Apple trees are beautiful, fragrant, and abundant producers of delicious fruit.
If you’ve ever wondered if you can grow an apple tree from seed and skip the nursery altogether, then this blog is for you.
Read on to learn more.
Growing an apple tree from seed requires patience and a lot of work. First, it’s important to understand that not all apple trees will produce apples true to the parent. To increase your chances of getting a tree that produces similar apples as its parent, start with the seeds or scions (small branches) of a known variety.
The Best Apples to Use
When planting apple seeds, it’s essential to choose the right apples.
We recommend using fresh, organic apples because non-organic apples can have chemical treatments that may hinder the germination process.
Choose an apple variety that grows well in your area and has a firm and healthy texture.
Additionally, it’s best to choose apples that are not overly ripe because overripe apples may have already started to decompose, reducing the chances of germination.
You should also choose apples that are free of disease and insect damage for the same reason.
How to Prepare the Seeds
Once you have selected the right apples, you can start preparing the seeds for planting.
Cut the apples into slices, and remove the core. Then, remove the seeds and wash them thoroughly in clean water.
You can leave the seeds to dry overnight, but be sure to protect them from direct sunlight and moisture.
Once they’re dry, you can store them in an airtight container until you’re ready to plant them.
How to Plant the Seeds
To plant the apple seeds, you’ll need a pot with drainage holes, potting soil, and water.
Fill the pot with the potting soil, leaving about an inch of space at the top.
Then, create small holes in the soil about an inch deep and place two to three seeds in each hole.
Cover the seeds with soil and water gently.
Be careful not to overwater the seeds because too much moisture can cause them to rot.
Growing apple trees from seed – at a glance
- Choosing the right apple seed is essential for successful growth.
- Prepare the seed for planting by washing and drying, or scarifying the seed coat.
- Plant the seeds in a pot with potting soil, water, and create a mini greenhouse.
- Germinate the seeds by placing the pot in a warm and sunny spot, then keeping the soil moist.
- Apple trees require regular watering, fertilization, pruning, and plenty of sunlight to stay healthy.
- An apple tree grown from seed may take several years to mature and may produce fruit that differs from its parent tree.
Germinating the Seed
To germinate the seed, place the pot in a warm, sunny location and keep the soil moist.
The seed should germinate in about 2-4 weeks.
Once the seedling has grown to about 4-6 inches tall, it can be transplanted into a larger pot or directly into the ground.
Caring for Your Apple Tree
After planting the seeds, it’s essential to provide your apple tree with the proper care.
Place the pot in a warm and sunny area, but be sure to protect it from extreme heat and cold.
Water the seeds regularly but be careful not to overwater them.
Once the seedlings are about six inches tall, you can transfer them to a larger pot or plant them outside in the ground.
Will an apple tree grown from seed produce fruit?
Yes, an apple tree grown from seed can produce fruit, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, it can take several years for the tree to mature and produce fruit.
Second, the apple tree grown from seed may not produce fruit that is identical to the parent apple.
This is because apples are not true to seed, meaning that the offspring may have different characteristics than the parent tree.
If you want to ensure that your apple tree produces fruit that is identical to the parent, it’s best to use grafting or budding techniques to propagate the tree.
However, growing an apple tree from seed can be a fun and rewarding experience, even if the fruit is not identical to the parent tree.
Taking care of your young tree
Once your apple tree has been established and begins producing fruit, there are several things you can do to ensure that its health is optimized.
Pruning is one of the most important practices for keeping your apple tree healthy and vigorous.
Pruning helps promote strong growth by removing dead or diseased branches as well as any excess branching that may be competing with other parts of the tree for resources like light, air circulation, and nutrients.
Additionally, fertilization can help keep your apple tree happy too. Be sure to use an organic fertilizer specifically formulated for fruit trees in order to get the best results.
Caring for Your Apple Tree
As your apple tree grows, it will require proper care to ensure that it stays healthy.
This includes regular watering, fertilization, and pruning.
Apple trees also require plenty of sunlight, so be sure to choose a sunny location for your tree.
Conclusion and final thoughts
Growing an apple tree from seed can be a fun and rewarding experience.
With the right care and attention, your apple tree can grow into a healthy and productive addition to your garden.
Remember to choose the right seed, prepare it properly for planting, and provide your tree with the care it needs to thrive.