Growing an Apple Tree from Seeds
Taste good? And now you want to grow your own apple tree from the seeds, right? It’s certainly possible. Believe it or not, apple trees originally come from seed germination. However, the commercially grown ones we enjoy today are probably more a product of engineering than germinating from seed.
See, the problem with growing apples from pips is that you’re never sure what you are going to get. You could be enjoying a gorgeous Red Delicious and then decide to germinate the seeds only to find that the result is less sweet, less red and perhaps even less delicious.
On the bright side though, God could have blessed you with a brand new variety that becomes the ‘Apple of the Century’ with commercial growers clamouring for the patent rights. However, chances are small that this will happen.
How are Apple Trees Grown
Apple trees are perpetuated predominantly by grafting. New rootstock is embedded with a scion of the preferred cultivar and the tree grows and produces from this point forward. This method of propagation almost always results in the same apple grown.
The rootstock which is produced by apple seed germination is really just a dumb host. It can’t produce anything apart from what has been grafted onto it. Occasionally it will send up a few suckers but if you were to grow these – keeping the roots intact – you would produce a very different apple that bears little resemblance to the grafted variety.
How to Grow an Apple Tree from Seeds
Once you’ve finished chewing the core of your delicious apple, extract the seeds and leave to dry in a cool place until the exterior is devoid of any moisture. Then, place each one into a seedling tray and bury in some well-draining potting mix to about 10mm (1/2 in) deep.
Cover or place the tray into a cold frame and leave until the seeds begin to germinate and sprout.
Once the seedlings have two or more leaf levels they can be potted out individually into bigger containers where they can continue to grow until they’re ready to go in the ground.
Keep in mind that it usually takes 2-3 years for a nursery bought apple tree to produce fruit. So, plan to not see any results for at least 6+ years from an apple tree that’s been propagated by seed.
Where Can I Buy Apple Seeds?
Did you just miss the rest of the article? You can’t. And if someone is selling you apple seeds and guaranteeing the result then make an appointment with your lawyer now. This doesn’t mean that you can’t buy antique or heirloom apple cultivars. It just means that you can’t buy them as seed.