How to Start a Fruit Tree From Seed

Overview

Perhaps you were eating an apple one day and looked at the seeds within the core and asked, "If I planted these seeds, would they grow?" In fact, many types of fruit trees can be started from seed. Some fruit trees, such as orange or lemon trees, can be started right out of the fruit, while others, such as peach, apple, plum, and apricot seeds require a certain amount of time at cold temperatures before they are planted. This is known as breaking dormancy. You can start fruit trees from seed in your own home. It's a fun way to improve your garden and grow trees that can provide you with fresh fruit.

Obtaining Seeds

Step 1

Get seeds from a fruit tree, fresh fruit from the grocery store or farmer's market, or commercial sources such as seed companies or garden centers.

Step 2

Remove the seeds from any fruit. If necessary, remove seeds from within hard pits using a nutcracker.

Step 3

Ensure the seeds are fresh and free of disease or damage. Clean the seeds in water, if necessary.

Breaking Dormancy

Step 1

Break the dormancy of seeds, for certain species of fruit trees including apple, peach, pear, plum, nectarine and apricot, following steps 2 and 3 below.

Step 2

Plant the seeds in the fall, directly into the ground, if you live in areas where temperatures drop below 40 degrees F for 60 to 120 days, depending on the species.

Step 3

In warmer climates, or to plant in the spring, place the seeds about 1 inch deep in a container filled with a mixture of equal amounts of peat moss and sand, and refrigerate for 60 to 120 days. Water as needed to keep the soil from drying out.

Planting Seeds

Step 1

Plant seeds in 1 or 2 inches of fertile soil and water them so the soil is damp, but not wet. Seeds can be planted directly in the ground in a sunny spot, or in individual pots for transplant at a later time.

Step 2

Fertilize lightly and water regularly.

Step 3

Watch for growth within 3 weeks of planting.

Things You'll Need

  • Peat moss
  • Sand
  • Plastic container
  • Nutcracker
  • Fruit tree seeds

References

  • Germination of Tree Seed
  • Starting Citrus Trees From Seed
  • How to Grow A Tree or Shrub From Seed
Keywords: fruit tree grow, fruit tree seed, start fruit tree

About this Author

Located in Jacksonville, Fla, Frank Whittemore has been a writer and content strategist for over 15 years, providing corporate communications services to Fortune 500 companies. Whittemore writes on topics that stem from his fascination with nature, the environment, science, medicine and technology.