How to Grow Apple Trees From Apple Seeds

Overview

Next time you snack on a juicy apple, save a few apple seeds, plant them in some potting soil, and see what develops. If you're patient, you'll have a home-grown apple tree in a few years. Planting apples seeds is an easy project, and the seeds sprout in just a few days. Let kids grow their own apple seeds and use the opportunity to teach them about horticulture. Tell them the story of Johnny Appleseed, and you've got a popular lesson in American folklore.

Step 1

Wrap the apple seeds in a damp paper towel or a handful of peat moss, and put them in a plastic bag. Close the top of the bag loosely and put the seeds in the refrigerator for one week. After a week, check every day to see if the seeds have germinated, which should take one week to 10 days.

Step 2

Leave the germinated seeds in the refrigerator to let the sprouts develop. When the new sprouts are about ½ inch long, plant the seed. Use any small, clean plastic container, such as a yogurt or sour cream container, and poke a couple of holes in its bottom for drainage. Fill the pots with potting soil. Push one seed about ½ inch deep in the soil of each pot.

Step 3

Water the seedlings every few days until they are at least 4 or 5 inches high. Plant them outside in April or May. Choose a sunny spot and cover them with a piece of chicken wire until they're at least 4 inches in diameter to protect them from hungry deer and squirrels. Apple trees are fairly drought-resistant, but for the first two years, water every few days, especially during hot weather. After about six or seven years, the young trees should start blossoming and should bear fruit around the tenth year.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper towel or peat moss
  • Plastic bag
  • Plastic pots
  • Chicken wire

References

  • How to Grow an Apple Tree
  • How to Grow Apple Trees From Seed
  • The John Chapman Project: Growing Trees From Seeds
Keywords: apple seed, tree, Johnny Appleseed

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a longtime writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the "East-Oregonian Newspaper" and "See Jane Run" magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.