How to Sprout a Cherry Seed
Patience pays off when it comes to planting cherry seeds. Several cherry species exist, but only two are commonly grown for their fruit: the sweet cherry (Prunus avium, USDA plant hardiness zones 5-7) and the pie or sour cherry (Prunus cerasus, USDA plant hardiness zones 4-6). Both varieties grow well from seeds, although the seeds need to be chilled before they will sprout, and the resulting seedlings may not produce fruit that is of the same quality as the parent tree. However, seed-grown cherry trees will still reward your effort with beautiful foliage and a show of fragrant pink blossoms each spring.
Planting Cherry Seeds
It is rare to find cherry seeds for sale, but fortunately, it’s easy to gather cherry seeds from ripe fruit. Simply save the pits from fruit you’ve eaten or cut open a ripe cherry and pick out the stone. There are two ways to fulfill the chill requirement of cherry seeds: plant them in pots and leave the pots outdoors over the winter or place the seeds in the refrigerator for four to five months. If you are chilling the seeds in the refrigerator, place them in a plastic food storage container filled with moistened sphagnum moss. Remoisten the moss as needed.
In spring, plant cherry seeds into 1-gallon nursery pots filled with moist seed-starting compost. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach recommends a planting depth of 1/2 inch for cherry seeds. Place the pots in a sheltered location outdoors or indoors near a very bright window. The University of Florida Department of Environmental Horticulture recommends keeping daytime temperatures around 86 degrees Fahrenheit and nighttime temperatures around 68 degrees to encourage germination. Watch for seedlings in one month.
Growing cherry trees in pots for at least one year will help create a more robust sapling for transplanting into the garden. Keep them in a sunny location with some midday shade and provide water whenever the soil feels dry in the top inch. Move them to a sheltered location during freezing weather.
Choosing a Planting Site
A good growing location means the difference between a tree that thrives and one that barely survives, particularly when it comes to planting stone fruit trees such as cherries. The first thing to consider when growing cherries is the local climate. Sweet cherries grow best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 to 7, while pie cherries grow best in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 6, according to Stark Bro’s. At the colder end of both ranges, try to position cherry trees in a gently sloping location where excess soil moisture and cold air will flow away from the trees in winter.
Sunlight impacts fruit production in trees. Look for a site the provides full sun for three-quarters of the day, as recommended by Utah State University Extension. Also, make sure the growing site provides enough space to accommodate your cherry tree. Sweet cherries need 180 square feet of space, whereas tart cherries need just 140 square feet, so bear that in mind when choosing a planting site.
Planting Cherry Saplings
Timing matters when it comes to planting fruiting trees such as cherries. Plant cherry seedlings in spring after all frost danger has passed, and the soil has warmed. Make the planting hole deep enough to hold the entire root ball below the soil surface and wide enough to hold the roots without bending them. Hold the seedling upright and fill in the hole with unamended soil, tamping it lightly to increase contact between the roots and soil. Water the seedling or sapling immediately to settle the soil and hydrate the roots.
During their first year in the ground, cherry trees should receive roughly 3 to 5 gallons of water twice a week to keep them hydrated, which is especially important in warmer climates where summer rain is scarce. Once established, they need regular watering only during the hot summer months up until the first rain falls in autumn. A 2- to 3-inch layer of organic mulch can also help cherry trees become established in warmer climates. Just be sure that the mulch doesn’t touch the base of the trunk.
How to Sprout a Cherry Seed. If you live in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9, you can try your hand at planting a cherry tree (Prunus spp.) from seed. Before planting a cherry seed or pit, though, you must chill it for a specified amount of time. This process — called stratification — …
Tips For Planting Cherry Seeds: Can You Grow A Cherry Tree Pit
If you’re a cherry lover, you’ve probably spit your share of cherry pits, or maybe it’s just me. At any rate, have you ever wondered, “Can you grow a cherry tree pit?” If so, how do you grow cherry trees from pits? Let’s find out.
Can You Grow a Cherry Tree Pit?
Yes indeed. Growing cherry trees from seed is not only an inexpensive way to grow a cherry tree, but it’s also lots of fun and delicious!
First, can you grow a cherry tree in your region? Cherry varieties are hardy through USDA plant hardiness zones 5-9, depending upon the type.
Now comes the hard part. Eat some cherries. That’s a tough one, huh? Use cherries from either a tree growing in the area or purchased from a farmers market. Cherries from the grocers are stored in such a way, refrigerated, that makes starting seeds from them unreliable.
Save the pits from the cherries you’ve just devoured and put them in a bowl of warm water. Let the pits soak for five minutes or so and then lightly scrub them free of any clinging fruit. Spread the clean pits out on a paper towel in a warm area and let them dry for three to five days, then transfer the dry pits to a plastic container, labeled and fitted with a tight lid. Store the pits in the refrigerator for 10 weeks.
Why are you doing this? Cherries need to go through a cold or stratification period that normally occurs naturally during the winter, prior to germination in the spring. Refrigerating the pits is artificially mimicking this process. Okay, seed planting of cherry trees is now ready to commence.
How to Grow Cherry Trees from Pits
Once the ten weeks has passed, remove the pits and allow them to come to room temperature. You are now ready for planting the cherry seeds. Put two to three pits into a small container filled with planting medium and water the seeds in. Keep the soil moist.
When the cherry seedlings are 2 inches (5 cm.) tall, thin them, removing the weakest plants and leaving the sturdiest seedling in the pot. Keep the seedlings in a sunny area indoors until all danger of frost has passed for your region, and then transplant outside. Multiple trees should be planted at least 20 (6 m.) feet apart.
Seed Planting Cherry Trees
Growing cherry trees from seed can also be attempted directly in the garden. In this method, you are skipping the refrigeration and letting the seeds go through a natural stratification process through the winter.
In the fall, gather the dried cherry pits and plant them outside. Plant a few since some may not germinate. Set the seeds 2 inches (5 cm.) deep and one foot (31 cm.) apart. Mark the planting sites.
In the spring, the pits will sprout. Wait until the seedlings are 8-12 inches (10 cm.) in height and then transplant them to their permanent site in the garden. Mulch well around the transplanted seedlings to retard weeds and aid in water retention.
And, there you have it! Planting cherry seeds is as simple as that! The difficult part is waiting for those luscious cherries.
If you are a cherry lover, you?ve probably spit your share of cherry pits, or maybe it?s just me. At any rate, have you ever wondered ?can you grow a cherry tree pit?? If so, how do you grow cherry trees from pits? This article will help.