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How to Prepare Fruit Seeds for Planting

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How to Prepare Fruit Seeds for Planting

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Overview

Many types of fruit trees--such as peach, nectarine, apple, pear, plum, and citrus trees--can be grown from seeds. Some seeds, such as those from citrus trees, can be started immediately. Others may need special preparation to promote germination. Some require a technique called scarification, which removes or thins the seed coat to allow for better oxygen and water infiltration into the seeds. Others may need a certain amount of time at cold temperatures. This method is called breaking dormancy. The type of preparation depends on the species of fruit seed.

Step 1

Remove seeds from their fruit. If fruit has a hard pit, open the pit with a nutcracker to remove the seed.

Step 2

Examine the seeds to guarantee that they are fresh and damaged. Clean the seeds in water.

Step 3

Scarify your seeds to allow water and oxygen to enter the seed, if necessary, by following either of the two steps below.

Step 4

Use a file, knife or other sharp implement to remove part of the seed coat.

Step 5

Place nearly boiling water in a bowl and immerse the seeds in the water for 24 hours. Remove the seeds and dry them.

Step 6

Break the dormancy of certain seeds, for certain species of trees including peach, pear, plum, apple, nectarine and apricot, following either of the steps below.

Step 7

Plant the seeds in the ground, in fall, in areas where the temperature will drop below 40 degrees F for 60 to 120 days, depending on the species of tree.

Step 8

In warmer areas, put seeds 1 inch deep in a container filled with equal amounts of peat moss and coarse sand, and place in the refrigerator for 60 to 120 days. Keep the soil from damp, but not dry.

Things You'll Need

  • Seeds
  • Nutcracker
  • Sharp knife or file
  • Plastic container
  • Peat moss
  • Coarse sand

References

  • Germination of Tree Seed
  • How to Grow a Tree or Shrub From Seed
  • Starting Citrus Trees From Seed
Keywords: break dormancy fruit seeds, fruit seed germination, prepare fruit seeds

About this Author

Located in Jacksonville, Fla, Frank Whittemore has been a writer and content strategist for over 15 years, providing corporate communications services to Fortune 500 companies. Whittemore writes on topics that stem from his fascination with nature, the environment, science, medicine and technology.