How to Grow an Osage Orange From a Seed


The Osage Orange tree (Maclura pomifera), also called the Mock Orange or Hedge Apple, is a hardy tree that can grow up to 40 feet tall. The tree is extremely hardy and can withstand winter temperatures down to -25 degrees Fahrenheit. Grown in rows as natural borders or hedges, the Osage Orange produces 6-inch-diameter fruits that resemble bumpy, green, wrinkled grapefruits or large oranges. The fruit attracts squirrels and has a slight orange scent. The seeds are the only part of the fruit that are edible.

Step 1

Soak the Osage Orange seeds in warm water for about 48 hours prior to planting.

Step 2

Fill a seed tray that has drainage holes in the bottom with a mixture of equal parts potting soil, peat moss, organic compost and coarse sand. Spread a 3-inch layer of the potting mix into the bottom of the seed tray.

Step 3

Plant the seeds about a quarter- to half-inch deep and firm the soil down with your hands.

Step 4

Place the seed tray in full sunlight. Keep the seeds at room-temperature, between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 5

Water the seeds daily with warm water until the seedlings begin to sprout. Cut back on watering to once every three or four days to keep the potting mix evenly moistened but not waterlogged.

Step 6

Transplant your young Osage Orange tree the following spring in a location that receives full to partial sunlight and has well-draining, sandier soil. Water the young trees once each week during the first two growing seasons to help the roots become established.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid planting Osage Orange trees near walkways, driveways or roads. The trees have large, tough thorns that can penetrate tires and shoes.

Things You'll Need

  • Osage Orange seeds
  • Seed tray
  • Potting soil
  • Peat moss
  • Organic compost
  • Coarse sand


  • Bluegrass Gardens: Osage Orange Seeds
  • Great Plains Nature Center: Osage Orange

Who Can Help

  • USDA Forest Service: Maclura pomifera, Osage-Orange
Keywords: grow Osage Orange seed, plant Osage Orange tree, Mock Orange

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.