Some varieties of peaches germinate more easily than others. You may have to try several varieties before you find one that germinates. Don't be surprised if your peach tree produces a different variety of peach than the peach whose pit you planted!
To plant a peach pit:
- Store the pit at room temperature, out of the sun. You can also store it in a plastic bag in the refrigerator as long as there are no apples or bananas in the refrigerator. Apples and bananas release ethylene, which may damage the pit.
- Plant the pit outdoors in the fall in well-drained, fertile soil with a pH of around 6.
- Plant the pit in a hole about three inches (7.6 centimeters) deep.
- Pack the soil firmly around the pit.
- Make sure the soil is slightly moist. If you overwater it, the pit will rot [source: Michigan Peach, Parker].
Alternatively you can clean and dry the peach pit, store it in a plastic bag as above until winter, and induce it to germinate using cold treatment (stratification). There should be slight condensation inside the bag. If the pit appears too dry, add some water, shake the bag and then completely drain the water. The cold treatment process is as follows:
- Soak the pit in water for a few hours.
- Put the pit in (barely) moistened soil in a plastic bag.
- Store the pit in the refrigerator at 34 to 42 degrees Fahrenheit (1.1 to 5.6 degrees Celsius).
- Check for germination after six weeks. Don't be discouraged if there are no signs of germination. It may take closer to three months for the seed to germinate.
- Once the pit develops a root that is at least half an inch (1.3 centimeters) long, plant it in soil in a pot.
- Replant your tree outdoors in spring, after the last frost [source: Michigan Peach].
It takes three or four years for a peach tree to grow fruit. For this reason, many people prefer to buy a young tree rather than wait for a tree to grow from a seed.