Peppermint Flowering Peach TreePrunus persica 'Peppermint'
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Prunus persica 'Peppermint'
Outdoor Growing zone
The Peppermint Flowering Peach is a real conversation piece that will wow everyone, from experienced gardeners to little kids. Everyone loves how every flower is unique, with petals striped or blotched in white, pink and rose-red. Some flowers are solid red and others are solid white – anything goes with this fun tree. It is fast-growing, soon making a small tree with a dense, rounded crown up to 20 feet tall and wide. The flowers are almost 2 inches across, and fully double, carried in March on bare stems. Grow it on a lawn or in a bed, or even in a large planter box.
Grow your Peppermint Flowering Peach in full sun for the best blooming. It grows well in warm zones, needing some winter chilling but not enjoying cold, wet springs. It grows best in well-drained soil, and even in lighter, sandy soils, but not in wet parts of the garden. Because you aren’t growing it for fruit, any pests or diseases are usually not problems. Prune immediately after flowering to encourage new growth to flower the following spring.
If you like your plants to be both unique and beautiful, then the Peppermint Flowering Peach is perfect for you. This fast-growing small tree has a lovely broad, rounded crown growing to about 20 feet tall, and a tree in bloom is truly stunning, glowing with rich pink shades and looking great. It’s a terrific tree to start a new garden with, or to add something bright and fresh to a tired older one you might have taken over. When you look closely at the large, petal-packed flowers you will be amazed. Although the overall image is of ‘pink’, closer inspection shows us that every flower is unique. Most of them have petals that are irregularly striped in vertical bands of white, pink and rose-red, but some have more red, or less, than others, and some can be pure white or pure red. It’s a fun game to collect as many different blossom forms as you can. As bright and happy as a candy cane, this is a tree that appeals to all ages with its novel and beautiful flowers, and a great way to introduce your kids to the fun and beauty of gardening.
The Peppermint Flowering Peach is a small deciduous tree, with a low trunk and many radiating branches, forming a rounded crown and reaching 20 feet tall and wide. It is fast growing, adding about 3 feet of growth each year, so it will be 10 or 12 feet tall within 4 or 5 years. The stems are shiny reddish-brown when young, turning gray-brown and rough as they mature. The leaves are long and slender, a bit more than 5 inches long and a little over 1 inch wide. They are dark green and slightly glossy, turning yellow in fall.
Flowering begins early, usually in late March, getting spring off to a colorful beginning. The blooms are carried in abundance all along the bare stems, and they are large, approaching 2 inches in diameter, with up to 25 petals forming a full, ruffled flower. The blooms are very variable in coloring, but they are most commonly striped. Each petal has several vertical stripes, varying in color from white through shades of pink to rich rose-red. Each flower has different blends of these colors and hardly any two flowers are exactly identical in their markings. There is a tendency over time for limbs to develop that have pure pale-pink flowers, and others that have pure rose-red flowers. Fruits normally don’t develop, and any that do will be small and inedible.
For a big splash of spring coloring in your new garden, this tree is sure to please. Its rapid growth means it soon becomes a stand-out specimen on a lawn or at the back of a shrub bed. It can be grown as a striking screen along a fence or boundary, and it’s low enough to fit under most overhead power-lines. If your garden is looking drab in spring, when others around you are bright and colorful, you can change that by planting this great tree.
The Peppermint Flowering Peach grows best in zone 6, 7 and 8. We don’t know the exact number of chilling hours needed, and this variety probably blooms well in zone 9 too. It doesn’t grow so well in colder zones as it doesn’t enjoy cold, damp spring weather.
Grow the Peppermint Flowering Peach in full sun for the best results. It will grow in any well-drained soil, doing best in lighter soils with some sand in them. In heavier soils use plenty of organic material when preparing the planting spot, to improve drainage and air penetration into the ground.
While the Peppermint Flowering Peach may suffer from some pests and diseases common to many peach trees, these are less important because they mostly affect fruit production, not flowering. Flowers are carried most profusely on stems of the previous couple of years, so pruning straight after flowering will encourage lots of new twigs, and therefore flowers the next year. Although the effect of branches that are all solid rose-pink flowers, or solid pale-pink flowers, is attractive, don’t let those branches grow too much or there will be fewer and fewer bicolor blooms produced.
We all know the peach tree, Prunus persica, for its delicious fruits. The original trees grew wild in China, and there, as well as in Japan, it has been grown for centuries for the beauty of its blooms, as well as for fruit. There are several varieties with colorful double flowers, but the variety called ‘Peppermint’ has a novel origin. Fruiting peach trees are reproduced by grafting stem pieces onto the roots of seedling trees, so growers always need a supply of seedlings. That was what Sam Skrhak, who had an orchard in McGregor, Texas, was doing when he planted a bunch of seeds he had collected. In 1977 those seedlings flowered, and Sam was surprised to see one that had amazing large, double flowers in many shades or white, pink and red. After growing it himself for a few years, in 1981 he sent it to the Horticulture Department of Texas A and M University for their evaluation. They told him it was unique, so he named it ‘Peppermint’ and patented it in 1983 (PP# 5,147). That patent has now expired.
For something really different and novel in your garden, grow the Peppermint Flowering Peach. It’s a real conversation piece in any garden, and loved by children as well as grown-ups. This is always a difficult variety of flowering peach tree to locate, and our supplies are limited. Order now, because they won’t stay long on our farm.