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How to Germinate Apricot Seeds

Starting an apricot tree from a seed is relatively easy. First, check the hardiness zone in your area to ensure that you can grow apricot trees. Apricots need a certain amount of time at cold temperatures, known as chill hours, to set fruit. They are usually grown from zone 5 through 9. Also, to get an apricot seed to germinate, you will need to break it's dormancy. This simply means the seed will need to be exposed to cold conditions for a time before planting.

Germinating Your Apricot Seed

Get some apricot seeds. You can get seeds from a tree in your area, from fresh fruit at the grocery store or a seed company.

Remove the seeds from the pits, if necessary, by opening them with a nut cracker. Ensure the seeds are fresh, undamaged and healthy.

Follow one of two methods to break the dormancy of your seeds to prepare them for planting. Soak your seeds in water for 24 hours to allow them to hydrate properly. Or you can plant the seeds directly in the ground in the fall if you live where the temperature will go below 40 degrees F for at least 30 days. Plant your seeds two inches deep in fertile and well-drained soil in an area with plenty of sun.

Fill a container with a mixture of equal amounts of peat moss and sand. Put your seeds around one inch deep in the soil and refrigerate for 30 days. Use this method if the temperature is not right in your area for direct planting 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, outdoors after the risk of freezing weather has past, or indoors at any time. Plant seeds two inches deep in fertile, well drained soil in an area with plenty of sun.

Watch for sprouting in three to four 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.


Because seeds are produced by pollination from an unknown source, trees from seeds may not always resemble the parent plant.

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