How to Germinate Peach Pits (and Why You Should)

germinate peach pits

Save money by growing your own peach trees from seeds. It’s amazingly easy! My video on how to germinate peach pits has almost 40,000 views since I posted it back in July of last year. Watch it below.

Since posting that instructional video, I have received a lot of comments and emails from people thanking me for showing them how to grow their own peaches from seeds.

Recently, my friend Amanda sent these two pictures of her peach-sprouting success.

germinate peach pit germinate peach pit

How Do You Germinate Peach Pits?

Some years ago, I discovered in some dusty corner of the internet that peach pits require cold stratification to germinate. Cold stratification is a technique used to simulate real-world conditions that a seed would get outdoors after a frozen winter, which then gives way to a warm, wet spring. There are six methods of cold stratification to choose from: cold water soaking, refrigeration, fall planting, winter/solstice sowing, outdoor treatment, and snow planting.

I put this knowledge to the test with great success, starting about 50 peach pits I found beneath an abandoned and squirrel-ravaged Tropic Beauty peach growing a few miles from my old place in North Florida.

germinate peach pit

I did this experiment despite the fact that there are hordes of small-minded gardeners, who take great pleasure in lecturing everyone about the utter worthlessness of starting fruit trees from seed.

These people are wrong.

Here’s a video I did showing some of my seed-grown peach trees in fruit:

And here are two pictures of some of the delicious fruit I got as a result of germinating peach pits in my very own refrigerator:

germinate peach pit germinate peach pit

In their SECOND year, my two seedling peach trees produced about five gallons of fruit. They continued to massively outproduce the grafted peach trees I planted before them, plus they grew with more vigor.

Growing fruit trees from seed isn’t a dumb thing to do. It’s a great thing to do, and a YUGE, high energy, too. Check out this video on how I germinated other fruit trees from seed!

Sometimes the “experts” aren’t necessarily correct. They’re just people who say things adamantly because they’ve heard other people say them.

Heck with that.

Germinate peach pits and you get free fruit trees. Easy! The same method works for plums and cherries, too. And if that’s not enough, you can read about sprouting avocados here.

Finally, here’s how you germinate peach pits, cartoon-style:

germinate peach pit

 

Thanks for the pictures, Amanda, and may your peaches grow and produce abundantly. And let us know how your germination experiments go! We’d love to hear from you. Put your comments below.

 

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David The Good


Contributor

David The Good is a Grow Network Change Maker, a gardening expert, and the author of four books you can find on Amazon: Compost Everything: The Good Guide to Extreme Composting, Grow or Die: The Good Guide to Survival Gardening, Totally Crazy Easy Florida Gardening, and Create Your Own Florida Food Forest. His upcoming book Push the Zone explores growing tropical edibles outside the tropics. Find fresh gardening inspiration at his website http://www.TheSurvivalGardener.com and be sure to follow his popular YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/davidthegood.


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42 Comments
  • Red

    How long after you started them from seeds did you have your first harvest?

    • Red

      I kinda find it hard to believe that the second yr they produced gallons of fruit. How much fruit per seedling?

      • Deedee

        Planting a young peach tree or a peach pit will not give you fruit the first year. You must wait 3 to 4 years before it starts to produce fruit, notes the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. Before this time, the tree will be too small to support full-sized, harvestable fruit. During the first, nonproductive years the tree’s energy is concentrated on the tree’s growth.

        • Wanda

          Hmm I got two plums off tree planted from seed second year and it had grown to about Seven feet . Maybe it depends on soil, sunlight amount, watering, and fertilize and mulching with some good mushroom compost and wood chips.

  • Sherilyn Thompson

    David will peaches and other “temperate zone” fruit trees grow in the tropics? What about nut trees like pecans or walnuts? I currently live in Nicaragua and am wondering what fruit trees would grow here. My husband loves cherries, and I love peaches, but I didn’t think they would grow here. Am I wrong, or right about that?

  • Gina

    Sherilyn,
    David mentions a variety of peach called “tropic beauty” in the article that he grew in Florida. That might work for you. Cherries are doubtful, but do your own research, I might be wrong. However, why not take advantage of the environment you’re in and grow tropical fruits and nuts? You can grow mangoes (yum!), papayas, bananas, pineapples, star fruit, passion fruit, oranges and lemons and other citrus, avocados, dates, figs, acerola cherries, acai and other tropical “super fruits”, coconuts, cashews, macadamia nuts, etc. All the things temperate zone gardeners wish they could grow. As the saying goes, “bloom where you’re planted.”

    • Gina

      I almost forgot, you can also grow Theobroma cacao, otherwise known as chocolate trees. You can grow your own chocolate! What could be better than that? Your own coffee, too if you’re into coffee.

  • Mary

    David, I live in Dallas Texas and my son keeps asking me to get him a cherry tree. I am using your instructions on some other organic stone fruits but the type of cherry that might possibly do well here isn’t anything like what we get in the stores. Do you know of a source for the seeds?

    • Dakota

      Someone’s yard would probably be the best place. Look on Facebook for Dallas Garden clubs and such and ask if anyone can give you a few cherries next time they have some. Try calling Womack’s Nursery in DeLeon for trees. Probably no warranty on cherry trees. You will want one with low chill requirement, probably sour cherry. My friend used to have a small cherry tree/bush in his backyard in Dallas that had small very tart cherries they made jelly with, but he moved.

    • Jennifer

      You could try Barbados cherry/ acerola cherry. Both grow here in Florida, I’m guessing you’d be about the same zone.

  • Joni Nuernberg

    Any ideas on growing in a state like Wisconsin where we have true 4 seasons?

  • Diane Hopkins

    So, do you crack the pit open or not?

    Thanks!
    ; 0 )

  • Sarah

    I compost everything in my kitchen and the peach seed seem not to compost very well. I have gotten so many peach seedlings in my backyard. I left one on the same place it sprouted last year. This summer it produced many sizeable sweet white peaches. Yum!

  • Debbie

    The idea sounds great, but here in hardiness zone 4a peaches, apricots, and sweet cherries are fruits that will not survive without good winter protection. I had a peach tree once that lasted through one season but died the next, even though it was well covered. The only way I might make this work would be to buy some locally grown varieties the next time I travel far enough south to where they actually will grow and, if the pits sprout, try to grow them in a mini-greenhouse. I may try plums though.

    • Doug

      I have 2 peach trees in upstate New York. They produce very well most years after 4th season . Plums also . But all fruit trees up here depend if we get frost after blossoming.

  • Natalie Hackett

    Does it work the same for plums, apricots and nectorines too ??

  • Michael dwight

    Thanks Im gonna give it a shot !!

  • Debbie

    I just came back from my nephew’s house with a bag full of peaches of an unknown variety that were growing well in zone 5b (They came with the house he bought). I am in 4a, so it’s time to try pushing the zone. I look forward to seeing how well they will sprout and grow here with some winter protection.

  • Lyn

    I live in the interior of Alaska, winter temps can get down to -50 to -60 for days at a time. Will this work if the plants were in pots? Will they still give fruit?

    • Tammy

      You should definitely plant the pot in the ground over the cold season. I’ve killed my share of plants leaving them in pots over the winter.

  • Tim Shuteran

    Have you had any issues with peaches from orchards that use almonds as pollinators? If the accidental crosses don’t produce good peaches, do they typically produce good almonds?

  • I need to known that peach pit can germinate in Nigeria
    Please

  • Step1 I need to know will
    Is ten day put on sunshine
    Or

  • Sally

    David, thanks for the awesome idea. Our little peach tree’s small harvest is just about ready, and now I know what to do with the pits. 🙂

    Loved your cartoon tutorial too! LOL

  • Jeffery Copas

    I am going to try the peach seed thing and I hope it works for me too.I have a Apple tree I started from seeds of a Apple that I ate .
    Thank you for the information.

  • Carol

    David, I grew my first peach tree from a seed pit. I just dropped a pit in the ground late fall 2 yrs ago. I was surprised in the Spring of the first year it had grown rapidly to about 2 ft. By the end of the season it had grown to almost 5ft. This year(2nd yr) it had grown to over 8ft and still growing and amazingly it bore fruit already. Sweet nice size peaches. Can’t wait until next year. Only one problem, do you spray the tree to keep the insects from boring into the peaches. I found little black specks on them then some small holes which ended up a small worm which went straight to the core.. if you spray them do you have any suggestions.

  • JP

    Can this be done in Northern states?

  • Bethany

    Thank u . I brought home to ms .from wa lot of peach seeds.

  • jaque

    I am confused. In the video you planted the pit with the kernel in them. In the cartoon the kernel is removed from the casing and you plant the casing not the kernel. Doesn’t the plant grow from the kernel and not the hard casing or am I wrong?

  • Julie

    do you plant the cracked pit or the kernel? if the pit is to be planted, why take the kernel out? I can’t wait to do this!! Love peaches. Thanks so.much
    Julie

  • Carolyn McNally

    I would love to know how to grow so many fruit plus veggies hope you can help

  • Jennifer

    I got my peach seeds to sprout in about 12-17 days with this method.

  • Darlene

    Can you grow peaches in containers? Indoors

  • Pete

    Are you putting the left over pit, or the kernel in the fridge? I would think the kernel.

    Thank you

  • Holly Monks

    Question. Do I take the kernel or the put and put in moist soil? Do I cover that kernel or pit with soil? Do I need to water the soil in the refrigerator during those two to three months? Sorry. I’m new to this and want our home to become self sufficient Do you know anything about tangerines in a pot? I have a greenhouse.

  • Lwees

    Thanks, I have to say I am glad I am not the only one knowing how to let nature take its course, I have been doing this for 5 years and it started in Massachusetts all the way to Texas, I have planted peaches, apple, and orange trees, but wait, I have now mango and avocado. I must say it is great to accomplish a great plantation without all the master degrees and chemicals. Thanks for sharing I will make this a topic to share. Maybe I can share some pictures soon. Thanks.

  • Pete

    Looking at the pictures of the fruit, will they be that small, or was it just that variety? Looks like fun!!

  • Ralph Brew

    Hi there! I like your peach pit article. One thing I felt important to mention is that peaches and nectarine seeds have pretty high levels of success in producing trees with luscious edible fruit, but that it is not guaranteed. Sometimes they result in trees that do not produce many flowers, thus no fruit at all (I had a wonderful strong yellow nectarine tree which fit that description), whilst others will produce plenty of fruit which are not particularly delicious even with plenty of water and fertiliser. And you are right about plums and cherries, except that seedling cherries are notoriously likely to produce trees that do not set much fruit or which produce a lot of very small cherries. Seeds from old varieties of European Plum such as Prune, Greengage, Damson and Cherry-plum are fairly likely to produce something approximating their female parent, but as plums cross breed easily you are also quite likely to get something of very mixed blessing. Some could be delicious, others not. And when it comes to Apples, they can produce absolutely wonderful results, but more frequently are inedible or only good for cider-making or cooking. Avocados can also produce fantastic results. They just need a pollinator of another variety. Kensington Pride Mangos are well known as being good to grow from seed. So to cut a long story short, I also encourage people to try growing fruit from pits, but they need to know that the results may be indifferent. But they may exceed expectations as well. So it’s all fun.

  • Ralph Brew

    And to add, if you get a strong tree with no flowering or no good quality fruit, all is not lost. Learn the art of grafting. It is actually quite easy. There are plenty of books and websites about. You can even multi-graft a single tree so you have the original plus any number of your favourite varieties of peach/nectarine on one tree. Or plums on plums etc.

  • Brittany

    Thank you for you post on this! Very helpful! Also, a fun project to have the kids help me with! I have lemons to that we are going to try next!

  • Carol Jones

    My mom use to grow peach trees by cracking the pit getting the seeds then take them outside dig a hole and she would have a peach tree. No lie but I could never do it. Going to try this next year. I have two peach trees loaded but we have started a fruit tree fields with my in laws so I will try this.

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