The Q&A Archives: Starting Peach Tree From Pit

Question: We have some peach pits that we would like to sprout and see if they would grow to young trees to eventually plant outdoors. Do they need to be soaked in water for a time or just placed in soil that is kept moist? What is the expected germination time?

Answer: If the seeds are ripe, you can plant them and they will germinate. Peach seeds have a stony covering (endocarp) that must deteriorate before the seeds will germinate. If you crack or break the endocarp, you'll hasten germination, but only by a few weeks. If you have several peach pits, you might try various treatments; leave one intact, nick one by carefully sawing a notch in the endocarp, and pry the endocarp open on one of them, planting only the seed.

Plant the pits (or seeds) one and one-half times as deep as they are wide in a sandy, well-draining growing medium. Keep the soil moist but not soggy wet. If you plant them outdoors now, winter weather will help break down the endocarp and the seeds will sprout next spring or summer. Germination times vary - expect from between 100 and 170 days before you see any sprouts emerge.

Good luck with your project!

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