Peach Cultivar Favorites for Zone 6?

I am about to order some summer budwood to add more peaches to my home orchard. I wanted to get any recommendations from those who have tried different cultivars in a similar region.
I am in Eastern KY Zone 6 or 6b not sure which.

Issues here are mostly late freezes and hot humid summers.


Have you seen @olpea’s (almost) yearly report? He has a peach farm and is in KS.


The regional thread that includes Ky and Tennessee may be another good place to ask this question.

I’m also in Ky.
You mentioned adding more peaches to your orchard, are you growing any varieties right now that do well for you?


Reliance peach overall for hardiness. Contender is not bad either.


I used to live in Eastern KY… live in WV now…same climate.

I have tried these locally and have them in my orchard now…

Early- Redhaven, Contender
Late- O’Henry

Not tried yet but growing- Red Baron, Indian Blood and Redskin

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This document from UK might be helpful.

Redhaven seems to be a benchmark cultivar—even in difficult peach climates like Kentucky and Kansas. Put one out this spring, so we’ll see how it goes.


Thank you, I did read that but I also value growers experiences. I have Redhaven and it has been disappointing so far, small peaches, very sour and a shy bearer.

Hmm, that is surprising for Redhaven. Where did you get your tree from? I wonder if it is a mis-label?

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I concur. My mom has a mature Redhaven that puts out several hundred peaches. My Redhaven fruited for the first time this spring and had ten fruit.

It very well could be mislabeled, it was a small tree from kroger bought 8 years ago.

For taste if you like a sweet peach like me nothing beats a donut peach. They are so sugary good.

Different z 6 , Rocky Mountain foothills, but ‘Polly’ a sub-acid white peach is almost reliable.

Developed in Iowa in the 1920s so presumably some adaptation to humid conditions.

@Aeneas61 I am in Central KY and have success with Contender peach ( pic in Avatar) very flavorful and fruited heavily last year and again this year.

We liked it so much that I planted 2 more contender trees this year. I also have Belle of Georgia and Jefferson but not as fruitful as Contender. Reliance is young and have not fruited yet. Saturn donut peach is earliest to flower and gets frost bit every year.

What I really like about Contender is the frost resistance of flowers. They are resilient.

You should plant contender for sure. Happy growing.


I have Contender that is doing well in NE Indiana. It needed thinned a lot this year. It had hundreds of peaches on it. It did well last year also but I forgot about it and let them all fall to the ground.

This is actually a very common issue on this forum. Mislabels are such a common problem. I’ve seen more than my share of mislabels, but have been able to identify them, as far as I can tell, by the sheer volume of trees ordered. Still lots of folks on the forum purchase one tree and naturally feel they have an authentic tree with which they can evaluate the cultivar.

In many cases, if the tree doesn’t match historical consensus, there may be good reason to question the traits of the tree, until some definitive identifying conclusive traits can be established.

One peach tree I’ve not been able to conclusively establish is Spring Snow because it was shipped originally as a mislabel and others have had variable results with the fruit. However, another fellow member of the forum and I exchanged scionwood to test this cultivar. We should be able to offer a more comprehensive and confident analysis next year.


Fyi, one other thing regarding Spring Snow. I’m really starting to doubt that the cultivar we have is Spring Snow. Not only do others who grow Spring Snow report different traits, but after examining the reported traits in the extension publication which JeremiahT posted, there are differences there as well.

Namely, the publication says the cultivar is prone to split pits, prone to bac. spot, and produces good yields. I’ve not see those same traits with the cultivar we’re growing, although there are some split pits (common with any early cultivar) it’s less than other early cultivars. The cultivar we are growing is immune to bac. spot, and a very light producer.

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Small sour peaches usually means you have the rootstock, not the wrong variety. It is very common to have the rootstock grow out and the grower not to catch that. They often paint the graft spots to help them detect this but it doesn’t always work.


I have a Contender peach tree that I really like out of all 8 trees. Reason being they blossom really late and their blooms last longer than all of my other varieties. So spring freeze would affect them least haha. I am in zone 7.


I’d love to get my hands on some Siberian C peach rootstock

Many people don’t like big box stores because of their rampant mislabeling of plants. Mislabeled plants from nursery is something many don’t talk about but also happens. I still remember buying a Fatallii pepper from a local nursery when I was still new to gardening. Turned out the fatalii grew so fast because it was a jalipino.

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