Peach trees are a wonderful plant to add to your landscape. They will reward you with heavenly fruit if you tend them with a little care and perseverance. Propagating peach trees can be done in a couple of ways, depending on what you need. You can choose to either start from seed or a cutting from an existing tree. The first is a bit of a gamble since you do not know what DNA the seed is carrying while the second is basically cloning and you will get exactly the same fruit as the tree you got the cutting from.
Open the woody exterior of the peach seed using the hammer. Inside will be an almond-like pit. Remove the pit and discard the woody exterior.
Wrap the peach seed pits in a damp paper towel and place them in the plastic bag. Refrigerate the pits in the back of your refrigerator for about three months. This is called stratifying the seed.
Check the seeds and once they have started sprouting, carefully remove them from the refrigerator and the plastic bag.
Take a branch from an existing peach tree's current year's growth. You will want to make sure it has two or three nodes or leaf sections on it and that it is about 8 inches long. Typically this is done in early spring or late fall.
Remove the leaves from the bottom of the branch and dip the cut end in rooting hormone powder. This will stimulate the hormones released by the plant during its growth cycles and encourage the branch to root.
Set the coated end of the branch into a 2-inch hole pressed into a damp 50:50 mixture of peat moss and sand placed in the plastic cup. Press the mixture into place around the branch. Let it sit for about two to three months until you see signs that the cutting has rooted, usually leaf growth. Keep the soil damp for the whole time.
Plant the seedlings or the rooted cuttings the same way. Handle them very carefully and plant them in a plant pot filled with a loamy potting mixture. Be cautious about harming the roots and set the soil in around the new tree gently.
Water the new tree every couple of days. Set it in a sunny window or under grow lights for at least 10 hours a day until the weather warms enough to plant it outside.
Transplant the seedlings into the orchard when they are strong enough to survive the weather and any pests. Fertilize and prune like mature peach trees and expect fruit within three to five years.
About this Author
Based in Maryland, Heidi Braley, currently writes for local and online media outlets. Some of Braley's articles from the last 10 years are in the "Oley Newsletter," "Connections Magazine," GardenGuides and eHow.com. Braley's college life included Penn State University and Villanova University with her passions centered in nutrition and botany.