The Q&A Archives: cherries

Question: Can I grow cherries with cherry pits?

Answer: Seeds obtained from most fruit found in grocery stores are probably the result of hybrids and in general, will not result in exact copies of the fruit from which you obtained the seeds. With that said, you may still try to grow a fruit tree from seed. Bear in mind, it may take 5-7 years to get the first fruit. But, it's fun to try anyway. Take your cherry pits and clean them of fruit and allow them to dry. Plant the pits about an inch deep in a pot of good potting soil, moist but not soggy. Seal the pot inside a clear plastic baggie and put it in the fridge for 60-90 days or put the pot outdoors for the winter. Seeds require temperatures of a minimum of 40 degrees for about 2 or 3 months in order to break dormancy and germinate when the spring warms up. Keep the pot watered through the winter if kept outdoors. If doing this in the fridge, bring the pot out of the fridge after 90 days or so and keep it in a warm environment (70-75F) and the seeds should sprout in a few weeks. Once the seeds sprout make sure they are under lights (40watt shop lights will do the trick) or in a very sunny eastern or southern exposure window. Prick the seedlings out gently after they are a couple of inches tall and plant them in separate pots. After all danger of frost, put the potted seedlings outdoors in the shade where they will be protected from wind, hail, rain, etc. for about 10 days. After that, plant in full sun. I hope this helps.

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