When to bring potted peaches out of garage?

Hello new here to growing fruit trees in pots. I live in zone 5b and have had my 3 nemaguard peaches in the garage over winter. I posted here a while back that I accidently left them out for a freeze that got down to 15°F. The pots were frozen solid but a commenter reassured me they would be okay. So far they are still looking good, nice green cambium revealed by scratch test today. Despite green cambium one peach does have some various branch dieback 1-2" from tips. Hoping for the best on that one. When can I take them outside and leave them? All winter I’ve battled this anxiety that that leaving them exposed to anything under freezing is going to be death. On the other hand I happily I bring them outside when it get’s into the high 40’s and 50’s - is this even necessary? My instincts tell me watering and keeping them in total darkness for months on end is no good. Maybe I’m totally wrong on that. Thanks all

I reviewed your Dec2022 post. It seemed like it was easy for you to move the potted trees in and out of the garage quickly.

How large are the pots?

Will you continue to grow them in pots or do you want to plant them in-ground soon?

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I’m growing peaches easily here on my “5b” site in SE Vermont. Definitely a site dependent crop here, more than some other fruits. I’ve heard if said that the frost hardiness of the flower buds (ostensibly ~ neg 15 or so on the hardier types) is more limiting than the hardiness of the tree itself, and my experience has borne that out. That said, hardiness isn’t really one thing as rhetorical discussion would suggest, and I’ve had lots of potted things die that would otherwise do fine in the ground. Freeze /thaw cycles, water logging, and ice damage to the crown are all hazards. Your garage sounds like a cozy enough place though, and you’re obviously tending to them, not leaving them to nature’s vagaries. I wouldn’t sweat a bout of 15 degrees, though you’ll probably want to watch that more as the days west on here. I have figs and mulberries wintering in my basement and they are ready to start growing. I won’t be able to set them out and leave them until April or (more likely), May. So it follows that a big part of wintering trees in pots is keeping them dormant until the proper time. And moving them in and out as need be to get them reacquainted with life outside.

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Yes they are on wheels so easily moveable. The pots are 20" x 16.75" so a decent size. I have three of them and realistically only have room in the yard to plant one so two will most likely stay in pots and be on the patio during the warm months that allow it. I guess one question I was trying to get at is if it’s okay to leave them in the garage the entire winter without taking them outside for warm days, and secondly if it’s okay to bring them out permanently with temps that fall into the 20’s at night, mid 40’s daytime which is where we’re at this time of year with temps progressively getting warmer of course. Or best to wait until night temps move closer to upper 30’s. I might be way over thinking all of this - apologies if I am!

I am in zone 6a. I have put my potted peach and nectarine trees in my attached garage for at least 3 years. It can get to 20 F in the garage.

I move them in the garage in mid/late Nov (or even early Dec). I water the pots may be 3 times from Nov - March. By late March (sometimes, early April, (buds are anywhere from Calyx green to pink, they develop earlier than in-ground trees). I drag the pots out and they stay out from that point on.

Some flowers are already to start to bloom while in the garage. If there is unusual late freeze predicts, I drag them in since flowers are more sensitive to freeze. Otherwise, do not worry about dragging them in or out on sunny days. Wait until the weather pattern is more predictable and bring them out.


By the way, we use our garage everyday. I never hide the pots in the dark. See no reason why. In the fall, leaves were gone. The trees are dormant and will stay dormant until the weather gets warmer.

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Eventually the Klinco trees will have roots pressing against the inside of the 20-inch pots. When that occurs, and you can tell by probing around, the roots will become more subject to freezing if left out. Any rootlets emerging from drain holes is another indicator.

Thank you Larry I will definitely keep that in mind. Checking on the garaged peaches today I noticed one them seems to be leafing out?? Is this normal? I was expecting flowers first!

Will I not be seeing flowers this year?

Unlike most of the other Prunus, Peaches flower after leaf buds have pushed some, IME

Peach flower buds are a little round. Yours all look pointed which too me are leaf buds

Ditto the last comment. Flower buds are round tend to make little cluster or lines of buds along the stem

Hmm the spots that are leafing out were VERY pointed according to my pictures of when I received them. The places not leafing out look a lot like what Google shows me as far as dormant flower buds go. I guess we will see. I’ll update here! Either way I’m celebrating because at least one of them has made survived :partying_face: