How to start a peach tree from the pit

Growing Peaches from Seed – Philadelphia Orchard Project

Ever eat a delicious fruit and wonder about planting the seed to grow a new tree? Although common fruits are usually propagated through grafting, delicious peach and apricot trees can be grown from seed. Read below to find out how!

While planting the seeds of apples, pears, plums, and cherries can also result in a new tree, the fruit of the seedling tree will almost never resemble the parent tree. In many cases, even seeds from the best tasting apple will result in a tree with inedible or poor quality fruit. Seedling trees also lack the dwarfing qualities of a tree grafted to a dwarfing or semi-dwarfing rootstock, so a seedling apple tree may get to be 30 feet tall. For these reasons, vegetative propagation through grafting is the primary way new fruit trees are produced.

Peaches and apricots tend to come fairly true to seed, meaning a seedling tree will generally be very similar to the parent tree and bear similar fruit. Although commercial orchards plant grafted peach and apricot trees, a seedling tree is a fine option for a yard or community garden orchard. Growing trees from seed is free and can also make a fun project for young orchardists!

Growing Peach Trees from Seed

  1. Save pits from fully ripe tasty fruits grown in your area.
  2. Clean pits removing all bits of fruit with a brush and water. Let dry for several days on your counter, with airflow if you can.
  3. Crack open the pit to retrieve the seed. You can use a vise, a nut cracker, or as a last choice, a hammer. Please be careful not to let anyone eat this seed, as it contains a small amount of cyanide, which is toxic. This step is optional, but will increase germination. 
  4. Keep your seeds cool until you are ready to start the germination process – in an airtight container in the fridge is best. 
  5. In autumn, place several seeds or pits 3-4′ deep into a pot, or even straight into ground. Water well.
  6. If in pot, bury pot into ground so that the top of the pot and soil line are even. Top with several inches of mulch for extra insulation. Be careful to select a location that does not sit saturated with water.
  7. Your seeds need protection from predation, especially squirrels! Add a protective cage or hardware cloth around your potting container, including several inches down into the soil..
  8. Throughout the winter, water only when completely dried out, but be sure to water deeply as temperatures warm. In spring, seedlings should emerge.
  9. Replant the strongest of your seedlings when they grow to over a foot tall. Choose a well draining spot with full sun. Peach trees should generally produce fruit within three to five years.

Peach seeds need to go through the cold winter period in order to germinate or cold stratification. If you live in a warm region you can simulate the cold conditions needed to germinate seeds in your refrigerator. Start the process about four months before your last frost date in the spring.

  1. Soak seeds overnight in room temperature water.
  2. Place seeds in a bag or jar filled with slightly moist potting soil. Store in refrigerator. The idea is to keep them cool and moist, but not moldy.
  3. You should start to see thick white rootlets sprouting between one and three months, depending on the variety of peach. The best time to plant is about a month before last frost. Keep sprouted seeds in the refrigerator until then, even if sprouted earlier.
  4. Plant into pot at least 12″ deep, or directly into ground. Should receive 1″ of rain or irrigation per week.

If you have started a peach from seed  please tag us @phillyorchards on social media – we’d love to follow along!


This edition of POP TIPS prepared with assistance from POP Intern Rachel Baltuch, updated by Education Director Corrie Spellman-Lopez.

SUPPORT US!  If you found this entry useful, informative, or inspiring, please consider a donation of any size to help POP in planting and supporting community orchards in Philadelphia:  

How to Grow Peaches From Seed


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


  • 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 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


  • Seed Selection
  • Planting peach pit
  • Peach seedling care
  • Peculiarities of Pitted Peach
  • Meadow garden unusual trick

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.

Unusual "meadow garden" technique

Another possibility that opens up through the cultivation of 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. The yield from one peach with this approach is from 10 to 15 large fruits, and interestingly, such plantings are less susceptible to diseases!

Peach trees in bloom. © Viethavvh

What is the fruit link principle?

This is when the first pruning of a tree is made at a bole height of 10 cm, and allows only two shoots to be left on the plant: one is more developed (for crop formation), the other is shortened by two buds. The following year, when the peach bears fruit, the fruiting twig is cut off, forming two shoots again on the second one - the shoot of fruiting and replacement.

Such prospects are opened by a simple peach stone! Now that you know about it, it will surely be a shame to throw it in the trash!

How to grow a peach from a stone at home: step by step instructions

Grow a tree from a stone? Such thoughts visit from time to time everyone who likes to work in a garden or a greenhouse. Especially if you have a fragrant juicy peach with tender pulp in your hands.

And if people have learned to grow lemons and pomegranates at home, then it is not difficult to get a peach tree .

To do this, you need to be patient and follow the recommendations of experienced gardeners.

Table of contents

  • Is it possible and how to grow a peach from the stone?
    • Select landing material
    • Select variety
  • Select the method of growing
    • Cold method, or stratification, at home
    • , split and extract seeds
    • How to germinate
  • Care for young peach sprouts
  • Planting a tree in open ground in the country

Is it possible and how to grow a peach from a seed?

Selecting planting material

Quality planting material is the key to success . Turkish or Spanish peaches, however beautiful and tasty they may be, are not suitable for planting in our latitudes.

Everyone knows that imported peaches are harvested from trees long before biological maturity. This is the right approach, because at the onset of technical ripeness, fruits acquire a delicate taste, retain useful substances and well tolerate transportation over long distances.

But the seeds of such fruits do not ripen , and therefore you should not waste your time and effort on their germination.

In addition, southern varieties will not survive in our climate because they are used to more comfortable conditions. If the seeds sprout, then the seedlings themselves will die without receiving the required amount of sunlight and heat.

It is necessary to choose peaches for pitting from zoned varieties, not from a grafted tree

If you have already decided to plant a peach, walk around the market looking for local fruits . The seller, who has grown his goods with his own hands, will be happy to tell you how to care for the seedling in order to achieve fruiting.

It's great if a neighbor in the dacha shares the harvest. In any case, prepare a few bones. The germination rate of peach seeds is about 25%, some of the seedlings will die during cultivation, so the more seeds you collect, the better.

Be sure to ask from which tree the peaches were taken. Do not take fruit from a grafted tree because the characteristics of the variety when grown are unlikely to match those of the mother.

Only native-rooted peaches provide planting material capable of retaining species characteristics.

Choosing a variety

Zoned varieties will feel better in the local climate, content with the amount of heat and lighting that the nature of a particular region can give them.

Even if you decide to plant seedlings in open ground, with proper care they will not be afraid of frost.

When choosing a peach variety, pay attention to the main characteristics.

Winter hardiness. If you plan to transplant seedlings into open ground, choose varieties with good winter hardiness and unpretentiousness in growing conditions.

Self-pollination. Many varieties are self-pollinating. But if you want to get a generous harvest, plant at least 3-4 peaches nearby, which will subsequently bear fruit.

Early ripeness - for successful fruiting in summer, it is recommended to plant varieties of early ripening (July-first half of August).

The most popular of the early ripening peaches are: Early Riversa, Winner, Early Minion. Good winter hardiness in varieties Amsden and Kyiv early, and high yields in varieties Nectarine white, Nectarine Krasnodar, Redhaven and Nobles.

For pitting, prepare large, ripe, soft fruit with no signs of damage, rot or mold. Free the bones from the pulp, rinse thoroughly under running warm water and dry. Select the bones without traces of pests and cracking.

Choosing a growing method

Growers use three methods to grow peach trees from the stone.

Stratification, or "cold method". Simulation of cold natural conditions is created so that the seeds are prepared for germination and germinate better.

During stratification, the shells soften, seeds swell, complex organic substances turn into simple ones and are absorbed by the seed germ.

Seed extraction. "Quick method", which consists in splitting the bone and extracting the kernel. After extracting the seeds from the stone, seedlings appear much earlier than during stratification.

Warm way. Seeds can be germinated in pots at room temperature and natural light.

Gardeners use three methods for growing peach trees from the stone: cold - stratification, warm and from extracted seeds

Cold method, or stratification, at home

For successful stratification, it is necessary to create moist conditions for the seeds at a low positive temperature and provide air access. For these purposes, a compartment for storing vegetables in the refrigerator or a basement is suitable.

Stratify seeds as follows:

  1. Prepare a small, unlidded container filled with damp sand or peat. Use coarse-grained sand, screened from foreign particles and thoroughly washed.
  2. Place the stones in the sand to a depth of 6-8 cm, place the container in a plastic bag with holes (to allow air to enter) and refrigerate for the winter.
  3. Check container regularly, moisten sand or peat with a spray bottle if necessary. The main thing is not to overdo it with watering, otherwise the seeds may rot.
  4. After 3-4 months, the seeds will "hatch" and sprouts of future peaches will appear.
  5. Remove the sprout container from the refrigerator and plant the seedlings in pots. Take pots with drainage holes. Use fertile soil from a mixture of leafy soil, peat and humus.
  6. Place the seedling pots in a well-lit area.
  7. Avoid sudden changes in temperature. At first, provide the sprouts with a temperature regime of + 10 ° C by placing them on a glazed balcony or veranda.
  8. After a few days, bring the potted sprouts into the room and keep the room temperature at +18+20°C. Water moderately when the soil dries out.

Chop and Seed

A quick way to grow a tree from a stone for the impatient. If you do not want to wait until spring for germination.

Proceed as follows:

  1. Chop the washed and dried bones with a knife or hammer. Use the tools carefully, try not to damage the core of the bone.
  2. Remove seeds and soak in warm water for 2-3 days to swell. Replace water daily with fresh water.
  3. When you see that the seeds have swollen and increased in size, plant them in separate pots with drainage holes. Choose the size of the pot, taking into account the fact that the planting depth is 4-6 cm.
  4. After planting, water the seeds and cover the pots with glass or plastic wrap. Ventilate the "greenhouses" daily - remove the film, wipe the condensate and let's "breathe" the pots for a while. Remember, excessive moisture causes the appearance of fungus and mold, which are detrimental to seeds and seedlings.
  5. Remove the foil when sprouts appear.
Remove the seeds and put in warm water for 2-3 days to swell, after planting, water the seeds and cover the pots with glass or plastic wrap

During the growth of the peach, the root system grows first, and only then the tree itself is formed.

Gardeners who grow peaches from pits note that the height of the seedling reaches 0.5 m after 2-3 months.

How to germinate in a warm way wait months for sprouts to appear.

Planting technology is simple:

  1. Keep prepared bones for 6-10 days in the refrigerator. It will be a kind of short-term stratification.
  2. Remove the seeds from the refrigerator and soak for 2-3 hours in growth stimulator.
  3. In moist potting mix, plant pits 6-8 cm deep.
  4. Cover the pots with transparent polyethylene or glass, ventilate them daily and wipe off any condensation.
  5. Germinate peaches at room temperature by placing the pots on a brightly lit windowsill. Water as needed.
  6. When sprouts appear after 3-4 months, remove the film and move the seedlings to a well-lit place without drafts and direct sunlight.
Peach pits are immediately planted in pots with a soil mixture, after keeping them in the refrigerator for 6-10 days.

Soil. Use loose fertile soil of peat, humus, sand and leafy soil in proportions of 1 : 1 : 1 : 2.

Lighting. Provide good lighting. With a lack of sunlight, use LED phytolamps, which will give the necessary spectrum and accelerate plant growth.

Watering Water the soil regularly. Reduce watering during fruit ripening and dormancy.

Temperature control. In winter, provide a temperature of +2 + 4 ° C, with the onset of spring during flowering + 10 + 15 ° C, and after flowering + 18 + 25 ° C.

Give the tree a winter rest period. At this time, significantly reduce watering, refuse additional lighting and provide the plant with a temperature of + 2 + 4 ° С. Resume normal care after the awakening of the kidneys.

Top dressing. Starting in March, feed the plants with mineral and organic fertilizers every two weeks. From September, stop feeding. From organic fertilizers, use a nutritious infusion of humus.

Transplant. Transplant as it grows into a larger pot in early spring (before flowering) or early September.

Cutting. When the side shoots begin to grow, and the height of the main trunk is 70 cm, proceed to the formation of the crown.

Fruiting occurs on the side branches of the tree, so the seedling must not be allowed to grow upwards. Do a major pruning next spring. Trim and pinch vigorous shoots annually.

In order for the seedlings to survive and gain strength, it is necessary to create favorable conditions for them, including a winter dormancy period

Planting a tree in open ground in the country

At home, only owners of a winter garden, a cool veranda, a glazed loggia or greenhouses.

Under normal apartment conditions, it is impossible to provide the seedling with the necessary temperature regime, depending on the time of year. But if all the conditions can be met, then in the first year the young peach will grow to 1.5 m .

Plan to transplant peach in open ground next March or early September. If you plant several seedlings, keep an interval of 3-4 meters between them.

The same distance should be to mature plants that give extensive shade and to the walls of buildings on the site. Choose a well-lit, but protected from drafts landing site.

Before planting peach , dig a hole about 1 m deep, apply organic fertilizer and dig well. Plant a seedling and tamp down the ground. Spill the trunk circles with water at room temperature and cover with a layer of mulch or humus.

A plant grown from stone at home in the first 2-3 years after transplanting into open ground should be given special attention, because it is still poorly adapted to weather conditions.

Plan to transplant peach seedlings in open ground for March of the next year or early September

In winter, wrap the tree with burlap or non-woven material and insulate the trunk with glass wool. Take care of the root system - so that it does not freeze, cover the soil of the near-stem circle with a thick layer of fallen leaves or spruce branches.

In open ground young trees may be attacked by aphids, scale insects, spider mites and codling moths. Of the diseases for peach, scab, leaf curl, powdery mildew, fruit rot, clasteropsoriasis and moniliosis are characteristic.

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