How To Grow Peach Tree From Seed: Peach Seed Germination

Growing a peach tree from seed is an immensely rewarding experience and cost-effective way to start your own peach tree. It requires patience, but the journey from seed to flourishing peach tree is a gratifying experience.  It can take several years for a peach tree grown from seed to bear fruit, and the resulting tree may not be identical to the parent tree.

Peach Tree
Peach Tree

In this article, I will guide you through the process of growing a peach tree from seed fast, even you can start germinating peach seeds indoors in paper towel (germinating seeds in paper towel). Here are the steps on how to grow a peach tree from seed in a pot or in your backyard, as I have done in Australia:

When To Plant Peach Seeds

Plant the peach seeds in the autumn or early winter indoors. This will give them time to stratify and ready for planting in spring.

Selecting the Right Peach Seed

Select the peach variety that is suitable to grow in the climate of your area. Look for locally grown peaches or obtain seeds from reputable local garden centres. To ensure success, it's essential to start with a viable peach seed.

If growing in a pot, hoose a peach variety that is suitable for container gardening. Look for dwarf peach varieties to thrive in containers.

Opt for self-pollinating varieties if you have limited access to pollinators, or if you only have space for one tree.

Peach Fruit Cut to Show Pit
Cut Peach Fruit to Show Pit

Seed Preparation

  1. Buy ripe, healthy peaches, eat them and take out their pits. 
  2. Wash the peach pits thoroughly to remove any fruit remaining flesh. Next, gently rub the seed using sandpaper or a nail file to break the outer shell slightly. This process, known as scarification, helps water penetrate the hard seed coat and encourages germination.
  3. Alternatively, crack open the peach pit to take out its kernel. The peach seeds germinate easily as compared to the peach pits.

How To Crack Open the Peach Pits

You can crack open the peach pits using a hammer or a nutcracker and remove the kernels (almonds.) However, be careful not to damage the seed. 

To open the pit, lightly hammer on the sharp side of the pit. The kernel/seed inside may break if you try to open the pit by hammering on the round side.

Warning: The seeds of peaches  contain amygdalin similar to the seeds, almonds of apricots, cherries, and plums) contain amygdalin. Do not eat the seeds as they yields hydrogen cyanide after ingestion and can cause stomach upset, low blood pressure and difficulty in breathing due to cyanide poisoning.

Crack open the Peach Seed
Crack open the Peach Seed - Do not hit on the round part, hit on the sharp edge.

Germinate Peach Seed: Stratification

You can germinate peach tree from seeds indoors in fridge. The procedure for germinating peach seeds or pits is given below:

Peach seeds need to go through a process called stratification to germinate. Stratification is a process that simulates the winter conditions at temperatures 1-5°C (33-41°F) that peach seeds need to germinate.

Soak the seed kernels in water for 24 hours.  Throw away any floating seeds after 24 hours, they are unlikely to germinate.

To stratify the peach seeds, place the soaked kernels or scarified pits in a sealable plastic bag along with a dampened paper towel or some moist potting soil. Make sure the seeds are in direct contact with the damp material. Seal the bag and refrigerate it for about 8-12 weeks. This cold stratification mimics winter conditions, signaling the seeds that it's time to break dormancy and germinate.

After the stratification period, remove the peach seed from the refrigerator. It should show signs of swelling or splitting or even some seeds may have sprouted. 

Soil Preparation and Planting

If you plant the peach seeds in ground, then choose a location that receives full sun and has well-draining soil with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0. Loosen the soil to a depth of about 12 inches and remove any weeds or grass. Mix compost or cow manure into the soil to improve its fertility and add some river sand to improve its drainage.  Plant the stratified kernels about 1 inch deep in soil and water well.

Planting Peach Seed In Pot

You can plant the stratified seeds in individual pots  or containers. Fill the pot with nutrition rich free-draining potting soil.

Plant the peach seed about an inch deep, ensuring it's positioned vertically with the scarification side facing downward.  Water the pot well and place it in a sunny location.

The peach seedlings will emerge in a few days. Keep the peach seedlings moist, but not soggy. 

Though growing a peach tree from seed requires patience as it may take a few years before it starts bearing fruit, the reward of watching your seedling transform into a fruitful tree is immeasurable.

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