Will pits that have dried out still germinate for stone fruit?

I saved some peach and apricot seeds a few months ago and allowed them to dry out. I planned on trying to stratify them this winter but now I’m wondering if there is any point. Does drying out destroy their viability? Or will I still have a good chance?

I’ll probably still pop them out there in the soil this year, but I won’t hold too much hope if their viability is probably shot.

1 Like

Open them up and check. Peach last, plums shrivel up quicker. But you need to open to see.

If you plant a peach pit just know you will not get a fruit that is the same as the one you ate. A peach tree costs 28 dollars bare root and will bear next next year while a pit will take 3 years and likely not pear as good of fruit. Not sure how long a apricot takes.

I cross stone fruit so I kinda know what I’m getting. I crossed Arctic Glo with
Indian Free. I’m trying to get a red fleshed peach that ripens in august or September. Glo ripens around August 1st. Unfortunately my three seedlings died in a hard freeze. Then I lost Arctic Glo. I replaced it and will try again next season. I did grow out four random Indian free seeds to use as rootstock. It’s much easier to graft to Indian free than most peaches. Takes like a plum tree.

Having grown quite a few out from seed. The best thing to do is when you get your peach seed, just put it in the ground and let it rest there. Then if you want to stratify them dig them up in the fall and put them in paper towel/baggie into the refrigerator. If you stratify too early they’ll sprout very early (i’ve had them in December). If you crack it open (i always used a hammer and knock it sitting on its end) and the seed inside is dry…toss them.

Can you store peach or apricot pits somehow for the future? Mason jar?

1 Like

Best think to do is put them in the ground. The cold will be part of the process that makes them sprout. I planted pits once from the store and they did come up come spring. I pulled them to make room for other stuff but it was a cool experiment.

XD yeah this is the question I meant to ask. The ones that I allowed to dry out are all shriveled, but when I’ve allowed them to shrivel before and then soaked them in water for a day they “plumped” back up. I’m just wondering if they are still viable. From the other comments it’s sounding like the viability is now compromised. Next year I might try doing what elivings and warmwxrules suggested and “store” them in the ground.

Another technique that does not require cold stratification and gives instant gratification is to crack pits, soak seeds for 12 hrs, remove paper covering, and place seeds between damp paper towels. You will know within a few days whether your seeds are viable. They will send out a root from tip end. I just did this 2 days ago with Black Boy peaches.

Description of this technique:

Your peach pits should be fine. I’ve grown peach seedlings for years - lots of them. I use them as rootstocks for fall budding. This year I budded about 140 peach seedlings.

I plant peach pits in the ground, but the ground is fairly shallow, so the pits dry out in dry weather, then re-hydrate when it rains. Most germinate the following spring. Some will germinate the year after that.

Large fruit tree nurseries purchase peach pits by the ton from canneries. Though I’ve never purchased peach pits, I’m sure those are dried. I can’t imagine canneries packing pits wet in bags. They would mold.

Note that early peach varieties don’t germinate as well as later ones.


Wanted to note that my post was referring to peach pits. If you’ve cracked the pits open and removed the seed, I’ve no idea how long those seeds will remain viable dried out. I’ve always just left the seeds in the pit.

I’ve tried that (putting them in water) and it didn’t work. I really think they need to be kept somewhat moist.