Apricots are one of the most popular domestic fruits, because they are suitable for the preparation of so many delicacies, including cakes and jams. Are you holding a split apricot in your hand right now and wondering if you should try growing your own from it? Our answer is clearly “yes”, because it is really easy and will be a sense of achievement even for beginners. We’ll explain how exactly to grow apricots from seeds, how to take care of the tiny little tree, and whether you can actually expect to harvest your own fruit one day in the end.
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Getting the apricot kernel to germinate – This is how it’s done
If you want to grow apricots from seeds, you should do it immediately, that is, while the seed is still fresh. It does not have to dry first like some other seeds. You should, however, remove any pulp thoroughly, otherwise mold can form and spoil the pit. You can now either plant the apricot seeds directly, for which you use loose potting soil, such as a mixture of sand and soil. Or you can prepare each kernel first for faster germination.
Prepare the core for faster germination.
The kernel has a hard shell. To break through it, the seedling needs some time and strength. However, you can speed up the process by pretreating the apricot kernel . You have the following options to choose from when growing apricots from kernels:
- Cool the pit in the refrigerator for 7 days. Then, before you plant it in the ground, break it open. A nutcracker can be used for this purpose. Chilling will make the shell firmer and easier to crack than the fresh, still pliable shell. Then dig the seed you will find inside into the prepared potting soil. Within two weeks it should already germinate.
- Take a glass of water and put the seed in it for 2 days. The swelling will soften the hard shell and the seedling will be able to break through it more easily. However, you can also take the seed right away and let it swell.
- Rub the outside of the kernel shell with sandpaper. This will ensure that the kernel can absorb water faster and better later when watering, soften and eventually be broken through by the seedling. You can also use a simple file for roughening.
Grow apricots from seeds – what follows after planting?
Moisten the substrate well once afterwards. For this purpose, you can put the pot in the tub or in a sink, for example. Leave out the draining plate and let the water drip off well afterwards. The soil should not be too wet and this applies to the entire germination period.
Now cover the pot with plastic wrap and place it in a bright and warm place, but free from direct sunlight. The purpose of the film is to keep the potting soil evenly moist, but it must be removed daily for some time. In this way, you will provide adequate ventilation, otherwise mold may form .
Maintain these care measures until the seedling comes to the surface of the soil. This may well take several months for a core with skin that has not been pretreated.
How to grow apricots from kernels and care for them properly
Of course, the preparation of the core and planting are only half the way to success. If you want to grow an apricot tree from a core, you must also properly care for the young plantlet after germination . You should pay attention to this:
- If the seedling appears, you can omit the film and take care of the future sapling normally, watering whenever the soil dries.
- Also keep the location.
- Let the plant grow a few inches tall before putting it outside. However, it should only be allowed in the garden when sub-zero temperatures (frost) are no longer expected.
- Accustom the young plant to the conditions in the garden for a few days by putting it outside for only a few hours at first. Avoid strong, direct midday sun during this time.
- Then plant your sapling in the garden and water it well. Rain and wind negatively affect growth, so it’s best to find a sheltered spot in the garden.
Is the homegrown apricot tree fruit-bearing or just decorative?
As you probably know, with most homegrown trees, the chance that they will ever produce fruit is relatively low, or at least takes many years. You will be pleased to know that this is not the case with apricot treelets. As long as you take good care of the plant, you can expect the first fruits after only 3 to 5 years. So it’s worth it all that you grow apricots from seeds.