Starting a Cherry Tree from a Pit

February 29, 2012


How do I start a cherry tree from the pit?

Hardiness Zone: 7a

Edie White from Whitmore, CA



To start a cherry tree from a pit, remove the pit from the fruit and clean off any remaining flesh. Don't try and remove the hard part of the shell that surrounds the pit. Cherry pits need a chilling period before germinating. To mimic the necessary winter-like conditions, place the pit in a plastic bag filled with moist vermiculite or peat moss (or damp paper towels) and store the bag in the refrigerator for about 10 weeks. Check the moisture level in the bag now and then and don't let the pit dry out. After about 10 weeks of chilling the pit is ready to be planted. You can start it in a pot indoors or plant it outside. Plant seeds about 1/2 inch deep in nutrient-rich well-drained soil with exposure to full sun. You should expect to see growth in after a few weeks. If our planting outdoors during cold weather, the seedling may just stay chilled and resume growth the following spring.


After planting, you can expect to see mature fruit after 7 to 10 years. Grafting your seedling onto an already mature tree will reduce the waiting time considerably. It's best to plant several seeds at one time, because a good number of seeds may fail to germinate. It's also helpful to understand that the fruit you eventually harvest from the "pit" tree is not likely to be the same juicy cherries you ate from the parent tree. Commercial fruit trees are propagated from grafting or budding so your seeds will not likely reproduce true to the parent plant. The fruit from your seedling may be somewhat bitter, then again, it might taste even better than the original cherry.

Good Luck!

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February 29, 2012
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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

June 4, 2011

How many cherry pits should I plant in one hole to get a good size tree to grow?

By Wanda M


June 5, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Cherry pits should be planted in the late Fall because they need the cold weather of Winter to germinate in the Spring; this is called "stratification". I would plant several pits (but not in the same hole) to make sure you get at least one or two to sprout and when they are around 18 inches high, transplant them to their permanent location.

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June 2, 2009

Can I plant a sweet cherry pit and grow a tree?

Hardiness Zone: 8a

By karen from Charleston, SC


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June 20, 20061 found this helpful
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I got at least 50 by throwing the pits left from canning out into the flower bed. We gradually trimmed out all but one. It doesn't produce heavily, but it's in mostly shade. What it does beautifully is give us shade on the house.


Between the cherry and the apricot we got when one of the kids put a pit out, the house is a good 20 degrees cooler in the summer. We like it so much, we planted some plum trees on the other side of the house.

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March 26, 2016

When is the best time to plant cherry seeds and is Louisiana the right climate to do so?


May 30, 20160 found this helpful


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October 9, 20170 found this helpful

When is the best time to transfer in to a big pot

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August 22, 2015

My cherry seed has germinated producing white leaves. What is the problem?
And how can I solve it?


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August 24, 20150 found this helpful

Sometimes leaves become white if a plant was exposed to too strong sunlight or too suddenly after growing in shade or half-shade. If this is the problem you should protect the plant from direct sunlight.


Hope this helps !

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May 28, 2014

I started some cherry and Contender peach pits several weeks ago in my greenhouse. I checked and I might have a cherry growing, but it looks nothing like the seedling pictures, rather a small clump of purplish green leaves. I dumped a pot out and can't even find a pit! Help please.

By Lesley


July 12, 20150 found this helpful

Its a Purple leafed sand cherry. They have purplish leaves, produce cherries, but a word of caution, overly bitter fruit should not be eaten, the leaves and pits contain a poison and should also not be consumed. * all cherries are like this) sand cherry fruit that is bitter should not be consumed.

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October 6, 2013

I need to buy cherry seed. Where can I find them?

By Conrado


July 7, 20140 found this helpful

You can buy cherry seeds in any good flower shop.

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