Spice Zee Nectaplum early flowering in 6b?

Hey all, long time reader first time poster. I just picked up a Nectaplum bareroot tree after pondering different nectarine options and settling on the Spice Zee due to the foliage and good fruit reviews (subjective I know). The bareroot already had thrown some flowers, which is making me wonder if it’s prone to early season flowering. We get late frosts into mid April here in Boise and apricots are tough but peaches seem to do pretty well overall. I don’t know anyone growing Nectaplums here - so I’m second guessing this tree choice and wondering if I should opt for a Harko or Fantasia.

I’d love any input from Nectaplum growers in late spring frost prone climates - or from anyone who can compare to Harko or Fantasia nectarines as far as hardiness and fruit quality.

Thanks! - Sean

I think Spice Zee is rated 200-300 chill hrs. I have one in North TX. Gorgeous tree, has not flowered yet but has pink buds. We get late spring frosts till end of March. It’s flowered ok, sets well, but fruit are very susceptible to plum curculio and likely brown rot. I understand it tastes like a very sweet white nectarine.


Thanks for your input. Does your Spice Zee flower earlier than other stone fruits where you are?

Spice Zee Nectaplum doesn’t flower the earliest of my stone fruit,but before other Peaches and Nectarines of mine,except for Raspberry Red Nectarine.
The others are Fantasia,Honey Kist,Mid Pride,Stanwick and Indian Free.All are mostly sleeping still.

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Not unusual for trees to flower too early bareroot as they were grown in a warmer environment. It tells you nothing about when it will flower once established. And if you had a tree delivered already, it definitely came from a warmer environment and is flowering accordingly.
Also comparing yellows to whites doesn’t tell you much. It’s best to compare to other whites. Harko and Fantasia are yellows. One needs both yellow and white!! :slight_smile: I could use some scion of Harko! I heard it’s pretty good.


my spice zee is in full bloom right now. it’s a few days to a week ahead of fantasia and suncrest and probably two weeks ahead of later peaches

last year when I planted it bare root it was in cold storage till maybe April so it bloomed a month late and the three fruit I let it mature were a month late too! I was worried it was in a harvest window I didn’t want until I realized what happened


That’s interesting. Yes when plants grown in other zones and shipped to yours, or in cold storage for some time, bloom times can be early or late the first year.
You guys in warmer zones have your flowering more spread out. Here in 6a mine tend to be compact. All bloom within 10 days. None bloomed more than 7 days apart in 9 years.
My nectaplum usually blooms about 30 days from now. I’m about to give them their last dormant spray. It was 21F last night, no blooming going on here, not even honeyberries. No sign at all of tulips either, that should be any day now though.
The ground is not even workable yet. Half inch of snow today too.

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Ok, that makes sense. That’s what I was hoping was the case.

Good point. Maybe we just need the Spice Zee AND a Harko.

1-2 weeks ahead of others could be trouble for our mid-April frosts. Do you ever lose blooms to late frosts over in the Willamette Valley?

I dunno this will be the first year with a natural wake-up. so far it’s stayed ahead of the MSU frost damage chart in the last couple freezes like the 19F a couple weeks ago and the 26F a few days ago, it was just in the right development spot to be fine for both. the mid-april frosts I’ve experienced have been weak things like 30F, 31F, for a couple hours at the end of the night, the sort of thing that’ll kill tomatoes but won’t touch tree fruit. a serious mid-april thing would wipe out a lot more than spice zee I think

Spring Freeze Damage Thresholds for Tree Fruit

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I’m in 6b and Spice Zee is on early side for me in terms of blooming times. Its not my first blooming stone fruit but is earlier than most of my trees. So yes, I do loose fruits some years. But I love its red/purple foliage and the fruit is among my very favorite- just wonderful and sweet! My biggest complaint about Spice Zee has already been listed by @7catcmom . It is an incredible magnet for PC. And as Ellen said, it also is highly susceptible to Brown Rot… In spite of these issues, I still like it for its beauty and taste.


I think so! And send me some cuttings :slight_smile:

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Hey Kevin, is it on par with apricots for you as far as bloom time and likelihood of losing fruit in a late frost? I agree - the pictures of the foliage I’ve seen are what got me interested, very cool. My wife was petitioning for a Japanese maple in the front yard and I thought Spice Zee was a good compromise haha.

Spice Zee bloomed a little later than most of my apricots here in 6b, but only by about a week. So its early, but not as bad as apricots. I’ve almost never got apricot fruit from my trees. I think 2 times in about 9 years and both those were only the late to open buds. The rest were lost to frost. But I’ve got Spice Zee fruit about 1/2 the time or a little more.

What is funny is that you are absolutely not the first one who has said that they got their wife to compromise a spice zee for a Japanese maple! ha. Its a good trade, IMHO. However, just so you know, later in the summer the spice Zee looses a lot of its color and the leaves get closer to regular peach tree leaves. They retain a purplish tint but not that vibrant, bright reddish purple that all the nursery sites show in their photos of spice zee. But its still pretty.

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Yeah it does, but it’s colder here so some remain fairly red. What stays red is Hollywood plum. Looks a lot different than Spice Zee too. I lost my graft. I have some Hollywood scion coming. I would like to do a whole tree. Both i think are stunning.
With Spice Zee even the fruits are very dark at first, a very cool tree as is Hollywood. On Hollywood the fruit is tart, red like the leaves, looks and tastes like cranberries. Probably excellent in baked goods.

Two of the easiest things to deal with IMHO.

I have been able to keep PC and brown rot away from Spice Zee. I have had more problems with pluots, but it was my own fault. I missed a spray. All the nects were fine even next to infected pluots. I removed them as soon as I saw them.

Lost all my Spice Zee fruit to PC last year (had sprayed spinosad, Indar and Surround). Adding Avaunt this year. Fingers crossed!

I have been using Permethrin (Eight) and alternating with lambda-cyhalothrin (plant guard). It’s heavy duty stuff and works very well. Not really worth growing to stay organic. At least these chemicals quickly breakdown and are not persistent in the environment.
I used to get a lot of PC strikes but these days nothing at all.

Do you mean that it’s not really worth growing Spice Zee if you want to stay organic due to the PC problem without spraying permethrin etc?