How to Start an Apricot Tree From a Seed

Overview

Apricot (Prunus armeniaca) trees are deciduous, fruit-producing trees that are indigenous to Eastern Asia and Northern China. The standard varieties can grow to between 20 and 30 feet tall and dwarf varieties to between 6 and 10 feet tall. Apricot trees are hardy in the USDA zones 4 to 8, depending on the variety. Germinating an apricot tree from seed requires a commitment of time and a little perseverance.

Step 1

Separate the apricots in half. Remove the stones, or pits, from the fruit. Wash off the apricot stones thoroughly, then place them in a bowl of water and let soak for 24 hours.

Step 2

Dampen approximately 2 cups of fine sand. Scoop the sand into a large (2 qt.) zipper top plastic bag or a lidded plastic container. Place the apricot stones into the dampened sand and seal shut. Shake the contents gently to cover the apricots with the dampened sand.

Step 3

Set the plastic bag in the back of your refrigerator where the temperature should be between 35 and 40 degrees F. Leave in the refrigerator for three months. Check the contents often, at least every two days. The sand needs to be kept moist, not wet. Mist the sand with water when needed.

Step 4

Wash the 1-gallon pots by placing them in a solution of one-part bleach mixed with 10-parts water. Rinse each of the pots off with warm water and place them in a warm location to dry.

Step 5

Scoop sterilized potting mix into each of the pots until they are full of soil and dampen the potting mix by pouring water into each pot. Poke a 2 inch deep hole in the middle of each pot. Drop one apricot stone into each of the holes. Cover up the stones with 2 inches of potting mix.

Step 6

Transfer the pots to a 70 degrees F. location, either inside your home or outside if weather permits. If you don't have a warm location, you can purchase a heat mat at your local garden center or plant nursery. A heat mat is specifically used to aid in germination.

Step 7

Water the pots to keep the potting mix moist, but don't let water accumulate in the pots to make the soil become drippy wet. Germination of apricot seeds is sporadic and often lengthy. According to Plants for a Future, germinating apricot seeds can take as long as 18 months.

Things You'll Need

  • Apricots
  • Sand
  • Plastic bag or lidded container
  • Sprayer bottle
  • 1-gallon pots
  • Potting mix
  • Bleach

References

  • Plants for a Future: Prunus Armeniaca
  • Sunset: Apricot trees
  • National Gardening Association: Apricot

Who Can Help

  • Sunset.com: Apricot Information
  • Arbor Day Foundation: Moor Park Apricot
Keywords: germinating an apricot from seed, planting apricot seeds, growing an apricot from seeds

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 gardenguides.com. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in alternative medicine from Everglades University.