How to Grow a Tree From an Apple Seed


Growing an apple tree from seed is fairly simple with a few basic supplies. Most apple trees grown from seed turn out to be a lot bigger than the ones in the orchard. Commercial growers control the size of their trees by grafting stems onto dwarfing rootstock. Apple trees are cross-pollinators, which means there must another tree within 500 feet for your tree to bear fruit. Plant two seedlings unless there are apple trees nearby.

Step 1

Slice open a few store-bought apples and carefully remove the seeds. Start with 10 to 12 seeds, since many won't germinate. Dampen a piece of paper towel and lay it on the table. Place the seeds in the center of the paper towel and fold it over several times. Keep the seeds must moist. Place the wrapped up seeds in a plastic bag and seal it. Keep the bag in the refrigerator for six or seven weeks.

Step 2

Fill planting containers that have bottom drainage holes with potting mix and add just enough water to moisten the soil.

Step 3

Remove the paper towel from the plastic bag and unfold it. Plant each of the sprout seeds into a separate pot about 1/2 inch below the soil surface. Cover them lightly with soil.

Step 4

Place the containers in a warm, sunny location and add a little water when needed to keep the soil moist.

Step 5

Transplant the seedlings outdoors in early spring when they have grown several sets of leaves. Plant in a location that has well-draining soil and full sun.

Things You'll Need

  • Paring knife
  • Apple seeds
  • Paper towel
  • Plastic bag
  • Sterile potting soil
  • Small planting containers


  • Purdue University Horticulture Department: Growing Trees From Seed
  • Holes: Enjoy Gardening: Fruit Tree Pollination
Keywords: grow apple seeds, growing apple seeds, grow apple seed

About this Author

Based in Surrey, British Columbia, Stephen Oakley is a freelance writer focusing on environmental issues, travel and all things outdoors. His background includes many years spent working in the Canadian wilderness and traveling worldwide.