How to grow a cherry tree from a seed


The cultivation of pitted cherries does not allow to reliably preserve varietal characteristics. Therefore, gardeners prefer vegetative methods: they separate the root shoots, root cuttings, and graft. But sometimes seed reproduction is indispensable. For example, you need to get a plant that is well adapted to local conditions, you want to form a bonsai or get a rare variety, but other methods of propagation are not available.

How to plant a cherry from a stone: step by step instructions with a photo

The process of growing one of the most delicate fruit crops of the Russian garden from seeds involves the following simple steps:

  1. Select the ripe, beautiful, large berries.
  2. Remove the cherry pits from the pulp, rinse with water, then with a pink solution of potassium permanganate, dry in a shaded place. In the photo below, the bones are cleared of pulp using a simple device - a bone pusher. Housewives are familiar with him, who prefer to harvest pitted cherry jam.

    It is most convenient to remove the seeds and keep the berries as intact as possible with the help of a stone pusher

  3. Mix seeds with wet sand, put in a cool place. They will be here from the end of August to October.

    Attention! City dwellers most often have access to only construction sand, but it is undesirable to take it. It is distinguished from the river one by the absence of the necessary looseness, water and air permeability. When moistened, it sticks together, blocking the access to air. In such sand, there is a high probability of damage to the bones. Coarse river sand should be taken. It is also called quartz.

    River, or quartz sand is the best substrate for storing bones

  4. In October, sow into the ground, digging 3 cm deep.
  5. During the winter, the bones naturally stratify.
  6. Seedlings will appear in the spring.

This method has its drawbacks - it is difficult to control the process. This method is not suitable for those who have only a few seeds of a particularly valuable cherry variety. Also, it will not work if the region has unstable frosty winters with a weak snow cover - nevertheless, the cherry culture is quite tender. Some cherries, for example, the Troitskaya varieties, reproduce well by self-sowing in Siberia. But in such cases we are talking about seeds obtained from a tree already adapted to the difficult conditions of the region.

Therefore, you can save the cherry pits until December, and then artificially stratify. During storage, observe the required humidity and temperature - up to 20 ° C. The bones should be periodically inspected for damage and mold. You can mix them not only with sand, but also with peat, and with moss, and with sawdust - any loose material, the main thing is that the bones do not dry out, and at the same time do not get damp. Of course, it is optimal to plant stone fruits immediately after they have been eaten, but this is not always possible. It is important not to dry them out - this is one of the common reasons that seeds do not germinate at all. It is enough to dry the bones slightly, and then immediately place them in the desired substrate. It is not recommended to keep the seeds dry - they germinate worse. There is such a concept - post-harvest ripening of seeds. Cherry seeds, like many crops that have to go through a long winter, also tend to ripen, so sowing dry seeds before winter is a mistake.

Sphagnum moss grows everywhere in mixed and coniferous forests, but you can buy it

Instructions for growing cherries from the pits for those who want to control the process look like this:

  1. Take pits from frozen cherries to be thawed in early March, or simply keep pits in the refrigerator until then. Thus, the bones will already be stratified.
  2. In March, put the seeds in coarse (river) sand or wet sawdust. Cover with glass, put in a bright place. The heat is unusual for cherry pits, find a cool windowsill with a temperature of 15–20 ° С
  3. The crops should be ventilated and moistened periodically.
  4. After two months, the bones will sprout.
  5. Now they can be sorted, the strongest can be planted in several pieces in holes prepared in the garden, or in pots. A cracked bone with the main root that appears is sagging on its side, sprinkled with soil so that it cannot be seen, and after a couple of days, excess soil is removed, exposing the bone by two-thirds. Or you should immediately dig in half. It is important that the root understands that it needs to grow downward, but that the seed can be observed.

This method is more convenient in that you can immediately select the most powerful plants and plant them in a permanent place.

Young, just emerged cherry plant with cotyledons and two true leaves

Below we will consider the two most important stages of growing cherries from the seed: what other stratification options are there and how you can accelerate germination by properly processing the seed.

Preparatory work: bone processing

The faster the bone bursts, the faster the plants will germinate. Therefore, to accelerate the germination of stone fruit seeds (apricots, peaches, cherries), a lot of techniques are used. The hard shell is affected thermally, physically, chemically. The easiest way to speed up the germination of cherries is to soak the seeds in water for several days before stratification. The water must be changed frequently. After 4–5 days, begin stratification.

It was also noticed that the temperature contrast affects the acceleration of germination. The higher the spread between the highest and lowest temperatures, the faster the seeds wake up. The popular boiling water treatment of seeds is based on this observation. The seeds are laid out on a mesh material and poured with boiling water, they are subjected to a shock effect of temperature for just a few seconds.

High temperatures can be useful if the seeds were acquired late, for example, in spring, and there is no longer time for long-term seed stratification. Before the emergence of shoots, you need to allocate a month. And before that, use a contrasting pre-sowing preparation. The bones should be soaked in warm water, kept in it for 3 days, periodically changing the water. Then soak for 20 minutes in a solution of pink potassium permanganate. Then you need to put the bones in the freezer (temperature -6C) for 1.5-2 hours. After that, remove the bones, transfer them to a warm room, fill with water at about 50–55 ° С (warm for the hand). If the bone is not cracked, repeat the procedure. Now you can sow the seeds and wait for germination.

Scarification is a mechanical effect on a hard shell. Usually it is carefully filed with a file to make it easier for the plant to break the barrier. You can try to pierce. In nature, the shell becomes thinner under the influence of a variety of factors - moisture, temperature extremes, bacteria. Such a long and varied exposure without the risk of mold formation is not always possible at home. Keep in mind only that scarification does not cancel stratification and the entire sequence of planting. To wake up the embryo and stimulate its growth, temperature dynamics are needed, and scarification only makes it easier for it to go outside. Scarification is performed prior to stratification and soaking.

Scarification of hard seeds with a file

Cherry pits stratification is the most important stage of germination

Stratification is required! Cherry belongs to garden plants, whose seeds go through a phase of deep dormancy. In such seeds, the embryos of the seeds are not only protected by a strong shell that is not very susceptible to natural destroyers, but are exposed to the action of special substances that slow down the ripening of the embryo. Natural wintering for them is a signal for gradual preparation for germination - substances that, on the contrary, stimulate growth begin to be produced. As soon as the amount of these substances reaches a certain level, the seed germinates.

If it is impossible to place cherry pits outside, they are given an artificial winter.

The processed bone is mixed with a loose substrate. It can be sawdust, moss, sand, vermiculite, peat, or a mixture of these in any proportion. Some take ready-made soil for cacti. Nutrition is not yet required from the mixture, its mechanical properties are important - it should be loose, moisture and air permeable. The mixture with seeds is put into a container, preferably transparent, covered with a lid, in which several holes have been previously made, and put in a refrigerator for 2-3 months (4-5⁰C degrees). They must be examined regularly - at least once a week. Although it all depends on the microclimate and the initial data of the substrate - you can forget about planting for the whole winter, and neither mold nor fungal diseases will affect the planting material. If, nevertheless, the first signs of mold are found, the bones should be removed, washed, treated with potassium permanganate, and planted again in a sterile substrate.

This is a variant of dry stratification. After it, the bones are soaked and sent for germination. But a variant of wet stratification is also possible - the soil with seeds is slightly moistened, and then put in the refrigerator. Which method is better is a moot point. For apple and apricot seeds, the scheme of long dry wintering + subsequent soaking gives really excellent results: already on the seventh day in the water, the hard shell of the apricot bursts and sprouts begin to appear. A clear plus of the dry method is that there is less risk that the bone will begin to rot. On the other hand, wet stratification is closer to natural conditions and, presumably, such seeds will germinate faster. There are no proven reliable studies on this topic.

Seeds in plastic containers, prepared for stratification in the refrigerator

In which land to plant a bone

The optimal soil for planting cherry seeds is the one in which the mother tree grew. In its absence, you can use nutritious store-bought soil for growing seedlings. Small pots, no more than 0.5 liters, are suitable for germinating cherry seeds at home. If there are a lot of seeds, they can be planted in bowls, observing a distance of at least 20 cm during planting.

The seeds must be buried 2-3 cm into the soil. To maintain moist conditions, the plantings are covered with a plastic bag and placed on a light cool windowsill. Ventilate and inspect regularly. The seeds germinate in a month. If you planted seeds with a cracked shell, then they can germinate within a week after planting.

If we are talking about the cultivation of sakura (finely sawed cherry), then the choice of soil is approached more carefully. The soil should be capacious, nutritious - humus, nitrogenous and potassium fertilizers are added.

Sour cherry or sakura shaped like bonsai

Sprout care

If the seeds were sown directly into the open ground, then after the emergence of seedlings in the spring, they will need standard care, like for seedlings obtained by vegetative methods. The trunk circle is loosened, watered, the plants are examined for the appearance of pests, and weeds are removed. By autumn, the seedlings can grow up to half a meter. Now they can be transplanted to a permanent place.

If the plant is planted in a pot, they are looking for a very bright, not hot place, protected from drafts. Regular wet cleaning is required in the room.

Watering is best ... with snow. Melt water has a special purity and structure; it has not yet absorbed salts and heavy elements from the earth. Fresh snow is spread on the ground without touching the sprouts.

Clean fresh snow is best for watering young seedlings.

There is no need to fertilize young plants if they are planted in nutritious soil - on the contrary, there is a risk of overfeeding. Only potted plants are fed 2 months after planting, but there are no general recommendations for feeding in this case - it all depends on the goals of cultivation and initial data (the formation of a bonsai, growing for the purpose of transplanting to a permanent place, the size of the pot, the nutritional value of the soil, the well-being of the plants ).

Felt Pitted Cherry

Felt cherry inherits traits well during seed propagation, so it is often grown from seeds. This method produces calibrated, leveled and highly adaptable plants. The seed germination is almost one hundred percent - 8 seeds sprout out of 10 seeds. The principles of planting do not differ from those described above. Detailed step by step instructions:

  1. The healthiest plants with large fruits and high yields are selected in advance.
  2. The collected seeds are sown in autumn in fertile light soil 45-60 days before the onset of frost.
  3. For sowing in the spring, store, stratify and germinate as described above.
  4. Some of the seeds germinate faster. To stop their growth and get friendly shoots, a container with seeds is dropped into the snow. Keep at a temperature of 0 ° C until sowing.
  5. Prepare the soil: 1 sq. m - 10-15 kg of humus, 40 g of double superphosphate, 20 g of potassium sulfate.
  6. Make a groove. Seeds are spread side by side at a depth of 2-3 cm.
  7. Sowing is mulched with a thin layer of humus. No more than 1 cm.
  8. Seedlings will appear within 2-3 weeks.
  9. As soon as the seedlings have 3 true leaves, they are thinned out for the first time, leaving the most powerful plants.
  10. The second time is thinned out when 4–6 leaves appear. As a result, at least 6 cm should remain between the seedlings.
  11. Standard care - weeding, loosening. Some recommend feeding twice a season.
  12. By autumn, the seedlings will reach 60–70 cm. They can be transplanted into a permanent place.

    Felt cherry seedlings at the age of two

The weakest plants grow in the same place for another 1 year, and are transplanted to permanent only next fall.

Young cherries grown from seeds are cared for in the same way as trees obtained by other methods. The only difference is that the trees will bear fruit for 3-4 years, and not for 1-2 years, but the loss of time will pay off. Cherries obtained by the seed method are much more likely to take root even in difficult conditions, reach maturity and bear fruit for the entire period allotted to them - 30–35 years.

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Felt cherry is a small shrub or tree, the height of which does not exceed 2.5 m. Externally, felt cherry is very different from ordinary cherry. Its leaves are small, corrugated and covered with soft fluff, young shoots are greenish-brown. The color of the flowers can vary from white to all shades of pink and red. Felt cherry berries are small, their diameter does not exceed one and a half centimeters. Ripen 1-2 weeks earlier than other types of cherries. The taste is sweet, bland, without bitterness. The bone is oblong, pointed, it is difficult to separate from the pulp.

In the apartment, you can grow not only felt, but also other types of cherries. If you want to delight yourself and your loved ones with delicious berries all year round, you will be interested to learn how to grow cherries from a stone at home.


How to grow a cherry from a stone at home

Growing a cherry tree from a stone is a very laborious process. To make everything work out, you need to do this:

  1. Collect bones of a certain type, taking into account climatic conditions.
  2. Rinse them in clean water.
  3. Dry and place in a dark place.
  4. Soak seeds in water for 1 week before planting. Change the fluid periodically.
  5. Place the seeds in the soil by adding sand to it. Leave the bones like this for 2 months. They need to be deepened by 2-3 cm.
  6. After the sprout appears, you need to take care of the plant, watering and fertilizing it.
  7. Upon reaching 20-30 cm in height, it must be planted in the garden. This is usually done in October.
  8. Provide the plant with loosening, watering until frost and remove weeds around it.

At home, it is better to start growing a tree in spring, so that in autumn the sprout can be planted in open ground.


Among the diseases developing on cherries, moniliosis and pocket diseases are distinguished. Preventive measures to protect against them are carried out in two stages, annual spring treatments of the bush with Bordeaux liquid. If it was not possible to prevent the disease, then all the affected shoots are cut off and burned. Then the plant is to be sprayed with a copper-containing preparation. Of the pests on the culture, attacks of aphids, scale insects, cherry weevils and gall mites were recorded. Insecticides "Aktara", "Karbofos" and other pesticides of a similar effect act as an effective means of protection.

Due to the amicable ripening of berries, they are usually picked once. Depending on the variety and climatic characteristics of the region, the onset of the fruiting phase can occur from mid-July to early August. Sometimes fruiting is extended (in a rainy, cold summer), then harvesting is carried out in several stages on fine days.


Planting care

When planting seeds that have hatched into the soil, gardeners have no consensus about the depth of embedding, especially when planting in pots. Some advise to leave the bone only a third buried, others recommend sprinkling it with a centimeter layer of soil, others advise to deepen it by 5 centimeters. Apparently, finding the correct answer corresponding to the quality of the soil used, the place where the plant is grown, climate, weather and other conditions can only be done experimentally.

When seedlings appear from the seeds, you will have to take care of them, like all other plants: weed, loosen, water, monitor health. When their growth reaches 25-30 cm, cherries can be planted in open ground... The proper care of cherries allows them to grow up to half a meter in a season.

These small seedlings will turn into seedlings half a meter high in a season.

By the way, when caring for young plants, it should be remembered that a cherry planted in soil fertilized since the fall does not need feeding. When growing cherries in pots, only after 2 months from the time of planting, the plants are fed, but there are no general recommendations for this process. The decisive points are the nutritional value of the soil, the size of the container, the condition of the plant, and even the purpose of growing - growing a seedling for movement into open ground or, for example, creating a bonsai.

Careful care is needed for the seedlings that have emerged from the seeds.

Cherry seeds, planted in the fall directly on the garden bed, can sprout in early spring. Seedlings will need to be thinned out, leaving only the strongest shoots located at a distance sufficient for growing a tree (4–5 meters from each other). It is desirable that they are already at the place of permanent cultivation, and they do not have to be replanted. Cherry does not like transplanting, it is difficult to adapt to a new place.

I can confirm the last thought from my own experience. Not far from our site, as well as throughout the village, there are many cherries that have scattered themselves. Several years ago we dug up one of these cherries, she was then four years old, and planted in our garden. While she came to, we were fooling around with her for a long time, maybe we paid more attention than other garden trees. For three years she did not feel very well: she was not sick, but the growth was very weak, and in the fall the leaves on her turned yellow and fell off earlier than on other trees. This year, the first berries have finally appeared on it, a little - two dozen. Well, she disappointed us with the taste of her fruits. Unlike the tree under which she grew up, and whose daughter we considered her to be, the berries of our cherry turned out to be incredibly sour. Now we are thinking about what to do with it. And my daughter has completely lost the desire to grow cherry trees from seeds, although before she just burned with this idea. But back to caring for young cherries grown from seeds.

Watering young trees should be in accordance with the weather, but so that the soil under them does not dry out. At the same time, all summer, you should periodically, as necessary, weed out and loosen the ground after watering and precipitation.

From the second year of life, when the first branches are formed on a young tree, you can start forming the crown, as is recommended for cherry seedlingsbut. Then, annually carry out spring pruning, continuing to build up skeletal branches.

Three-year-old trees can already serve as stock for varietal grafting.

Seedlings must be fed twice per season with urea or nitrogen nitrate, halving the concentration recommended in the instructions for fertilizers. Top dressing is applied in early spring and in the middle of summer, combining it with watering.

Preparation for the first wintering is of great importance for young cherries. The process begins with abundant (at least 8 liters per plant) water-charging watering of trees after harvesting fallen leaves and digging up the earth. Further, mulching of the near-trunk circle is performed with peat, sawdust, rotted foliage, or instead of covering the roots with an additional layer of earth. Snow is later shoved onto the layer of such protection of the roots from frost. If you put straw on top of the snow or pour sawdust, young cherries will not only winter comfortably, but will bloom later in the spring and avoid spring frosts.

In the first years young trees are covered with roots for the winter and the trunk is insulated

In areas where winters are very cold, young cherries sensitive to frost, for the first few years, insulate not only the roots, but also the trunk and crown. This operation is performed in the last third of October. The trunk of the tree is wrapped with newspaper or other paper, burlap, the twigs are bent to the trunk and covered with a fabric cover. When the heat returns, the shelter is removed.

As you can see, growing cherries from a stone does not make any special or excessive work. It is not the gods who burn the pots. A gardener only needs to make a decision for himself whether he has enough time and patience to do this long-term business, and whether he has a need to grow cherries from pits.


Watch the video: How to prune a Dwarf Cherry Tree?


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