Can you grow a peach tree from a peach pit? You sure can! In fact, you can grow most fruit trees from seed and it’s a great way of growing lots of fruit trees for free.
David the Good wrote a great tutorial on growing peach trees from seed. I’ve pasted his video below. He says germinating peach pits is amazingly easy! You can read the full article here.
This is a photo his friend sent him of her germinated peach seeds:
Can You Grow a Peach Tree From a Peach Pit?
Definitely. You can grow pretty much any fruit tree from seed.
The thing to keep in mind is that peach seeds need cold stratification to germinate. Cold stratification is the process of simulating nature, where a seed gets a very cold winter before the warm spring hits.
David mentions there are 6 ways of cold stratification.
- Cold water soaking
- Planting in the fall
- Planting in winter
- Snow planting
- Outdoor treatment
Many people will tell you it’s not worth starting a fruit tree from seed. They say they don’t fruit well, the fruit doesn’t taste nice, etc.
In my experience, growing fruit trees from seeds is a great way to grow them. Yes, not all of them are great, but most of them are great and some of them are exceptional.
Seed-grown fruit trees are often tougher, more resilient, and adapt better to their environment.
Grafted fruit trees will forever have a weak spot around the graft site.
You’ll often see growth coming from below the graft, and often this growth is faster and tougher than the growth above the graft. That’s because the “bottom” part of the grafted tree is seed-grown, which means it’s tougher and grows better.
The only reason for buying a grafted fruit tree is if you want to get a specific type of fruit, like an Emperor mandarin or a Hass avocado, for example. You can grow avocados from seed too, they take a while to germinate, but they grow very quickly.
In poor soil, my seed-grown avocado fruited in 5 years. I now have great soil and my 1,5-year-old avocado, grown from seed, is over 7ft tall and I have no doubts it will produce its first fruits this year.
How to Germinate a Peach Seed
David started with 50 peach pits he found underneath a Tropic Beauty Peach in Florida.
You can see in the video above how he did it. He also created a cartoon image with the steps involved:
Here’s his video showing you some of the peach trees that he grew from a peach pit.
He germinated his peach pits in the fridge, look how lovely the resulting fruit is!
David’s peach trees produced amazingly well. It’s almost hard to believe, but in their second year, they produced 5 gallons of peaches. He mentioned the seed-grown peaches grew better and faster than his grafted trees, and they produced more fruit.
Growing Peach Trees
Peach trees need a certain number of chill hours per year to fruit well. In the tropics, we often don’t get enough chill hours. Most peaches grow well in zones 6-9 (check your zone on the USDA Zoning Map).
Look for peach varieties that are low-chill. Here’s a list of peaches and peach-like fruits that are low-chill:
- Babcock Peach Tree. Zones 6-10
- Peach Ventura
- Peach Bonita
- Santa Barbara Peach. Zones 8-10
- Peach Mid Pride
- Nectarine Arctic Rose. Zones 8-10
- Nectarine Double Delight
Micro-climates also help when you’re trying to grow fruit trees that aren’t “suited” to your climate. Read more about micro-climates and food forests.
Germinating Fruit Trees In the Compost Pile
One more tip.
Seeds often germinate well in the compost.
I guess it’s warm, soft, moist, and nutritious. I’ve tried to sprout mango seeds in pots many times, but the most successful way of growing them from seed is to simply dump them in the compost pile. They nearly all sprout.
The hardest part of this is that you often don’t know which tree the seed came from. Unless you mark each one, you’ll end up with 100s of seedlings of unknown type. I guess there are worse problems to have.
Where to Get the Peach Pits to Germinate?
A friend’s or someone else’s yard is your best bet. Locally grown trees are adapted to your climate and make great germinating stock.
Farmer’s markets are a great place too. Supermarket-bought fruit also often sprouts, but they may be GMO no-sprout varieties. They’re all worth a go though, it doesn’t take much more work to germinate 50 seeds than it does 10!
What do you think about growing peach trees from seed? Are you going to try it?
Sunday 21st of August 2022
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!
Monday 22nd of August 2022
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!
Saturday 30th of July 2022
Can you germinate plum seeds in the same way as peach seeds? Is there a kernel inside the plum seed? Thank you very much.
Sunday 31st of July 2022
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! Elle
Friday 22nd of July 2022
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!
Sunday 24th of July 2022
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 :) Elle
Sunday 10th of July 2022
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.
Sunday 10th of July 2022
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!
Monday 26th of July 2021
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!
Monday 16th of August 2021
Wow, that's amazing Bill! Can you tell us how deep you planted the ones that are flourishing?