How to grow apricot trees from seed

by Veronica on May 9, 2011

in Garden

A while ago, in the middle of our Summer that wasn’t, we ended up with a couple of kilos of apricots in the fridge. Being the frugal person that I am, I wondered if you could grow apriot trees from seed, so I did some googling.

It turns out, you can grow apricot trees from seed, but there is no guarantee that they will produce fruit.

I decided to do it as an experiment anyway, because you can never have too many trees, even if they don’t produce fruit.

First, you have to take your apricot seeds and let them sit somewhere for 3-4 days, until they dry out and you can hear the seed inside rattling. I ended up with about 40 seeds.

Once they’re dried, use a nutcracker or similar to crack the hard outer shells. Don’t damage the kernel inside.

I used a hammer to crack ours and ended up with about 25 seeds that were usable.

Soak the seeds in water for 3 days, changing the water every day.

NOTE: Apricot seeds are highly poisonous, especially to young children. As few as 6 could land your child in hospital, so please don’t leave them where a small curious child might decide to try them. I popped mine into a Tupperware container and set it aside on a high shelf. For once, we had no dramas.

Once the seeds have been soaked, wrap them in damp paper towel and close them into a snap lock bag. The put them into the fridge for 5-6 weeks. This is enforcing winter, to help with germination.

At the end of 6 weeks, they should have sprouted inside the bag. You can now plant them into pots. I used small jiffy pots to begin with, because that’s what I had.

I had 20 seeds sprouted at this stage, and one day, I had the bright idea of putting them out into the sunshine to help them grow. I had one seed just sprouting leaves and the others were close.

What I hadn’t thought about was our very naughty puppy. Within 5 minutes, she had jumped onto the table they were sitting on and eaten most of my seeds. I was furious and wished a tummy ache on her, but apparently apricot seeds aren’t terribly poisonous to dogs. I should probably be grateful for that, but I’m having a hard time with it.

I managed to save a few and with some time and water, they sprouted little trunks and leaves and they were adorable.

I potted them up into potting mix and they’re living on my bathroom sink for winter.

Because they already had an enforced winter sitting in the fridge, they won’t be able to be planted out into the garden until the threat of frost has passed. This means that they’ll get about a 15 month growing season this time, before winter starts again next year and they lose their leaves for it. I’ll probably have to repot them again in a few weeks, because they’re growing rather well. The biggest one is probably 25cm tall and gaining a few cm every second day.

Amy wasn’t all that interested in the growing process, but I can imagine that other children would find it fascinating, even though it’s a bit of a slow process.

So there’s how to grow apricots from a seed! It wasn’t at all hard, like making bread, the hardest bit was leaving it alone while it did its own thing.


Tenille @ Help!Mum May 9, 2011 at 9:38 am

You’re very clever. I’ve often wondered about growing things from fruit/seeds.

Hope you get heaps of fruit from these.

Fiona May 9, 2011 at 11:38 am

I chipped a tooth on one once

and how clever! I can’t even do veges from seeds!

Ali May 9, 2011 at 1:52 pm

That’s so cool. I always thought you couldn’t! Can’t wait to see if any fruit for you. Either way, like you said, you’ll have trees which you grew from seed. So cool.

amandab May 9, 2011 at 3:01 pm

I’m wondering if we try this next year. I would love to fill the yard with fruit trees, but it isn’t really big enough. I will keep my fingers crossed that they fruit, although as I know it’s usually 3-4 years for that I may hold off and cross them a bit later 🙂

Like the new header 🙂

Sharnee May 9, 2011 at 4:12 pm

Blog is looking good 😉

I am so impressed you managed to do this! The few times we have attempted to grow trees (pre-bought lime and lemon trees) they died horribly. I have even killed a cactus….. twice (not the same cactus).

Barbara May 9, 2011 at 10:06 pm

Wow, how interesting. Next time we have apricots I’m giving that a go. Luckily I have no dog to eat the seeds!

Love the new look. Very pretty.

Crunchy Frugalista May 10, 2011 at 2:19 am

This is absolutely the neatest thing! My kids are always trying to get me to save seeds to try and grow things. Swinging by to say hi, and thanks for joining the Alexa hop! You have a great site here 🙂


SHANDA CLARK May 10, 2011 at 7:47 am

Hi, I am visiting from the bloghop and I am following you.I would love for you to check out my blog and any advice for a new blogger is welcome.

Michelle Pegram May 10, 2011 at 12:20 pm

That is such a neat idea! I’ve always loved gardening and have pondered trying seeds from fruits and veggies I get.

Thanks for taking part in our brand new Alexa hop at We’re having hops each day, so hope to see you return. Have a great week!

Diane H May 10, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Fun story! I grew up on a farm and miss the fun of watching things grow.
thanks for checking out my blog today!

Denyse May 10, 2011 at 6:01 pm

How cool is that post!!
I love love love how you wrote and photographed…and I learned something new too.
And, you remembered the kids but not the dog…dearie me.
Can’t wait (oh yes, must wait) for more… Thanks for visiting my blog too.

Mariah May 11, 2011 at 1:39 am

I wish I had a green thumb of some sort but it’s not really my thing!

I’m stopping by from SSS to “stalk” you and wanted to say thanks for linking up! I hope you’ll join us again next week!
Mariah, FormulaMom

DeDa Studios May 11, 2011 at 10:29 am

blog hopping stop for a visit

achelois May 11, 2011 at 10:29 am

I envy you your patience and dedication.

By the way don’t be too quick to imagine other children would be fascinated, I worked at a local school years ago, we had to do similar stuff as part of the national curriculum and the majority of the children were completely disinterested. It seemed to me that they thought it obvious that things grew! You know, seeds, to plants…. eggs from mummies from daddies sperm etc… to babies… yawn. Mostly it seemed to me that it was the adults who were fascinated lol but if you told them a big package with a present were going to arrive via the postman/woman I imagine they would sit on the doorstep for hours. I often thought that what adults thought children would find fascinating to learn was the exact opposite from that which children actually did. So imagine a magician with a seed in his hands producing a little plant from nowhere, the kids would probably just laugh with derision. If the same magician, had a seed in his hands then produced a massive Xmas tree adorned with baubles, chocolate money and lots and lots of presents, after they had watered it from a mini watering can, I imagine they would be most impressed as would Amy. I am not saying the occassional child wasn’t fascinated but they were rare indeed. So Amy’s lack of interest seems completely on par with her peers in this instance.

We used to have an orchard, in the house I grew up in and my father would do lots of complicated things which I obviously paid no heed to whatsoever as I cannot remember the detail! Which meant, fruit was born on trees through a process of artifical insemination of some sort. Cross fertilisation perhaps anyway am too embarrassed at my chronic stupidity to say anymore on that matter. To all those intelligent people out there cringing at my stupidty on this matter I apologise. In this instance I shall use the EDS brain mush as an excuse…. Anyway I am just jealous once more you have land, the only thing I moan about with my small patch is that the bloody great big tree which is about six foot from my kitchen window over the perimiter fence blocks my sunshine. Selfish, moi, surely not.

I am going now Veronica, I have bloody earache again. So a bit grouchy and pedantic.

Keep us all posted about them pretty please on growing of your apricot trees, as I am interested a lot interested.

Danielle May 11, 2011 at 10:34 am

Wow, I had no idea apricot seeds were poisonous at all. Thanks for the great post! I learn something new everyday!

I’m following from SSS; If you get a chance, I hope you’ll come say hello. You can find me at

Jeff November 4, 2011 at 3:59 pm

No No No……..Read this please.

Peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots and almonds are all closely related fruit trees with very similar pits. In all these fruits, the pit must be broken open to reveal the almond-shaped kernel within. In fact, this is what almonds actually are: the kernel within the pit of the fruit of the almond tree!

[The following is why we are being misled and lied to.]

The kernels of all these species contain high concentrations of a chemical known as laetrile. It’s also known as amygdalin or vitamin B-17.

Research has shown that laetrile induces programmed cell death in cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone. It’s sort of like Mother Nature’s chemotherapy except that it doesn’t make you suffer the way man-made synthetic chemotherapy does.

Laetrile appears to work because the nutrient is actually composed of four separate molecules: two of glucose, one of benzaldyhide and one of cyanide. The latter two chemicals are toxic, but are bound up in a non-bioavailable form. Cancer cells contain an enzyme that healthy cells do not, known as beta-glucosidase. This enzyme actually breaks apart the component pieces of laetrile, and the cell is poisoned by a combination of benzaldyhide and cyanide.

**Healthy cells do not undergo this effect, which is why they remain unaffected by laetrile.

The medical establishment, learning about this natural “chemotherapy” that killed cancer cells and didn’t even require a prescription, quickly began to attack it by spreading lies about the dangers of laetrile. The FDA, long an enemy of healing through nutrition, banned laetrile in 1971. Highly toxic chemotherapy substances, however, remain perfectly legal and continue to kill hundreds of thousands of people every single year. (Most people who “die from cancer” are actually killed by chemotherapy and radiation, not from the cancer itself. “Cancer survivors” are people who miraculously survive chemotherapy.)

G. Edward Griffin wrote a sensational book on this subject called… “World Without Cancer: The Story of Vitamin B17.”

Anthony December 14, 2011 at 10:07 pm

I read the same Griffin book and would have replied along the same vein as you. I eat apricot pits whenever I can and they are delicious (as well as a potential cure for cancer)!

My immediate task, however, is to grow an apricot tree or two from seed for our garden in Provence – this is a very helpful article, thanks!

Bells May 11, 2011 at 9:33 pm

oh this is fascinating. And I adored the photos!

Sunny Hilden July 2, 2011 at 11:47 am

Awesome article! I planted apricot & peach trees on Mother’s Day to honor Mother Nature – got them a foot high in little pots from Whole Foods. The peach tree got too much shade from my huge avocado tree, so it’s given up, but the apricot tree is 2 feet high and already has a huge apricot on it:) I was googling to see how to plant another one from its pit after I pick it. You’ve shared great info. My grapefruits are way too tart to eat and my plum tree’s getting too much shade, too, so I’m really rooting for this little apricot miracle. How big will it get? Thanks, Sunny

Toni Ann July 29, 2011 at 4:55 am

Thanks for posting this article. My two children and I just had apricots and we thought it would be a good idea to “Google” how to grow them from seed. This is the best article I have come across; very detailed. The photos are a great touch. We are always saving seeds but don’t often plant them as our yard space is limited. My children (12 and 15) are so excited, I had them set them out to dry. Great tip about the seeds being poisonous. Thanks again and can’t wait to see how your trees turn out; and ours too. We already have them drying.

Matt August 5, 2011 at 10:47 am

How fun,
I am a horticulturalist and have never tried apricots from seed. You are right that you may never get fruit from these trees. More accurately, you won’t get fruit that is exactly like the parent. Apricots are sorta like people, every seedling will grow into a unique seedling. I hope you find something great in your batch (fun flower color, fruit color, flavor, etc.). If you don’t have much luck in 3-4 years, find a cultivar that you like (maybe someone in your neighborhood grows apricots) and graft (its easier than it sounds) the preferred cultivar right into your seedling!

Rusty Burton August 14, 2011 at 11:06 am

I live in Oregon, My mom bought some apricots to eat, I’m wondering if they will grow from seed? Does the seed have to be tricked like placing them in the freezer, then be planted in soil?
Thank You
Rusty Burton

Veronica August 14, 2011 at 11:11 am

That’s how I grew mine, just from apricots that I bought to eat. They do need around 6 weeks in the fridge as an enforced winter though.

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