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How to Grow a Peach Tree from Seed: Starting from a Peach Pit

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Growing fruit from fruit scraps like peach pits or lemon seeds is so exciting to me. It’s actually one of my favorite gardening things to do in the off-season. Learn how to grow a peach tree from seed to enjoy this exciting journey.

Starting a peach tree from seed is so easy and I’ve had amazing success with it! Honestly, half the time I didn’t even try.

What if I told you you could literally plant a peach pit outside in a cold grow zone and grow a peach tree just like that?!

Peach Pit Growing in a Raised Bed with Wooden Sides
Here are two small peach tree saplings we grew from peach pits! They’re out back in an old wooden raised bed. Photo snapped in 2022.

Would you keep reading or just run and grab the nearest peach?!

Well, either way, I am going to share our journey growing peaches from seed here on this post. Take it or leave it!

One thing I can’t tell you just yet, though, is whether my peach trees from seed will produce fruit, what kind, or how much. My seed-grown peach trees are only one year old and it can take 3 to 4 years to get fruit on average. (Although some gardeners say it only took 2 years to blossom!)

Planting a peach seed is a fun activity to try with your kids. Imagine if your tree actually grows and produces peaches they can come back and pick with their kids one day!

(Heart Eyes)

Well, since you’re here, I am going to work on convincing you to try growing a peach tree from a pit.

Might as well, right? Doesn’t cost much time or effort!

Okay, let’s go!

Can you grow a peach tree from seed?

Yes! You can grow a peach tree from seed simply by planting the peach pit and allowing a chill period. The baby peach tree that grows will be a hybrid of its parents – the tree it came from and the pollinator.

Sprouted peach pits with roots growing from seed in a raised bed
Sprouted peach pits with roots growing from seed in a raised bed in our backyard

How do you plant a peach seed?

Learning how to plant a peach seed is easy once you understand the need for a freezing period. Cold stratify the peach pit for germination first, either in your fridge or outside over the cold winter. Check in spring or after about 3 months to see if the peach seed germinated.

Then, plant the germinated peach seed in a small pot filled with moist potting mix and care for it as you would for a young plant.

Will peach trees grown from seed produce fruit?

Many times, peach trees grown from seed will produce fruit. The quality, flavor, type and features of the fruit will depend on the parent tree and the pollinator tree types. You may get freestone or clingstone peaches, white or yellow.

The mystery is part of the fun, but if you want a specific type of peach tree, it’s generally best to purchase that specific tree from a garden center or nursery.

How can you be successful at germinating a peach seed?

Peach seeds (peach pits) require cold stratification for successful germination. This is essentially a freezing period. You can cold stratify a peach seed by placing it in your refrigerator within a zip-top baggie of moist peat moss or wrapped in a wet towel for 2 to 3 months.

For those in northern grow zones, you can cold stratify peach pits simply by planting them outdoors and leaving them out all winter. This is what we did in fall of 2021.

Come spring, any viable peach pits should have sprouted! And ours did!

Germinated peach seeds sprouted in our back garden
Germinated peach seeds sprouted in our back garden – 2022 photo

How to Plant a Peach Pit: Preparation

With such a rough outer coating, it may not come naturally to figure out how to plant a peach pit.

First, you must figure out how to germinate peach seeds. This can be done a few different ways. The biggest piece overall is ensuring a freeze period.

While you’re focused on how to get a peach seed to sprout, be sure to give that freeze time. That signals the seed when it’s time to grow.

And, remember that the rough outer shell of the peach pit is insulating the peach seed. It will take some time for the seed to get cold enough to germinate.

Some gardeners swear by gently cracking open and removing the peach seed from the peach pit.

The method I’ve seen gardeners recommend is to use a vice to lightly crack open the shell to reveal the peach seed.

I’d also try a handheld nutcracker or crab cracker.

But I always have so much gardening to do that I don’t mind the wait. I am going to skip the step of cracking open the peach pit shell and just let nature take its course.

So, for now, I’m going to ride it out with my new peach tree saplings that started all by themselves, right outside over the winter!

I’ll be sure to come back and update with pictures!

Daughter picking a huge crate of fresh peaches
My older daughter enjoyed picking a huge crate of fresh peaches at a local farm! This is my absolute dream for my 5-year-plan!

How to Grow a Peach Tree from Seed Outdoors

Okay, let’s get to it! Here are my easiest instructions for how to grow a peach tree from seed directly outdoors.

(This is provided you live in a grow zone that gets cold winters with freezing temperatures! If not, skip below to the next section, Starting a Peach Tree from Seed Indoors.)

  1. Enjoy that juicy, delicious peach! Make peach cobbler, peach scones, or enjoy every fresh bite as a snack.
  2. Plant a peach pit outside. Plant it directly in a flower pot or fabric grow bag. Bury it about 2 inches deep or so.
  3. Forget about it. Literally. This is what I did and my garden woke up in the springtime with 2 brand new peach tree seedlings growing from the pits!

Of course, it’s important to make sure your young peach trees get plenty of good care once they sprout and grow!

Water them regularly during the growing season. Also, protect young fruit trees from hungry deer or other animals that may try to eat them.

2 small peach tree saplings - Growing a peach tree from seed is easy when you plant the pits outside in a cold grow zone.
2 small peach tree saplings from when we planted peach pits in 2021 – Growing a peach tree from seed is easy when you plant the pits outside in a cold grow zone.

Starting a Peach Tree from Seed Indoors

If you’d like to learn how to plant a peach seed indoors, that only takes a little extra effort. Sometimes this is the best option if you live in a warmer climate without the freezing winter temps.

Attempt growing a peach tree from seed with these simple steps:

  1. Eat the peaches! Enjoy eating any peaches you wish to try growing. Save the pits.
  2. Prepare the germination baggies. Prepare some moist peat moss in a zip-top baggie.
  3. Bury the peach pits inside the zip-seal baggie. Make sure they are fully surrounded by moist peat or soil mix.
    • TIP – You can also try a wet paper towel or wet cloth if you don’t have peat moss available.
  4. Store the peach pits in the fridge. Keep them cold for about 2 to 3 months in the back of the fridge, or in the door, whatever you like.
  5. Check periodically for signs of growth. (You should also look for signs of mold.) Once you see roots emerging, celebrate! You’ve successfully discovered how to germinate a peach seed!
  6. Transfer the germinated peach seeds to pots with soil. Care for them regularly until they become small saplings. You should be able to plant them out before the fall.
Mature peach tree full of peaches at a local orchard
Mature peach tree full of peaches at a local orchard – I can’t wait to have this in my own yard!

Tips on Starting Peach Seeds

Try a few peach seed germination tips to improve your chances of successfully starting a peach tree from seed.

  • Cold Stratify – Make sure peach seeds get a chance to freeze for a few months before planting.
  • Hands-Off Method – For an easy method in cold climates, plant the pits directly outside wherever you want a baby peach tree to grow!
  • Hands-On Method – Follow the steps for how to grow a peach pit indoors if you want more involvement in the process or if you live in a warm climate.
  • Set Expectations – Remember that peaches grown from seed are not identical to the peach you ate to get that seed.

Planting a peach tree from seed, along with most stone fruit, can often result in a productive tree. This is based on my own personal research within gardening groups on social media, pulling from gardener anecdotes and stories.

Of course, your mileage may vary. I unfortunately cannot promise you that your homegrown peach tree from seed will 100% definitely produce bumper crops of incredible peaches.

But, it could. I’m going into it for the fun of the journey.

If you just want the peaches as your reward, buy the tree!

Final Thoughts: How to Grow a Peach Tree from Seed

Homegrown peach trees could grow peaches that are different in color, flavor or appearance. They could be less tasty, just as tasty or even more delicious. You might get a lot of fruit, not much, or none at all.

Planting peach seeds is a gamble, but it’s fun and exciting and certainly worth a try if you have some ground to grow on.

Little girl picking peaches at an orchard
My youngest picking peaches at a nearby orchard in 2021 – This is my dream to be on my own property one day!

I especially love that I decided to try growing a peach tree from a peach pit with my kids while they’re young. It will be so exciting to enjoy this journey with them.

And my true hope is to be able to pick peaches into my retirement one day, and when they come home from college or whatever phase of their life at any time. 🙂

Now that you know how to grow a peach tree from seed, I hope you’ll give it a whirl and try planting the next peach pit you’ve got.

And if you just want the fruit sooner, you can look for a mature peach tree to add to your yard or homestead.

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Will you try growing peaches from seed now? Do you have any fun stories to share on growing peaches from seed?

Feel free to share your stories, tips and ask questions about planting a peach pit in our comments below – we always love hearing from you and we respond to every comment!

Happy Gardening!

09.26.22 – Edited to add suggested helpful products.

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6 Comments

  1. Do you have another picture of your saplings from this season? How’re they coming along?
    We have two grown from seed that are now in small pots outside. Wondering if I should plant them in the ground this fall?

    1. Hi Bonnie, thanks so much for stopping by! I did snap some pictures today after seeing your comment and I will upload them to the post. I feel like the spot where they grew is not watered or nourished enough. I will try to get some fertilizer on them this week. They are probably still under a foot tall! Meanwhile the ones from the previous year have many more branches and have leafed out quite a bit. They are taller, probably close to 18 inches. I will try to grab photos of them as well.

      I do believe you can plant them directly in the ground! Just make sure you use good soil around them and water / care for them so they acclimate in time before the temps drop. 🙂 Best of luck and keep us posted if you wish!

    1. Hi Diane, I’ve had success with the fridge but the freezer could possibly work as well. Here in PA, our winter temps go below freezing for quite some time, so planting the pits directly outside did the trick for my volunteer peach saplings! Best of luck!

  2. I have grown 2 saplings from last year’s pits. They are about 18-24” tall. I haven’t planted them in the ground yet. One is bushier than the other. How and When should you “prune” these trees?

    1. Hi Stacey,
      Happy to hear from you and hope your saplings are doing well – that is so exciting! I have not pruned mine at all yet and I have 1yr and 2yr saplings. I also have a peach tree that is probably 3-4 years old that I bought as a sapling from Tractor Supply, and the deer pruned it for me after 1 year. It branched out and is now taller than me in a 10-gallon grow bag. I still need to plant it in the ground, too.

      Here is a comprehensive post by the Penn State Extension on pruning peach trees – https://extension.psu.edu/peach-tree-pruning-managing-light-and-crop-load. I believe you can prune them in the spring or summer but just watch for bud growth on more mature trees to avoid lopping off any fruiting buds. I will be researching this more closely as well and may compile the best takeaways in an easy-to-digest post. Stay tuned and best wishes with your baby peach trees!

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