6 Reasons Why Peach Trees Grow Best In Full Sun

Peach tree with peaches up close

Peach trees are known for producing yummy fruit, being great trees for aesthetic purposes, and growing well. When you decide whether a peach tree is for you, though, you should consider how much sunlight your area receives, as that will ultimately tell you whether you can sustain this type of tree and reap its benefits.

Peach trees grow their best in conditions that boast 6 hours of full sunlight. The sun helps a peach tree produce fruit, bloom flowers, and grow faster. Full sunlight is a necessity to grow a happy, healthy peach tree and will result in the best fruit production.

Stick with us for a while to learn about why and how the sunlight at its fullest can bring peach trees to their best. We’ll go over how indoor peach trees can be maintained, as well as what happens when your tree receives too little sunlight, or too much! Let’s dive in.

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How Much Sunlight Does A Peach Tree Need?

Peach trees benefit most from full sunlight conditions. This means that they need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day, but 8 hours is really ideal. 

There are over 300 varieties of peach trees, and those are just the ones in the United States! Internationally, about 2,000 species of peach trees exist.  So, keep in mind that you may need to do some research on your specific species before planting so that you have the most accurate sun requirements for your tree.

Wondering how you’ll do it? Get in touch with a local arborist that can help you evaluate and best care for your peach tree. It’s their job after all!

Why Do Peach Trees Grow Best In Full Sunlight?

There are so many different growing requirements when it comes to trees of different types, let alone between the many species of one tree, like the peach tree.

You may find yourself wondering why peach trees even need full sunlight when so many other trees prefer shade or at least partial shade.

This question is a valid one, and it has to do with the fact that each species has individual needs and parameters that they use to best grow and develop – the sun being one of the most elements for peach trees to flourish.

So without further ado – here are the reasons that peach trees need full sunlight!

Sun Is Needed For A Peach Tree To Photosynthesize 

Anyway, it is clear that most trees and plants need partial to full sunlight. Why is this? Well, photosynthesis, the process that helps plants grow by turning carbon dioxide, sunlight, and water into glucose (which becomes the plant’s energy), is crucial to the survival of plants. 

And what is one of the 3 key ingredients for photosynthesis to occur? Sunlight!

The sun, then, is a crucial component of plants’ abilities to grow and develop into mature, strong organisms.

Peach Trees Bloom Better In Full Sun

Let’s start with sunlight’s impact on the production of your tree. Peach trees will always bloom better when they receive full sunlight. 

Some trees actually do better and bloom more when in full shade, but peach trees are certainly not on this list.

Peach Trees Produce More Peaches In Full Sun

Peaches in full sun.

Peach trees also need full sunlight to produce the fruit that comes after the bloom, because of photosynthesis!

Photosynthesis allows trees, like your peach tree, to produce energy. This energy not only helps the tree to grow, but allows it to focus on fruit production, fighting disease, and being healthier overall. 

Why Do Peach Trees Produce More Peaches When They Receive More Sunlight?

  • Higher energy levels: Sunlight kickstarts photosynthesis, which allows the peach tree to produce glucose which acts as plant food. The more glucose (sugar) that a tree creates, the more energy it has to direct toward peach production.
  • Fewer structural issues: Full sunlight will help to dry out trees after rain and watering. This will help any tree, including your peach tree, avoid infestation occurring and disease forming. The fruit will be able to be produced in better conditions.

Most fruit trees prefer full sun! If you’re wondering about other types of fruit trees and their sunlight requirements, head on over to our article to learn about another type of fruit tree – cherries!

Sunlight Helps Shape Your Peach Tree

The shape of a tree is not only something that makes the tree look nice – it also impacts the overall health of the tree.Sunlight is a big part of this shaping process. It can be the difference between an even, full tree, or a lopsided, patchy canopy. 

Now, it is only natural to want your peach tree to be aesthetically appealing. However, we also want the tree to be its strongest, and most resilient.

The health of your peach tree actually ties into its appearance, as a healthy peach tree will be fuller, more even, and better at producing flowers and fruit.

Growth Gravitates Towards The Location Of The Sun

New growth gravitates toward the sun, so partially shaded areas may lead to a tree that leans, in order to best access the sunlight it needs to grow.

Let’s take, for example, a basil plant that you have on your windowsill. First of all, congratulations for growing your own herbs. Have you noticed, though, that it leans toward the window?This is because it is trying to soak up all the benefits the sun has to offer!

It’s no different, really, when it comes to a plant like a peach tree. The tree will lean to the sunlight that it requires, and this will help to maintain its growth.

Peach Trees Sustain New Growth In Full Sun

Sunlight triggers photosynthesis, the essential process for a tree to create energy and sustain new growth. The amount of sunlight received directly impacts its energy.

Photosynthesis can only occur when plants are able to take in sunlight, water, and the gases in the air. These ingredients combine to form sugar, known as glucose, which acts like plant food. 

So, the more sunlight that a peach tree gets, the more energy will be produced, and the stronger the tree will be. It will also be able to focus more energy specifically on its development, as opposed to scraping by with the bare minimum amount of energy needed to survive.

The better a tree is, the more it is able to produce fruit, grow taller, and adapt to its conditions.

Sunny Conditions Promote A Happier Peach Tree

Peach tree branch. Ripe peaches on a tree among the leaves. Harvest in the orchard.

The way that a tree is able to use the sun to dry off after watering, or rainy weather, is actually quite vital to the success of a peach tree. 

Let’s talk about a few reasons that leaves and branches being in full sun can help your peach tree stay as healthy as can be:

  • More resistance to fungus and rot: Wetness on your tree promotes the growth of fungus, which turns to rot. It can also allow for fungus to more easily overtake your tree. If your peach tree is meant to be in the sun, keeping it in shaded or dimmer conditions might just lead to its downfall.
  • Avoiding pests: Insects and other pests are drawn toward damp, cool, shaded areas, especially parts of a tree that have begun to rot. Starting to see the snowball effect here? If you leave more water to sit on your tree, which leads to fungus and rot, you can expect an infestation of some sort. This could prove to be a game ender
  • Stronger skin of the peach: Fruit that is left with sitting water can begin to crack on the outside. This can render your peach inedible, if the cracks progress. Unless you wish to feed animals, and not get any peaches to yourself, you’ll want to keep your fruit dry and edible.

The Unwanted Effects Of Peach Tree’s Growing In Partial Shade 

Some unwanted effects may be seen on a peach tree that grows in partial shade:

  • Weak branches: Branches that receive less sunlight than necessary will have to reach further to try to get some sun. So, their attachment to the tree will be weaker, as will the branches themselves.
  • A lopsided tree: If sunlight is available, but in inconsistent patterns, new growth will occur in the spots that receive the most sun. Other spots that sit in the shade for more time will be less prone to grow at the same rate. This will leave you with a patchy, lopsided-looking peach tree.
  • Less canopy space: Gaps in growth mean that the canopy of the tree will be smaller, more uneven, and less productive when it comes to peaches. This means you get less shade, less fruit, and more pruning work in order to maintain an even appearance of your canopy.

When receiving enough unobstructed, full sunlight, your peach tree can grow tall, strong, productive, and with an even appearance that helps the overall structural integrity of the tree. 

What Else Do Peach Trees Need Besides Sunlight?

Along with sunlight, peach trees need appropriate amounts of water, fertilization, and maintenance performed each year. They even need the right kind of plants to share soil with, to make sure that they can absorb nutrients in the right way.

Peach Tree’s Need Water 

Water is important, of course, but, like sunlight, too much water can be just as bad as too little.

The CARPATHEN Drip Irrigation Kit is a great way to avoid over, or under, watering your tree. It comes with ¼ tubing, drip connectors, and drip emitters, to create a full irrigation system that is flexible to your needs and the space you have to work with.

If your peach tree is located in an area with the recommended 6-8 hours daily of full sunlight, you should never have to worry about the tree not getting dry enough.

Pruning Is A Peach Tree Neccessity 

Pruning is another way to help maintain a tree that might have a bit too much water on its surface. 

The Gonicc 8.5” Professional Rotating Bypass Titanium Coated Pruning Shears will be a good tool when it comes to clearing out any branches that might have fallen to disease or infestation. 

Can Peach Trees Receive Too Much Sun?

Peach trees clearly need full sun to do well, but is there such a thing as too much?

Having too many sunny, hot days in a row can also end up harming your tree.

It’s worth mentioning that it is often the combination of heat, dryness, and the sun, that causes issues. The sun alone, heat alone, and even some dryness by itself will not often cause lasting damage.

Your Peach Tree Can Get Sunburn

What is the major sign that your tree is receiving too much sun? Your tree will have sunburn!

Just like people, peach trees can get sunburnt, too. If a tree is left to receive direct sunlight for too long, especially in high heat, with higher UV levels, your tree can get sunburnt.

Properly watering your peach tree and mulching (if its a home tree) will be very helpful in mitigating this!

Water Stress Can Happen If A Peach Tree Has Too Much Sun 

Water stress is another issue that may arise in peach trees that have seen too much sun has to do with the amount of water that the tree has access to.

Water stress will hinder your peach tree from absorbing all the nutrients it needs to grow in a healthy way.The heat and dryness associated with the sun, much like a sunburn, will result in the eventual lack of water for the peach tree to use.

A tree that is under water stress can seem droopier than usual, and it will often have discolored leaves. Not only does this impact the bark of a tree, but the soil of your tree can easily be dried out by too much heat and direct exposure to the sun. 

How (And When) To Protect Your Peach Tree From Too Much Sun

If your area is always sunny, it will be great for your peach tree to prosper. However, how do you ensure that it doesn’t get sunburnt, or end up under water stress, though? Let’s talk about it! 

According to the Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency, peach trees have their own version of sun protection that has evolved over time. This protection has been compared to the way that people put on sunglasses in bright conditions, to help protect their eyes from the light.

This sun protection process is known as Photoprotection:

  • It is activated in full sunlight conditions, but can be turned off when a leaf is shaded. This shade could be from a cloudy day, from evening shadows, or even from a leaf above it that blocks the sun.
  • Photoprotection keeps leaves from being oxidized and bleached, or what we call ‘sunburnt’, from full, direct sunlight.

Tree Wraps Also Protect Peach Trees From Too Much Sun 

Tree wraps are a great way to help protect your tree from getting the negative effects of direct, full sunlight.

Dalen’s Protective Tree Wrap acts in the way that sunscreen can for humans, and is light-colored in order to reflect the harsh sunlight.

Thankfully, these tree wraps won’t hold in any moisture that the sunlight is working to dry up. So, rest assured that your tree will be protected in more ways than one.

How Do Peach Trees Respond To Cloudy Days?

Peach trees on a cloudy day.

We know that sunlight is critical to the survival and production of peach trees. No matter the impacts of too much sun, and what that may look like, we know that too little sun can hinder your tree. So, what happens to trees that experience days that are all too cloudy?

Your peach tree is not going to suddenly lose all of its energy, nor its ability to function, in the face of a cloudy day. In fact, it will still produce some energy.

The sun is still shining through, just not with the same level of intensity. The rays of sunlight will still be enough to trigger some level of photosynthesis, even if it is not occurring at the same rate that high sunlight levels might cause.

Production of fruit, blooming of flowers, even growth of the canopy, and all of the ‘secondary’ processes of your peach tree might be put on pause on these types of days. The lesser amount of energy produced will result in the tree using it all up to stay afloat. 

What If You Live In A Cloudy Area? 

If you live in an area that experiences many cloudy days, you don’t necessarily need to be concerned.

You will first come to see that your peach tree won’t grow as quickly. It may not grow as tall, but its canopy remains smaller than those trees in sunny conditions. The lower energy levels also means that you won’t get as many peaches, and the fruit will be less fulfilling.

LED lights can be a great solution to this problem, like this LED Plant Grow Light with Stand! This is a great way to supplement the light that your plant receives. It adds a greenhouse-like level of light thanks to the 4 adjustable lights.

There is even an option to set them on a timer. Think of your irrigation system, but this gives your tree light.

Making Sure Indoor Peach Trees Get Enough Sun

The same things that happen to a peach tree on a cloudy day, can happen to one indoors! The truth is – many peach tree species grow well, maybe even better, indoors. 

Take our example of herbs, for instance. If you notice herbs on your window syl growing towards the window – it’s because they’re finding the sunlight! This same idea can be for a peach tree that grow indoors but sits in sunlight from a window or door!

Maintaining a peach tree indoors is actually a pretty simple process because so many peach trees are grown inside. Simply ensuring that your peach tree has enough consistent light from a window, or maybe from artificial lighting, along with enough water and fertilizer as needed.

Try a balanced fertilizer like the Southern Ag All Purpose Granular Fertilizer to help best sustain your peach tree.

That’s All For Now!

Peach trees benefit greatly from being planted in an area that receives full sun. If you give your peach tree 6-8 hours of sunlight, you’ll be golden.

Peach trees prefer full sunlight to help them grow for many different reasons.

Let’s go over these reasons one last time!

Here are the 5 reasons why peach trees grow best in full sun:

  • Peach trees bloom better in full sun
  • Peach trees produce more peaches in full sun
  • Sunlight helps shape your peach tree
  • Peach trees grow much faster in full sun
  • Sunny conditions promote a healthier peach tree

Good luck, friends! Until next time.

If you want some more information on fruiting trees, check out our article on some of the best fruit trees that have shallow roots, which makes them easier to plant near your home!

References

Baraldi, R., Rossi, F., Facini, O., Fasolo, F., Rotondi, A., Magli, M., & Nerozzi, F. (1994). Light environment, growth and morphogenesis in a peach tree canopy. Physiologia Plantarum, 91(2), 339-345.

EREZ, A., & KADMAN‐ZAHAVI, A. V. I. S. H. A. G. (1972). Growth of peach plants under different filtered sunlight conditions. Physiologia Plantarum, 26(2), 210-214.

Girona, J., Gelly, M., Mata, M., Arbones, A., Rufat, J., & Marsal, J. (2005). Peach tree response to single and combined deficit irrigation regimes in deep soils. Agricultural Water Management, 72(2), 97-108.

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