How to Plant an Apple Seed to Grow


Planting an apple seed for growing a tree is a sexual reproduction of the apple plant. The resulting tree grown from the seed will not be an identical copy of the mother tree. The tree seedling will have basic characteristics of the fruit that the seed was harvested from. According to the Purdue University Agricultural Department, while many trees can be propagated from seed, the grower must not be disappointed at the results when maturity of the seedling occurs. Planting apple seeds to propagate trees may prove an economical method of expanding a home orchard with full-size apple trees.

Step 1

Select a mature apple that has little to no surface defects on the external skin. The apple should also be free of any insect damage as well, such a worm borers.

Step 2

Cut the apple in half.. Extract all of the seeds from the core of the apple.

Step 3

Place the seeds in the glass jar. Fill the jar half-full of water. Close the lid over the jar. Shake the seeds to remove any excess pulp. Allow the seeds to set in the jar and settle for a few minutes.

Step 4

Dispose of any apple seeds that are floating on the surface. Keep only the seeds that have sunk to the bottom of the jar. Pour off the water from the jar. Retain the sunken seeds in the jar.

Step 5

Place the seeds in a medium of peat moss, vermiculite or sand to keep them moist. Close the lid on the jar.

Step 6

Set the jar in the refrigerator for a period of two months to three months for stratification of the seeds. Stratification is a method of cold treatment so the seeds will germinate in spring.

Step 7

Remove the seeds from the jar after stratification.

Step 8

Fill the six-inch pot with a soil mixture that contains equal parts peat moss to vermiculite or sand. Place up to four apple seeds, equally spaced, in the pot approximately 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch under the soil.

Step 9

Cover the pot with a layer of plastic food wrap. Keep the soil moist but not excessively wet. Place the pot in a warm location but out of direct sunlight. Germination of the apple seeds fully depends on the variety of apple and viability of the apple seeds.

Step 10

Move the apple to a bright location once the plant has emerged from the potting soil surface. Remove the plastic wrap to reduce overheating to the seedling.

Things You'll Need

  • Mature apple
  • Knife
  • Glass jar with lid
  • Peat moss, vermiculite or sand
  • Refrigerator
  • 6-inch pot w/drain holes
  • Plastic wrap


  • Purdue University: Growing Trees from Seed
  • Oklahoma State University: Propagation of Fruit and Nuts by Seed
Keywords: apple seed planting, seed germination, propagate apples

About this Author

G. K. Bayne is a freelance writer, currently writing for Demand Studios where her expertise in back-to-basics, computers and electrical equipment are the basis of her body of work. Bayne began her writing career in 1975 and has written for Demand since 2007.