How to Grow a Plum Tree from a Pit

Many plums come from hybrid trees, and a plum tree can be grown from a pit. Mike Powles / Getty Images

Although you can grow a plum tree from a pit, be aware that many plums come from hybrid trees. A tree that grows from such a pit may not grow fruit, and even if it does, the fruit may not have the same quality and taste as the plum whose pit you planted [source: Do It Yourself].

Bearing this in mind, here's what you'll need to grow a plum tree from a pit:


  • A plum pit of the desired variety (a self-fertilizing type is best)
  • Zip-lock bag
  • Compost or peat moss
  • Hardware cloth

Let's go grow a plum tree:

  1. Place the pit in a bucket of water and see if it stays afloat or sinks. If it floats, the pit is no good and shouldn't be planted. If it sinks, it should grow.
  2. Dry the pit thoroughly and put it in a zip-lock bag with some compost or peat moss.
  3. Place the bag in the refrigerator and maintain the pit's temperature at around 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4 degrees Celsius) for six to eight weeks.
  4. Check the pit frequently after about five weeks. When it cracks and sprouts, remove it from the refrigerator.
  5. Prepare the soil for planting by combining two parts soil with one part compost. Try to do this about a week before the pit is ready. If it hasn't started sprouting by the fifth week, start preparing the soil then.
  6. Plant the pit 4-inches (101.6-millimeters) deep in the soil.
  7. Place a hardware cloth over the area until the sprout breaks through the surface. This will keep animals from digging up the pit
  8. Transplant the sapling after a year, if necessary, to the place where you want it to grow permanently. Spring is the best time for transplanting [source: Garden Guides].