How to grow plum tree from pit

How to grow 7 different fruit trees from leftover pits and seeds

Oddbox Team

5 May 2021

Wondering what to do with your leftover fruit? Our guide on how to grow fruit trees from leftover pits and seeds will make for a fun project!


Fruit trees can grow big or small, so you don't always need tons of space to keep one. And the exciting thing is, you can grow fruit trees from seeds and pits of the fruit you're eating every day. Although your trees may not always produce tasty fruit, growing trees from seeds can make an interesting project and you'll be using what you already have to hand. Here's our guide on how to grow fruit trees from leftover pits and seeds.


When you grow an apple tree from seeds, it usually produces quite different apples than the fruit they came from, and often become cross-pollinated with an inedible apple tree. They can also take 7 to 10 years to grow fruit, so you'll want to keep this apple tree as a fun experiment rather than a reliable food source.

  1. Collect about a dozen seeds from a few of your favourite types of apple (they have a 30% germination rate).
  2. Place your seeds on a moist paper towel or some damp moss, then put this in an airtight container.Store them in the fridge for at least 6 weeks.
  3. Plant the sprouts 1.5cm into well-watered soil after the last frost of the year, either indoors or outside. Apple trees look stunning in their own pot.
  4. If growing inside, make sure you place the seeds on a well-lit windowsill.
  5. Water enough to make sure the soil doesn't dry out, then less often as the plant grows larger.


When you grow a pear tree, the pears will face the same cross-germinating problem as apples, often producing inedible fruit. Like apples, they're usually grown through careful breeding or by grafting a branch from an existing tree. But you can still grow a pear tree from seeds as an ornamental item - and for tasty fruit after 7 to 10 years if you're lucky!

  1. Collect quite a few pear seeds as only around 1 in 4 will germinate properly. Don't leave them too long before starting the growing process. 
  2. Let the seeds dry and carefully wrap every 2 or 3 seeds in a moist paper towel. Place them in an airtight container and store them in the fridge for 90 days. 
  3. Remove the seeds and put them in a glass of warm water for 2 days. 
  4. Plant the seeds 2.5cm deep into well-drained soil. Make sure they're in the right spot to receive at least 6 hours of sunlight. 
  5. Keep the soil moist by watering frequently. 


Planting a plum tree from your stone may also produce a very different fruit than your original plum, for better or worse. But they're fairly easy to grow and should produce around 60cm of growth every season. 

  1. Collect and wash a few plum pits, then place them on a windowsill for a few days to let them dry out. This shrinks the seeds and makes them easier to extract. Afterwards, use a nutcracker to break the pits and extract the seeds inside (being careful not to damage them).  
  2. Place your plum seeds in a glass of water. If they sink, you can germinate them, but if they float, they won't grow. Leave viable seeds in the glass overnight. 
  3. Remove the seeds and place them in a jar filled with moist compost, then seal it. Refrigerate the jar for 6-8 weeks, or until roots start to appear. 
  4. Plant the plum seeds about 5 cm deep into well-draining soil. If you're planting in pots, make sure you only place one seed into each pot. 
  5. The plants should be grown in a cool, bright area, and kept moist but not over-watered. 


Although it's not exactly a tree, growing a strawberry bush is a great alternative if you don't want to wait the time it takes to grow a mature tree. Strawberry plants are easy to care for, and you should see fruit a year after planting. 

  1. You can plant your strawberry seeds anytime in the year, but keep them indoors if it's early spring, until the last frost has passed.  
  2. Press the seeds into soil and keep it moist at all times. 
  3. You'll start to see roots 1 to 6 weeks after you planted. 
  4. Make sure your strawberry plants get at least 8 hours of direct sunlight every day. 


Orange fruit develops more quickly on trees grown from grafted branches than seeds, and those trees are more hardy too. But otherwise, you can grow fruit on an orange tree from seed in 15 years. 

  1. Collect plenty of orange seeds to increase your chances of seeing a tree through to maturity. Clean your seeds in tepid water. 
  2. Soak the seeds in a glass of water for at least 2 hours. Remove the smaller seeds and seeds that float, as these won't grow. 
  3. Plant each remaining seed 1.5 cm under sterile soil in separate, well-draining pots. 
  4. Moisten the soil but don't allow it to become soaking, then cover each pot with an airtight bag or wrap. Sunlight isn't needed at this stage of growth.  
  5. Store the pots in a warm place, but make sure the soil stays moist throughout (so in front of a radiator is not ideal). 
  6. Once the seeds have sprouted, remove the coverings and move them to a sunny area. 


Growing a nectarine tree is satisfyingly easy, even if it probably won't produce fruit like the nectarine you just ate. When well-cared for, it should produce fruit within 2 to 4 years, making it one of the fastest growing plants you can grow at home.  

  1. Gather several nectarine pits and let them dry out on a windowsill. This can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on how dry and warm your windowsill is. 
  2. Once the pits have dried, the seeds inside will have shrunk. Crack open the pits with a nutcracker and take the seeds out. 
  3. Disperse the seeds in a jar with potting soil and add a small amount of water to moisten the soil. Seal the jar and place it inside the fridge. 
  4. Leave the jar in the fridge and check every couple of weeks for prominent roots. This may take a few months. 
  5. Remove your seedlings from the jar and plant each one separately 2cm deep into pots with good drainage. 
  6. Keep your plants indoors. If you want to take them outside, you should do so in late winter or early spring, and once they're established.


If you'd like to try growing a tree that starts its life hydroponically, an avocado tree is the perfect choice. And growing avocados could save you a lot of money in the long run. The only downside is they can take anywhere from 3 to 15 years to fruit, and it's a bit of a lottery how that fruit will taste! 

  1. Remove the pit from the avocado, being careful not to damage it with a knife. Soak it in water for a few minutes, then gently scrub only the remaining pulp off. 
  2. Find the flat end - this is the bottom of the avocado pit where the roots will grow from. The top is slightly pointier - the sapling will sprout from here. 
  3. Pierce firmly into the sides of the pit with four cocktail sticks that point downwards slightly.  
  4. Place the pit into a clear glass of water, propped up by the cocktail sticks, so that the bottom of it remains submerged at all times. 
  5. Keep your glass on a well-lit windowsill and change the water every week, to protect your plant from mould, bacteria and fungus growth. 
  6. Wait anywhere up to 8 weeks for your avocado pit to crack all the way to the bottom, where eventually a taproot will emerge. Shortly after, a small sprout will appear at the top of the pit. Never allow your taproot to leave the water. 
  7. Pot your avocado plant in soil when it's about 15cm long, leaving the top half of the pit exposed. Keep your avocado tree indoors, make sure it receives as much sun as possible and water it frequently to keep it moist but not soaking. 

How to Grow a Peach (or Plum) Tree From the Pit

Yes, you can grow a peach pit from grocery store fruit into a peach tree. These instructions also work for other cold hardy stone fruits including plum, cherry, and nectarines. New trees grown from seed this way will be hybrids of the original fruit and the pollinator.

You may also enjoy How to Grow An Apple Tree From Seed for more propagation tips.

Grow a Peach Tree From Seed

Yes, you can grow a fruit tree from seed but there are a few things to know first.

The steps for growing a tree from the seed (also called ‘pit‘ or ‘stone‘) found inside favorite cold-hardy fruits like peaches, plums, cherries, and nectarines are basically the same. The only thing that varies is how long they will each take to sprout. I’ve listed the estimated times below.

If you think about how this occurs naturally in a cold climate, propagation starts when the tree drops its ripe fruit at the end of the growing season or an animal eats the fruit and eliminates the seed.

Safe inside each fruit are seeds encased in a protective coat or shell. The characteristics of the coat vary depending on the type of fruit but they all serve the same purpose: to keep the seed dormant until the embryo matures and readies for germination.

Once I became obsessed with germinating all sorts of fruits and vegetables from the supermarket, I really started noticing how much the pits vary. And how many fruits we buy seem to be pit-free or have a partially formed pit. Those fruits are fine for eating but the ones we can propagate need a fully formed pit (see the photos, below).

To encourage sprouting, these cold hardy fruit seeds need one or both of these processes: stratification and scarification. And don’t worry: these are easy to mimic right in your kitchen.

Most stone fruits
need 3 to 4 months to stratify
at temperatures between 34 to 40°F (1 to 4°C)

  • Stratification is a period of cold, damp conditions that some seeds require to break their embryonic dormancy phase.
  • Scarification is cutting, scratching, or otherwise softening the seed coat / shell / wall to hasten germination.

We do this at home using a refrigerator. Once the pit is sufficiently chilled and softened, it’s grow time.

Considerations Before You Start

Want a Specific Variety of Fruit?
Since most seeds from fruit will not reproduce true to the parent, this type of germination is done mainly for fun and to encourage new gardeners to experiment with what they have. Yes, your peach pit may grow into a peach tree, but not the specific variety you started with. It will be a one-of-a-kind hybrid.

Also, beware that some seeds will never germinate at all or may require different conditions than described here. For example, some peach varieties require a much colder stratification period than a fridge can provide.

If you want to grow a specific variety that produces reliable fruit, it is recommended you start with a grafted tree instead of growing from seed. I’ve written more about this topic in How to Grow An Apple Tree From Seed. If you want to try this for fun, keep reading.

Related: The Kitchen Propagation Handbook: 7 Fruit & Veggies to Regrow

Plant Patents: Some plants are patented and asexual reproduction is not permitted without permission from the patent holder. Patents and trademarks are listed on plant tags.


Start With Ripe Fruit

Start with ripe fruit that contains a pit. If the fruit is ready to eat, the seeds should be ready for the next step.

We’re going to remove the pit from the fruit, clean it up, and place it in moist paper towel in a container in the fridge for the required amount of time.

In this example I’m using a plum and a peach.

Remove and Clean Off the Pits

Remove the pit (seed with a protective coat) from each piece of fruit.

Keep in mind that even if you provide perfect conditions, not every seed will germinate. Some varieties are very stubborn and a certain percentage of seeds always fail. So, start a bunch from several different fruits to increase your odds.

The pits will be covered in stringy, pulpy stuff that we will need to remove.

I hold the pits under running water and use a nail brush to gently remove the unwanted stuff.

It does not have to be perfect.

If you like to experiment and have several pits, you might want to try sprouting some seeds with their coats on and others with their coats removed or cracked open. Ultimately I’ve not found an advantage to removing the coat prior to stratification but neither have I tested every possibility.

If you do want to remove the seed coat first, you can try soaking the pit in warm water for a few days and then removing it with a nutcracker or placing it in a vice and squeezing until it pops open. Take care to avoid causing any damage to the seed inside or it may not sprout.

Now is the time to create tags or labels for each type of fruit unless you are confident you’ll recognize them later.

Here is a close up of the peach pit:

And this is the plum pit:

Wrap Each Pit in Moist Paper Towel

Wrap paper towel (or a dish cloth) around each pit and moisten with water. You want it damp without being dripping wet. Some gardeners like to do this step with potting mix instead of towels where the pit is planted right in moistened potting mix. I prefer the paper towel method so I can easily check on the seed later.

I place everything in a food storage container with a lid but a Ziplock food bag works fine too. There is more on this below.

Label and Place in Back of Fridge

Stratification Period | Temperature

This information is generalized: if you know the variety you’re starting with, do a search to check if more specific information is available.

Apricot (Prunus armeniaca)100 days | 32 to 45°F
Sour Cherry (Prunus cerasus)90 to 150 days | 31 to 32°F
Plum (Prunus spp. )60 to 90 days | 34 to 40°F
Peach (Prunus persica)98 to 105 days | 32 to 45°F

With everything labelled, place the container in the back of your fridge and set a reminder on your phone to check them weekly.

The seeds (pits) do not need light to sprout: just the moisture from the paper towels and the cold fridge temperature.

Check Weekly and Re-Moisten Paper Towel As Needed

Initially you will be checking each week to be sure the paper towel is staying moist. The whole process may fail if the pit dries out. It’s that constant exposure to moisture and cold that is gradually working toward germination.

At some point—many weeks along—you may notice the pit begins to crack open and the seed inside may begin to sprout. Yay!

Plant Sprouted Seeds

Once this happens, you can plant it in a pot with organic potting mix. I like to wait until there is at least an inch or two of growth so I’m confident the seedling will survive.

You may also find that, after the expected weeks or months of stratification, your pits are still closed or show few signs of sprouting. If things still seem hopeful, you have a few options. I recommend going ahead and planting them, either as-is or after removing the seed coat and then planting. At worst, they don’t grow: at best, you get a tree.

Your new little tree should be transitioned to life outdoors as soon as the risk of frost has passed. You can decide whether you want to keep it in a container (increasing the pot size as needed) or plant it in the ground.

The method shared here for sprouting the seed is similar to The Paper Towel Method used to check if any garden seeds are viable.

~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛

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How to Grow a Peach or Plum Tree From Seed (Tutorial)

How to grow a peach tree starting with the pit (seed/stone) from a grocery store peach. The same instructions work for other cold hardy stone fruits including plums, nectarines, and cherries.

Prep Time20 mins

Steps20 mins

Days in Fridge105 d

Total Time40 mins

Makes: 1 Peach tree

Author: Melissa J. Will

Cost: $10

  • Paper towels

  • Food storage container

  • Paint marker

  • Flower pot

  • Potting mix

  • ▢ 1 Peach ripe, with pit inside
  • Remove pit from ripe peach.

  • Gently scrub pulp from pit until fairly clean and photograph it for reference.

  • Place pit in moist (not damp or dry) paper towel (fold around pit) and place in food storage container or bag.

  • Label with fruit name and date .

  • Keep in fridge for approximately 98 to 105 days. Best temperature for peach pits is 34 to 40°F (1 to 4°C).

  • Check pit weekly and re-moisten paper towel as needed.

  • When sprouted, sow pit 2-inches deep in flower pot with organic potting mix.

  • Continue growing on a sunny window sill until risk of frost has passed. Then gradually introduce plant to outdoor growing conditions where it will remain.

Most seeds from stone fruits including peach, plum, nectarine, and cherry do not reproduce true to the parent. And, some seeds never germinate. 

We recommend growing several pits at once to increase your odds of success.

Have fun with it and happy growing. 

How to grow a plum from a seed? | QUESTION-ANSWER

Vyacheslav Kargintsev

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes


Weekly "Arguments and Facts" No. 40. "Arguments and Facts" on the Don 01/10/2014

Category: Society Q&A from the newspaper: Weekly "Arguments and Facts" № 40 01/10/2014

If you plant a plum stone, will a tree grow?

Propagation of plums by stones is indeed possible, but of the trees obtained in this way, only Ussuri, Chinese, Canadian and Far Eastern plums will bear fruit. Other varieties may produce either very small fruit or no fruit at all.

How to plant a plum stone? A few important tips.

Before germinating a plum stone, it is placed in a damp cloth for a couple of weeks. The plum stone is very dense, and if you bypass this procedure, then shoots will not appear. You can plant seeds in the fall in open ground. But in this case, they will need to be protected from rodents that dig up and destroy them.

It is best to place the bone in the nutrient mixture in a pot (or box). Until the stone sprouts (usually 40 - 50 days), the soil must be kept moist. Some pits have two seeds, so don't be surprised if more seedlings come up than the pits were planted.

If the stones were grown in pots, then they will need to be transplanted into open ground no earlier than a year after the emergence of seedlings, in early autumn or spring. It is necessary to prepare a hole: fill the ground with compost, add sand.

Plum is transplanted into the hole along with the soil in which it grew, so as not to damage the roots. If the seeds were planted in open ground, then after the first winter less than half of the seedlings may remain, since the weakest and most resistant to frost will simply die. After the second year of winter, only the strongest seedlings will remain.

Plum care involves maintaining the optimum moisture level (60 - 65%), cutting off weak shoots, weeding, loosening the soil and watering. It will take about 3-4 years to grow a plum from the stone, but the tree will begin to bear fruit only in 5-6 years. Every year the fruits will be larger, so do not be disappointed if the first plums are small.

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Plum from the stone


  • 2 How to grow a drain from a bone at home
    • 2.1 is it possible to grow a plum from a bone of the house
    • 2.2 how to grow a drain in a pot
    • 2.3 What looks a sparkle of plums
    • 2.4 Growing plums at home
    • 2.5 Transplanting plum seedlings in open ground
  • 3 How to grow a plum from a stone in the country
    • 3.1 When and where to plant plum stones
    • 3.2 How to germinate a plum stone
    • 3.3 How to plant a plum from a stone
    • 3.4 How to grow a seedling from a stone of a plum
  • 4 Should plum growers grow from a stone
  • 5 Conclusion
  • When buying a seedling from a private seller or through a nursery, one can never know with certainty whether it will fit the variety. After another disappointment, the idea of ​​\u200b\u200bgrowing seedlings on their own comes. Plum from the stone grows faster than it seems at first.

    Is it possible to grow a plum tree from a stone? But here some rules are required, which will be listed below.

    Propagation of plums by pits

    A strong seedling grows from a plum pit already in 1 year. If it is immediately grown in the place where the plum will subsequently be and will grow, this will be a great advantage. On the contrary, after frequent transplants, the root system of the plant is injured, it has to adapt to new conditions each time. This takes from 2 weeks to several months. Precious time can be used for plum development.

    Cultivation of plums from the stone must begin with the choice of variety. Another important aspect is the question of where the seedling will grow. This may be a permanent or temporary location. As a temporary shelter, you can use a school, a shady place or an ordinary flower pot.

    Important! Shkolka is a specially equipped bed for rooting cuttings, growing seedlings before transplanting to a permanent place.

    Once the location has been determined, a rootstock variety must be selected. This is important from the point of view of winter hardiness of the seedling. The stones should be of local varieties that are adapted to the conditions of the region where the tree will grow in the future. It is on this seedling that the desired variety will be grafted.

    Plum stock can be more than just plum.

    Can be used:

    • plum;
    • cherry plum;
    • thorns;
    • turn.

    The most suitable rootstocks are listed here, although plum can be grafted onto other stone fruits: peach, apricot. But they do not grow well in all regions. The turn is also rarely used for growing from seeds, despite its unpretentiousness and winter hardiness.

    Tip! When choosing fruits for growing rootstocks, you do not need to pay attention to their taste. The main quality is unpretentiousness. Therefore, it is better not to use a plum bought on the market for these purposes. It may have grown in different climates.

    Will the plum from the stone bear fruit?

    The plum from the stone will definitely bear fruit. The question is different: what fruits will it give and when will it bear fruit. When grown by seed, maternal qualities are not transmitted (there are exceptions, but they are rare).

    That is, to obtain a full-fledged, regular harvest, you need to graft a varietal plum onto a rootstock grown from a stone. How to do this, the video will tell:

    Of course, there are cases of obtaining a successful combination of yield and fruit taste. But this is more the exception than the rule. Usually a seedling grown from a stone does not begin to bear fruit early enough and has fruits that are unlike those from which the seeds were planted.

    Warning! If the plum is not grafted, then it comes into fruition 2-4 years later.

    How to grow a plum from a stone at home

    Where is it better to grow a seedling: on a plot or at home, everyone decides for himself. It has long been noticed that when growing plums with seeds on a plot before winter, all planting material is destroyed by rodents. This does not always happen, especially if appropriate measures are taken. But the safest option is to grow rootstock at home.

    Is it possible to grow a plum from a stone at home

    A plum grown at home has several advantages over an open field seedling:

  • the root system will be formed by spring;
  • constant monitoring of seedling growth and formation;
  • the ability to carry out top dressing on time;
  • the root system in a pot will not be injured when transplanted to a permanent place.
  • In order to grow plums, you need to prepare planting material in advance. It is better to do this in advance, taking local unpretentious varieties. Seeds must be thoroughly cleaned of pulp by rinsing in water, do not remove the hard shell. Then dry and store in a cool place until planting.

    How to grow a plum from a stone in a pot

    Planting is best done no earlier than February, as plants need sunlight. Before this, it is necessary to carry out stratification and preferably scarification. The stratification procedure involves keeping the seeds for a long time at sub-zero temperatures, which increases their germination.

    Under natural conditions, the seeds of fruits that have fallen from a tree germinate naturally by spring. In an apartment or house, conditions are created artificially by placing a pot of seeds in a refrigerator or freezer. Scarification - helping the plant to get rid of the hard shell. Sometimes the bones are rubbed with sand, even with a file, to make it thinner.

    What a plum sprout looks like

    Watching the germination of seeds is always interesting. Cotyledon leaves appear first. They are round and similar in all plants. Two cotyledons are followed by true leaves. Plum leaves have the shape of an ellipse, that is, an oval. The edges are finely serrated, the surface of the leaf plate is shiny.

    Growing plums at home

    Growing takes place in several stages:

    1. Preparation of soil and pot. The pot for planting is taken small so that the earth does not sour. The soil for germination is mixed with river sand 1:1.
    2. The plum stone is deepened by 3-4 cm, watered, sprinkled with earth. It is better to plant several pieces at once for reliability.
    3. The pot is placed in the freezer for 4 months.
    4. After the pot has been taken out, put it in a bright place and make sure that the soil does not dry out.
    5. After sprouts appear, care must be taken to ensure that the seedlings do not stretch. In the first month they need sufficient watering and good lighting.
    6. If several sprouts appear, leave the strongest one, remove the rest by cutting them with scissors (without pulling them out).
    7. After a month, you can start feeding the plum. Of the mineral fertilizers, the best is ammofoska, which combines 3 components: nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium. Before planting outside, you need to regularly fertilize the seedling.

    Attention! If you plant a seed no later than February, then by May there will be a seedling about 50 cm tall.

    Transplanting plum seedlings in open ground

    Before planting in open ground, the plant needs to be hardened off. Gradually, the seedling gets used to the change in night and day temperatures, wind, air humidity, and precipitation. You need to start hardening from a few minutes, gradually bringing the time up to 24 hours. It is necessary to ensure that direct sunlight does not fall on the plant.

    How to grow a plum from the stone in the country

    If conditions do not allow at home, you can grow a plum from the stone in the country. To do this, you need to choose the time, place and method of sowing.

    When and where can plum pits be planted

    Plum pits can be planted immediately in the place reserved for planting plums in late September - October. In this case, you need to plant at least 10 pieces at once, prudently protecting yourself from mice. For example, bury paper soaked in tar around the perimeter around the landing site. You can also put it in the landing pit.

    A hole is dug in advance, 60*60*60 cm in size. Manure, branches, then a small layer of sand and humus or compost are placed on the bottom. In a month, the earth settles, and if necessary, it is poured. Bones are planted to a depth of no more than 10 cm. It is not necessary to water from above, it is enough to cover it with earth. The landing site is marked with pegs.

    How to sprout a plum pit

    Outdoors, a pit sprouts on its own, undergoing the process of scarification and stratification naturally. To do this, it is planted in the fall, in mid - late October. If there are a lot of seeds, then they dig a trench 10 cm deep. The pit is not filled with any fertilizers.

    Seeds are laid out at a distance of 20-30 cm. If planted immediately in a permanent place, it must first be fertilized. Some release the bone from a dense shell. But this is not necessary, but for autumn planting it is disastrous. This method is only suitable for landing in the spring.

    How to plant a plum from the stone

    Plum is planted in autumn or spring. If the planting is postponed to spring, then the bones must be stratified in the freezer, in the refrigerator or on the street, in the cold. In the spring, as soon as the snow thaws, they can be planted in a prepared place.

    After a year, the plum is ready for grafting, which should be carried out with any variety you like. Without grafting, a tree can give out any unfortunate progenitor qualities. By grafting a seedling, the gardener protects himself from all sorts of risks of inconsistency with the variety and brings the time of fruiting closer.

    How to grow a sapling from a plum stone

    In the country, it is better to grow a sapling for a rootstock right at the place where the plum will grow. This culture is shade-tolerant, but the shade should not be permanent. For abundant fruiting, the plum is planted in the sun. When choosing a place, take into account that the plum loves loose fertile soil.

    If planting is single, then you need to dig a planting hole 50 * 50 * 50 cm in advance. You can dig more, depending on the future variety. The pit is filled with completely rotted compost or humus, ash and sand for looseness.

    Tip! It is better to plant several pieces at once to insure yourself.

    If all sprout, then the weakest should be pinched, but in no case should they be pulled out of the ground, damaging the root system. In good room conditions, a grafting seedling can be grown by early summer.

    Is it necessary to graft a plum grown from stone

    To get a full-fledged tree, a seedling grown from stone must be grafted. Plum from the stone retains the variety very rarely. It is better not to hope for this, but to plant it only for stock.

    Learn more