Prunus persica var. nectarina 'Leprechaun'

Overall plant
Common Name: dwarf nectarine 
Type: Fruit
Family: Rosaceae
Zone: 6 to 9
Height: 4.50 to 5.50 feet
Spread: 4.50 to 5.50 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Description: Pink
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: High
Suggested Use: Flowering Tree
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Attracts: Birds
Fruit: Showy, Edible


Best grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun. Self pollinating. Benefits from regular watering, fertilization and pruning. Plant in full sun in a site where periodic chemical spraying will not pose any problems to adjacent sites. Avoid planting nectarine trees in the same soil where other stone fruits have recently grown. Dwarf trees may be planted as close as 10' apart.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Prunus persica, commonly called peach, is native to China. It is grown for its luscious fruit but some cultivars are grown chiefly for there flowers and produce inedible fruit. Species trees grow up to 25' tall and wide but peach trees sold in commerce today are grafted to rootstocks which control the size of the tree. Dwarf trees bear standard size fruit, but have the advantage of fitting into smaller sites and being more manageable (easier pruning, spraying and harvesting).

Var. nectarina, commonly called nectarine, is a smooth-skinned peach. Nectarine trees sold in commerce today are also grafted to rootstocks which controls the size of the tree.

Genus name from Latin means plum or cherry tree.

Specific epithet means Persia. Prunus persica reached Europe from China through Persia.

'Leprechaun' is a dwarf, shrubby nectarine selection that will reach 5.5' tall with a similar spread. The 1.25" wide, pink flowers bloom in spring and are followed by small, golden yellow and red tinged fruit. The fruits have smooth skin and sweet, flavorful flesh that does not cling to the pit (freestone).


Nectarines are susceptible to a large number of serious pest problems. A regular regimen of chemical spraying is needed in order to insure harvesting a good crop. Potential disease problems include peach leaf curl, brown rot, bacterial leaf spot and canker. Potential insect problems include peach tree borer, plum curculio, oriental fruit moth, root nematodes, mites and aphids. Very cold winter temperatures and late spring frosts often cause significant damage to the buds/flowers of nectarines.

'Leprechaun' is resistant to bacterial leaf spot.


Nectarines are grown almost exclusively for their fruit crop. Attractive early spring bloom is a nice bonus.