Image by Christopher Bowns
By Nikki Phipps
(Author of The Bulb-o-licious Garden)
While they may not look or taste just like the originals, it is possible to grow peaches from seed pits. It will take several years before fruiting occurs and, in some cases, it may not happen at all. Whether or not a seed-grown peach tree produces any fruit usually depends on the type of peach pit it derived from. Just the same, whether or not the peach pit germinates depends on the peach variety.
Germinating Peach Pits
Although you can plant a peach pit directly in the soil during fall and wait for spring germination nature’s way, you can also store the seed until early winter (Dec/Jan.) and then induce germination with cold treatment or stratification. After soaking the pit in water for about an hour or two, place it in a plastic bag with slightly moist soil. Store this in the refrigerator (away from fruit with temps between 34-42 degrees F).
Keep a check for germination, as germinating peach pits may take anywhere from a few weeks to a couple months or more—and that’s if you’re lucky. In fact, it may not germinate at all so you’ll want to try several varieties. Eventually, one will germinate.
Note: While it’s certainly not required, some people have found success by removing the hull (outer pit) from the actual seed inside prior to the cold treatment.
How to Plant a Peach Pit
As previously stated, planting peach seeds takes place in fall. They should be planted in well-draining soil, preferably with the addition of compost or other organic material.
Plant the peach pit about 3-4 inches deep and then cover it with about an inch or so of straw or similar mulch for overwintering. Water during planting and then only when dry. By spring, if the peach was any good, you should see sprouting and a new peach seedling will grow.
For those germinated via the refrigerator, once germination occurs, transplant to a pot or in a permanent position outdoors (weather permitting).
How to Grow a Peach Tree from Seed
Growing peaches from seed isn’t difficult once you’ve gotten through the germination process. Transplants can be treated and grown in pots just like any other fruit tree. Here is an article about growing peach trees if you’d like to learn more about peach tree care.
Some peach pits germinate quick and easy and some take a little longer—or may not germinate at all. Whatever the case may be, don’t give up. With a little persistence and trying more than one variety, growing peaches from seed can be well worth the extra patience. Of course, then there’s the wait for fruit (up to 3 years or more)…Remember, “patience is a virtue.”