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Can I get some help on starting Rainier cherry trees from the seeds? I just ate some and they are so good. I have saved the seeds. Do I need to dry them or soak them before planting in pots or what? Thanks so much for your help.
Hardiness Zone: 7a
By Michael L. McNeely from Roanoke, VA
I have started many cherry trees from the pits left from canning. I don't know if Rainier cherries will grow true to their parent plant or not, but if you have the space, why not give it a shot? If it doesn't work, you can always have a horticulture student graft some Rainier cherry branches onto your tree. Best of luck!
I also don't know if a true rainier cherry will come from its pit. I do know that cherries are like peaches and called "stone fruit" because the pit is hard like a stone. Putting a pit in a moisten wet cloth will do nothing but create a moldy wash cloth or bunch of paper towels.
I know this is a VERY late reply and I just ate two kinds of cherries and will be trying to grow trees with the pits. After a little research, the best instruction that I found for me since I live in Texas is to wash the seed thoroughly, let dry in a sunny location for up to 5 days. Store in the refrigerator inside a wet paper towel in a zip lock bag or container for at least 10 weeks to 3 months, keeping the towel moist and not wet. Take out of the fridge and let come to room temperature for a day. Plant in a seed starter or pot with a light sandy mixture about 1 inch thick. Set planters in sunny spot receiving at least 6 hours of sunlight a day. Keep moist, NOT wet and wait for them to spout in a couple of months or so. After they sprout, plant in the yard, mulch, protect from deer and rodents and enjoy!
From the Seattle Times (community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/
The Rainier, like all named varieties of fruit, won't sprout from a pit. Rather, it is planted from a rootstock that grafts two varieties of cherries together: the familiar Bing and the less-known Van.