Seed Savers

I’m saving seeds (apricot/nectarine/pluot/plum). In the past i’d save the whole seed (shell). I would wrap it into wet paper towel and into the refrigerator. Lots of mold later and some (few) would sprout in Dec and i’d be potting up trees around Christmas. So the past few years I’ve been removing the seed from the shell (with a hammer) and wrapping them in either paper towel or last year wet peat moss. Lots of success…some mold (bad seeds) but still very early (Christmas time). This year I’ll do the same but i’m thinking of potting them out in container for another month (in the shade)…keep that moist and then put them in the refrigerator… I’m trying to delay sprouting as long as possible (i hate dealing with seedlings so early). One other issue I see is the seed themselves and when to remove them. I have 3 pictures. A pluot seed removed right away (after eating), a bunch of apricot seeds after a few days and then a nectarine seed after a few weeks. As you can see…they dry out rapidly…but does it hurt germination??? I’m soaking some of the dried out ones in water and then i’ll put them in moist soil…


What would happen if you left them at room temperature in a paper sack in a dry spot like an extended summer. Then Put them in the fridge with some moisture the first of November.

I think i’ve done that before…i know i’ve left some just sit out and to be honest…i can’t remember if they ever sprouted or not. I’m bad at keeping track of stuff like that. I have this post so at least i’ll be able to look back and see what happens with these seeds. I’ll try to keep them grouped by variety. I’m just not sure if seeds that dry out reduce germination chances or not. Vegetable seeds do just fine drying out…not so sure about fruits/nuts.

Another option is to just bury them. I once buried a pile of peach seeds and i think it was 2 years later they all sprouted and i had a jungle of them… I also buried a pile of hybrid plum seeds and not one of them sprouted…none. I have no idea why not.

I put a large pile of pits that the coons graciously cleaned off for me in a hole and covered them with some grass clippings. I found it interesting that you have much better germination rates by removing the seed from the shell. I had read that on line but wasn’t sure it was worth the effort. It sounds like it is a must. I also have several pits I cleaned and let dry on a paper towel.

I have found a vise is the best way to break open the shell without damage to the seed. I only did it one year. I didn’t get them out of the fridge until spring so had a lot of bad ones. but you know by looking.

The shell has a habit of molding like crazy over time…even in 34F refrigerator.

I will be taking the shells off for sure. Thanks rob.

I Cracked 86 peach seeds today and am putting them in the fridge. I plan on wrapping them up in damp paper towel and putting them in a zip lock with the top open a bit. Am I on the right track here?


Yup…you’ll have 86 peach trees popping around Christmas time :slight_smile:

So i tried putting seeds (out of their shells) in peat moss and leaving that in a shady spot for 2 months or whatever it was (from seeds collected earlier this summer)…fail (trying to delay sprouting until hopefully after the 1st of the year… Almost all of them rotted… should have just refrigerated them and prayed. One of the seeds actually sprouted and started growing…strange.

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in an old refrigerator I had forgotten 6 Aprium Tasty Rich seeds. Stored for 3 years in a Zip lock! I took a guess.

So I Cracked these 6 forgotten seeds and soaking the dried out ones in water for 24 hours, after then i’ll put them in a moist container only for observation if they still alive or not.

Never thought such a thing would still grow, see what happened, within four days there was life.


Very cool. How long did they take to reach the size in your last photo?

from the time of sowing : 27 days


Where the seeds stored at a temperature above freezing?
Interesting how quickly them sprouted once they warmed up.

@ Dennis

Yes, the seeds where stored at a temperature above freezing, 42.8°F

My cot seedlings are just breaking the surface of the pots. I planted 8 spouted seeds in small 4" pots in 5:1:1 mix. I can see about an inch of green on 6 of the 8 seedlings. I’ve left them outside and have kept the soil moist. The night temps have been chilly the last couple of days around 50-55 degrees. I’m not sure what to do with mine at this point. Obviously they will not put on much growth with the cooler night temps. We have about 1 month until autumn colors and leaf fall. My plan was to let them drop their leaves and store them in my unheated garage over the winter. But at this point I fear they will not put on much growth at all. I planned on putting them in the ground next spring but if they are still tiny maybe I should grow them in pots next year and then plant next fall.

@ speedster1,

In this way, this will succeed, I have done this several times before

You may have to water them a few times over the winter in the unheated garage so the soil does not completely dry out. They should have sufficient roots to put them in the ground late August or early September.

I sprouted some plum seeds this past season, and had a good % produce viable plants. I saved pits in plastic bags for a couple weeks as harvest came in, clingstone flesh liquified and washed off. They went into damp peat and sat in a plastic bag in my 40-60F cellar for the winter. Chitted and sprouting seeds were then planted in ground around May 1st. No need to shell, they cracked open on their own when ready. I don’t think you want them to dry out.
Got plenty more from this year’s bumper plum crop!

Looks like some of my peach seeds are starting to sprout. I put them in the refrigerator on September 1st.

So, now what should I do ? Plant the sprouting seeds in individual peat pots in potting soil at room temperature? Have the sprouted enough?


I did some crosses with mu Indian Free peach, but I don’t want them to sprout anytime soon so i just planted them outside. As this is what would happen in nature. None sprouted before winter. I don’t really have experience with peach seeds, but most seeds if dried correctly can be frozen. So I’m not concerned about them freezing at all outside.
I’ll guess I’ll see in the spring! If it doesn’t work I will stratify myself next year.
I know Olpea and others mentioned volunteers coming up in the orchard, so it seemed to me the best way to do it.