How to Grow Fruit Trees From Pits

Overview

Many fruit trees, including peach, nectarine, cherry and apricot trees can be started from seed. The seed of these 'stone' fruits is contained in a hard pit that protects it. Stone fruit seeds require special preparation to promote germination. With a little knowledge, you can start fruit trees from a pit in your own home for a tasty way to improve your garden.

Starting Your Fruit Tree Seeds

Step 1

Get your seeds. They can come from a parent tree, fresh fruit or commercial sources such as seed companies. Your seeds should be fresh and free of disease or damage. If your seeds are still in the pit, they can be removed using a nut cracker.

Step 2

Break the dormancy of your seeds. Stone fruits grow in hardiness zones that receive cold weather for part of the year. The seeds of these trees require a certain amount of time at cold temperatures to germinate. Follow the steps below to break dormancy.

Step 3

Sow the seeds in the fall, directly into the ground to break dormancy, if you live in areas where temperatures drop below 40 degrees F for 30 to 120 days, depending on the type of fruit tree. For example, apricot seeds can chill for as little as 30 days to germinate, while peaches can take up to 4 months. Be sure to keep the soil from drying out.

Step 4

Stratify the seeds to break dormancy. If you want to plant in spring or indoors, use a technique call stratification. Place your seeds approximately 1 inch deep in a container filled with half peat moss and half sand and refrigerate them for 30 to 120 days, depending on the species.

Step 5

Sow your seeds. The method of planting for all stone fruits is generally the same. Plant seeds in 1 or 2 inches of fertile soil and water them in. The seeds can be planted directly in the ground or in individual pots and transplanted later. Ensure that the area where the seeds are planted receives a good amount of sun each day. Once planted, watch for growth within 3 weeks of planting. Fertilize lightly and water regularly.

Tips and Warnings

  • Because seeds are produced by pollination from an unknown source, trees from seeds may not always resemble the parent plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Tree seeds
  • Plastic container and lid
  • Soil mixture of 1/2 peat moss and 1/2 sand
  • Nut cracker

References

  • Iowa State University
  • Apricot Facts
Keywords: fruit tree seeds, fruit tree pits, break dormancy stone fruit, sowing fruit pits

About this Author

In Jacksonville, Fla., Frank Whittemore is a content strategist with over a decade of experience as a hospital corpsman in the U.S. Navy and a licensed paramedic. He has over 15 years experience writing for several Fortune 500 companies. Whittemore writes on topics in medicine, nature, science, technology, the arts, cuisine, travel and sports.