Picking and eating fresh, juicy apricots from a tree in your own yard is satisfying and delicious. Starting an apricot tree from a pit, which consists of a hard outer shell and an inner seed, can be an enjoyable project and is relatively easy to do. With some special preparation, you can sprout an apricot tree from a pit at home.
Make sure an apricot tree will grow in your yard by checking the hardiness zone for your area. Most apricots need a certain amount of cold to set fruit. Because of these "chill hours," apricot trees are usually grown in zones 5 through 9.
Obtain your pits. You can get pits from a local tree, commercial sources such as seed companies, or from fresh fruit from your grocery or farmers market. Allow the pits to dry thoroughly over several days.
Remove the apricot seeds from the hard outer shell by opening it with a nut cracker. Make sure the seeds are fresh and free of damage or disease.
Break the dormancy of the seeds. Apricot seeds need a certain amount of time in cold conditions to germinate. Steps 5 and 6 demonstrate two different methods of breaking dormancy.
Plant your seeds directly in the ground in the fall to break dormancy if you live in areas where temperatures drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 30 days. Plant seeds 2 inches deep in fertile, well-drained soil with plenty of sun.
Stratify your seeds to break dormancy if the temperature is not right in your area for direct sowing or you want to plant in the spring. Place your seeds approximately 1 inch deep in a container filled with half peat moss and half sand, and refrigerate them for 30 days. Keep the soil from drying out to encourage germination.
Plant them after the last frost of spring (once you have broken the dormancy of your seeds). Plant seeds 2 inches deep in fertile, well-drained soil with good sun exposure.
Watch for sprouting in 3 to 4 weeks. As your apricot grows, continue to water and feed it with a high-quality fruit tree fertilizer.