Can You Grow Peach Trees From Pits? Prep & Planting Advice

I love peaches, don’t you? I look forward to late summer, anticipating that juicy-sweet taste. You can eat them as is, or make tasty pies, jellies, and ice cream. 

Can you imagine picking a peach from a tree that you raised? It is possible, and I’ll tell you how.  

Can you grow a peach tree from a pit? You can save pits from the peaches you eat and grow your own. Use a variety that will perform well in your area. You can simply cleanse the pit, store it in a cool place, and bury it outside in the fall, or you can store the pit in the fridge for 4 months before planting in a container to germinate.

Imagine your sense of pride and accomplishment when you get to pick ripe peaches from your very own tree. Get your kids involved in this fascinating experiment. Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered every step of the way.

Growing Peach Trees From the Pit – Things To Consider

Most grocery stores offer several varieties of peaches. The white-flesh peach is high in sugar and tastes less tart. Yellow-flesh peaches are also popular.

The Elberta peach has a yellow, red-flushed skin and a sweet, juicy taste and is a favorite of many people. Nectarines are non-fuzzy peaches with a sweet taste that many people prefer.

You will have greater success if you choose a local peach variety. Your County Extension Service is a good resource. In general, neighborhood nurseries only stock fruit trees that will thrive in your Zone, so these are great places to learn about different local varieties.

How To Remove & Clean a Peach Pit

Slice along the peach seam with a knife. Separate the two halves. Remove the stone with care and scrape off the pulp with a gentle brush (an old toothbrush is perfect).

Clean the seed with a bactericidal wipe composed of Didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride. This also contains a fungicide to inhibit mold.

If you don’t have access to these wipes, use bleach instead followed by a fungicide.

How Long Should a Peach Pit Dry Before Planting?

After cleaning the pit properly, pat it dry with a paper towel, and let it air dry completely for four days.

Do You Need To Remove The Seed From a Peach Pit?

You do not have to remove the peach seed from the pit before planting. You can plant the pit in its entirety in the ground during fall.

The soil should have added compost to ensure good drainage. Bury the pit 3 to 4 inches, and cover it with mulch to protect it during winter. The pit should sprout the following spring. 

How To Crack Open a Peach Pit

Use a nutcracker or pliers to carefully open the pit. Use caution to avoid damaging the seed within the shell. Extract the seed with gloves because it contains cyanide compounds. Wash your hands afterward. (They are poisonous only if crushed or chewed.)

Getting a Peach Seed To Germinate

Soak the seeds for half a day. Then place each one in a baggie with moist potting soil or sphagnum moss. Put them in a refrigerator for 3 to 4 months. Peaches need to rest at 35 – 50℉ to encourage germination after planting.

Remove the baggies after the chill period, and plant either outdoors or in a container to encourage germination and root development.

How Long Will a Peach Seed Take To Sprout?

After the necessary cold treatment, seeds can be planted in a pot or directly in the ground if weather permits. Tiny roots should start to appear in 4 to 6 weeks.

When Is The Best Time To Plant a Peach Seed?

When planting a peach seed directly in the ground, autumn is the best time. This allows the seed to experience the naturally cold weather that will encourage germination come springtime.

For seeds started indoors, early spring is best for moving your seedling outdoors. When the plant has four or more leaves, it is ready to acclimate. Pick a spot away from the sun. Increase outdoor periods daily for at least a week before planting. 

Can You Plant a Peach Seed In Summer?

You can certainly try to grow a peach seed in the summer, but the most recommended method is to store a cleaned pit from a summer fruit in the refrigerator until late fall.

At this point, the seed can be planted directly in the soil outdoors, and you should see signs of growth by early spring.

How To Transplant a Peach Tree Seedling

  1. Select a location in full sun. 
  2. Amend the soil with compost. 
  3. Dig a hole to accommodate the tap root. 
  4. Keep moist for the first year. 
  5. It will take about three years to reach maturity.

Uses For Peach Pits

Peach pits have an almond-like fragrance. That flavor enhances anything from liquor to whipped cream.

You can make peach juice by cooking peach skins with pits. Add it to smoothies, sparkling water, and club soda. The pits add red color to the liquid and give a more peachy flavor.

Can You Grow a Peach Tree In a Pot?

Yes, you can grow a peach tree in a container — a small garden space should not deter you from growing peaches. A bonus of growing a peach tree in a pot is that you can move it around to get the right amount of sun.

Your best chance of success is to grow a dwarf variety.

Stark Bro’s and FastGrowingTrees.com are good sources for dwarf peach trees. Popular varieties to consider include:

  • Golden Glory is yellow-fleshed and a natural dwarf growing to 5 feet. 
  • Empress has a delicious, juicy sweet flavor for Zones 5 & up.
  • Bonfire is a patio dwarf for Zones 5 & up. Delicious alone or for baking and canning.
  • Leprechaun is a patio dwarf, sweet nectarine. It thrives in Zones 5 to 8.
  • Bonanza is another patio dwarf, averaging about 5-6 feet tall at maturity and producing medium-sized freestone peaches with a sweet and juicy taste.

Take a 5-gallon container, and drill holes in the bottom. A 1-inch layer of gravel or pebbles will allow excess water to drain out. Top with a loamy soil and compost halfway.

Now plant the seedling with roots spread out. Continue to fill around the tree, leaving a couple of inches from the rim. The graft should remain above the topsoil.

Container trees dry faster than those planted outside in the yard. Reduce the amount of water toward the end of August or first week of September. The trees need to stop growing during the winter season.

Potted trees need a liquid fertilizer application every couple of weeks. Choose a brand specific for flower and fruit production and high in phosphorus. Stop fertilizing at the same time that you reduce the amount of water.

Prune the tree to a shape that makes it easy to harvest the fruit. Your tree will produce larger peaches if you pinch off every other small peach. Pinching permits the tree to put more energy into the remaining fruit. 

During the winter, bring the container indoors. Place it in a cool spot with some sun. An unheated porch with windows is perfect. All peach trees need a prolonged chill period or they won’t set fruit in the spring.

The tree can go back outside in April when the temperature has warmed up and there is no chance for frost.

How Long Does It Take a Peach Tree To Bear Fruit?

It will take 3 to 4 years for a tree grown from a pit to bear fruit. Trees purchased from a nursery or garden center may produce fruit 2 years after planting, but many will take 3 or 4 years before successfully growing edible fruit.

Conclusion

Feel confident that you can grow your own peach tree from a dry pit. 

If you follow the steps outlined in this article, you should be picking your own peaches in a few years. 

The easiest method is to plant the pit in autumn and let nature do the rest. Alternatively, you can store the pit in the refrigerator before planting it in a pot. Acclimate the potted seedling outside per directions after the last frost. Be patient and nurture your tree. 

Transplant the seedling to a permanent sunny place. Watch it grow with anticipation. Rejoice when it rewards you with peaches, and feel pride at what you mastered.

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