Growing Fruit Trees From Seeds

Overview

Many fruits sold on the market today are from hybrid fruit grown from grafted trees. Grafting is the way hybrid fruits are propagated, because the seeds of these hybrid trees will revert back to the heirloom variety of grandparent fruit tree. Growing fruit trees from seeds can be an interesting adventure because you don't know what kind of tree you will end up with. You can also save seeds from heirloom plants as a good way to propagate this kind of tree.

Step 1

Collect fruit that will produce possible fruit seed from your supermarket, local farmer's market or fruit orchard. Some supermarket fruit is irradiated, and will not grow from seed.

Step 2

Scoop seeds out of fruit and wash away the fruit pulp. If seeds are coated, soak away the seed coating

Step 3

Place the seed in a quart jar with moist peat moss. Store this jar in the refrigerator for up to four months.

Step 4

Fill a seedling container with peat moss. Hollow out a planting pocket in the peat moss that is twice as deep as the diameter of the seed. Plant the seed and cover it with peat moss and water. Cover the seedling container with plastic and place in a sunny windowsill out of direct sunlight.

Step 5

Check the peat moss daily and mist under the plastic with a plant mister to provide a humid environment. Remove the plastic after the seedlings have sprouted.

Step 6

Transplant the tree seedlings from the seedling container into 4-inch pots filled with peat moss once they are large enough. Continue to transplant the seedlings into larger containers until they fill a 6-inch pot. When the trees are several feet tall and have a trunk diameter at least 1/2 inch thick, begin to place the pots outdoors during the daytime hours and leave them in the shade to harden them off in preparation for transplant.

Step 7

Select a sunny location with well-drained soil to transplant your tree. Dig a hole that is twice as wide as the tree's root ball, but no deeper. Unpot the tree by supporting the trunk in your left hand and turning the container on its side. Tap the container gently to dislodge the root ball.

Step 8

Place the root ball of the tree in the planting hole and cover with soil. Mulch around the tree to prevent grass from growing and competing with the tree for nutrients.

Step 9

Spread a balanced, granulated fertilizer (10-10-10) around your tree's drip line each spring.

Things You'll Need

  • Fruit
  • Knife
  • Spoon
  • Quart jar
  • Peat moss
  • Seedling tray
  • Plastic sheeting
  • 4-inch pot
  • 6-inch pot
  • Shovel
  • Mulch
  • Balanced, granulated (10-10-10) fertilizer

References

  • N.C. State University: Overcoming Seed Dormancy: Trees and Shrubs
  • N.C. State University: Starting Plants from Seeds
  • University of California: Growing Seed Sprouts at Home

Who Can Help

  • Maryland Cooperative Extension: Getting Started With Tree Fruits
Keywords: growing fruit trees, propagating trees, tree seeds

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."