How to Start Apple Trees From a Seed


Apple trees are deciduous, fruit producing trees that are fun to grow and produce an abundance of fruit, when given proper care and maintenance. Apples are easy to raise from seed, however they will seldom grow true from seed. Planting apples from seed generally means that you will not end up with the same variety of apple that you obtained the seeds from. When growing apples from seed, make sure you collect seeds from apples that are fresh and ripe.

Preparing Apple Seeds

Step 1

Cut an apple in half and use a table knife to pick out the seeds. Place the seeds into a wire basket or strainer, and rinse them thoroughly in cold water. Then spread the seeds onto paper towels and leave them to dry for one to two days.

Step 2

Moisten 1 to 1 1/2 cups of peat moss, or a peat-based potting mix, until it's slightly damp to the touch. Place the moistened peat moss, or potting mix, into a sealable plastic bag with the apple seeds. Seal the bag, then shake the contents gently to distribute the apple seeds into the germinating media.

Step 3

Place the bag into the back of your refrigerator, where the temperature will be between 35 and 40 degrees F. Leave the bag there for three months. Check every two to three days to make sure the germinating media is staying moist. Spritz the germinating media with water as needed to keep it moist.

Planting Apple Seeds

Step 1

Fill 1-gallon pots, or 4-inch pots (to save space), three-quarters full with a good quality potting mix. Use the heel of your palm, the back of a spoon or a small block of wood to compress the soil in each of the growing containers. Then pour water into each of the containers to thoroughly moisten the soil.

Step 2

Put a 1/2-inch layer of the germinating seed mixture over the potting soil.

Step 3

Transfer the pots to a very bright, warm location, either in your home or outside, if it's warm enough. The temperature should be 65 to 75 degrees F., with at least 8 to 10 hours of light every day. Keep the planting mixture moist, but not soaked. The typical time for germinating apple seeds is usually six to eight weeks.

Step 4

Transplant the apple tree seedlings when they have grown to 3 to 4 inches tall, if using 4-inch pots, or 1 foot tall if using 1-gallon pots.

Things You'll Need

  • Apples
  • Knife
  • Wire basket or strainer
  • Plastic bags
  • Peat moss or peat based potting mix
  • Sprayer bottle
  • 4-inch pots or 1-gallon pots
  • Potting mix


  • Sunset's Plant Finder: Apples
  • Iowa State University: Germinating Tree Seeds
  • Terry L. Ettinger Horticulture Consulting Services: Germinating Apple Seeds

Who Can Help

  • All About Apples
Keywords: germinating apple seeds, growing apple trees from seed, apple seed planting

About this Author

Katelyn Lynn is a certified holistic health practitioner who specializes in orthomolecular medicine and preventative modalities. She also has extensive experience in botany and horticulture. Lynn has been writing articles for various websites relating to health and wellness since 2007. She has been published on She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in alternative medicine from Everglades University.