How to Plant Osage Orange Seeds


The Osage orange tree (Maclura pomifera), also known as hedge apple, is native to Oklahoma and Texas and is named for the Osage Indian tribe who lived near the area. This tree has glossy, green leaves and begins to flower in June. In fall it produces large, bumpy green fruit that smells like oranges, but lacks enough pulp to be considered edible. The branches of the Osage orange tree are covered in thorns, making it excellent for use as a natural barrier.

Step 1

Place the fruit of the Osage orange tree into a bucket of water and allow it to remain there until it begins to feel mushy. Open the fruit and remove as many seeds as you wish to plant.

Step 2

Put the seeds into a container of distilled or spring water and place in a warm location. Allow the seeds to soak between six and eight days, changing the water every other day to keep it from fermenting.

Step 3

Drain off the water and mix in enough sand to touch all of the seeds, but not cover them completely. Keep the container in a warm location and stir once each day. Add enough water to keep the sand damp. Examine the seeds regularly for signs of sprouting.

Step 4

Fill small planting containers with a mixture of two parts potting soil and one part sand. Plant the sprouted seeds and cover with 1/2 inch of soil. Add enough water to moisten the potting mixture and place the containers in a sunny location. Continue to water whenever the soil no longer sticks to your finger.

Step 5

Transplant the seedlings to the yard or garden when they have several sets of leaves.

Step 6

Plant the seedlings at the same depth as they were growing in the planting containers. If the soil in the area you have chosen appears to cake when moist, amend it with 2 to 3 inches of sand per planting hole. Water whenever the top inch of soil feels dry.

Step 7

Weed the new plantings often, as they will struggle if forced to compete for nutrients.

Things You'll Need

  • Osage orange seeds
  • Bucket
  • Spring or distilled water
  • Small container
  • Sand
  • Small planting containers
  • Garden spade


  • Great Plains Nature Center: Osage Orange
  • Franklin County Kansas: How to Grow Osage Orange
  • University of Kentucky: Osage Orange
  • University of Nebraska - Lincoln: Hedge Apples and Osage Orange Trees
Keywords: osage orange, osage orange seeds, plant osage orange, grow osage orange

About this Author

Annita Lawson has been working as a freelance writer since 2004. Her work has been published in various web and print outlets, including The Dabbling Mum, A Virtuous Woman, and Pediatrics for Parents. Lawson is pursuing an Associate of Arts degree at Southeast Kentucky Community College. She enjoys sharing all that she has learned about parenting, healthy eating and living a frugal lifestyle.