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Grow Apple Trees From Seed: Planting Guide & Issues – 2023

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grow apple tree from seedReady to start a new hobby and grow something truly special? Planting an apple tree from seed is the perfect way to do it. With just some basic knowledge and care, you can watch your own homegrown apple tree grow over time.

But before you get started on this journey, let’s take a look at the process of sprouting those seeds – from getting them ready for planting to troubleshooting any issues that may arise along the way.

Key Takeaways

  • Requires basic knowledge and care
  • Starting multiple seeds and using stratification techniques increases germination success
  • Not all apple trees produce true-to-type fruit
  • Cross-pollination is important for successful fruiting

Grow Your Own Apple Tree

grow apple tree from seed 1
You can experience the joy of watching something grow from your own hands by propagating an apple tree with a few simple steps! Growing an apple tree begins with obtaining mature fruit that contains fully-formed seeds.

If you have access to apples, such as Granny Smith or McIntosh, their seeds are suitable for propagation.

To increase the odds of successful germination, it’s recommended to start multiple seeds and use stratification techniques like scarification or vivipary methods. These methods involve soaking the seed in a moist paper towel before planting them.

After sprouting has occurred, chill them in a refrigerator for several weeks before planting outside when weather permits – usually early springtime.

Take note that not all apple trees will produce true-to-type fruit; some may even be sterile due to cross-pollination factors, so they won’t bear any fruit at all! With proper care and patience, though, your efforts could result in delicious homegrown apples within 5-7 years after planting, depending on local conditions and variety used.

McIntosh type typically yields earlier than Granny Smith varieties, whereas Antonovka tends to reproduce true to the parent stock without the need for cross-pollination partners but takes a longer time frame until producing fruits.

So why wait? Get started now, growing some fresh apples right from home today!

Before You Start

Before You Start
Before you start growing your own apple tree, it’s important to ensure that you have the right supplies and knowledge.

To begin, select a mature McIntosh or Granny Smith apple whose seeds are fully formed.

After collecting the seeds, use scarification techniques like soaking them in a moist paper towel before planting outside when weather permits. It may also be beneficial to put each seed in an individual plastic food bag and store them in the refrigerator for several weeks.

Finally, if possible, plant your new tree near another pollinator variety of apples so it has cross-pollination partners.

With care and patience, your efforts could result in delicious homegrown apples within 5-7 years after planting, depending on local conditions and the variety used!

How to Sprout Apple Seeds

How to Sprout Apple Seeds
Preparing your apple tree seeds for planting is essential for successful germination. Start by sanding away the hard seed coat, then soak them in a moist paper towel overnight. Finally, chill the seeds in your refrigerator for several weeks to help break down their outer coatings and increase germination rates significantly! With care and patience, you can grow delicious homegrown apples from these little brown seeds within 5-7 years of planting.

Get Seeds Ready

To ensure your success in growing an apple tree from a seed, you’ll need to prepare the seeds properly. After selecting a mature fruit with fully formed seeds, scarify them using a moist paper towel or the vivipary process before planting outside.

Additionally, consider storing each seed in its own plastic bag and chilling for several weeks – this will help with stratification and germination success rates! Lastly, if possible, pot near another pollinator variety of apples for cross-pollination benefits.

Sand Seed Coats

Scratch the surface of each seed before planting to help get your apple tree sprouting! Mature fruit with fully formed seeds should be used for best results, and a stratification process can increase germination success.

Cross-pollination is beneficial for growing identical apples, while vivipary or scarifying the seed coat will overcome dormancy. Propagating plants from ripe apple seeds may require extra caution regarding toxicity; however, it’s worth noting that there are no cases of poisoning recorded.

Soak in Moist Paper Towel

After scarifying the apple seed coat, soak it in a moist paper towel to keep it hydrated and help break dormancy.

Carefully prepare your soil with the right amount of water and humidity levels, then select ripe fruit for best results.

Use a waterproof marker to label each planting pot before adding moist potting mix from food scraps like banana peels or composted leaves.

Keep the temperature at room level during the germination process and check daily for any signs of growth!

With patience, you’ll have strong sprouts ready to be transplanted into larger pots – remember that careful attention makes all the difference!

Chill in Fridge

Once your apple seed is hydrated, chill it in the refrigerator for several weeks to help break its dormancy and increase germination. Ensure you have met the pollinating requirements and have viable seeds before planting them into potting soil.

Lighting needs vary with seed diversity, so take extra care when growing Antonovka apples from seeds in cold conditions. Adequate winter care is especially important if you’re growing potted trees in a cold climate as they may require additional protection or insulation from extreme temperatures during this time of year.

Planting Sprouted Apple Seeds

Planting Sprouted Apple Seeds
With your apple seeds prepped and ready to go, it’s time to plant! Start by filling a pot with an organic potting mix and lightly dampen the soil.

Plant each germinated seed about one inch deep in separate containers or type of soil bed for best results.

Place the container plants in bright indirect light and keep them moist but not soggy.

After two weeks, you should see tiny sprouts emerging from the ground—time for cross-pollination!

Apple trees need another tree nearby producing compatible pollen types (like crabapple) so they can produce fruit successfully.

Don’t forget that chilling period either; if temperatures dip too low during winter months, wrap insulation around potted trees to protect against frost damage before fruiting begins within 5-7 years time.

With care following these step-by-step instructions, you’ll soon be enjoying delicious apples grown right at home from those little brown seeds!

How Do You Germinate Apple Seeds?

How Do You Germinate Apple Seeds?
Sprouting apple seeds is a fun project for any level of gardener, and with just a few simple steps, you can have your own homegrown apples in no time.

To germinate an apple seed, start by selecting mature fruits that are fully formed and free from damage. Then proceed with the stratification process: scarifying or soaking the seed in water to soften its coating before chilling it in a moist paper towel inside a refrigerator for several weeks.

Once sprouted, plant it about one inch deep into an organic potting mix and keep them watered but not soggy while keeping them out of direct sunlight until tiny sprouts emerge after two weeks’ time!

Cross-pollination is also important. Planting near compatible varieties such as crabapple will ensure successful fruiting later on down the line.

Different types of apples may be produced depending on what type was originally planted.

Apple seeds should not cause toxicity issues either once properly prepared, so don’t let that be another worry when starting this adventure into growing fruit trees at home from scratch – now get going!

What Are Some Problems That Could Occur?

What Are Some Problems That Could Occur?
Though it may be tempting, growing an apple tree from seed is not a simple task and can come with some unexpected problems. Seed viability varies depending on the type of seed selected as well as its environment before planting.

Pollination issues may arise if there aren’t enough compatible varieties planted near one another or if the parent tree was itself a grafted variety.

Additionally, even when using same-variety apple seeds, identical trees cannot be guaranteed. Genetic variation occurs naturally during propagation, often resulting in dwarf trees instead of full-size plants.

For these reasons alone, purchasing a pre-grafted sapling would ensure quicker results than starting from scratch.

Why Not Grow Apples From Seed?

Why Not Grow Apples From Seed?
Growing your own apple tree from seed can be a rewarding and even surprising experience, but there are some drawbacks to consider. For one, pollination concerns may arise if the desired variety is not planted near compatible varieties or if the parent tree was grafted onto rootstock.

Additionally, genetic variation during propagation could result in dwarf trees instead of full-size plants that produce fruit of an unknown variety. There is also potential for seed toxicity; however, no cases have been reported thus far.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long does it take for an apple tree to produce fruit?

Have you ever wondered how long it takes for an apple tree to bear fruit? Generally, apples will take about 2-4 years before they are ready to harvest.

Can apple trees be grown indoors?

Apple trees cannot be grown indoors under normal conditions; however, with special care and attention, it is possible to cultivate a small apple tree in the comfort of your home.

Are there any benefits of growing apple trees from seed?

Growing an apple tree from seed has numerous benefits! You can enjoy the satisfaction of nurturing a sapling into a mature tree and potentially save on costs in comparison to buying plants.

Is there a difference in the types of apples produced from seed?

Yes, apples grown from seeds can vary significantly. Some varieties, such as Antonovka, produce true-to-parent fruits, while others may be entirely different. It’s important to understand this when deciding whether or not to grow apple trees from seeds.

Are apple seeds toxic and can they be harmful if eaten?

Apple seeds are not considered toxic, although they can be a choking hazard if swallowed. Eating them is generally safe, and there have been no reported cases of poisoning from consuming apple seeds.


It’s true that growing your own apple tree from seed can be an intimidating prospect. But with the right know-how and care, you can soon have a bountiful fruit-bearing apple tree in your backyard.

From selecting the best seeds to preparing them for germination, to planting and caring for the tree, the process of growing an apple tree from seed requires patience and knowledge.

The key to success is following the steps outlined here. Start with mature fruit with fully-formed seeds, and prepare the seeds for planting with a stratification process.

Plant your sprouted seeds in containers and care for your apple tree through the winter months. With the right care, you can soon be harvesting delicious apples from your own apple tree grown from seed.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and agriculture expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of people make their yards lush and thick.