Indian Blood Peaches are one of the most popular fruit trees in the world. They grow well in all climates and have a long history of cultivation. The tree grows up to 25 feet tall with a spread of 10 feet or so. Its leaves are dark green, oval shaped, 4 inches across at their widest point and 1 inch thick. These leaves produce small white flowers which bloom from April through June. The fruits ripen in July and August and are round, 3/4 inch in diameter, red to orange colored with black spots. They are edible when ripe but they taste bitter. The tree produces fruit year around although it does not bear fruit until after frost in winter months.
The fruit is eaten fresh or dried. The tree’s fleshy pulp is used in many ways including making jam, jellies, pickles and sauces.
Other uses include making wine and beer, cooking with its juice, as a dye for clothing and other fabrics and as a source of vitamin C. It is also used to make medicine such as cough syrup. The seeds are edible raw or cooked but they do not contain any nutritional value.
Grows best in zones 5A through 10B but can be grown in colder zones with the use of protective mulching.
The soil should be well drained and rich with a pH of between 6 and 7. The tree prefers full sun but can tolerate some partial shade.
If your soil is sandy, amend it with organic matter such as peat moss, compost or manure. If your soil is clay, amend it with gravel or pumice to improve drainage.
Plant in autumn or winter, 2 to 3 feet apart. Water the plant well immediately after planting and then mulch heavily around the tree (leaving the trunk of the tree exposed).
Water the tree well and then continue watering whenever the top 2 inches of soil dries. Fertilize 3 months after planting with a high potassium fertilizer such as 13-13-13.
The tree can be protected from cold using one of three methods; 1) Bring the tree indoors and plant it again in the spring, 2) Wrap the bottom 6 inches of the tree trunk with plastic to trap the heat or 3) Plant the tree in an unheated garage or shed during winter and enclose it with a medium sized Hibachi. The last method works best in cold climates.
In April, leaves start to grow and in May they are fully grown. In August they start to fall off.
In spring, prune dead branches. Cut back weak growth and suckers (growth that arises from below the graft).
Thin out the interior to allow light into the center of the tree and to prevent the development of high branches. This will reduce the weight in the tree’s interior.
The Indian Blood Peach is a heavy bearer and regularly produces up to 100 pounds per year per tree. Peaches, like most tree fruits, take a year to mature after flowering and will not ripen if the amount of daylight is insufficient or if the temperature drops below 50 F.
Dwarf varieties of trees produce fruit more quickly than standard (tall) varieties. They also tend to be easier to care for but do not produce as much fruit as the larger standard trees.
Nowadays you can find many places where to buy blood peaches. You can always use the internet and look for online stores selling the trees you want to have.
You can as well buy them offline, in garden centers or nurseries.
You should also keep in mind that you must buy healthy blood peach trees. For this reason you must inform yourself before buying.
Don’t be shy, ask the seller as many questions as you need to make sure that you are buying healthy blood peach trees.
If you want to buy blood peach trees online, things become slightly more complex. In this case you should be sure that you are buying the trees from a reputable online store.
Ask for recommendations from friends or acquaintances that have already bought trees online. You can also read reviews about online stores and see if they are reliable.
When you finally buy your blood peach trees you should take good care of them. Make sure to pick a well-lit area in your garden and plant the trees there.
You should keep the soil around the tree well watered. You can mulch the base of the tree with well-decomposed manure or compost, but make sure to not cover the root crown or burry the tree’s stem. If your area receives heavy winds, you should stake the tree to prevent damage. Finally, you should apply a slow-release fertilizer to the soil around the tree.
Your trees will start producing fruit in 3 to 5 years, but you should wait at least one more year before harvesting. In the first year the tree will produce flowers which will turn into fruit the following summer.
Sources & references used in this article:
Peaches (Prunus) by R Scorza, WR Okie – … Resources of Temperate Fruit and Nut Crops 290, 1991 – actahort.org
Cinnabar-gold as the best alchemical drug of longevity, called Makaradhwaja in India by S Mahdihassan – The American journal of Chinese medicine, 1985 – World Scientific
New worlds for all: Indians, Europeans, and the remaking of early America by UP Hedrick, OM Taylor, GH Howe, CB Tubergen – 1917 – JB Lyon Company, printers
The golden peaches of Samarkand: a study of T’ang exotics by CG Calloway – 2013 – books.google.com