Starting an apricot tree from a seed is relatively easy to do. Make sure an apricot tree will grow in your area by checking your hardiness zone. Most apricot trees need a certain amount of cold to set fruit. Because of these "chill hours," they are usually grown from zone 5 through zone 9. Apricot seeds also need a certain amount of time in cold conditions to germinate. This is referred to as breaking dormancy. With some special preparation for the seed, you can grow an apricot tree from seed at home.
Growing Your Apricot Seeds
Obtain some apricot seeds. You can use pits from a local tree, from fresh fruit from your grocery or farmer's market or you can purchase seeds from commercial sources such as seed companies.
Remove the seeds from the pits by opening them with a nutcracker, if necessary. Make sure the seeds are fresh and free of damage or disease. Soak the seeds in water for 24 hours.
Break the dormancy of the seeds. Follow either of the methods in Steps 4 and 5 to break the dormancy of your seeds.
Plant your seeds in the fall, directly in the ground 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.
Place your seeds approximately 1 inch deep in a container filled with half peat moss and half sand and refrigerate them for 30 days, if the temperature is not right in your area for direct sowing or you want to plant in the spring or indoors. Keep the soil from drying out to encourage germination.
Plant the seeds, once you have broken dormancy, either outdoors after the last frost of spring, or indoors at any time. 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 fruit tree fertilizer. Transplant to larger pots or outside to encourage fruiting.
Train your apricot trees, as they mature, by pruning and thinning to develop a strong framework to better support fruit and open the canopy for better light penetration, pollination and harvesting.