Almonds are native to Central Asia and are closely related to peaches, nectarines and plums. Almond nuts, which are actually the fruit of the almond tree, require cool winters and hot summers to thrive. When mature, an almond tree can grow as tall as 30 feet high. Healthy trees bear fragrant, white and pink flowers, making them an attractive addition to any garden year-round. Growing almond trees is extremely simple, even for beginning gardeners.
Germinate the almond seed by soaking it in water overnight. Crack open the nut and plant it in a container of potting soil with the seams facing up. Leave some of the seed exposed above the soil surface.
Place the container in a warm, sunny location until germination. Watch closely for signs of mold. Once the sprout appears, transplant the almond outdoors.
Plant the almond tree in a sunny location, away from strong winds. Almonds cannot tolerate subzero temperatures. The soil should be well draining.
Water your almond tree regularly to maintain soil moisture, but avoid overwatering. Almonds are vulnerable to mold and fungal infections, and too frequent watering can increase the risk of disease in your tree. Fungal infections, such as brown rot, can damage the leaves and flowers and reduce nut production.
Place almond trees near other almond varieties to ensure pollination. Alternatively you can place a beehive near your tree during bloom, as the bees will help pollinate your tree.
Prune off dead or diseased branches every year. Pruning is best done in the late winter, before new growth appears. Thin heavy areas to increase sunlight penetration and improve air circulation.
Harvest almonds when the hulls split open, which generally occurs between late July and early October, depending on climate. Allow the nuts to dry in the sun for several days, and then store in an airtight container in a cool location until ready to eat or use in cooking.