How to Prepare Cherry Pits for Planting & Germination
Whether you dream of your own cherry tree orchard in the backyard or are looking for a fun and educational project to do with a child, saving and planting cherry pits after you enjoy the fruit can be a rewarding process. You won’t have much luck just planting the seeds right away — they need to go through a vital chilling period, called stratification, before they are ready to germinate. Give the seeds what they need to break out of dormancy, and you are on your way to growing your own tree. When growing a cherry tree from a pit, there’s no way to tell what sort of tree you’ll get; it’s bound to be some sort of hybrid. Sweet cherry varieties are hardy throughout U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9, depending on type.
Preparing Seeds for Storage
Remove the cherry pits from ripe cherries. Wash all fruit off of the pits and let them air dry. Choose only pits that are not wrinkled or damaged. Full, round pits are best.
Seal the dry pits in an airtight container when they are completely dry. Store them in a cool place. Plan to store them until January, but the pits can be stored for up to a year if you do not want to germinate them right away.
Stratifying the Cherry Seeds
Fill seed-starting flats with starter soil. Sow the pits at a depth of twice their diameter. Keep the seed flats in a refrigerator below 40 degrees Fahrenheit for two to four months. Time this so you are removing the seed flats by early March.
Germinating and Planting the Seeds
Remove the seed flats from the refrigerator; moisten the soil, and then place the seed flats in filtered sunlight. Gradually move the seed flats to brighter, warmer places as the seedlings emerge. Keep the soil moist.
Transplant the seedlings when they have at least two sets of leaves. Choose a site with well-drained soil that will get at least six hours of full sun a day during the growing season. Add topsoil if you do not have 1 foot of well-drained soil at the planting site; 3 feet is optimal.
How to Prepare Cherry Pits for Planting & Germination. Whether you dream of your own cherry tree orchard in the backyard or are looking for a fun and educational project to do with a child, saving and planting cherry pits after you enjoy the fruit can be a rewarding process. You won’t have much luck just …