Disease resistant peaches, nectarines, and stonefruits

I’m in York County South Carolina, below Charlotte NC and above Columbia SC, zone 7b/8a, super humid. I have a peach that I grew from seed that’s making whopper good tasting peaches for the second year now, no spray, no irrigation, just pruning because it’s very vigorous . I’d give the flavor an 8; I’ve had better but it’s definitely quite good. It must be a late June bearer because it’s about half done bearing now.
We’ll, I always had the notion that I’d plant hundreds of seeds and get some good ones, but I really want a few extremely reliable peaches and nectarines (perhaps other stone fruits) for June through fall. I’ve read a handful of other threads but I figured I’d make a new thread for any new insights or old firm conclusions. Looking for A. Brown rot and bacterial spot resistance, and B. Flavor Should I just stick with Prince series and the NC bred peaches? Here we go, for the southeast, bulletproof stone fruits that taste great. Thanks!


Glad to hear your good news. However, to evaluate peaches, you need at least 5 years to see if your tree really has no problem with brown rot and no pest infestation.

The first couple of years, pests may not find your fruit while fungus and bacteria have not accumulated at a damaging amount yet.

After 5 years, if this peach still is pest-free and brown rot-free, I would love to get scionwood from it.


Stone fruits are difficult from a disease and insect point of view. As already mentioned diseases and insects may take several years to show up.

You’re going to need a spray schedule to control brown rot and maybe include a spray to control peach leaf curl and/or bacterial spot. For insects an insecticide spray or bagging the fruit will probably be needed at some point. If your wanting brown rot resistant peaches I would suggest Glohaven, Elberta, and Baby Gold #5. They are listed as resistant to brown rot in the link below.


Thank you for not having the defeated mindset and trying to grow no spray / organic peaches in SC!! It seems you have already added to the gene pool very effectively! I think a new set of fruit breeding is what we need for the future to deal with all the forced and some needed changes that are coming up. Maybe you could get more DR delicious varieties with a spread out harvest and start your own series from breeding all those!


Congratulations on your results so far! My climate is similar to yours. Disease can be a problem here even with a moderate fungicide spray program. It’s possible you have something exceptional. Hope your results over time are good. My experience is that disease problems have a tendency to build up over time but I make no effort to pick up drops so my orchard is full of disease on the ground. Some of my Prince or NCSU peaches are less susceptible to brown rot and bacterial spot than others but none I grow are truly resistant.

Please keep us informed on your progress. I would love to be able to grow commercial peaches with less fungicide.

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I’m not optimistic your peach will be doing well in five years if you don’t spray, there doesn’t seem to be enough resistance in the limited peach gene pool that has made it to the US. I have grown probably over 100 peach varieties over the years and I never found one. Indian Cling is relatively the most bulletproof, it is very hard fleshed which deters the bugs and diseases. It is more a cooking peach though.


I have to agree with everyone else. I’m actually downsizing my stone fruit collection. Just sticking with early ripening stones so I can do less spraying. Brown rot has been a losing battle. Elberta has done the best of my collection though.


Oh this tree definitely isn’t brown rot free, but both brown rot and bacterial spot are extremely low compared to the dozens of other seedling peaches I have. Some have hundreds of fruits with 100% loss to fungus, and most of the others are severely infected and produce inferior fruit. I don’t have a controlled situation either, they’re spread out over an acre, some have pasture under them, some are super close together, some have chickens run under them periodically, etc. I don’t intend to market this seedling, at least not any time soon, since I know other locally available cultivars are superior, at least at this point. I’ll send you scion wood though if it proves itself over time.

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I’m not necessarily optimistic either, but this one has impressed me twice since starting it as a seed about 8 years ago. It is on the same acre as maybe 40 other stone fruits that I started from seed and so far nearly all of those are inferior; the ones that have produced peaches have had all or most of their fruits totally overcome by disease. I’m not suggesting that we have all the diseases and bugs already, but we certainly have enough to make a tremendous impact on the fruits, although all the trees are extremely vigorous and I’d use any of them as a rootstock in a heartbeat. I refuse to spray, put on fruit baggies, or intervene at all other than pruning, running chickens and goats through, and mowing around them. I’ll just keep planting seeds and cutting down the failures. I’m mainly looking for a dozen or two varieties well suited to the humid southeast that ripen over the entire season.


Here’s a pic of some of the fruits we got from that tree a couple days ago. The fruits are ranging in size from baseball to softball (some whoppers!). I’ll take a pic of the tree later on.


Another pic of an almost softball sized one.


Ah, if it is the best out of 40 I am more optimistic… it could be similar to my Indian Cling. I have tried many other supposedly disease resistant varieties (the NC ones for example) and they were not a whole lot different … they were just average rotters instead of being horrible rotters.

Your chickens and goats are helping with the bugs I am sure, the drops with bugs in them will get eaten up! The curculio and OFM are the other things besides brown rot that make peaches impossible without some sort of intervention.

For plums @coolmantoole has posted about his experiences with Chickasaw plums, e.g.

Hopefully he will chime in here…

It’s good to hear that this one stands out among many esp. in an uncontrolled environment.

Please continue to keep us posted.

I’ll keep you all posted, I’ll surely report back at harvest time every year. My wife took a couple pics of the one she’s munching on right now; here you can see that it’s mostly Freestone with thick juicy flesh. A very small amount clings but hardly even enough to nibble at.


A quarter of one


What sprays do you recommend to combat bacterial leaf spot on peaches and nectarines? Thanks! Frank

I don’t focus on spraying for spot much any more, I focus on pruning to keep trees very open. My spot problems have not been bad for several years. The only spray I do now that is for the spot is a delayed dormant copper, I do that every year. You can use the full dormant strength at that point still.

Back when I was not pruning well and had lots of spot I did several more dilute copper sprays early in the season.

What is your favorite peach and nectarine varieties that combine great flavor with disease resistance? Thanks

There are some threads on this forum with recommendations but there are so many variables that no one variety will meet everyone’s needs. Having them well spaced for ventilation, in full sun, with water when they need it, and very fertile soil go a long way.

I am in zone 7a (middle Tennessee) where it is hot and humid in the summer and wet in the late winter/Spring.