How to Grow a Peach Tree From Seed In 6 Weeks

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This article is part of our Growing Fruit From Seed series.

Ready to turn a simple peach pit into a flourishing tree? You’re in the right place! In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn how to grow a peach tree from seed, from pit preparation to planting and beyond. Plus, get insider tips on how to care for your young tree and troubleshoot common issues. Let’s get planting!

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Grow a Peach Tree from Seed ?? #peachpit #seedplanting

5 Steps to Grow a Peach Tree From Seed

1. Clean and Dry Your Peach Pit

When you’ve eaten your peach, clean your peach pit under the tap so no fruit flesh remains. Rinse well! Dry the pits on a paper towel or well-draining tray for a few days. Choose a spot with good airflow.

2. Extract the Kernel From the Peach Pit

Carefully crack the peach pit with a nutcracker or pliers. Remove the kernel from inside – this is the seed you will grow. Optional: soak the seed for a few hours before the cold treatment.

3. Cold Treatment (Stratification)

Place the seed inside a sealable plastic bag. Add some slightly damp peat moss or a paper towel. A soil-free, sterile mixture is best. Seal the bag and store in the fridge for 4-8 weeks. Aim for temperatures between 34°F (1°C) and 45°F (7°C). The vegetable drawer is often a good choice, but it depends on your fridge.

4. Check Your Peach Seed Regularly

After around four weeks, start checking the bag regularly to see if your peach seed has started to split open, or a small root has emerged. 

5. Plant Your Peach Seedling

Once you see a root form, plant your peach seed in good quality, well-draining potting mix.

After our quick summary, you might be wondering what qualifies me to guide you through this peachy journey. Well, I’ve been a passionate gardener for over 25 years, running my own plant nursery focused on edible plants and fruit trees.

I’m also a qualified permaculture teacher with a diploma in horticulture. I’ve turned my barren land into a thriving food forest, so I know a thing or two about growing trees from seeds. Now, let’s dive into how you can do it, too!

I’ll give you plenty more tips for success below – keep reading, and you’ll have your own seed-grown peach tree thriving in the garden in no time. 

The Best Types of Peach Trees to Grow From Seed

Homegrown organic peaches are perfect for growing peach trees from seed

The best types of peach pits to germinate are from local, heirloom, or open-pollinated peach tree varieties. Try your local farmer’s market, seed swaps, and garden clubs. Ask a neighbor for a few peaches from their tree, or collect them from your own. Choose a seed from a peach that’s fully ripe to make sure the seed is mature.

Most peach varieties are self-fertile.  If they are older varieties, there is a better chance that the offspring from seed will resemble the tree that the seed came from.  In contrast, apples are cross-pollinated, so there is much more variability in the offspring.

William Shane (Extension Tree Fruit Specialist, Coordinator – SW Michigan Research and Extension Center)

Growing seeds from store-bought peaches can be a gamble. Most commercial peach trees are grafted onto specific rootstocks. These rootstocks influence the tree’s size, disease resistance, and even when they fruit. If you grow one of these tree’s peach seeds, your seedling won’t receive those traits. Some seeds may not germinate at all. If you want to try growing these peaches from seed, choose organically-grown fruit or visit a farmer’s market.

William Shane mentions: “The advantage of trees grown from seed is that they may lose some of the viruses that accumulate in fruit trees over time.  When an established tree other than one produced by a nursery from clean stock is used as a budwood source, it may be infected with viruses or other pathogens and the resultant grafted tree is at a disadvantage.”

Just remember – the more local the parent tree, the better. 

Choose the Right Seed: Size Matters

Did you know the size of your peach seed can actually affect how well it grows? According to a study published in the Journal of Food Chemistry, heavier seeds often produce more vigorous seedlings.

So, if you’re munching on a peach and thinking of planting the seed, go for the hefty one! It’s a simple tip, but it could make a big difference in how well your peach tree grows.

How to Crack the Peach Seed to Remove the Kernel

Cracking the peach pit to remove the seed inside

I recommend cracking the peach pit to remove the seed (kernel) inside to speed up the germination time. It can be a bit of a task, but it’s certainly doable with patience and the right technique. Here’s a basic guide to help you:

Materials Needed:

  • A peach pit
  • A nutcracker, pliers, or hammer
  • A cloth or towel
  • A small, sharp knife


  1. Clean the Pit:
    • Start by washing the pit thoroughly to remove any remaining fruit flesh. Allow the pit to dry completely. You can place it in a dry, sunny spot for a few days to make sure it’s completely dry.
  2. Crack the Pit:
    • Wrap the clean and dry peach pit in a cloth or towel. This is to prevent fragments from scattering when you crack the pit.
    • Using a nutcracker or hammer, gently hit the pit until it cracks open. Be careful to not hit too hard as you want the kernel inside to remain intact.
  3. Extract the Kernel:
    • Once the pit is cracked open, carefully extract the kernel from inside. You can use a small knife to help pry it out if needed.
    • Be gentle and patient during this step to avoid damaging the kernel.
  4. Prepare the Kernel for Planting:
    • Now that you have the kernel, it’s ready to be prepared for planting.
    • You can soak the kernel in water for a few hours or overnight before planting to help jumpstart the germination process.


  • Choose a pit from a healthy, ripe peach for best results.
  • Ensure the pit is thoroughly dry before attempting to crack it open to make it easier and prevent mold.
  • Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from potential fragments when cracking the pit.
  • Be patient and gentle to ensure the kernel remains intact for planting.

When removing the peach seed from the hull, be very careful not to damage the seed coat to increase the chances for successful germination.

William Shane (Extension Tree Fruit Specialist, Coordinator – SW Michigan Research and Extension Center)

Following these steps and tips, you can successfully extract the kernel from a peach pit and prepare it for planting. Good luck, and happy planting!

Rinse the Seed

Peach seeds have natural chemicals that prevent them from germinating inside the fruit. When you’re dealing with the whole seed (pit/kernel and all), these inhibitors are present on the outside and within the husk. 

Even if you extract the kernel to germinate it instead of the whole seed, there will still be residues of these inhibitors. 

The stratification process naturally helps to break down many of the growth inhibitors. A good rinse ensures that you’re starting with the cleanest slate possible.

Stratification (Cold Treatment)

How to Grow a Peach Tree From Seed Inc Cold Stratification photo credit david good grow network
Photo credit: Amanda/David the Good, found at The Grow Network.

Stratification is giving seeds a cold treatment to mimic winter conditions. Once the chilling requirements are met, the seeds are more ready to germinate. When you plant them in warmer conditions, it breaks dormancy and signals a time to grow.

According to a study by Natalie Anderson, David H. Byrne, Jonathan Sinclair, and A. Millie Burrell from the Department of Horticultural Sciences at Texas A&M University, cooler temperatures during the germination process not only improve the rate of germination but also increase the survival rate of the peach seedlings. The study was published in the HortScience journal, Volume 37, Issue 2, in 2002. Read the full study here.

How to Stratify Your Peach Seeds

  1. Rinse and clean the seeds.
  2. Dry the peach seed and extract the kernel, if you choose to. 
  3. Grab a sealable plastic bag. Label it with the date and the type of seed. 
  4. Add a handful of moist (not soaking wet) peat moss, sphagnum moss, sand, or paper towels to the bag. 
  5. Nestle the peach seed in the moist medium. 
  6. Seal the bag. 
  7. Place the bag in the fridge. The vegetable drawer is often a good choice, but it depends on your fridge and settings. Make sure it doesn’t freeze. Aim for a temperature that mimics winter conditions – between 34°F (1°C) and 45°F (7°C).
  8. Leave the seed in the fridge. The germination process can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. The typical range is 6-8 weeks. 
  9. Keep the medium moist. Don’t let it dry out. Keep an eye out for signs of mold and rot. If you notice mold or rot, follow the steps below where I list common problems when growing peach trees from seed.
  10. After around 4 weeks, start checking the seed regularly for shoots. You may notice the kernel cracking and a root starting to sprout. 
  11. Once the seed sprouts, it’s time to plant. 

Sometimes, your peach seed can be stubborn and remain dormant. You may need to perform a second cold stratification to help it wake up.

Breaking the Dormancy: To Scarify or Not?

If you’ve tried planting peach seeds before and didn’t have much luck, the kernel’s outer layer might be the culprit. A study found that removing this layer can actually improve your chances of successful germination.

This method is known as scarification. You can do this carefully with a knife, but be cautious not to damage the inner part of the seed. If that sounds too risky, stratification is another effective method to break the dormancy.

How to Plant Your Peach Seed

Peach seedling in a container with plant label

You can plant the peach seed in a container or directly into your garden. It depends on your preference and climate. My preferred method is a container so I can keep an eye on the little sprout. Growing in a container also allows you to move it to a better location with more or less sun, or take it inside if there’s an unexpected frost. 

Here’s how to plant your peach seed:

  1. Fill a container with good-quality, well-draining potting mix
  2. Plant the germinated pit root-side down, about 2-3” deep. If the pit has a green shoot (like a little stem or leaf), make sure it stays above the soil. 
  3. Gently firm the soil around the seedling. 
  4. Water in well to remove air pockets and settle the seedling. 
  5. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy.
  6. Protect your seedling from pests and harsh weather. 

Acclimating Your Young Peach Tree: Slow and Steady

Once your peach tree is a few inches tall and has a couple of leaves, it’s ready to face the great outdoors. But don’t rush it!

Start by placing the pot outside in a shaded area for a few hours each day, gradually increasing the time and sunlight exposure over a week. This helps your young tree adapt to outdoor conditions without going into shock. After a few weeks, you can transplant it into its final outdoor location, whether that’s a larger pot or a spot in your garden.

The seedling will need at least six hours of sun daily as it grows. Keep an eye out for sunburn, though. Young seedlings can be fragile. If it isn’t ready for full sun, move it to a shady position, and gradually adjust it if needed.

Side note: if you’re re-using potting mix, make sure it’s disease-free!

Peach Trees - Grown From Seed!

Common Problems When Growing Peach Trees From Seed

Here are some common issues you might face when growing a peach tree from seed and how to tackle them head-on.

Problem: Damaged Kernel When Cracking Peach Pit

Solution: The seed coat plays a vital role in protecting the seed and aiding germination. If the seed coat is damaged, it can expose the seed to pathogens and may also disrupt the seed’s ability to absorb water properly, both of which can hinder germination.

However, the likelihood of a damaged kernel successfully growing can vary. Minor scratches or dents might not be fatal, but they do increase the risk of failure. A severely damaged kernel – think cracks that penetrate deeply into the seed – will likely not germinate.

Minor damage isn’t necessarily a death sentence for the seed. However, a kernel with significant damage will likely fail to germinate. It might be better to start over with a new peach seed.

Problem: Moldy Peach Pit

Solution: If you notice mold forming on your peach pit, it’s not game over. Remove the pit from its current environment, wash it gently with a mild bleach solution (1 part bleach to 10 parts water), and let it air dry. Replant it in fresh, sterile soil.

Problem: No Germination After Months

Solution: Patience is key, but it’s time to investigate if you’ve waited more than six months and there is still no sprout. Carefully dig up the pit and inspect it. If it’s soft or moldy, it’s a goner. But if it’s still hard, replant it and give it more time.

Problem: Seedling Wilting or Turning Yellow

Solution: This could be a sign of overwatering or poor drainage. Make sure your pot has drainage holes and you’re not keeping the soil soggy. If the problem persists, consider repotting the seedling in a soil mix designed for better drainage.

Problem: Seedling Isn’t Growing

Solution: If your seedling seems stuck in time, it might lack nutrients. Consider adding a balanced, slow-release fertilizer to the soil. But go easy; too much fertilizer can do more harm than good.


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  1. Hi Elle,

    Does the bag in the fridge have to be open or closed? As in, if I use a ziplock bag, do I “lock” it? Thank you so much!

    1. Hi there Jo!
      It’s fine either way, really. You might find that if you leave the bag open, too much moisture escapes. Having the bag open can also attract mold and bacteria (not saying your fridge is full of mold, it’s just a natural occurrence in anyone’s fridge! :D). So, I’d keep the bag closed. If you’re on well water or bore water (we’re on bore), you may also notice issues with mold or bacteria in the soil or on the seed. Using sterilized water to moisten the soil can help with this. You can also sterilize the potting mix beforehand. We have an article on how to do that with boiling water. Yep, with ziplocks, ‘lock’ it 🙂 Keep an eye on them and never let them dry out! Please check in in a few months to let us know how you went!

  2. Can you germinate plum seeds in the same way as peach seeds? Is there a kernel inside the plum seed? Thank you very much.

    1. Hi there Mitzi!
      Yes, you can most certainly germinate plums just like peach seeds! For plums, don’t crack the seed open. Follow the stratification instructions (checking on them every now and then to make sure they haven’t germinated yet) in the same way as the peach, then plant it in a pot or the ground. It is best to get the seed nice and clean before you put it into the fridge – remove all the pulp, etc.
      Good luck!

  3. I’m confused, when mentioning the “pit” is it actually the “kernel” or the outer two casing of the seed that we need to be working with? Thank you!

    1. Hi Scott!
      You can do either!
      David the Good (whose video is in the article) recommends cracked the pit open (carefully) and germinating the kernel inside.
      However, you can most certainly plant the whole thing (outer casing included) but the germination rate may be lower.

      If you have lots of peaches, you could simply throw all the pits in a corner of the garden or in a pile of compost.
      If you are working with a limited amount or you want better germination rates – crack the outer casing open carefully and plant the kernel itself.

      Hope that helps 🙂

  4. We just ate a peach from The Peach Truck to find its pit contains a sprouting seed. Can that be planted in a pot now, or should it go into a bag of dirt and placed in the fridge first? These peaches received a deep cold water treatment to survive their deliveries, so my guess is that process jump started their germination.

    1. Hi Rebecca!
      If the seed is already sprouting (such luck!), definitely plant it in a pot straight away. Choose a smallish pot – no larger than 5″. If it hasn’t developed leaves yet, you can cover the entire pot in a plastic bag to keep the humidity high inside. As soon as it develops leaves, open the bag so it doesn’t mold or rot, and eventually take the bag off altogether. Let us know how you go, how exciting!

  5. I overwintered 5 seeds in my refrigerator then planted them in April. One has flourished and is almost 2 feet tall already! I did not plant the others deep enough. I am saving many more seeds this winter, and I am planning to plant all the seeds I get from the Red Haven Peach Tree in my yard. (This is it’s first year producing fruit.)

    Great article! Love the pictorial!

  6. Hi zone 8A Texas. i have a tree growing from my compost in a raised garden bed i think its a peach tree its about a year old. This year i have 2 more i think peach growing from my compost pile should i repot the newly growing? . No idea which variety it is . How can i find out if it is a peach tree? Can i send u pics? Do i have to graft it?

    1. Hi there Mona!
      Generally, peach pits don’t sprout quite that easily, but it’s definitely possible, of course. Peach pits really need a fair amount of time in “cold” to get them to sprout, which is why you’d put them in the fridge before sprouting. They need a certain number of “chill hours”, although there are low-chill varieties out there. I have a couple of “low-chill” varieties growing, but they’re all grafted.

      When you grow them from seed, there’s no way to tell which variety they are, and they usually revert back to a strong “base” variety. Seed-grown varieties are used as the base tree for a grafted variety, because they’re strong, disease-resistant, and super hardy.

      You definitely don’t have to graft it. Seed-grown fruit trees are super tough and will generally set fruit. All my avocado trees are seed-grown and they grow beautiful fruit.

      The reasons why many people do prefer grafted varieties are that you can guarantee you’re growing a certain variety. Like with my peach trees, I really need a low-chill variety to do any good here in the heat. Some people also want dwarf trees – that’s something you cannot get from a seed.

      How big is your tree? If it’s a seedling, it may be hard to tell if it’s a peach or not but once they get a bit bigger they do have a fairly distinct leaf shape – although many stone fruit can look similar.

      You’re very welcome to upload your pics here – if I can’t tell, maybe one of the other readers can!

  7. I u-picked the most delicious peaches this year and I am so excited to try germinating the seeds and growing my own trees! Thanks for the article and great videos 🙂

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