How would you sprout apple seeds like these?
If you’ve ever wondered how to sprout apple seeds, I demonstrate the process in a recent episode of Totally Crazy Easy Gardening:
A couple of days ago I followed up that demonstration with a report on how the germination had turned out… and, I got Rachel to join me in potting up the young apple trees.
I was quite happy with the results. I believe we got a 100% success rate, as we didn’t find any seeds in the jar which hadn’t sprouted. It took one month for the seeds to germinate in the refrigerator. Not bad at all.
As for the question “will these apples grow in the tropics,” yes, they should, since Kevin Hauser knows his stuff.
However, we may have to wait 8 to 10 years to find out if they will actually fruit… and if that fruit is good, so-so, or poor. If it is poor, it will still be good for pies. Even crab apples have their uses.
How to Sprout Apple Seeds
All you need to do is eat a few apples and save the seeds. Plant the seeds rapidly and don’t let them dry out.
You’re not planting them in their final location at first. As you can see in the first video, Rachel simply puts them in some moist potting soil in a jar, and then places that jar in the refrigerator. A Ziploc bag works even better than a jar. Within a month, the seeds had already sprouted and were growing roots.
Once you see little roots and shoots, transplant them just as we did in the second video.
Occasionally, apple seeds will already be germinating inside the apple or will start right away from the fruit. My friend Steven Edholm at Skillcut, remarked in the comments of the first video that many apples are stored under refrigeration which breaks the dormancy cycle of the seeds, so sometimes all you need to sprout apple seeds is to plant them directly.
Don’t place your newly transplanted apple seedlings right into full sun. Find a shady spot and put them there and take extra care when they’re young. Soon they’ll be large enough transplant into your orchard or food forest.
Why Sprout Apple Seeds?
I’ve always been a fan of growing trees from seed, particularly edible fruit trees. There’s a certain magic to growing something from a tiny little sprout into a productive and useful tree. I gained a huge amount of satisfaction from the peach trees I started from seed some years ago. When they started producing peaches, I firmly believe they were the best peaches in the entire world. In the entire history of peaches, there were no peaches as excellent as the peaches I started from seed. You can’t talk me out of this fanciful belief so don’t even try.
Sprouting apple seeds is an excellent homeschool project. The same goes for germinating peach pits, though it generally takes longer. If you live in a climate where apple trees grow, and they grow in a lot more places than you might think, why not start your own apple trees from seed? Then if they don’t turn out to be what you expected, go ahead and graft them.
You can get my grafting movie for a donation of any amount at this link. It demonstrates three simple methods of grafting. (If you’re poor, or a widow, take it for free. If not, please deposit a huge amount of money into my PayPal account. Thank you in advance. Every little bit helps. And huge amounts of cash help even more.)
There’s really nothing to lose when you plant fruit tree seeds. You can plant more seeds for trees then you need, then thin them out. It’s not like you have any money invested in the process. All you’re out is a little bit of time.
If you had a tree that was absolutely abysmal and you didn’t want to graft it, apple wood is great for smoking!
My friend William at Permacuture Apprentice wrote a nice big post on growing trees from seed that you might enjoy.
Go, plant those seeds. Once you start you’ll never look at an apple core the same way. So much potential!