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How to Grow Cherry Trees from Seed: A Step-by-Step Guide

Dr Ahsanur Rahman, PHD

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To grow cherry trees from seeds, first remove the pits from fresh cherries and clean off any remaining fruit. Allow the seeds to dry, then rehydrate them by soaking in water.

After rehydration, plant the seeds in soil, keeping them moist but not overwatered. With proper care and patience, the seeds will germinate and grow into cherry trees. Growing cherry trees from seed can be a rewarding process that allows you to cultivate your own cherry tree at home.

By following these steps, you can successfully grow cherry trees from seeds and enjoy the beauty and fruits of your own cherry tree.

Collecting Cherry Seeds

Discover the secrets of growing cherry trees from seed with our step-by-step guide. Learn how to collect cherry seeds, remove the outer shell, and properly germinate them for successful tree growth. No green thumb required!

Selecting The Right Cherries For Seed Collection:

  • Look for cherries that are fully ripe and have a rich color.
  • Choose cherries from healthy and disease-free trees.
  • Select cherries with a delicious flavor, as the seedlings will inherit the taste from their parent tree.
  • Opt for locally grown cherries, as they are more likely to be adapted to your climate.

Extracting Seeds From Cherries:

  • Wash the cherries thoroughly to remove any dirt or chemicals.
  • Gently twist the cherry in half to separate the fruit into two halves.
  • Remove the seed from each half by carefully prying it out with your fingers or a small knife.
  • Be cautious not to damage the seed while extracting it from the cherry.

Cleaning And Preparing Cherry Seeds:

  • Rinse the cherry seeds under running water to remove any remaining fruit residue.
  • Fill a bowl with water and place the seeds in it.
  • Gently rub the seeds together with your hands to remove any remaining fruit flesh.
  • Discard any seeds that are discolored or damaged.
  • Dry the cleaned seeds thoroughly on a paper towel before storing or planting them.

Preparing Cherry Seeds For Germination

To prepare cherry seeds for germination and grow cherry trees from seed, start by removing the outer shell of the seed. Then, rehydrate the seeds and plant them in soil. Follow proper watering and planting techniques for successful growth.

Growing cherry trees from seed is not only an enjoyable gardening project but also an affordable way to expand your orchard. However, before you can begin the germination process, it’s essential to properly prepare the cherry seeds. This involves stratification, soaking, and assessing the viability of the seeds.

Let’s delve into each step to ensure that you set your cherry seeds up for successful growth.

Stratification Process For Cherry Seeds:

  • Stratification mimics the natural cold and moist conditions that cherry seeds experience during winter, which helps to break the seed’s dormancy and promotes germination.
  • Collect ripe cherry pits from fully matured cherries, ensuring that the pits are clean and free from any pulp or debris.
  • Place the cherry pits in a plastic bag or container and add a small amount of moistened sphagnum moss or vermiculite. Alternatively, you can use a damp paper towel or coffee filter.
  • Seal the bag or container and store it in the refrigerator for approximately 12 to 15 weeks. The temperature should be around 32 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit (0 to 4 degrees Celsius).
  • Regularly check the moisture level during this period and remoisten the medium if it dries out.
  • After the stratification period, remove the cherry pits from the refrigerator. They are now ready for the next step in the germination process.

Soaking Cherry Seeds For Rehydration:

  • Soaking cherry seeds before planting helps to rehydrate the seed and kickstart the germination process.
  • Fill a small bowl or cup with warm water and place the cherry seeds in it.
  • Let the seeds soak for 24 to 48 hours, ensuring that they are fully submerged.
  • During this time, change the water every 12 hours to prevent the growth of any bacteria or fungi that may hinder germination.
  • After the soaking period, the cherry seeds should be plump and hydrated, ready for viability assessment and planting.

Assessing Seed Viability:

  • To ensure successful germination, it’s crucial to assess the viability of cherry seeds.
  • Start by selecting a few seeds for testing. It’s advisable to choose those that appear plump and healthy after soaking.
  • Place the selected seeds on a damp paper towel or coffee filter and fold it over them.
  • Keep the paper towel or coffee filter moist, but not soaking wet, throughout the testing period.
  • Place the seeds in a warm location with consistent temperature, ideally around 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 29 degrees Celsius).
  • Check the seeds daily for any signs of germination, such as root or shoot growth.
  • After about two to three weeks, you should be able to determine the viability of the seeds based on the number of germinated seeds.
  • Once you have assessed the cherry seed viability, you can then proceed with planting the germinated seeds in suitable containers or directly into the garden soil.

By following the stratification process, soaking the cherry seeds for rehydration, and assessing their viability, you give your cherry trees a valuable head start in their growth journey. Remember to provide the necessary care, including proper soil, sunlight, and watering, and watch as your cherry seeds transform into beautiful, fruit-bearing trees.

Germinating Cherry Seeds

Germinating cherry seeds is a simple process that can be done at home. Start by removing the outer shell of the seed, then rehydrate them before planting. With proper care, you can grow your own cherry tree from seed and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Creating the ideal germination environment:

  • Choose fresh, ripe cherry seeds: Select seeds from cherries that have been recently harvested. Avoid using seeds from dried or overripe cherries.
  • Stratify the seeds: Place the seeds in a container or a plastic bag with moist paper towels. Seal the container and refrigerate it for 8-10 weeks. This process helps break seed dormancy and improves germination rates.
  • Soak the seeds: Before planting, soak the stratified seeds in lukewarm water for 24 hours. This step encourages the seeds to absorb water, further enhancing germination.

Planting cherry seeds in containers or seed trays:

  • Select a well-draining potting mix: Use a soil mix specifically formulated for seed germination. It should be loose, well-draining, and enriched with organic matter.
  • Fill the containers: Fill the seed trays or containers with the potting mix, leaving about half an inch of space at the top.
  • Plant the seeds: Place one cherry seed in each container and cover it with a thin layer of soil mix. Lightly press down to ensure good seed-to-soil contact.
  • Label the containers: Remember to label each container with the cherry variety and planting date for easy identification.

Providing optimal moisture and temperature conditions for germination:

  • Water the seeds: After planting, water the containers thoroughly until the soil is evenly moist. Avoid overwatering to prevent seed rot.
  • Place the containers in a warm location: Cherry seeds require consistent temperatures between 65-75°F (18-24°C) for germination. Place them in a warm spot, such as near a windowsill or under grow lights.
  • Maintain moisture levels: Keep the soil consistently moist, but not soggy. Check the moisture regularly and water as needed to prevent drying out.
  • Provide indirect sunlight: Place the containers in an area with indirect sunlight to help promote germination. Avoid exposing the seeds to direct sunlight, as it can dry out the soil.

With these germination techniques, you can successfully grow cherry trees from seeds. Remember to be patient, as germination can take several weeks. Once the seeds have sprouted, you can gradually acclimate the seedlings to outdoor conditions and eventually transplant them into your garden.

Transferring Germinated Cherry Seedlings

To grow cherry trees from seed, start by removing the outer shell of the cherry seed and rehydrating it. Once the seeds have germinated, plant them in soil and water regularly. With proper care, you can enjoy cherry trees in your own backyard.

Transplanting Germinated Cherry Seedlings:

Transplanting germinated cherry seedlings is a crucial step in their growth journey. Here are the steps to ensure a successful transfer:

  • Prepare individual pots: Fill small pots with a well-draining potting mixture, leaving about an inch of space from the rim.
  • Gently remove seedlings: Carefully lift the germinated seedlings from their original container, minimizing root disturbance.
  • Plant seedlings in pots: Create a small hole in the center of each pot and place the seedling, ensuring the roots are well-covered with soil.
  • Firm the soil: Gently press the soil around the seedling to provide stability and proper anchorage.
  • Water the seedlings: Give the newly transplanted seedlings a good drink of water to settle the soil and hydrate the roots.

Ensuring Proper Sunlight And Water Requirements For Young Cherry Seedlings:

Proper sunlight and water requirements are essential for young cherry seedlings. Here’s how to meet their needs:

  • Sunlight:
  • Place the pots in a sunny location: Choose a spot that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily.
  • Rotate pots: Rotate the pots every few days to ensure even sun exposure for all sides of the seedlings.
  • Water:
  • Check soil moisture: Before watering, check the soil’s moisture level by inserting your finger about an inch deep. Water only if the soil feels dry.
  • Water generously: When watering, ensure that the soil is thoroughly moistened but not waterlogged.
  • Watering frequency: Water the seedlings regularly, aiming to keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy.

Monitoring And Caring For Seedlings As They Develop:

Once the cherry seedlings are transplanted, they require proper care and monitoring. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Monitor growth: Keep a close eye on the seedlings’ growth and development, looking out for any signs of distress or nutrient deficiencies.
  • Provide support if needed: If the seedlings appear weak or lean to one side, gently stake them to provide support and encourage upright growth.
  • Prune if necessary: If the seedlings develop multiple stems, select the strongest one and prune off the others to promote a single, healthy main trunk.
  • Protect from pests: Regularly inspect the seedlings for pests and take appropriate measures, such as using organic insecticides or physical barriers, to keep them at bay.
  • Maintain proper spacing: As the seedlings grow, ensure adequate spacing between them to prevent overcrowding and allow for optimal air circulation.

Growing cherry trees from seed can be a rewarding experience, but it requires patience and careful attention. By following these guidelines, you can help your germinated cherry seedlings thrive and eventually become healthy, productive trees in your garden.

Caring For Growing Cherry Trees

Learn the ins and outs of growing cherry trees from seed, including germination tips and proper care techniques. Discover how to successfully grow your own cherry tree from scratch.

Growing cherry trees from seed can be a rewarding experience. Once your cherry seeds have successfully germinated, it’s important to provide them with the proper care to ensure optimal growth and fruit production. Here are some key factors to consider:

Providing The Right Amount Of Sunlight And Water:

  • Place your cherry tree seedlings in a location where they can receive full sun for at least 6-8 hours a day. This will promote healthy growth and fruit development.
  • Be mindful of watering your cherry trees. While they require regular moisture, overwatering can lead to root rot. A good rule of thumb is to water deeply once a week, ensuring that the soil stays evenly moist but not waterlogged.
  • Consider using a drip irrigation system or a soaker hose to water your cherry trees. This will allow for deep watering, reaching the roots without wetting the foliage, which can lead to disease.

Fertilizing Cherry Trees As They Grow:

  • Apply a balanced fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10 or 12-12-12 formula, to your cherry trees in early spring, just as new growth emerges. This will provide them with the necessary nutrients for healthy development.
  • Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can result in excess foliage growth at the expense of fruit production. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the appropriate amount of fertilizer to use based on the size of your trees.

Pruning Cherry Trees For Optimal Growth And Fruit Production:

  • Pruning is essential for shaping your cherry trees and promoting fruiting. It is best done in late winter or early spring while the trees are still dormant.
  • Remove any dead, damaged, or diseased branches first. This will improve air circulation and prevent the spread of diseases.
  • Thin out crowded branches to allow for better light penetration and airflow within the canopy.
  • Prune your cherry trees to an open center or modified central leader shape to promote sunlight penetration and improve fruit production.

Now that you know how to care for growing cherry trees, you can enjoy the beauty and bounty they will bring to your garden. Just remember to provide the right amount of sunlight and water, fertilize appropriately, and prune for optimal growth and fruit production.

Happy gardening!

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Learn how to grow cherry trees from seed with these easy troubleshooting tips. Find out how to germinate cherry seeds successfully and ensure healthy growth for your cherry tree.

Identifying And Treating Diseases Or Pests Affecting Cherry Trees:

  • Brown Rot: This fungal disease causes fruit to turn brown and rot. Treat by removing infected fruit and treating with a fungicide labeled for cherry tree use.
  • Cherry Leaf Spot: This fungal disease causes dark spots on leaves. Treat by removing infected leaves and treating with a fungicide labeled for cherry tree use.
  • Cherry Fruit Fly: This pest lays eggs in developing fruit, causing it to become distorted. Treat by hanging yellow sticky traps and using an insecticide labeled for cherry fruit fly control.
  • Aphids: These tiny insects suck sap from cherry tree foliage. Treat by spraying the tree with a strong jet of water or using an insecticidal soap.
  • Spider Mites: These tiny pests can cause yellowing and mottling of leaves. Treat by spraying the tree with a strong jet of water or using an appropriate miticide.

Dealing With Environmental Challenges Specific To Cherry Tree Growth:

  • Frost Damage: Late spring frosts can damage cherry blossoms and reduce fruit production. To protect against frost, cover the tree with a frost blanket or use a frost-protection spray.
  • Pollination Issues: Cherry trees require cross-pollination to produce fruit. If you only have one tree, consider planting a compatible cherry variety nearby or using a pollinator tree to improve fruit set.
  • Soil pH: Cherry trees prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH of around 6.0. Test your soil and amend accordingly to ensure optimal growth.
  • Watering: Cherry trees require regular watering, especially during dry periods. Make sure the tree receives around 1 inch of water per week, either through rainfall or supplemental watering.
  • Sunlight: Cherry trees need full sun to thrive and produce fruit. Ensure that the tree is receiving at least 6-8 hours of sunlight daily.

Troubleshooting Issues With Poor Growth Or Fruit Production:

  • Lack of Fruiting: Cherry trees can take several years to start producing fruit. If your tree is not flowering or producing fruit after a few years, make sure it is receiving enough sunlight and proper care.
  • Overwatering: Excessive watering can lead to root rot and poor growth. Water the tree deeply but infrequently, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings.
  • Nutrient Deficiencies: Cherry trees may suffer from nutrient deficiencies, particularly nitrogen and potassium. Fertilize the tree with a balanced fertilizer to provide the necessary nutrients.
  • Pruning Mistakes: Improper pruning can hinder fruit production. Learn how to prune cherry trees properly, and avoid excessive or incorrect pruning.
  • Inadequate Pollination: If your cherry tree has flowers but fails to set fruit, it may be due to inadequate pollination. Consider hand-pollinating the flowers using a small paintbrush or introducing pollinator insects.

Remember that proper care, regular monitoring for pests and diseases, and providing optimal growing conditions will help ensure the successful growth of your cherry trees from seed. Happy gardening!

Harvesting And Enjoying Fresh Cherries

Learn how to grow cherry trees from seed and enjoy the satisfaction of harvesting and enjoying fresh cherries. Planting cherry seeds from locally grown or farmer’s market cherries ensures compatibility with the climate in your area. Follow the steps for germination and planting to successfully grow your own cherry tree.

Recognizing When Cherries Are Ripe For Harvest:

  • Cherries are ready to be harvested when they reach their full color, which can vary depending on the variety. Some cherries turn dark red or purple, while others may have a yellow or pink hue.
  • The cherries should be firm but not too hard to the touch. Gently squeeze the cherry to check for firmness.
  • Look for cherries that have a glossy appearance and no blemishes or bruises. Avoid cherries with any signs of mold or rot.

Proper Techniques For Harvesting Cherries:

  • Use a pair of sharp gardening shears to cut cherries from the tree. Avoid pulling the cherries off by hand, as this can damage the branches or cause the cherries to break.
  • Hold the stem of the cherry with one hand and cut it off with the shears, leaving a small piece of the stem attached to the fruit.
  • Harvest cherries in the morning when they are cool and less likely to become overripe or damaged from the heat.
  • Place the harvested cherries in a shallow basket or container to prevent them from getting crushed or bruised.

Recipes And Ideas For Using Fresh Cherries:

  • Fresh cherries can be enjoyed on their own as a sweet and juicy snack. They are also a delicious addition to salads, yogurt, and smoothies.
  • Make a classic cherry pie by pitting the cherries and combining them with sugar, a touch of lemon juice, and cornstarch before filling the pie crust and baking.
  • Whip up a batch of homemade cherry jam by simmering pitted cherries with sugar, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt until thickened.
  • Create a refreshing cherry salsa by combining diced cherries with red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, and a sprinkle of salt. Serve with grilled chicken or fish.
  • Enjoy a cherry-infused beverage by muddling fresh cherries with mint leaves, lime juice, and simple syrup, then topping with sparkling water or your favorite spirit.

Remember, harvesting cherries at the right time and using them in various recipes can be a delightful way to enjoy the fruits of your labor when growing cherry trees from seed.

Frequently Asked Questions On How To Grow Cherry Trees From Seed

How Long Does It Take To Grow A Cherry Tree From A Seed?

It takes around 3-4 years for a cherry tree to grow from a seed.

How Do You Germinate A Cherry Tree Seed?

To germinate a cherry tree seed, remove the outer shell, rehydrate the seeds, and plant them in soil.

Can You Grow A Cherry Tree From A Cherry Pit?

Yes, you can grow a cherry tree from a cherry pit by using locally grown or farmer’s market cherries. However, it may take longer for the tree to produce fruit. Avoid using pits from grocery stores.

Do You Need 2 Cherry Trees To Produce Fruit?

No, you don’t need 2 cherry trees to produce fruit. Some cherry trees are self-pollinating.


Growing cherry trees from seeds can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. By following the right steps, you can successfully germinate cherry seeds and watch them grow into beautiful trees. Remember to remove the outer shell of the seed and rehydrate them before planting.

Provide the seeds with the right conditions, such as well-draining soil and adequate sunlight, to ensure their healthy growth. It is important to keep in mind that growing cherry trees from seeds requires time and patience, as it may take several years before the tree produces fruit.

Additionally, consider planting multiple trees to ensure cross-pollination and fruit production. With proper care and attention, you can enjoy the beauty and bounty of your own cherry trees in your backyard. Start your journey today and watch your cherry trees flourish over time. Protection Status