Step By Step Guide How to Grow an Apple Tree From Seed


Today we will be looking at growing an apple from seed. The above photo is an image of the pink lady I’ve germinated into a nice little seedling on the left. Secondly, I will be doing an experiment to determine whether the pink lady can be graphed into a Jonagold apple tree I have growing in my back yard.

Step 1

The first thing we need to do is remove the seeds from the core of the apple. So eat your lovely apple, enjoy it, then you can go ahead and remove the seeds. The best way to retrieve the seed would be to cut around the core. Then with a bit of force, just pop the apple open. I would not suggest cutting the apple straight through or you might damage the seed. Try to grow about 10 to 15 seeds, since a majority of them might not sprout.

Here I’ve gone ahead and cut the apple in halves so I can get access to the seeds. I have gotten a head start here because the seeds have already split and not looking too bad. By “split” I mean the seeds have already started germinating inside the apple. Next time you bite into an apple, have a quick look at the seed, to see if it has started growing. And if it has, just stick it into a small pot with some compost and leave it on your window sill in the kitchen to keep a close eye on it.

Step 2 Cold Stratification of Apple Seed

You then need to use some kitchen towel, add a bit of water for moisture to the towel. Wrap your seeds in the towel, stick them in a zip lock freezer bag and leave the bag with the seeds in the fridge, for roughly three to six weeks. Apple seeds need to be exposed to what is called cold stratification in order to kick start the germination process. With cold stratification, you are trying to simulate the natural conditions under which the seed would germinate, in order to break the dormancy of the seed. For example, apples would normally go through a cold winter period, before the warmer and wet spring period when they start to sprout.


Growing Apple from Seed – Three Week Experiment Reveal

After three weeks we can clearly see from the image that our apple seeds have sprouted. You can clearly see the root on the little seeds as well. The objective is to grow it into a lovely apple three then graft it onto my existing Jonagold tree.

You can observe the little seeds and roots coming out from each seed in the above image. When apples grow they are rarely ever true the original tree they came from. Meaning, the taste, flavour, colour and other characteristics of the plant will be totally different from its original plant.

The reason I am grafting it to my Jonagold, rather than growing it directly from the seed is, without grafting you will end up with poor quality apples, and definitely nothing resembling the parent because most apples do not come true to the type of tree it originally came from.

In order for an apple tree to product good edible fruits, cross-pollination has to take place, whether that’s naturally from bees and other insects or artificially by a gardener. In this instance, I am using pink lady apples. The seeds inside the apple maybe a cross mixture of genes from both the mother tree i.e., my pink lady and the daddy tree. Which could be any million different varieties out there. So basically, growing the tree from seed and putting in all the effort is a bit of a gamble. But none the less it is great fun for children to watch the plant go through its different life cycles.

Step 3

Next, we are going to put our baby seedlings into a starter mix. With choosing soil in which to grow your seedling. I use coco coir, because of it’s amazing ability to hold water and release it slowly. Which is an ideal environment for apple seedlings. During its baby stages, the plant needs water readily available. Another important feature of coco coir is that it doesn’t hold on to excess water, so the plant doesn’t become waterlogged.

Using a recycled container here I am pouring some more coco-coir on top of a bit of compost.

Step 3 Transplanting Apple Seedlings

It will be nice to see whether it will grow to a good size in order for us to actually graph it onto the Jonagold apple tree. Currently, I have three different apples grafted onto the tree outside. I have also managed to graph a pear unto the same apple tree.

I’m gonna get a pencil or something similar to make a hole in which to put the baby seedlings. The seeds have produced very long roots which are very delicate and will break easily so a gentle hand is needed.

I’ve planted about three to four seedlings on this occasion and hopefully, in a few weeks, I will be able to give you an update. Fingers crossed you should see nice baby apple trees coming through. Also remember to label your seedling pots, insuring you make a note of the date on which you planted the trees.

To start an apple tree just take out the apple seed put it in a damp kitchen roll add some coco coir, put it in the back of your fridge. Then come back in three weeks time and you should have some seeds sprouting.

My lovely pink ladies seven days after these were planted

These are my lovely pink lady apple coming up just seven days after they were sewn. I put the seeds in the fridge. They were there for four weeks in total so one month then I took them out planted them up in a mixture of coco coir and compost and you can now see the beautiful trough leaves popping up. That’s how you plant an apple tree from seed here in the UK.

These will grow and you will not get an identical apple to the one you planted. So I’m going to graft most of these to my existing apple tree.


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