Why Growing Apricot Trees from Seed Does Not Work
Fruit trees are heterozygotes , and this means they do not grow out the same as their parent tree when started from seed. Almost all varieties of fruit trees are grown by grafting cuttings from mature trees onto root-stock. These cuttings are called scions, and they grow-up to have the same genetics as the tree they were cut from.
If you plant a seed from an apricot, apple, cherry, peach, or plum tree, it may sprout and grow. But it will also very likely be quite different than its parent. The same is true for human beings, as well.
Starting fruit trees like apricots from seeds is a gamble, and only very rarely does a worthwhile tree with edible fruit appear. However, on occasion, an apricot tree grown from seed will produce a new and useful variety of apricot.
A woman named Mrs. Smith in Australia had the good fortune of finding an apple tree with exceptionally good fruit growing from a seed she had dropped in her garden. It is from scions taken from this original stock which all Granny Smith apples are now produced.
If you want to plant apricot trees and harvest tasty fruit, the safest option is starting with a sapling from a nursery.
Some Reasons to Grow Apricots from Seed
However, you may want to grow your own apricot root-stock and graft a cutting onto it from a known variety. To do this, you will need to:
- Take an apricot seed from a ripe fruit and clean it thoroughly.
- Place the seed in a jar with a loosely fitting lid and put it in the refrigerator for at least 60 days.
- Then, plant the seed about 2 inches (5cm) deep in a pot or in the garden and cover it with wire mesh to keep squirrels or other animals from digging it up.
- Care for your apricot seed and water it regularly, keeping the soil moist but not soggy until it sprouts.
Your apricot tree grown from seed may become a nice landscape plant, but it is unlikely to be the same as the apricot it came from.
On the other hand, you may be lucky like Mrs. Smith and produce a new and delicious variety of apricot which people will continue growing and enjoying for years to come.