How to Plant Nectarine Seeds

Overview

A nectarine is a peach with smooth skin and darker flesh. Nectarines are common summer fruits that typically come from California, which grows over 90 percent of all nectarines in the United States. Most nectarine trees will produce nectarines like the ones you eat to get seeds. If you want to try to grow your own nectarine tree, you will need a ripe nectarine, so summer is the best time to start. It will take about three years before your tree will bear fruit.

Step 1

Take a pit from a ripe nectarine and set it on the counter to dry for three or four days. Once dry, crack the shell to get out the seed. Be careful not to damage the seed. Place the shell on it's side and tap with a hammer or gently squeeze a nut cracker. It's better if you have several seeds in case one or two do not germinate.

Step 2

Soak the seeds in room temperature water overnight. Place the soaked seeds in a jar with a handful of damp potting soil and put the lid on the jar.

Step 3

Put the jar in the refrigerator for two to three months. Check for white roots to start coming from the seed in about a month. If you live in a cold area, you can place the seeds out in the garden to stratify, however, it is easier to control temperature in the refrigerator. Animals may also eat the seeds outdoors.

Step 4

Put some drainage holes in the bottom of a wax paper milk carton and cut off the top. Fill the carton with potting soil to within an inch of the top.

Step 5

Plant each seed in its own carton about 1 inch below the surface, and then water. Place the carton in a sunny window and keep the seedlings warm. The cartons can go on top of the refrigerator at night for warmth, but don't forget they are there.

Step 6

Prepare the soil for planting outdoors after the last threat of frost. Dig a hole twice as wide as the carton and about 6 inches deeper. The location should be in full sun, in a high enough area that water will not puddle for any length of time. Remove all grass, weeds and rocks from the dug out soil.

Step 7

Amend the dug-out soil with two pounds of compost. Fill the hole with enough amended soil so the seedling will set at the same level it is in the carton.

Step 8

Carefully peel off the sides and bottom of the carton trying to keep the surrounding potting soil in place. This will cause the least disturbance to the young roots.

Step 9

Place the seedling in the hole and fill in around the original potting soil and root ball with amended soil. Tamp down and water to settle the soil around the seedling. Add more soil to bring the level to that of the surrounding soil and hand tamp it down.

Step 10

Water the soil thoroughly. Place a 3 foot diameter, 2 inch deep ring of leaf mold or clean straw mulch around the plant, but at least 1 inch away from the trunk. This will help hold the moisture and keep away the weeds. Placing the mulch against the trunk will cause too much water to stay on the trunk and it will rot.

Things You'll Need

  • Nectarine pits
  • Hammer or nutcracker
  • Small bowl
  • Small jar
  • Potting soil
  • Wax paper milk cartons
  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Mulch

References

  • Mother Earth News: Grow Free Fruit Trees
  • Michigan Peach Sponsors: What Will Happen If I Plant a Peach Pit?
  • Pick Your Own: Peach Facts and Picking Tips
Keywords: planting nectarine seeds, growing fruit trees, planting stone fruit

About this Author

Dale DeVries is a retired realtor with 30 years of experience in almost every facet of the business. DeVries started writing in 1990 when she wrote advertising and training manuals for her real estate agents. Since retiring, she has spent the last two years writing well over a thousand articles online for Associated Content, Bright Hub and Demand Studios.