and that’s what puts it over the top in consumer appreciation, IMO, although I’m sure the shape helps…

White lady sucks here if you like some acid. It is easy and reliable, and to say it holds on the tree is a massive understatement. It was likely bred to get adequate sugar to pick hard and then get up to a month to reach the consumer under refrigeration. That seems a goal of Zaiger’s with many of their patents for obvious reasons. Sometimes getting up the sugar early can mean extremely high sugar if you wait for fruit to nearly soften on the tree. White Lady just sits and doesn’t improve at a certain point so, to my tastes, isn’t high enough sugar to actually be a worthwhile peach. At about 13 brix it just doesn’t do it for me. Olpea pretty much shares my taste with peaches from what I’ve gathered.

Some of my customers really liked White Lady when I carried it in my nursery and orchard, but I don’t, so they won’t get any more trees from me. Great business model, right?


I probably have more bac. spot pressure at the farm than most folks. My site is very windy. Plus I have a lot of varieties which are highly susc. to bac. spot. I’ve read too many susc. bac. spot varieties will make even resistant trees show more problems w/ bac. spot. Still, I am surprised White Lady does well in your friend’s 60 acre orchard. It was one of the worst bac. spot offenders for me last year. Others were Snow Giant, September Snow, Snowbrite (I noticed I accidentally left those three off my previous post) and Sugar Giant. I removed all these varieties last year.

I only removed one yellow variety last year due to bac. spot, despite that my orchard has a lot more yellow varieties than whites, so I guess I agree w/ Cityman that whites are definitely more challenging to grow for me than yellows.

I do have two more yellow varieties to remove this year due to bac. spot, in addition to 3 more white varieties due to the same reason (I’m removing Sugar May because of flavor and bac. spot both.)

Alan is absolutely correct that growing Raritan Rose is like falling off a log. Full crops, large fruit. Again nothing outstanding in the eating category, but pretty decent for a white peach.

Lady Nancy can be a terrific white peach. I’ve grown this peach for several years and normally it’s very very good. Has some white peach flavor with some yellow acid zing. Last year was the first year I was disappointed because they didn’t produce enough sugar, so they weren’t that good. I think this was an anomaly mostly though, because a lot of our peaches last year didn’t have enough sugar. We’ll see if the same thing happens this year. Silver Gem is very good, imo.

I haven’t tried Spice Z, I figured it would just be another bac. spot magnet for me. I plan on doing a lot less trialing of new peaches, unless they are rated good for res. against bac. spot.

Lady Nancy was taken as a sport of Jersey Queen, a big, high quality yellow similar to Loring, I believe. That’s probably why it “tastes good”, it is sort of like a high quality yellow peach masquerading as a white.

Always nice to hear from the king of peaches! If you are in agreement that white peaches are more difficult to grow than yellows (in general) then I feel much better about my own observations/experience with them.

I’m also glad you realize that even though you are good a growing peaches, most backyard hobbyists don’t have any luck. Almost every conversation I have with non-fruit growers about me growing peaches, they say "I used to have a peach tree(s) and I tried everything I could and never got anything but worms and spots and knotty little inedible peaches. Its one of the reasons I enjoy growing peaches so much…the way it shocks people when I give them some beautiful, delicious, worm free fruits. I love seeing their reactions. And they are truly appreciative. When I give someone a box of veggies, they say thanks and are glad to have them. But when I give someone a box of peaches they just go on and on about how hard it is to get good peaches, how much they love them, how happy they are I gave them some, and so on. Its the whole reason I have about 20 peach trees even though I live alone and I don’t sell fruit.

That box of yours is just incredible! I also found it interesting to hear you talk about how picky peach buyers are about the look of their fruit. I can’t help but think part of that is they are comparing to grocery store peaches. Now, we all know that store-bought peaches taste awful 99% of the time. But you have to admit, they usually look almost perfect. I’m sure that’s from heavy pesticides, picking them fairly green, and rushing them to market. So they taste bad or don’t taste at all, but they look perfect. So I think a lot of people don’t give much thought to the incredible difference in taste when they are buying peaches, they just remember how the peaches in the grocery store look and compare that to tree-ripened, local orchard or backyard peaches, and think they aren’t as good because they have blemishes. That is so maddening to me and the rest of us here because we know that appearance is a TINY part of what makes local peaches so incredible.

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That’s absolutely true. I sell peaches at farmer’s markets in boxes which hold a little more than a quart box. I get people all the time who want me to trade out a peach in a box because it doesn’t look good enough. Generally, I can control it somewhat because the customer gets to choose his/her box, so they can get the best looking box they want of all the boxes on the table.

Occasionally I get a customer who will actually start switching out peaches back and forth from the boxes, to make him/her a perfect box. This usually aggravates me enough I stop them.


We got alot of that too before we started using clamshells. The worst possible scenario is to put fruit out on a table for people to choose from. That always results in massive pawing and bruising with very little sales. Its odd to think that the less choice people have the greater the sales, but thats exactly how it is for us.

Aw oh! That would be me, except that I don’t buy that few at a time. :pensive: I expect a bit of bruising, blemishes, and frogging when buying them in bulk sizes, but if there are only a few peaches in a container, I’m much more finicky. But you already know I’m an awful customer when it comes to peaches! :smile:

@amadioranch Eric, I don’t fit in well with the upscale customers. I’d be likely to keep walking if I saw peaches in clamshells. They’d have to be absolutely perfect and perfectly ripe to tempt me to pay for the packaging. It works well for you with your location and customer base, but not so well in the middle of peach country where we’re used to seeing them sold by the crate from the backs of trucks along the roadsides.

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