Apricot trees make an attractive addition to gardens with their distinctive white or pink spring blossoms. Known as one of the stone fruits, they are relatively easy to grow from seed. The most important thing to remember is to take the seed from a ripe fruit to ensure the best chance of germination. According to Dr. Lynette Morgan, scientific director for SUNTEC Hydroponic Consultants in New Zealand, the stones must be stratified for germination to occur.
Cut the ripe apricots open with the paring knife and remove the stones. Place the stones into the glass or jar and add water until covered. Allow them to soak for at least 24 hours. Like many fruit trees, apricots need cross-pollination with another variety to bear fruit. If your goal is to have fruit-bearing trees, you will need to have ripe apricots of two different varieties to start.
Wrap each stone in a piece of paper towel. Place them inside the sealable plastic bag and put the bag in the refrigerator for four to six weeks. This will stratify the seeds by creating the same conditions that occur naturally. In nature, the seeds fall from the tree and lay dormant through the winter on the cold, wet ground.
Prepare the planting pots by putting a handful of gravel in the bottom for drainage and fill with potting soil to 1 inch below the top. Unwrap the stones and plant each of them in a separate pot. Put the pots on plates or a tray and place in a warm, sunny location, such as a window ledge. It may take some time for them to germinate so be prepared to wait three to four weeks. Apricots don't like wet soil, so only add water to the pots when the soil is dry to the touch.
Transplant the seedlings to the yard or garden after they have sprouted. Space the trees about 20 feet apart to allow enough room for growth as they mature.