How to prepare a peach seed for planting

how to prepare a peach seed or pit for planting

Peaches with milk and a little sugar sprinkled on top are our family’s favorite treat in the summertime. We go through so many peaches every summer. Which also means we throw away a lot of peach pits. I started to wonder if I saved some of these pits if I could save some money by growing my own peach trees. But I had some questions. I know there is a seed inside the pit but how do you get it out? How do you prepare a peach seed for planting?

After some extensive research and saving the pits from our favorite peaches here are just a few easy steps on how to prepare a peach seed for planting. 

  1. Carefully extract the seed from the pit leaving the brown coat around the seed completely intact. 
  2. Place the seeds in a damp paper towel
  3. Place the paper towel in a ziplock plastic bag (Zip bag mostly closed). Labeled with the date
  4. Tape the bag to the inside wall of your refrigerator to avoid bumping and damaging the seeds. Keeping it away from other fruits
  5. Let germinate for a few weeks to a few months. Usually 6-8 weeks. Making sure to keep the paper towel moist 
  6. Plant in a pot and continue to water and grow till it is big enough to transplant into your yard in the spring
  7. OR plant outside covering with straw or hay to ensure it survives the winter months and continues to grow into the Spring and Summer

How to extract the seed from the peach pit?

If you have a peach that is really ripe there is a chance that the pit will open on its own. If you aren’t lucky enough to have your pit open on its own I have found that it is easier to let the pits dry at least overnight or a few days. 

You will need:

  • Pliers or channel locks
  • Towel to catch the parts of the pit that explode off as it cracks open 

When using pliers or channel locks you want to make sure you do not damage the brown outer coat of the seed in any way. Any nick or cut on the outer coat can prevent the seed from germinating. Removing the seed from the pit will greatly increase your chances of germination. 

How to start the germination process?

After you have carefully removed your seeds from their pits it is very easy to start the germination process. Once the seeds are taken care of there is not a lot you have to do for the next 6-8 weeks besides keeping them moist. 

How to prepare peach seeds: 

  • Wet a paper towel wringing out the excess
  • Place seeds in damp paper towel
  • Fold paper towel over the seeds
  • Place in a plastic zip lock bag
  • Label the bag with the date to easily keep track
  • Tape the bag to the inside wall of you refrigerator to avoid bumping or damaging the seeds
  • Keep paper towel moist but not too wet mold begins to grow or water is puddled in the bottom of the bag
  • Check on seeds in 6-8 weeks to see if they have started to sprout
Sprouting peach seeds on a damp paper towel

Why do the seeds need to go in the refrigerator?

The refrigerator acts as a winter season for your seeds. If you have hard winters it is possible to plant the seeds in the soil right from the start. However it’s not usually winter when you are thinking about starting this process and not everyone has hard winters in their area. Peach seeds need to be exposed to cold weather for an extended period of time. This is essential before the germination process (when the seed starts to sprout) can begin. It is referred to as the cold stratification process. The cold stratification process is subjecting a seed to both a cold and moist environment which many shrub, trees and perennial plants need before germination.

The paper towel needs to be damp enough to create condensation in the back but not wet enough to cause mold to grow or be collecting in the bottom of the bag.

The seeds need to stay in the refrigerator for 6 weeks to 3 months. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see anything after 6 weeks. Some seeds germinate quickly, some take longer than others. Some don’t germinate at all. It’s a good idea to try 3-4 seeds at a time in case one or two don’t take.

Why do I need to keep the seeds away from other fruits?

Fruits such as bananas, apples, apricots and others produce a gas called ethylene. Ethylene can either promote or inhibit growth. In the case of your peach seeds it speeds up the aging process and while decreasing the quality of life of the seed. 

When to plant a germinated peach seed?

When planting your newly germinated seed there are two options. Inside or outside. Seems obvious right? Either way will work. It just depends on what you feel will be easiest for you. When planting outside it is less work at the beginning. Inside you have to care for it more right off but it will produce a larger plant in the spring to transplant.


If you are planting your peach seed outside December and January are the recommended time to plant. That sounds crazy I know! But it works.

  • With your finger poke a hole 3-4 inches deep and place your seed in the bottom. 
  • Cover with soil
  • Cover with an inch of straw or hay to protect your seeds throughout the winter months. 
  • Water lightly 

*Best to use a tall plastic pot to make for easy transplanting later


If you aren’t comfortable or worried about planting your seed outside, you can transplant it into a pot in your house to make it through the winter and then transplant outside in the spring. Just like you would outside.. 

  • With your finger poke a hole 3-4 inches deep and place your seed in the bottom. 
  • Cover with soil
  • Water daily or when dry

*Best to use a tall plastic pot to make for easy transplanting later

Most prefer to plant their germinated seed in a pot and take care of it inside during the winter then transplant in the spring. The seeds have a better chance of making it when done this way however it is not unheard of to have the seeds planted outside make it through the winter when planted correctly. 

Before spring it should have grown into a tiny peach tree with strong roots!

Transplanting peach tree

When you are ready to transplant your new peach tree you must be extra cautious to not disrupt the roots. If the pot you planted your germinated seed in is plastic it would be best to cut the plastic down one side and completely remove the pot all together. Or you can carefully squeeze the sides of the pot to loosen the edges of the soil and help the entirety slip out. Then place the tree soil and roots into a hole big enough to fit the entire pot of soil. Cover with soil and water. You’ll want to keep it moist for the first few days as the roots take and then water when dry or just before it gets dry. 

How long before my peach seed will produce fruit?

From the time you place your seeds in the refrigerator to the time you should be able to pick your first piece of fruit off the tree should be 3-4 years. Your tree will still be small and it will not produce very many peaches but it is a short amount of time before you get to reap your reward! 

Kaycee Blair

I'm Kaycee Blair, co-owner of EZ-Prepping with my husband Colton. My family is the most important thing to me in this world. I couldn't bear watching my two little boys go hungry so finding easy and practical ways to be prepared for the future by building food storage and gathering other emergency preparedness items has become a passion to me.

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