White Nectarines-Flavor favorites?

I’m new to Sacramento, and getting ready to buy quite a few fruit trees for my backyard orchard. My biggest sticking point is which White Nectarine to go with…so I’d love to hear what are your absolute favorites in terms of taste! I definitely lean towards sweetest when selecting fruit, but sweetest with good flavor, not just bland like white peaches tend to be. Any experience with Zephyr, Jade, SilverGem, or Heavenly White?
Thanks for sharing your favorite varieties!


I haven’t had a lot of them,but Arctic Star really impressed me.


Hands down, Arctic Star.


Low acid white nectarines are my favorite fruits, and from among them, Zephyr is my top one. I grew Arctic Star, Silver Gem, Arctic Glo, Arctic Sweet, Arctic Jay and Zephyr, and frankly all are excellent and provided me with a continuous crop from early July to the end of Sep. I would plant all these.

Notes: My Silvergem is 2 years old, so I didn’t get to taste its fruit, but others have praised it. Both Silvergem and Arctic Glo are not low acid.


Welcome to Sacramento, a fruit growing paradise! I am about 21 miles east of you in Orangevale, by Folsom lake. My recommendations for white nectarines are… early Arctic Star, Arctic Glo, and Sno Queen, three of the very best, although I give the top position to Sno Queen, as it is unmatched for flavor when it comes to white nectarines and almost every fruit. For mid season I recommend Arctic Jay and Spize Zee nectaplum, really a white nectarine. I have Arctic Blaze for a late white nectarine but can not recommend it as it is hard to crop. I do not get very many of these and they are just pretty good. I will be trying the new Arctic Spite for my late white nectarine, as this one looks really good. Check out Andy’s Orchard for other varieties and other fruits that are excellent here. Pictured is Sno Queen nectarine, my favorite, good luck!


Could you elaborate on how Arctic Blaze is hard to crop? I just bought one

@7catcmom, here it is very prone to PLC, and the fruit shows sign as well. So I get a lot of scarred fruits. It is also very prone to thrips, which can scar it even worse than the PLC. It can be cropped but needs extra care, like spraying spinosad at the end of its flowering stage in the evening as I do my best. Also at least 2 dormat sprays of copper/hort oil, best to do 3. If the fruit was as good as some of the others I would care for this tree better. It has a very sweet low acid flavor, that IMO needs some acid to balance out and make the flavor more complex and intense. So basically it is the most high maintenance fruit I grow.


This is great info! Helps me reconsider where to plant it. I will do extra dormant oil/copper sprays. Planning to do Spinosad, Surround, Indar and then Clemson bags. Luckily I have other varieties not as high maintenance.

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Thanks so much super helpful, and Folsom lake is super beautiful! I am very much looking forward to finally visiting Andy’s this year. Yum!! What other fruits are your favorites here, that you most look forward to?

Where did you get your sno queen? I am headed to fowlers that you mentioned in your previous posts, but they don’t have this particular variety this year.

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Continuous Nectarines, now that’s what I call summer! Thanks for your feedback on these, you list a bunch I’m considering so very helpful to know how you rank them in taste. Low acid white nectarines are without question my favorite as well so this feedback is really helpful on your favorites. (I’ve been known to put a chair under a tree and just sit and eat fruit for an hour or two…haha…at least it’s a healthy addiction).


Frankly, they are all excellent and they ripen at different times, so if you have the space, plant them all. I had them in my old orchard in Delaware, and even though we get many overcast and rainy days during the growing season I was mostly getting brix levels between 18-23 (which is very good to excellent). In the years we got a few weeks of dry weather before ripening, I saw brix levels in the mid to high twenties, which is super! Now, I moved to CT and I am going to plant all of them again and will add Snow Queen and Arctic Rose (the reason I didn’t plant Snow Queen before is that it is known to crack in wet weather, but my new property has better soil, so hopefully it would not crack much here). Below is my order of preference, but again, the least of them is like 9 or 9.5 out of ten!

1-Zephyr: The latest of them, ripens around Sep 6 for me, and I used to store a couple of bushels of it so that we eat from it for about a month or so. Wonderful flavor and very big fruit. It can be picked firm ripe (and still retain its top notch flavor and sweetness) for longer storage.

2-Arctic Star: The earliest, July 7-10 ripening (and that makes it very special), excellent, rich flavor, perhaps more complex than Zephyr, but it is hard for me to favor one over the other because of the very different ripening times. Only downside is that it is a cling stone.

3-Arctic Jay: This is the all time, top ranking fruit at Dave Wilson’s taste testing events; and deservedly so. It is hard for me to say that it is less than the above two, as I love it.

4-Arctic Glo: High acid and I don’t like it till it is soft ripe, and at that stage it has a very rich flavor.

5-Arctic Sweet: very sweet, and have some flavor elements common with both Arctic Star and Arctic Glo, but not as rich. Still, it is very enjoyable to eat. Cling stone.


Ahmad, how will you manage Snow Queen in CT? Isn’t it a low chill nect?

Low chill does not mean that it is incompatible with long winter regions. It means that the tree will leaf and produce blossoms in an area with little chill hours. So , in a place like San Diego a low chill nectarine like Snow Queen will be productive, but a high chill variety like most cherries for instance will not produce any fruit. In areas with long winters like northern states, a low chill tree will stay dormant till temperatures start warming (in CT that would be around mid April) and then it will bloom. Chilling requirement is different than cold hardiness, the latter refers to the ability of a tree to withstand cold winter temperatures, and for that the US is classified into 13 hardiness zones, with different fruit tree varieties rated down to certain hardiness zones, below which they are likely to die.

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I see. Here in North TX we’re having our first false spring. My potted Spice Zee is getting ready to bloom this week but we’ll probably have a another good freeze in Feb. Trying to figure out how much protection I’ll need to do to keep fruit on in Feb-Apr.

@geologist, Snow Queen is not very hard to find, just finding it on Lovell root is hard. I ordered mine from Trees of Antiquity. If you can find it on Nemaguard that is also good, just avoid the Citation root stock, as those trees never grow very well and runt out, especially if you water stress them. Other excellent fruits I grow here will be covered in a new thread, that I will show all of the extra special fruits we tried here in 2020.


This is a different type of problem called spring freeze/frost (apparently, in TX spring comes in January :slight_smile: ), and it is exacerbated in the middle of the continent. In eastern states, with maritime climate, those spring freezes are less common and when they happen they are usually milder (for instance last year many of our friends on this forum who live in inner states lost all their stone fruit crops, for me I only lost my cots, but my nectarines and pluots were fine). Apricots are challenging in Delaware and in many states on the Atlantic because of this same issue as they are the earliest of all stone fruits to bloom. I suggest you stay away from low chill varieties and look for higher chill ones and ones that are known to be late bloomers.

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You’re right. The lower chill varieties are dicey here. I have just a few to experiment with and keep them in large containers for mobility. We have 2-3 false springs each year. This winter even some our native trees (like mesquite) are getting fooled and blooming early.

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I am looking forward to that :slight_smile: