Planting nectarine seeds – or pits – can produce excellent fruit. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to grow a nectarine tree from seed.
And be sure to consider some of these other fruit trees for your backyard garden!
Does your homeowners association prevent you from growing food in the front yard? What if they never even KNEW? My ebook, The Edible Front Yard Garden will show you how!
Growing nectarine trees from seed
- Experimenting with growing nectarine trees from seed
- Chilling the seeds
- Planting the nectarine seeds
- When will the tree leaf out?
- Planting peaches and other stone fruit from seed
- Step-by-step instructions: How to grow nectarines from seed
My folks still live on the “old home place” that originally belonged to my grandparents. The property is home to a few amazing nectarine trees. They stay small — 12 feet tall at best — and put out amazingly flavored nectarines. The fruit is about 2″ in diameter, with white flesh and rosy cheeks.
Somewhere along the line they became known as “Grandma nectarines” since nobody knew the actual variety of this stone fruit tree.
Those nectarine trees produced bushels of fruit; invariably some would drop, leaving nectarines to rot through the summer. By autumn, the ground beneath those nectarine trees was scattered with wrinkled nectarine pits. But the biggest surprise came when springtime rolled around and those pits unfurled green growth.
Grow Some Greens!
Ready to grow fresh greens, no matter WHERE you live? Sign up for my
FREE quick-start guide and start growing some of your own food!
Mother Nature knows how to grow a nectarine tree from seed. Surely I could replicate that? Turns out, planting nectarine seeds isn’t that difficult.
Planting nectarine seeds
Over the years I’ve experimented with transplanting those sprouts in various locations — some on the original property, some on land 300 miles east. And every single sprout survived and thrived and produced the same great quality nectarines that I grew up with on the same small, sturdy tree.
Experimenter that I am, it stands to reason that if given the chance I’d like to experiment again, this time 2,500 west of the original tree. I managed to acquire a half dozen pits from the original Grandma nectarine for experimental purposes and I was determined to grow a nectarine tree from seed.
The growing conditions being so different here, I didn’t trust that just throwing the pits on the ground would result in a tree, so I opted to sprout them.
How to grow a nectarine tree from seed:
I let my nectarine pits dry at room temperature for about a month before attempting to grow nectarine trees from seed. It’s what worked for me, but I don’t know that it’s a necessary step. (If you find something else that works well, please do leave a comment and let us know!)
Now, get out the hammer. Laying the pits on their “sharp” edge, I carefully tapped them with a hammer to release the almond-like seed without damaging it. Kind of like cracking a tough nut.
I filled a jar with potting soil, adding just a bit of water to dampen it, and then added the seeds. Lid on, I gently tumbled them around a bit and tucked them in the back of the fridge. This was in August at the height of nectarine season.
Stone fruit seeds require exposure to cool temperatures in order to sprout.
I first noticed rootlets until December — nearly four months in the fridge. The rootlet you see below is about two inches long and seemed to be just screaming, “plant me!” And so I did.
Planting nectarine seeds
I pulled out three of the six seeds—the ones with the strongest rootlets—and planted them in individual pots. I covered with about an inch and a half of good soil, watered them well, and left them outside. The remaining pits stayed in the fridge for a bit more chilling out.
While it took the seeds to nearly four months to create that rootlet, the green sprouts of my little nectarine tree came much faster!
How to grow nectarines from seed
In just two weeks that little nectarine seed I’d planted started sprouting and I had my own little stone fruit tree. Experience has shown me that these particular fruit trees grow at a steady clip, and so far that seems to true with these seedlings. Every time I step outside to check them, the little tree is just a bit taller.
Can I tell you just how excited I am about this?? I’ve managed to sprout a little piece of my childhood, right here in a pot!
Will these trees bear fruit here, in our more tropical Hawaii climate, with fewer chill hours? Who’s to say? But for now, I’m thrilled to have had success in starting these special stone fruit from seeds. Time will tell if we’ll actually get to taste the fruits of that experiment! (I cannot wait to get back to canning nectarines for my pantry!)
Planting peach pits and other stone fruit
While I started by planting nectarine seeds to sprout my Grandma’s nectarine tree, this method works with other stone fruit varieties as well. I’ve been successful in starting several plum trees this way, too. Peaches, plums, and apricots are all worth trying. This is a plum pit sprouting:
Related: Bare Root Fruit Trees to Start Your Home Orchard
Will these nectarine trees grow true to seed? It’s hard to say, but my understanding is that unlike some fruit — apples and pears, say — stone fruit trees are more likely to produce offspring with the same flavor and characteristics.
The nectarine trees I’ve planted from seed have all produced fruit in their third year. It certainly can’t hurt to try!
Step-by-Step How to Grow a Nectarine from Seed
Growing a nectarine tree from seed is a frugal way to start a home orchard.
- nectarine pits, (or more)
- potting soil
- Save the pits from nectarines or other stone fruit that you find highly flavorful. Finding an heirloom variety might increase your chances of success.
- Use a hammer to remove the almond-shaped seed from the pit. Set the pit on a solid surface, sharp edge down. Gently tap the pit until it cracks and you're able to remove the seed. Discard the outer pieces of the pit. (I toss them in my compost.)
- Fill a jar about 3/4 full with damp (not wet) potting soil. Put several nectarine seeds in the jar and gently roll the jar to distribute the seeds in the soil.
- Place put the lid on the jar and store in refrigerator for two-to-three months. There's no need to poke holes in the lid, and you don't need to water the seeds while they're in there. The closed jar will retain moisture.
- Check the jar regularly, watching for the rootlets that will sprout from the nectarine seeds.
- When rootlets appear, it's time for planting nectarine seeds! Fill pots nearly to the top with a good potting soil. You'll need enough pots for each nectarine or stone fruit seed to have its own container.
- Gently remove the sprouted nectarine seeds from the jar. Set one seed in each container. Cover with an inch or two of soil.
- Water pots and wait. Make sure that the soil in the containers remains moist but not overly wet. You should see sprouts appear within a few weeks.
- Continue caring for your potted nectarine tree in the container until it reaches one-to-two feet in height. At this time, you can move
Nutrition Information:Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g
can see the sprout of the seed . saw it straight away after eating the nectarine. should i plant it in soil now?
Yes, I would try planting it!
Hiya, noticed that you live in a hotter climate than me, I was just wondering if i extracted the seed from the shell could I just plant it straight in the ground seeing as we have a good 3/4 months of cold winters anyway. I live in England so I’m thinking this might be ok.
I’m not positive, but give it a try!
Question which direction do you put the rootlet in the pot of soil down or up? By the name Rootlet I am thinking facing down.
In general, you’d want the root facing down, although the plant should work it out and root itself correctly regardless.
Do you plant the rootlet facing downward or horizontally?
In general, you’d want the root facing down, although the plant should work it out and root itself correctly regardless.
does it matter a lot if the seed has a little nick on it (like if it got snipped on the side a bit so it got ‘cut’)?
I think it should be ok, try it and see how it goes!
My question is: Is it completely necessary to crack the outer covering to unmask the
precious embryo? Obviously your method works great, with all due respect i’m just wondering. Btw I live in So. Cal. and germinated a bunch of apricot seeds, just threw’em in the dirt, before I knew about stratification. I hope i’m on the road to success. And thank you very much!
Usually that’s the process, but hey, if it works for you another way, go with it!
Hi! I saw your post the other day and used my dehydrator to accelerate the drying process of the nectarine pit. Have you tried it? I haven’t planted it yet though, so we will see if the seed is damaged by the dehydrator or not.
I haven’t tried that, best of luck to your nectarine pit! Keep us posted on how it does 🙂
You hear where apple trees do better when there are two for fertilization purposes. Are nectarines the same way? Just wondering…
Nope, nectarine trees will produce fruit with just one tree.
My little nectarine tree I started from seed is about 9 or 10 inches tall, but has sticky droplets on edge of leaves. What could this be? Aphids?
It could be aphids, but it’s hard for me to know for sure from way over here! Try some natural remedies and see if that helps. Good luck!
I live in central Victoria and threw my eaten nectarines back into my garden where they sprouted and started growing. I planted out and my tree produced 3 fruit this year which is only its second year. I have a number of baby trees I have potted up now to sit through winter ready for planting out in spring. It gets cold here in winter so sitting them out in a pot is the same as being in the fridge!!
I am about to try growing apricot, nectarine and plum in pots but want to train/ prune them to grow the espalier way as minimal space. I have a tamarilo (tree tomato) growing at the moment and it is going well.
Give it a try, I hope it works well for you!
I recently just planted my sprouted nectarine seed in some potting soil, at the beginning of December. It finally began to emerge from the soil on Christmas day! I’m just wondering if this is okay to keep on the window sill, if I want a strong and healthy plant? The window gets a decent amount of sun, just wondering if it matters if I don’t put it outside. Also wondering what the daily maintenance of my nectarine plant should be outside of watering and plant food? Any help would be appreciated, thank you!
I’m so happy you got a sprout! I think you will eventually want it to go outside since it will be growing fruit, as far as *when, I’d just monitor how it’s doing as far as its health and size of the pot it’s in, etc… I think you’re doing great! 🙂
Great day article. I have found great success with apple seeds. If you have adept fingers, you carefully peel the brown seed coat off leaving the embryo. Stick that between two damp paper towels and it will sprout in a week. No chilling needed!! I d9 several seeds at a time, getting about a 50-60& percent sprouting rate.
That’s awesome, glad to hear you’ve had success with it!
My seed sprouted! But I’m not too sure when is the “right time” to move it from the fridge to a pot… are there there any markers I should look out for when choosing which sproutlets to pot ? Any advice at all will be helpful!
Yay!!!! I moved it to a pot as soon as I noticed that it had sprouted. And I potted any that sprouted – the more the merrier!
I wrapped a nectarine seed in a damp paper towel, put it in a Ziploc bag, and stored it ,with the bag unzipped, in a dark cabinet over my stove. It sprouted in about 2 weeks. I then planted it (today) as instructed in the article. Now, I am waiting to see what happens.
Interesting — good to know!
Did you add any water again during this process?
During the time in the fridge? No. I just started with damp soil, closed the lid, and waited!
Out of curiosity, can these be grown in rather large pots? I live in the city and don’t have much backyard to work with.
It would depend on the size of the tree. There are some really small fruit trees that can grow in containers, but you might be better off buying a specific cultivar.
HI: enjoy your reads. I have just embarked on my first nectarine seedlings. Have just gone in the fridge today. Although, the seeds were kind of real flat. Is that ok still? I through one plum seed in there as well, but straight from finishing off the fruit. Is that ok?
Yep, they’re pretty flat! And the only dilemma I see with mixing them in the jar is that you won’t know which is which when you plant. A mystery!
I live in North Idaho. Do I need to keep the pot indoors during the winter when it is snowy? Or just under the carport where it won’t get buried?
I’ve NOT done this in a snowy location, but if it were me I’d keep it in a carport.
Do I just place the seed on the soil or do I put the seed inside the soil?
I put the seeds in the jar with soil and shake it around. You’re not planting it, just keeping it moist.
My wife threw an entire nectarine seed into the soil of a potted plant about four years ago….we live Southern California near the ocean…the seed spouted and developed into a fabulously productive tree… it has at least a hundred nectarines of varying sizes. Apparently this variety does not require a lot of winter chill because it never gets below 45 deg. F in our location, and sometimes over 90 deg F in the summer. The fruit is superb. I am going to try to spout additional trees without the refrigerator step…wish me luck!
I’d love to know what variety that is, as we’re in another area that doesn’t get the required chill that many need!
Wow, that’s so awesome! I live in SoCal too. I bought a bunch of sweet, crispy, delicious white nectarines. Very addicting!! The fruit product code is 3035. I couldn’t find anymore in the store, but managed to save several pits. I’m excited to try growing my own. Thanks very much for sharing your growing tips!
Perfect I’m so glad that worked well, thank you!
Hey! I just ate a 3035 white nectarine myself! I let it ripen a bit more than crispy, it was one of the best white nectarines I’ve eaten! Had to eat it over the sink! The pit was split open and the seed coat was bursting open. I carefully removed it and planted in a #1 nursery pot I had on hand for fig tree propagation. Fingers crossed! Wish they had a nice cultivar name instead of 3035 though! Going to run to the store and grab a dozen more. The one I ate yesterday had a split pit, but the kernel was not viable. Enjoy your 3035’s!
Good luck to you and your 3035 nectarine tree!
I bought some nectarines and the pits have already cracked open when I ate them. Does this mean they are ready for planting in soil or do I still need to put them in a jar with soil for a few weeks in the refrigerator?
Do you see sprouts? If so, plant. If not, you’ve just been saved the “hammer” step!
After eating one, i decided i want to grow from a pit! Only thing is that i live in the desert and fridge space is scarce. Could i hold onto the pit until the cold months or just wait to collect until its time?
In its “natural” state, the pits would sit on the ground all summer, then endure the winter cold before sprouting. So I think what you’re suggesting is worth a try!
Hi Kris, I live in Victoria in Australia,
I wanted to grow some stone fruit trees from pips, loved your story, thankyou. Does your book give Australian Season information? Or just for USA please?
The info in the book is aimed at US audiences (not metric! LOL) but much of it would be actionable in Oz, too.
Hi. I was wondering this too as I live in Canada. Our weather is much colder during the winter compared to the US. I did a google search and found out nectorines need below 7 degrees celcius for dormacy. And can stand up to – 20 degrees celcius.
My plan is to keep the plant in the garage where it will likely be around this tempurature during the winter. My suggestion to Australian climate would be to leave it in the fridge for a good few months after planting. Or even a cold celler if you have. The good news is they can also stand warm climates as well so you should be good to leave it outdoors for your summer! I was unable to find out if they are ok with warm weather all year round though. So best of luck I hope this helps!
Hi Katherine, i live in w.a. and during the last summer season i thought i would try and grow some nectarines from the pips. I just cracked the pits in a vice and put the seeds straight into a small seedling container, placed it outside, watered it and left it. Its now August and of the eight planted, six have shoots appearing. Yah!!!
I have tried to grow nectarine from seed. I remove the seed from the outer coating and place in a jar then place the seeds in the refrigerator for 6 months but what it turns out to be is a fig tree instead. I have also tried to plant the seed directly after removing it from the hard coating into the soil but alas. Any ideas where I am getting it wrong?
This sounds like a mystery!
Instead of putting the seeds in a jar and then into the fridge, can the jar be put out into the garden as the cooler days are here?
I would think so…
Thank you for all your wonderful information. I have a nectarine plant growing that is now about 2 1/2 inches tall, it is in a very tiny flower pot. What size pot should I transplant it to?
When upsizing, I try to move plants into a pot that’s 2-3″ in diameter larger than the original.
I‘ve refereed back to this post so many times! Thank you for it. I noticed if I peel my seeds before I place them in the fridge my nectarines sprout a root within a month. Run the seed under water for a few seconds and it easily peels off!
Certainly going to give this a try. Why leave it in the fridge though? Would it work the same if placed in a pot on the windowsill?
To mimic the cold winter months.
Is it possible to grow stone fruits in Ontario, Canada? Also what fertillizers to use? and the ph of the soil?
Do you have a service like our cooperative extension? They’d be able to give you more localized advice!
When i broke the pit, the seed that fell out looked dry and was flat, will it germinate?
The seed usually looks like an almond, but I’ve seen the very dry, flat ones you mention. My guess is that one won’t be viable, but it can’t hurt to try!
Wow.. Thats interesting, but how was the tatse of your nectarine grown from seed fruit compared to the original parent fruit tree
Exactly the same.
Is it imperative that they go in the fridge first, or is that only for pre-sprouting? About 2 weeks ago I opened one of my store bought nectarines which was split pit, and already a tiny rootlet growing. I placed the seed in a Ziploc baggie in a damp paper towel and it has really quickly developed. Slightly larger than the picture in your article. I was going to move straight into a clay pot.
If it’s sprouted, I’d probably go ahead and plant it!
Wow…My husband bought some nectarines this past weekend and I saved 2 seeds. I was wondering how to grow them and found this post. Trying some of your techniques, wish me luck here @ NE Ohio!
Thanks for all the info. Have just saved some greengage pits, as I am making some greengage liqueur. Drying first, then sprouting. Can’t wait to see if they grow in West Sussex UK, fingers crossed!
How about pecan please?
Hi guys i really enjoyed reading this. I don’t actually know anything about growing nectarine trees, But recently I got a nectarine from the store Sprouts. When I cut it in half the knife sliced right through the pit exposing the actual seed. The seed skin looked split so I wrapped it in a wet napkin and put it in a jar with no soil. It has taken about 4 or 5 days but I have a tiny rootlet less than an inch long already…. I will put it in some soil soon and see what happens. Really excited to see if it works. Good luck to everyone with growing yours.
“Continue caring for your potted nectarine tree in the container until it reaches one-to-two feet in height. At this time, you can move”
Did you leave out something? Move where and how?
Also, I’m really interested in the name of the particular nectarines your grandparents grew, and realize you probably don’t remember, but I’d like to get some of the same for my orchard….Name? Any ideas???
I just planted a nectarines seed in with some avocado trees. Guess I better plant them in a jar. I didn’t have any luck with my avacodo trees using tooth pick suspending the seed over a glass of water. I just let them set in water about a week or as them planted them. I have four trees for. Four seeds. It sounds like a faster sprouting to take the seed out of the jail and put in the refrigerator. I will try that method. Thinks for the info.
Just to be clear, don’t plant them in a jar, PRESPROUT them. Then plant in soil.
1. I planted a Peach pit and it has grown so much in 3 yrs. and have moved it twice…Read somewhere about how to keep it dwarf size and followed instructions to do so. Hope it bears fruit this year….What do you think?
2. I planted a Lemon seed that grew and put it into a pot for indoors…However, notice that the bottom leaves turn half yellow or appear brown…..What does it indicate? Am I watering it too much or not enough? Water it through bottom in a dish and keep it in front of window and under a lamp for night time….Hope you can help me….even if it doesn’t bear fruit…want to keep it as a plant.
Isn’t it fun to experiment. My nectarines began fruiting in the third year. Yellowing can be too much water or not enough nutrients. (Or myriad other things!)
Hi Kris , so glad to found your site. Thanks for the info. Hope I can grow from the 2 seeds ( sad I threw the rest away) I got from farmers market, very sweet variety. Can I use ziplock bag instead of the glass?
Maybe your family can save some seeds & sell it to us.
I imagine a ziploc bag would work; I just try to reduce the amount of plastic we generate.
I live in North Eastern part of India and is mountaineous and cool. We have several nectarine tress but never knew about growing from seeds. Some survived from grafting but that requires skills that i haven’t experimented myself yet. Very excited to see this article and wanting to try out right now 🙂 no time to waste.
I found a sprouted seed inside the pit of a nectarine I was eating last fall. I decided to plant it and see what happens. It is currently a seven inch tall little tree.
I live in Ballarat Victoria Australia where we have 4 seasons but a very hot summer above 40deg celcius and also cold winters of minus 4celcious or less …my nectarine tree is a living memory of my late sister who grew this tree from a seed before she passed ,,it had one fruit on it this year but didn’t get to try it as the birds attacked it before I covered it over ..I’ve saved the seed and I’m going to try your method of growing the next generation..we are now into our autumn and I’m drying it out at the moment … I have also saved another bought nectarine and a peach seed and am going to ”plant” them as well ..hopefully i will have success ..
Used same method you used took jars out of fridge last week now have four sprouts from thirteen jars, hope for more to come up, two either peaches or nectarines and others either plums or apricots used different shaped jars. Today sent them on the top house water tank. Live in outback Queensland arid area, prickly pears do well here hot summers cold winters down to 4 C next week. Nice to read the comments here.
I live in Kansas. We will be heading into colder months soon. After presprouting then sprouting, it will be in late fall. Can I plant it outside then? Thanks!
I’d keep it potted and then transplant in the spring.
Its been interesting reading through the good ideas that are posted. I am in Zambia – Africa and I am doing experiments on different plants. I cracked open the Plum seed and kept it for 2 weeks a paper towel in a mini grip plastic and found it had sprout. I planted it in a small cup and it has finally germinated. and will be putting it into a slightly bigger pot.
My question is, How long does it take for the plum tree to start fruiting?
My nectarine tree from seed has started fruiting after three years. That may vary depending on variety and location, though.
Hi there. We live in Northern Nevada just over the Sierra’s from Placerville. I read somewhere online to put your seeds in the fridge for several months, then take them out and crack/remove the outer shell then place them in the soil and water them. I’m trying step 2 today with necterine, peach, plum, and plots. We’re in zone 6 here in Fernley and I already have store bought versions of them going. I’ve tried the dirt version in the fridge and mine got moldy. At work we have several trees that started from the fruit on the ground so that may be the easiest way to go. They are about 15 years old and they do produce but the birds beat everyone to the fruit. Also something about the pits having to float to be good ones. About half this group is floating but their husks are stronger on the ones that aren’t. Great suggestions
Put bird netting on the tree if you want to enjoy your fruit. Buy good quality netting so it lasts a few years. Look online or places like Tractor Supply. Good luck and enjoy!
Yes, netting helps.
I was eating a nectarine sometime in August when I noticed the pit was cracked open on its own & I saw a seed inside. So, I figured what the heck I’ll see if I can grow something. I put my seed in a small bowl with a little water & set it on the kitchen window sill. Towards the end of September a little root developed.
I then tore a section off my used coffee filter with the grounds, because I’ve heard it’s good for growing things, & set my seed on it to keep it damp. I moved it to my bathroom window to get better sunlight. About a week or 2 weeks ago I added a little potting soil.
I now have a little sprout that looks like the pic at the top of your article!
I am excited to see how my little nectarine turns out 🙂
I hope it grows for you!
Just got interested in growing fruit from seeds, I have about 20 pots with various seeds in, trouble is, I did,nt label them, so they could be , peach, nectarine , plum, or apricot, still thats part of the fun!. Only three seedlings are showing at the moment, though several more are showing roots.I have them in my greenhouse on my allotment.I do not know how they will fare when I plant them out ,as Wales, where I live has wet and somewhat unpredictable weather
Plum leaves are rounder than nectarine and peach, which are long and skinny, so that should help sort out the plum from the others. Not sure what leaves an apricot look like.
Apricots are kind of heart-shaped. 😉
Honestly speaking this forum has exposed me to new heights into stone seeds planting. I will do it in Kenya. Keep up. Can these be done also through air layering from fully grown trees: nectarines, peach, avocado, pears, ,jackfruit and peach? Thanks once more for opening my eyes to see this dimension,
I don’t think air layering is a good option for fruit trees, but I have not tried it. Better to graft.
Once I’ve transplanted the sprouted seeds into a pot, what do I do with it then? Leave it outside during the winter ? (I live in WA State, where it rains a LOT in the winter and, these days, hot and dry in the summer.) When do I transplant them from the pot to the ground???
Move it into “ideal conditions” for a potted plant. That’s going to depend on your specific location. It shouldn’t be a problem to get a fair amount of water — the original nectarine seedlings stayed out in the rain all winter in California. So long as the pot drains well and the soil isn’t constantly saturated. As for planting out in the ground, I like to wait until they’re about a foot tall, mostly so I don’t lose them in the weeds.
For those who have commented from UK asking if it will work here, I can happily tell you that my friend’s father in Lincoln has been successfully growing peaches, nectarines and lemons for many years. Just go for it.
Thanks for chiming in!
How long after planting a nectat one seedling does the bark start to develop?
Hm. That’s a good question. If my memory serves, it was probably close to a year before I started seeing a thin bark.
Question: do the seedling jar for the fridge require holes in the lid for oxygenation? I have a small jar with a lid clasp and a sauce jar with slit holes in the lid. Couldn’t find this answer anywhere. I’m using the little jar with the clasp lid as I write this.
Mine were in a recycled jar with a metal lid — no holes in it. Probably was not *completely air tight.
I live in Idaho and peach and apricot trees grow and produce very well.
just wondering how mother nature cracks the shells can i plant the shell intact with any hope of success
Mother Nature does it naturally, as I mentioned up above. But if you only have a few seeds, this is a way to up your odds. Go for it!
Thanks for the tips! I’m going to try it too. This morning as I was quartering a nectarine for breakfast I cut it just right and the stone fell into 2 pieces. I see this as a hint from God to try it. With your guiding hints here I go! I have some seed starter dirt. I’m gonna try that and some regular Miracle Grow potting soil. I’m going to try both. Like you, I like to experiment…. My house sits at 3500 feet so I have plenty of coolness to experiment in!
I’m going to have a nectarine tree too. Thank you for taking the time to write this. I’ll be in touch.
Yay – more nectarines for everyone!
is it possible to grow it in India??
I don’t know. Is there a nursery or garden expert you could ask locally?
um so interested on fruit trees, and i want to start germinating them from seed but i don t have any idea, i need help.
Scroll down and read the instructions — they should be useful.
Thanks for your information. I love necturines and hopefully this will work.
What happens if you don’t remove the seed from the pit?
It’s September, and I planted it on Sunday, the 24th. It is on the balcony ledge, enclosed in a CD Stack cover with plastic bag as the base to protect the wood railing from the moisture.
I watched a video about other seeds being planted, so that is why I have the seed (actually the pit, because I didn’t know a seed was inside) in dirt, in a cut-in-half water bottle (the top half), that has three pairs of slits around. That half is sitting in the bottom half filled with half of an inch high of water (hoping its roots would reach down for the water through the slits or the open bottle top ..since the cap is removed).
The balcony is on the side of the house with the most shadow (north side). I nervous it was not getting enough sun but I could not find a place where I could easily manage the plant and keep it away from neighborhood critters (squirrel, raccoons, rabbit, …Michigan stuff). Which is why the enclosure also tied down to rail. In regard to temperature, I suppose the cold nights may be sufficient for chilling as you mentioned?
I thought I was doing something right when I was being creative to make such a mini-greenhouse.
What do you think?
Well, out in the “wild” they’ll sprout from a hard pit. Removing the outer layer makes it easier for the seed to sprout. Would be interested to know how this turns out!
. I live in Australia and have saved pits from my favourite nectarine tree.That was so helpful. Im going to give it a go too.
I just bought some Michigan nectarines and am going to try to start a tree or three. Fit works out they will go to my son’s house to finish growing. Thank you for your info.
I would like to try your procedure for growing nectarines. Do i put the lid on tight in the fridge? Can i continue to ask you questions? I live in Alabama and i hope they will grow.
Yep, lid on tight.
I’m in the panhandle of FL. I’m about to try this. Question: do you need to let the seed dry out before planting?
No. There will be a bit of moisture in the jar — that’s what you want. Just transfer the sprouted seed right to a pot and water it in.
This is great and so easy. My grandson wants to plant his seeds.
Nice article. Thanks.
The earth in the jar, is it full to the top or half full to allow the seeds/earth to get shaken around ?
Only about half full.
We’re the lids on completely when you put them in the fride? I didn’t know if they would need air or not.
would it be easier to plant say an apple core then de seeding it
Sure, it would. Apples are less likely to grow true from seed than stone fruit, though.
I wonder what success I will have on the south coast of England.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained!
Never hurts to experiment!
I am so excited to try this! And even more excited to find out you grew nectarines from seed in Placerville! That’s where I grew up too and now I live in Cameron Park. I can’t wait to see if I can get the same results. I’ve already got my jar of dirt in the fridge! If I add seeds to it over time, will tumbling damage any of the roots? Or should I put new seeds in a new jar?
I had a number of seeds in one jar. I think I’d keep the batches separate, though. If early ones start sprouting, you’ll want to be able to pull them out easily without disturbing new ones.
I used to live in Northern California but now in Southern California. What do you consider “good soil” to be? A brand name would be helpful as I’d like to follow the same exact directions. Just like baking. Thanks!
If only gardening was like baking! Give Fox Farms brand a try.
Hi, a few years i fiund a peach/Nectarine tree had started growing in our compost bin, it had good healthy tap roots and had sprouted the first leaves.
I planted the the two seedlings in small pots and watched them grow.
Now several years later my mother and I have a 3ft tall tree each.
As far as I can tell, they appear to be Nectarines but still not 100 % sure.
I love the thought of having ‘home grown’ fruit but I live in the UK so I’m not sure if they’ll survive the winters here.
We bring them inside before the first frosts and put them out when spring comes.
“I love the thought of having ‘home grown’ fruit but I live in the UK so I’m not sure if they’ll survive the winters here.”
Nectarines, which are basically just peaches without fuzz, shouldn’t have any issues with UK winters (assuming you don’t live on top of Ben Nevis).
Much of the US mainland has far colder winters than the UK, “far colder” in this instance meaning it’s not uncommon for the coldest night of the winter to hit -20C (-4F). Peaches and nectarines are grown very successfully in these areas.
My main concern with growing nectarines in the UK would be that they like summer temperatures that are significantly warmer than what is typical for the UK. They are very happy with daytime highs of 25C (77F) or greater. (BTW, most of the US has a continental climate; it isn’t moderated by the ocean and warmed – especially in the winter – by the Gulf Stream / North Atlantic Drift as the UK is. Consequently much of the US regularly experiences winter temperatures that are almost unimaginable in the UK, while our “normal” summer temperatures would be record-breaking for you chaps.)
You may find that they will do much better if you put a kind of simple removable greenhouse over them in summer.
For example, you can use PVC pipes to form a frame that the tree fits completely inside and then put transparent plastic sheeting over the frame. Leave an open space at the bottom of the plastic or make a small hole in the top to prevent overheating. You may need to experiment with the sizes you use to get good warming without overheating. If the temperature inside gets to about 30C on a sunny day, you’re golden.
Just be sure your tree gets enough water as the plastic will keep the rain from falling on the area inside your enclosure. An easy solution is to water it. Interestingly, keeping the tree dry while the fruit is growing is actually an advantage because fungi that cause fruit rot mostly grow on wet fruit and find it hard to get started on dry fruit. This will probably let you skip spraying with fungicides.
Use summer pruning (look it up online) to control the shape your nectarine tree grows into and to keep it at an easily manageable size, such as around 1.7m tall and 1.3m wide.
Thanks for sharing your experience!
Air layering works so much better and you can get a very good sized plant to put in a pot or the ground in about four to six weeks. Plus, it will bear fruit without having to wait. Go to YouTube and type in air layering. It is awesome!
Hi I love nectarines. Can I grow them from seed? I live in nairobi kenya
Can’t hurt to try!
Hi! I ate today (13.7.) few nectarines and i tought it would be fun to try grow them. I live in Finland and we have darkest of times from November to March. We have barely sunlight during that time. I was just wondering if I could preserve stone somehow and plant it at better time of the year. How could I do it?
In the refrigerator as mentioned above?
Thank you Kris for your advice. I have always wanted to root a seed. I got some nectarines from a store and saving the pits. You are great for giving us advice.
I hope it turns into a great tree for you.
Wow! Your story hit home for me. I pickrd plums at my grandmothers house todays with my mother and son and I have a small dream for a few small pits! Knowing that they are different fruit, they are stone summer fruit and I want to grow one that I can save because their tree will be gone. So I’m goin for it! I’m gonna use your methos because something is teling me too! Thank you for the info and inspiration! Carmen Fontaine- Adamson
Will store bought nectarine seed grow and survive in Arizona heat /
One, newer varieties might not be so good at coming “true to seed” as mine, but worth a try! i don’t know about the Arizona heat.
I had peach and nectarine but the squirrels gto them before wedid. My husband got mad aND cut them down.they don’t bother citrus trees though limes ,lemons,I had red ruby grapefruit to.
This is Wonderful. I LOVE the challenge of growing ‘anything’ from seed. I live in Vermont, Zone 4. This wouldn’t live outside would it?
Would it like to live in a southern exposure with my Lime Tree???
It looks like zone 4 might be pushing it for nectarines. You could try it in a pot though, and move it inside for winter.
Thank you for this information. I am determined to grow and teach my people to grow nectarines from the seeds.
Aloha! It’s nectarine season again… and my husband and I were searching the web to see if we could sprout one get on Maui… ! Thank you for your blog! Curious how the little seedlings are doing now 6 months after sprouting?
Aloha! I spouted six in total. I gave a couple away. One (at about 2400′ elevation) is as tall as I am now. Mine (2000′) are still only about 3′ tall, and they were slow to throw green leaves this spring after going dormant (yay!) but they’re growing. I don’t expect to know whether or not they’ll actually fruit for another few years, though. Try it!
Can you plant stone fruit pit direct into the potting soil after you crack them.? I am living in the tropics asia.
Well, as I said, the trees on our property sprouted from being left on the ground. I think cracking the outer layer would hurry up the process. The biggest problem will be keeping track of that tiny tree as it grows!
How old should the seed pits be before cracking them and starting the process to plant them.
Good question. I can tell you what *I did, though I’m not sure if it’s what “should” be done. I’ve done this twice now, both with nectarines and plums, and the seeds were about a month old. I just set them aside to dry a bit, then broke them open. Good luck!
This is wonder! Thank you for sharing such wisdom! Would apple and cherry seeds be considered “stone” seeds?
Also, the seeds yoy used, were they from inside the fruit? Like the seeds you spit out when eating an orange?
Stone fruits as I know them are peaches, plums, nectarines, and apricots. The hard pit itself, cracked open, reveals a tiny almond like seed.
Any suggestions on what fruit trees I can grow from seed here in Chesapeake, VA ???
I’d look to see what grows well there already. Many won’t grow true to seed, but could still be fun!
hi, i would love to do this with my young daughters. would they grow well in maine? thanks
I’m not familiar with growing stone fruit in Maine, but this might help: https://umaine.edu/fruit/growing-fruit-trees-in-maine/planting-and-early-care/
Thank you so much for the link!!
Can these trees be grown in a container permanently? I’m thinking something like a dwarf or bonsai tree.
I don’t know anything about growing bonsai, but you can get very small fruit trees (dwarf) to grow in a half-wine barrel sized planter. Probably you’d need to buy those specifically, though!
Sorry to sound like a stupid question, but in which direction do you plant the rootlings? Root down, or root up?
Root down. Though I did some kind of sideways, too, and they sprouted just fine.
Too cute! I will need to try that. I have two avocado plants going, but I never dreamed that a nectarine was an option. Thank you for sharing. Great pics and tips. I better start mine now to get that fruit some day:)
Started a nectarine seed about 4 months ago and getting ready to transplant it into a larger pot, it’s about 3 inches tall now. Any suggestions for its care from here on out?
It should be fine in the pot for a bit. It might lose its leaves in the winter — that’s normal — and likely won’t grow much unless you have it in a greenhouse. Plant it outside in the spring if you’re confident that nobody will mow it over. If not, you can move it to a slightly bigger pot.
I’m certainly going to try this. I live in Tasmania, Australia and we certainly do grow nectarines here so I know the climate is ok. I have experimented with Apple seeds and currently have a couple of trees at their first year of bearing fruit this year. I’ve also struck a couple of avocado trees from the seed but they take about ten years to bear fruit. Thank you for the info, I look forward to more useful hints in the future.
I was wondering were these trees originally grew and if possible to get some seeds?
They grew in Northern California. And, no, I don’t have any to share – sorry!
What part of Northern Cali?
I grew these in both Sonoma County (where they originated for me) and Placerville.
We have over 100 peach trees on our property. The grove is very old and needs to be replanted with new trees. I wonder if we could grow new trees from the seeds?
I don’t know that I’d depend on this method for an entire orchard, unless you knew for sure they’d grow true from seed. Experiment, though!
You could plant them from seed and once they get if enough, take a graft from the old trees and graft them onto the new roots that you grew from she’d. That would guarantee that you get the same fruit but get a younger root system and tree.
you may want look at (air layering) a cheap way to rebuild an orchard simply select a living branch scrape off the first layer of bark about a 12-18 inchs from the tip put alittle rooting powder wher you removed the bark just below that tape a piece of plastic so as to form a bag around the limb put some damp potting soil about size of grapefruit seal the bag at the top after 2-3 mons you should see roots growing at that time cut the limboff just below the bag slowly re move the bag new little tree 12-18 inch tall put in pot 2-3 months then plant in garden
I am so jealous. Having fruit trees in my property is one of my dreams. Enjoy.
This is so cool, and something my oldest daughter would LOVE to do!
How long from planting till you would get fruit? I planted a black walnut here from a seed — 12 years on now. But I think it is probably 10 to 15 more years before we’ll see a walnut. (I’ll be 70 yo. Planting trees is a labour of love.)
These nectarine trees have always produced fruit in the third year. It’s just amazing to me that we can go from seed to fruit that quickly!
When do I plant them if I’m in Michigan
Check with your local extension office.
whether nectarine fruit can be drafted any fruit.
A pit was already open when I cut the fruit to eat today and the seed, that looks like an almond, seems to be sprouting a rootlet already. Should I proceed to put it into a jar and the fridge?
What temp is best- we have a beverage fridge that maintains about 38°F, will that work?
Hm. If it’s already sprouting, I think I’d plant it directly in a pot with soil!
Last year I found apple seeds sprouting inside a store-bought apple – I planted them and they are now growing. I think the refrigeration that is used to transport some fruit acts as a “wintering”
My black walnut tree from a seedling has given fruit in 7 years. I got 7 nuts this year. Care for them tenderly and they will give you a bounty.
Careful with black walnut. We have a huge one in our backyard and we get so many, that I can fill 6 or 7 of those big green plastic garbage cans.
How should I water the refrigerated seeds?
Not at all – the entire time they are in the fridge, they don’t need any care!
Hi! Can I take the seed straight from a store bought nectarine? And do I plant it outside or inside when I see rootlets?
You’ll have better luck with a vintage variety, I imagine.
You need to dry the seeds at room temperature for a month, as the author says.