How to plant peach tree seeds


How to Grow Peaches From Seed

By

Jamie McIntosh

Jamie McIntosh

Jamie McIntosh has written about gardening and special occasion flowers for the Spruce since 2011. She has more than 20 years of experience caring for flowers and plants. She was a feature writer for Organic Gardening at Suite101, where she won awards for her writing.

Learn more about The Spruce's Editorial Process

Updated on 05/17/22

The Spruce / Steven Merkel

In This Article

  • Growing a Peach Tree From a Seed

Project Overview

A mature peach tree is a beautiful addition to any landscape. The lush pink flowers are highly ornamental in the spring, and the summer fruits create anticipation for many luscious pies, cobblers, and preserves to come. Young peach tree saplings can cost from $25 and up, but if you're patient, you can turn your peach snack into a future fruit-bearing tree. Planting peach seeds will not result in a tree identical to the parent plant that produced the peach you ate, but the resulting tree could be a chance seedling with characteristics even better than the parent plant.

You just enjoyed the sweetest peach you've ever tasted on a friend's farm. Why can't you plant that pit and grow the same kind of peach? The answer lies in the way peach trees reproduce. A peach seed results from the male pollen of one plant combining with the female flower ovule of another plant. The offspring seed will have characteristics of both parents. Professional growers use grafting methods to attach a desired variety onto a mother rootstock, allowing them to control the type of peaches they grow. By growing a peach seed, you may end up with a tree that is more or less vigorous, flavorful, or cold-hardy than the parents. Embrace this uncertain outcome as a fun part of the process.

Equipment / Tools

  • Soft toothbrush
  • Refrigerator
  • Nutcracker or pliers

Materials

  • Peach seed
  • Household bleach
  • Fungicide
  • Planting container at least 12 inches deep
  • Soil-free potting mix

The Spruce / Steven Merkel

  1. Clean the Peach Seed

    Unlike sprouting an avocado pit, where you can just suspend the pit over water, peach seeds need special preparation before planting. In nature, when ripe peaches drop to the ground and decompose, some seeds end up germinating, while others succumb to mold and mildew. You want better odds than nature offers, so you should clean and treat your seed to prevent mold growth.

    Carefully scrub away any fruit that clings to the pit with a dry, soft toothbrush. Dip the seed into a bleach solution with 10 parts water to 1 part bleach. Allow the seed to air dry, and then apply a fungicide to the seed to further inhibit mold growth.

    The Spruce / Steven Merkel

  2. Conduct a Cold Treatment for the Peach Seed

    Mother Nature provides a cold treatment for peach seeds that allows the embryo to develop and mature before germination can occur. You must provide the same conditions for your seed to germinate. Many fruit seeds require this cold period, but peaches need one of the longest treatments—about four months. The ideal temperature for this treatment is between 35 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit, so the refrigerator is perfect. Keep your peach seed apart from other produce in the refrigerator, which may emit ethylene gas that can have a negative effect on the seed's viability.

    The Spruce / Steven Merkel

  3. Crack the Seed (Optional)

    The deeply wrinkled covering you see on a peach pit is actually not part of the seed. This covering, called the endocarp, envelops the seed, which is smooth. Gently cracking the endocarp with a nutcracker or some pliers is optional and will speed up germination.

    The Spruce / Steven Merkel

  4. Plant the Peach Seed

    Using a high-quality growing mix will ensure that your peach seed gets the best start. A soil-free sterile potting mix, sphagnum moss, or vermiculite are all suitable growing mediums for a peach seed. Choose a large container at least 12 inches tall to allow room for the tap root to develop. Plant the seed 1 inch deep and keep moist. Now that your seed has completed its cold dormancy, you can place it in a warm environment to encourage sprouting.

    The Spruce / Steven Merkel

  5. Wait for Germination

    Depending on whether you cracked the endocarp, germination will take place in four to six weeks. The tap root will emerge before the top growth appears. The first leaves to appear will be the seed leaves, or cotyledons.

    The Spruce / Steven Merkel

  6. Acclimate the Peach Sprout to the Outdoors

    After your peach tree sprouts, it's important to acclimate the plant to the outdoors to prepare it for transplanting, as it will soon outgrow its container. After the peach seedling has at least two sets of true leaves, when all danger of frost is past, place it outdoors in a sheltered area for two hours. The following day, place it outdoors for three hours. Add an hour each day, until the peach plant is accustomed to the sun, wind, and temperatures outside.

    The Spruce / Steven Merkel

  7. Plant Your New Peach Tree

    Choose a site for your peach with full sun and excellent drainage. Dig a hole deep enough to accommodate the tap root of the peach plant without damaging it. Keep your peach tree moderately moist through its first growing season. The sapling will take about three years to reach maturity when it will be capable of producing flowers and fruit.

    The Spruce / Steven Merkel

How to Prune Peach Trees

How to Grow and Care for Peach Trees

Every year, the Environmental Working Group publishes a list of the "dirty dozen" produce items that contain the most pesticide residue, and peaches are usually on that list. If you want to enjoy this delicious fruit, why not consider growing organic peaches? You don't need the tropical temperatures necessary for citrus fruits like lemons, and you can opt for flavorful thin-skinned types that are too delicate to make it to supermarket shelves.

There are dozens of peach trees varieties, even dwarf cultivars that you can grow in a container, so you can grow a peach crop for cobblers, jams and jellies, smoothies, or salsa.

When grown from seed, peach trees take at least three to four years to produce fruit. Purchasing a young tree means you can enjoy a harvest sooner. Plant your peach tree during late winter or early spring, during its dormancy period.

All parts of the peach tree, except for the edible fruit, are toxic to humans and pets.

Common Name Peach
Botanical Name Prunus persica
Family Rosaceae
Plant Type Fruit tree
Mature Size 4 to 6 ft. for dwarf trees; 25 ft. for standard trees
Sun Exposure Full sun
Soil Type Sandy, well-draining
Soil pH Acidic (6.0 to 6.5)
Bloom Time Spring
Flower Color Pink
Hardiness Zones 5a-9a, USDA
Native Area China
Toxicity Stems, leaves, and pits are toxic to humans and pets

How to Plant Peach Trees

The best time to plant a peach tree is in the late winter or early spring while the tree is dormant. That way it has the entire growing season to get established.

Select a cultivar suited to your climate and plant it in a sunny, sheltered location. A slightly elevated site is better than a depression where frost settles.

For a bare-root tree, make sure that the hole you dig is large enough to give the roots plenty of room to spread. Water it deeply and consider mulching around the root zone to seal in that moisture.

Stake the tree immediately after planting. Slightly angle the stake away from the tree and drive it six to eight inches into the undisturbed soil, never into the root ball. Secure the trunk to the stake with an elastic tree tie.

Peach trees are self-fertile, so you don't need to plant more than one to produce fruit. If you want to start a mini orchard, make sure they have the proper spacing to prevent them from shading each other at maturity. Plant standard peaches 18 feet apart, and dwarf peaches five feet apart.

Peach Tree Care

Light

Peach trees need full sun. Those grown in shade lose their vigor, making them susceptible to pest and disease problems.

Soil

Peach trees need good drainage, and like their soil on the sandy side. Adding an organic mulch around the tree, like leaf mold or compost, helps suppress weeds and keeps the soil healthy and slightly acidic.

Water

Keep peach trees evenly moist, especially in the first two years as they establish themselves.

Temperature and Humidity

Peaches like moderate temperatures and generally grow best in USDA growing zones 5a to 8a. However, you can select more cold or heat-tolerant varieties to expand the growing zone to include zones 4 and 9.

Peaches need at least 600 chilling hours at 45 degrees Fahrenheit or lower to trigger fruiting. Extended temperatures below zero may damage the trees. Peaches tolerate humid conditions, but excessive wetness can encourage fungal diseases.

Fertilizer

Apply a balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer around your peach trees each spring. Start with one pound for each new tree, and add one pound each year, up to 10 pounds, for standard mature peach trees.

The Spruce / Kara Riley The Spruce / Kara Riley Tan Le/Getty Images S847/Getty Images  The Spruce / Kara Riley

Peach Trees Varieties

There are hundreds of peach cultivars to choose from. While peach trees can produce clingstone or freestone fruits, most varieties sold for home gardens are freestone. You can also choose between yellow or white flesh and early or late-bearing peach trees.

  • 'Halehaven' is a very sweet midseason variety. Even the skin is said to be sweet, and the trees are vigorous.
  • 'Carolina Belle' produces large-sized, freestone, creamy white fruit that ripens from July to August.
  • 'Reliance' is an early season producer good for colder growing zones.
  • 'Contender' is a cold-tolerant variety that produces medium-sized, freestone, red fruit that is non-browning.
  • 'Galaxy' and 'Saturn' are both donut-shaped peaches that have sweet white flesh.
  • 'Bonanza' is a dwarf peach tree that only reaches six feet tall but produces full-sized fruit.

Peach Trees vs. Nectarine Trees

Peach and nectarine trees are the same species—Prunus persica. The nectarine fruit is fuzz-free and somewhat smaller and sweeter than the peach. Peach trees may sometimes grow nectarines, and nectarine trees may grow peaches. Professional growers control their crops by graftingbranches that previously produced nectarines onto peach trees. Fuzziness is a dominant trait, but if your peach trees decide to go rogue and produce a nectarine crop, consider it a two-for-one bonus.

Harvesting

A young tree (not grown from seed) starts to bear fruit two to four years after planting. Following their showy pink spring blooms, peach trees will develop many tiny green peaches in the early summer months. In addition to the natural fruit drop that occurs at this stage of development, you must also thin the crop, or you'll face the disappointment of walnut-sized fruit at harvest time. Remove all but the largest fruits from each branch, leaving at least six inches between fruits.

How to Grow Peach Trees in Pots

Dwarf peach trees make great container specimens. Choose a container at least three feet across. Never let your peach tree container dry out and protect it from hard freezes in a sheltered area like a garage or shed.

Pruning

It may seem strange removing healthy branches from a thick, bushy peach tree, but proper pruning is vital for managing the fruit size and ensuring enough light is received on fruit-bearing branches. When pruning a peach tree, the finished look of the branches should have a herringbone pattern with an open center, like a vase.

While pruning should be done in late winter, you can also do some light summer shearing if the tree has vigorous shoots that shade fruiting branches in the tree's interior. The amount of light that you allow to reach fruiting branches following pruning is important for the development of next season's flower buds.

Click Play to Learn How to Prune Peach Trees

Propagating

The easiest way to propagate a non-grafted tree is through softwood cuttings. Take a nine-inch cutting in the spring when growth is soft and green. Dip it in rooting hormone to help the cutting take, plant the cutting in a sterile potting medium, and keep it moist. Roots should form in around a month.

How to Grow Peach Trees From Seed

Peach pits will grow outdoors with little intervention. Plant the seed outdoors about three inches deep in the fall. Cold winter temperatures will allow the embryo to mature. The seed will germinate in the spring, and you can transplant your young tree to its permanent location.

Common Pests and Diseases

The most significant peach tree pest is the peach tree borer. This clearwing moth resembles a wasp and deposits its eggs on tree bark in the fall. The grubs hatch and burrow into the trunk, where they feed on the trunk and roots. Look for a jelly-like sap at the entry hole, and impale grubs with a wire.

In terms of diseases, a fungus can cause peach tree leaf curl, leading to leaf browning and deformity. Use a copper-based fungicide in late fall or early spring to prevent and control this issue.

Article Sources

The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Prunus persica. NC State University Cooperative Extension.

  2. Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants; Peach. ASPCA.

  3. Home Garden Peaches. University of Georgia Extension

  4. Peach Diseases. Clemson University Extension Service

Rules for planting peach from A to Z

Peach is one of the most delicious summer fruits. Modern varieties of this tree tolerate cold well, so you will not be left without a harvest. If you plant the tree correctly, of course.

Planting a peach: terms and nuances

Before planting, choose the best place for a seedling on the site. To do this, consider lighting, distance and soil features.

Lighting and distance

Peaches love open, sun-drenched areas. Therefore, make sure that neighboring mature trees do not create unwanted shade for the kids.

It is important to keep a distance between peach trees. Ideally, they should grow no closer than 4.5 m apart. Between rows, this distance should not be less than 5 m.

Young trees often suffer from drafts. Protection from the cold wind can be a fence or wall of any building. Plan to plant near other objects in such a way that they do not cast a shadow on the plant.

Land and soil

The best soil for growing peaches is loam or low acid black soil. Peaches do not tolerate waterlogging of the roots, so make sure that the groundwater level is at least 3 meters below the root system.

The size of the planting hole is also important. It must be at least 60 cm deep and wide.

Planting dates

Peaches can be planted in spring and autumn. It all depends on your desire and the climatic conditions in your area. Spring planting requires a stable temperature around 5°C. For autumn - calculate the time so that the plant has time to take root before the first frost.

Peach planting

The soil for planting peaches is prepared in advance. The first stage of preparation is to dig up the soil and add compost, manure or ash.

Preparations for spring planting begin in the autumn: during this period, planting pits are prepared. Most of the pit is filled with substrate.

  1. Water the hole well before planting.
  2. Install the sapling and its support peg. Straighten the roots and fill the hole with fresh earth.
  3. Between the root collar and ground level should be 3-4 cm.
  4. If planting in the autumn, almost all side branches should also be removed. Leave only three branches shortened by a quarter. It is desirable to anoint the place of trimming with charcoal.
  5. One peach after planting takes up to 2 buckets of water. Watering should be done every seven days. After the first watering, the soil is covered with a layer of mulch.
  6. In the autumn it will also be useful to whitewash the stump of a young tree.

Neighborhood of peach with other trees

Neighborhood with other fruit trees plays an important role in the cultivation of peaches. The fact is that trees compete with each other for light and moisture. In this fight, someone is bound to lose.

Undesirable companions for peach include:

  • apricots;
  • pears;
  • cherries;
  • walnuts;
  • cherries;
  • apple trees.

Peach is sensitive not only to his neighbors, but also to his predecessors in the garden. The soil after some plants is often teeming with infections that are detrimental to peach. Peach cannot be grown locally:

  • strawberries and strawberries;
  • eggplants;
  • tomatoes;
  • potatoes;
  • pepper.

Even alfalfa and clover can stop the development of young peach trees.

Preparing for wintering

After the temperature drops in autumn, peach seedlings should be protected from frost:

  1. Dig up the soil near the trunk and moisten it.

  2. Treat the plant with fungicides or other pesticides.

  3. Use sawdust, humus, or leaves to mulch under the peach canopy.

  4. Use burlap to wrap around the barrel. It is better to cover the tree with several layers.

  5. Agrofibre, paper (even old wallpaper) will help protect the crown.

Peach, at first glance, may seem like a very whimsical and problematic tree. But following all the rules and nuances of planting, you will get a strong and stable tree that does not require complicated care. The quality of seedlings also plays an important role in this. You can buy seedlings of fruit trees, including peach, on our website. In the Becker store - only high-quality planting material for your garden.

Published: 14 Sep 2020

Views: 83995

(Votes: 10, Rating: 4.0)

Share with friends:

How to grow a peach from a stone? — Botanichka

Contrary to popular belief that growing trees from a stone is an empty business, a peach grown in this way is not even a myth, but a real reality. Of course, this enterprise has its own secrets, but the labor and time spent on such an experiment pays off handsomely. Let's look at how you can grow a peach from a seed.

Peaches. © Lucien Monfils

Content:

  • Seed Selection
  • Planting peach pit
  • Peach Seedling Care
  • Peculiarities of Pitted Peach
  • Unusual method "meadow garden"

Seed selection

In order to plant a peach seed, it must be removed from a ripe fruit. The best option would be seed material from a zoned variety and from a rooted plant, but there are many examples of gardeners trying to grow a completely unfamiliar variety from an unknown tree, and everything worked out well.

Selected peach pits must be dried and set aside until time in a cool, dry place. In autumn, at the end of October and until mid-November, planting time begins.

Preparing the seed for planting is quite simple: soak it in water for several days, break it up and extract the seed. However, you can go the other way - plant it entirely and immediately, immediately after extraction from the fetus. This will allow her to go through a period of stratification on her own, and germinate in her own time, usually after 4 months.

Peach pit and seed. © An.ha

Planting a peach pit

The place for planting a peach tree should be chosen on a hill, where there are no cold drafts and most of the sun. If there are other peaches in the garden, then you need to move away from them at least 3 meters away. This is important from a perspective point of view, because your "pet" will grow and grow into a full-fledged tree, and it is better if this happens without a transplant.

Peach pits should be planted no more than 8 cm deep. The planting site should be watered, mulched and marked just in case.

Peach seedling care

In the spring, when the peach seed sprouts, it needs care. It consists, in the first year of life, in simple agronomic practices associated with spring feeding, watering and spraying. It is not necessary to trim the plant at this stage - its task is to grow and form a pencil-thick trunk.

Peach tree in bloom. © Fanghong

In the second year, normal peach development begins. It consists in trimming the trunk at the level of two secateurs above the ground and summer cleaning of branches that thicken the crown. Next, comes the formation on the bowl and the classic care of the plant. Peach from the stone will begin to bear fruit for 3-4 years.

Peculiarities of stone peach

However, stone peach is not a simple plant - it will have special features. Firstly, its fruits may differ somewhat from the original variety, and secondly, it will have a higher resistance to temperature changes and diseases. This allows the use of this method of growing crops in areas unusual for her, for example, in places where the average annual temperature is only about 7 ° C. However, in this case, the peach is not formed in the form of a bowl familiar to the south, but is left to grow as a bush, which allows you to cover the plant for the winter.

Meadow garden technique

Another possibility offered by growing peach from the stone is the "meadow garden" technology. Today it is more popular for planting apple trees, however, the first experiments in the conditions of the south of our country, and quite successful, were carried out on peach.

The principle of the meadow garden consists in planting seeds (although seedlings are possible, but this will cost more, or by grafting on the spot to a self-grown stock) in the form of beds, at a distance of 50 cm from each other and 2 m between rows, and the formation of young plants without bole, according to the principle of the fruit link.


Learn more