A photo of ripe, golden apricots being picked from a tree into a basket

How to Grow a Mini Sun Apricot in Your Backyard

Key Takeaways
– Growing an apricot tree from a seed is easy and rewarding.
– You need to germinate, stratify, plant, care, and harvest your apricot seeds.
– You can enjoy fresh and organic apricots and a beautiful and fragrant ornamental plant.

Did you know that apricots are related to roses? Yes, these golden and juicy fruits belong to the same family as roses, peaches, plums, and cherries. They are not only delicious but also nutritious, as they are rich in vitamin A, C, E, potassium, fiber, and antioxidants.

But what if you could grow your own apricots in your backyard? Imagine having your own mini sun shining bright and sweet in your garden. You could save money, enjoy fresh and organic fruits, and have a beautiful and fragrant ornamental plant.

Sounds too good to be true? Well, it’s not. In this article, you will learn how to grow an apricot tree from a seed in easy and simple steps. All you need is some ripe and healthy apricots, some patience, and some love.

Here are the main steps involved in growing an apricot tree from a seed:

  • Germinate the seeds
  • Stratify the seeds
  • Plant the seeds
  • Care for the trees
  • Harvest the fruits

Ready to get started? Let’s go!

How to Germinate Apricot Seeds

A close up photo of apricot seeds soaking in water in a glass jar

Germination is the process of sprouting a new plant from a seed. It is important for growing an apricot tree from a seed because it activates the seed’s life cycle and prepares it for growth.

To germinate apricot seeds, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Choose ripe and healthy apricots. You can buy them from a local farmer’s market or a grocery store, or pick them from an existing tree. Make sure they are not bruised or damaged.
  2. Remove the pits from the apricots. You can use a knife or a nutcracker to cut or crack open the fruit and extract the pit. Be careful not to damage the pit or the seed inside.
  3. Crack open the pits. You can use a hammer or a vise to gently crack open the hard shell of the pit and reveal the seed inside. The seed looks like an almond and has a brown skin.
  4. Extract the seeds. You can use your fingers or a pair of tweezers to remove the seeds from the cracked pits. Be careful not to break or peel off the skin of the seed.
  5. Rinse the seeds. You can use a colander or a sieve to wash off any pulp or debris from the seeds under running water.
  6. Soak the seeds in water for 24 hours. You can use a glass jar or a bowl to soak the seeds in distilled water at room temperature. Change the water every few hours and discard any floating or moldy seeds.

Here are some tips and tricks for successful germination:

  • Use distilled water instead of tap water because it is free of chlorine and other chemicals that might inhibit germination.
  • Change the water every few hours because it might become cloudy or acidic due to bacterial growth or seed respiration.
  • Discard any floating or moldy seeds because they are dead or infected and will not germinate.

How to Stratify Apricot Seeds

how to grow an apricot tree from a seed

Stratification is the process of exposing the seeds to cold and moist conditions to simulate winter and break their dormancy. It is necessary for growing an apricot tree from a seed because it triggers the seed’s growth hormones and prepares it for spring.

To stratify apricot seeds, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Dry the seeds. You can use a paper towel or a cloth to pat dry the seeds after soaking them in water for 24 hours.
  2. Place the seeds in a plastic bag with moist peat moss or vermiculite. You can use a ziplock bag or a sandwich bag to hold the seeds and the peat moss or vermiculite. Make sure the peat moss or vermiculite is moist but not soggy, and that there is some air in the bag.
  3. Seal the bag and label it with the date and the variety of apricot. You can use a marker or a sticker to write down the date and the variety of apricot on the bag. This will help you keep track of your seeds and avoid confusion.
  4. Store the bag in the refrigerator for 6 to 8 weeks. You can use a crisper drawer or a shelf to store the bag in the refrigerator at a temperature of about 4°C (40°F). Do not freeze the seeds or expose them to light.
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Here are some tips and tricks for effective stratification:

  • Check the seeds regularly for signs of sprouting. You can open the bag every week or so and look for any roots or shoots emerging from the seeds. If you see any, you can plant them right away or keep them in the refrigerator until you are ready to plant them.
  • Keep the peat moss or vermiculite moist but not soggy. You can spray some water on the peat moss or vermiculite if it feels dry, but do not overwater it or it might cause rotting or mold growth.
  • Avoid freezing temperatures. You can use a thermometer to check the temperature of your refrigerator and make sure it is not below 0°C (32°F). Freezing temperatures might kill your seeds or damage their cells.

How to Plant Apricot Seeds

how to grow an apricot tree from a seed

Planting is the process of transferring the seeds from the refrigerator to the soil and allowing them to grow into seedlings. It is the best time to do it for growing an apricot tree from a seed when the weather is warm and sunny, usually in late spring or early summer.

To plant apricot seeds, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Choose a sunny and well-drained spot in your garden or a large pot with drainage holes. You can use a shovel or a trowel to dig a hole in your garden or fill a pot with potting mix. Make sure the spot or pot gets at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day and has good drainage.
  2. Prepare the soil with organic matter and fertilizer. You can use compost, manure, or leaf mold to enrich the soil with nutrients and improve its texture and water retention. You can also use a balanced fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, to provide extra nourishment for your seedling.
  3. Make a hole about 3 inches deep and wide in the soil. You can use your finger or a pencil to make a hole that is big enough to fit your seed.
  4. Place the seed in the hole with the root facing down. You can use your hand or a spoon to gently place the seed in the hole, making sure that the root is pointing downwards and that there is some space around it.
  5. Cover it with soil and water it well. You can use your hand or a rake to fill up the hole with soil and pat it down lightly. You can also use a watering can or a hose to water the seed thoroughly, making sure that there are no air pockets around it.
  6. Mulch it with straw or wood chips. You can use scissors or a knife to cut some straw or wood chips and spread them around the seedling. This will help retain moisture, prevent weeds, and protect from frost.

Here are some tips and tricks for optimal planting:

  • Space the seeds at least 15 feet apart if planting more than one. You can use a measuring tape or a stick to measure the distance between each seedling. This will ensure enough room for growth and air circulation.
  • Label the spot or pot with the date of planting and the variety of apricot. You can use a marker or a sticker to write down this information on a wooden stake or a plastic tag and insert it near your seedling. This will help you identify your tree and monitor its progress.
  • Protect the seedling from frost, pests, and weeds. You can use a cloche, a plastic bottle, or a cardboard box to cover your seedling during cold nights or windy days. You can also use organic pesticides or fungicides if needed to prevent diseases or pests. You can also use a hoe or a hand weeder to remove any weeds that might compete with your seedling for water and nutrients.
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How to Care for Apricot Trees

A photo of a person watering young apricot trees with a watering can

Caring for apricot trees entails watering, fertilizing, pruning, thinning, and applying organic pesticides or fungicides if needed. It affects their growth and fruit production, as well as their health and appearance.

To care for apricot trees, you need to follow these steps:

  • Water them regularly but not excessively. You can use a drip irrigation system or a soaker hose to water your trees deeply and evenly, about once or twice a week depending on the weather and the soil moisture. You can also use a moisture meter or a finger test to check the soil moisture and water accordingly. Do not overwater or underwater your trees, as this might cause root rot or drought stress.
  • Fertilize them once or twice a year with a balanced fertilizer. You can use a granular or a liquid fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, to provide your trees with nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. You can also use organic fertilizers, such as compost tea, fish emulsion, or seaweed extract, to provide your trees with micronutrients and beneficial bacteria. Apply fertilizer in early spring before flowering and again after fruit set if needed, following the label instructions and avoiding the trunk and the roots.
  • Prune them annually to remove dead or diseased branches and shape them into an open center or vase form. You can use pruning shears or a saw to cut off any branches that are crossing, rubbing, broken, infected, or weak. You can also use pruning shears or scissors to cut off any suckers or water sprouts that grow from the base or the trunk of the tree. Prune your trees in late winter or early spring when they are dormant but before bud break, making clean and angled cuts and leaving about a quarter inch of stub above the bud.
  • Thin out the fruits to prevent overloading and improve their size and quality. You can use your fingers or scissors to pluck off about half of the fruits when they are about an inch in diameter, leaving about 4 inches between each fruit on the branch. Thinning your fruits will reduce the weight on the branches and allow more sunlight and air to reach the remaining fruits, resulting in larger and sweeter apricots.
  • Apply organic pesticides or fungicides if needed to prevent diseases or pests. You can use neem oil, baking soda, vinegar, garlic, or chili pepper to make your own natural remedies for common problems such as aphids, mites, caterpillars, leaf curl, brown rot, or powdery mildew. Apply these solutions early in the morning or late in the evening when the temperature is cooler and the sun is not too strong, spraying them on both sides of the leaves and the fruits.

Here are some tips and tricks for successful caring:

  • Use a drip irrigation system or a soaker hose to water deeply and evenly. This will ensure that your trees get enough water without wasting it or causing runoff. It will also prevent wetting the foliage and the fruits, which might cause fungal diseases.
  • Apply fertilizer in early spring before flowering and again after fruit set if needed. This will ensure that your trees get enough nutrients during their critical stages of growth and development. It will also prevent burning the roots or stimulating excessive vegetative growth.
  • Prune in late winter or early spring when the tree is dormant but before bud break. This will ensure that your trees heal faster and avoid infections. It will also prevent removing any flower buds that might produce fruits later.
  • Thin out about half of the fruits when they are about an inch in diameter leaving about 4 inches between each fruit on the branch. This will ensure that your trees do not bear more fruits than they can support and that the remaining fruits get enough sunlight and air.
  • Monitor your trees regularly for any signs of problems or stress. You can use your eyes, nose, hands, or tools to check for any changes in color, shape, size, smell, texture, or condition of your trees’ leaves, branches, trunks, roots, flowers, or fruits.
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How to Harvest Apricots

A photo of ripe, golden apricots being picked from a tree into a basket

Harvesting is the process of picking the fruits from the tree when they are ripe and ready to eat or store. It is the right time to do it for growing an apricot tree from a seed when the fruits have reached their full color, size, firmness, aroma, and flavor.

To harvest apricots, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Check the color, size, firmness, aroma, and flavor of the fruits to determine their ripeness. You can use your eyes, nose, hands, or mouth to examine the fruits. The fruits should be golden or orange in color, plump and round in size, slightly soft but not mushy in firmness, sweet and fragrant in aroma, and juicy and tangy in flavor.
  2. Pick them gently by hand or with a fruit picker. You can use your fingers or a pair of scissors to snap off the fruits from the stem or use a fruit picker with a basket and a pole to reach the higher fruits. Be careful not to bruise or damage the fruits or the tree.
  3. Store them in a cool and dry place or refrigerate them for up to a week. You can use a cardboard box or a paper bag to store the fruits in a dark and airy place or use a plastic bag or a container to refrigerate them. Do not wash or cut the fruits until you are ready to eat or use them.

Here are some tips and tricks for enjoyable harvesting:

  • Harvest in the morning or evening when the temperature is cooler. You can avoid harvesting in the afternoon when the sun is too hot and might cause sunburn or spoilage of the fruits.
  • Wear gloves and long sleeves to protect yourself from thorns and sap. You can prevent getting scratched or stained by wearing gloves and long sleeves when picking the fruits.
  • Use a basket or a bucket to collect the fruits. You can prevent dropping or losing the fruits by using a basket or a bucket to hold them.

Conclusion

Growing an apricot tree from a seed is not only rewarding but also fun and easy. You just need to follow these simple steps: germinate, stratify, plant, care, and harvest.

You can enjoy fresh and organic apricots and a beautiful and fragrant ornamental plant. You can also share your fruits with your family and friends or make delicious jams, pies, cakes, or salads with them.

So what are you waiting for? Grab some apricots and start growing your own mini sun in your backyard!

Happy gardening!

About The Author

Samantha
Samantha

I'm Samantha, a plant enthusiast who has been growing plants for years. I believe that plants can make our lives better, both physically and mentally. I started growit.wiki to share my knowledge about how to grow plants. I want to help others enjoy the beauty and benefits of plants.

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