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How to Plant Apple Seeds – Ultimate Growing Guide

Apple as fruit has always been a healthy addition to the diet, but did you know you can save the Apple seeds and plant them to grow a new tree?

Prepare Apple seeds by collecting ripe fruits. Scrape off the seeds and stratify them in a cold fridge or in moist soil to boost germination. After 3 to 4 months, plant the sprouted Apple seeds into a pot or outdoors during fall and wait patiently to enjoy fruits.

Follow the step guide to successfully bear a new Apple tree in your yard or garden and enjoy the fruits it gives.

Overview of Apple Seeds

Apples first originated in Kazakhstan, but later the Europeans transported the Apple seeds, spreading the cultivation worldwide.

The seeds produced by the Apple are hybrids formed from the genes of two different parents, giving rise to a completely different variety.
A person is scrapping off seeds from apple with the help of knife, over a table.
A single apple might not provide enough seed, so cut off many apples of different varieties.

Look at the overview table below to identify Apple seed and its distinguishing feature.

Seed AttributesProperties
ShapeOval and elongated
ColorWhite to brown from immature to mature stage
Size7.69-9.43 mm in length
4.02-4.87 mm in width
2.01-2.03 mm in thickness
WeightAbout 0.7 gram
Seeds Per Apple fruit1-8
Harvesting SeasonEarly August to late September
Germination InitiatorCold stratification
Germination Time3-4 months
Germination To Flowering TimeAbout 5-10 years depending on variety
Treatment Prior To GerminationStratifying the seeds in fridge at the temperature of 3-4°C or in moist soil during fall
Germination TemperatureBetween 60-75°F
Seed Sowing TimeEarly spring fr colder zones
Autumn or fall for warmer zones
Soil Type and pHWell-draining soil with pH between 5.5-7
Seed Sowing Depth1 inch deep
ToxicitySeeds is toxic to human and pets but not the fleshy fruit

When to Plant Apple Seeds?

Grafting has always taken over the propagation technique of Apples, but seeds are no less in giving a new tree.

For this, start planting the Apple seeds during the spring in the northern cold zones and during the early spring or late fall for the zones with a less severe cold.

Although the seed performs better in temperate climates, for it can handle cold thresholds, you can still germinate the seeds in a warmer zone.

However, the success rate increases when the soil temperature is chilly, as Apple seeds need stratification to break their dormancy.

So to allow the seeds to experience chill and moist conditions, let them germinate outdoors during the fall, which usually takes 60-90 days.

Alternatively, you can do it indoors using a paper towel, peat moss, and a refrigerator.

How to Grow an Apple From Seeds? [Step-by-Step Guide]

Growing Apples from seeds requires time and patience as it takes a long until you receive the fruits (around 5 to 10 years), and not all seeds will sprout.

Remember to choose different varieties of Apples, including McIntosh, Red Rome, Honeycrisp, Sparta, Fuji, and Gala, based on their growth in different USDA zone.

Now, let us know about the planting process.

1. Planting Apple Seeds Indoors

Growing indoors might be complicated as hardy plants like Apple demand four seasons for their growth, but it is not impossible.

How to Prepare Apple Seeds for Planting? 

Start planting by collecting the seeds from the store-bought Apple or visiting the seed department, but that won’t be necessary.

You can use a ripe apple fruit bought from the store and start germination in the fall.

  • Cut the apple to its core but do not hurt the carpel of the seeds.
  • Scrape off the Apple’s seeds with a knife and collect as much seed as possible.
  • To check the viability of the seeds, put them in a water bowl. Discard the floating ones, as planting them will waste time.
Five to six seeds of apple is inside a transparent bow containing water.
Check the seeds before planting, as some lack viable embryos or endosperm.
  • Dry the seeds over a paper towel and leave them as it is for at least one week by turning the seed upside down every two days.
  • Mix the seeds with a few tablespoons of peat moss and sprinkle water when dried.
  • Shift the entire mix with seeds to a zipper-lock bag and use a marker to note the packing date.
  • Lastly, put the bag into the refrigerator for stratification.

However, do not expect your seeds to have magic and germinate in just two days.

You must wait patiently for at least three to four months to see them germinate.

How to Plant Apple Seeds at Home?

Potting comes after the seeds have germinated and have broken out of their dormancy.

Start potting in the early spring, but before starting, take a quick guide below!

  • First, take the bag from the refrigerator and separate the seed from the moss using your hands.
  • See the seeds that have sprouted successfully and keep them aside from the non-sprouted ones.
  • Prepare a pot 4-6 inches in diameter and a similar depth. To avoid transplant shock, use a biodegradable pot like a peat pot.
  • Fill the pot having enough drainage holes with a loamy potting mix.
  • Dig at least two to three holes of an inch deep in the soil and maintain a three-inch gap between the holes.
Nine germinated seeds of apple over a white paper.
The sprouts of the seeds should be above the ground, and the round part should be inside the soil.
  • Put the germinated seeds in the holes, cover them with light soil, and pour water to wet them.
  • Then, transfer the pot to a location receiving at least 8 hours of direct sunlight. It is better if it is a greenhouse.

Water the young plants twice a week in the growing season till they form seedlings with the growth of five to six leaves.

After completing all steps, transplant it outdoors into well-draining soil and a place receiving direct sunlight.

2. Planting Apple Seeds Outdoors

If you plant Apple seeds outdoors, you need not transplant them once the seedlings grow.

Planting in early spring or fall meets the essential requirement for Apple seeds to grow outdoors.

  • Firstly, soak the seeds in water for at least an hour to enhance germination.
  • Choose a location with plenty of direct sunlight and light loamy soil with a proper drainage system.
  • Remove all the weeds from the ground to prevent Apple’s seedlings from fighting for nutrients with the weeds.
  • Break out the lumps of soil into tiny particles and remove big rocks and stones from the ground.
  • Add an inch of garden-made or store-bought compost to enrich the nutrient value of the soil.
  • After adding the compost, make a furrow 12 inches long and one inch deep to plant the seeds.
  • If you plan to grow more seeds, place one seed per furrow and maintain a distance of 12 inches between the seeds.
  • Lastly, cover the seeds with an inch of sand to protect them from frost in cold weather, as the germination period can extend up to 3-4 months.
  • Water the seeds as soon as you plant them in the soil. Later maintain a regular interval for watering and once a week for the dry region.

The planting of Apple seeds is for the ones with patience, as the trees take at least four years to attain a height of 4 feet.

According to the University of Maryland, Apples are self-unfruitful. So plant varieties of Apples within the range of 100 feet as the Apple tree cross-pollinates to bear fruits.

And to see the Apple fruits, you should be patient for at least eight years, extending up to 10 years depending on the variety.

Let this video be of help to you!

Where to Buy Apple Seeds for Planting?

After learning the germination and growing process, you can hold the knife and cut off the Apple to collect the seeds.

However, in case of doubt, you can buy the seed from a valid vendor at a reasonable price.

Buying OptionsDelivery
Amazon4-5 days
Walmart4-5 days
Ebay4-5 days

Tips to Care for Apple after Planting

Apple trees revolve around their growing stages, including germination, the formation of seedlings, the bushy stage, the flowering stage, and finally, fruiting.

If you want your plant to complete all these stages, fulfill all the requirements below.

  • Provide the plants with at least 8 hours of direct sunlight indoors or outdoors.
  • Maintain the relative humidity within the range of 65-80%.
  • For the germination of seeds, keep the temperature within the range of 35-40ºF, and the growth temperature should be less than 90ºF.
  • Provide two inches of water per week for the young and one inch per week for the mature plant.
  • Maintain the soil to be slightly acidic, neutral, and loamy with a well-draining system and a pH of 5.5-7.
  • Fertilize your Apple plant once a year during the spring with 10-10-10 N-P-K granular fertilizer.
  • Apple plant requires repotting into a larger container after 12 months of planting in the pot and later every two to three years until it reaches full height if grown in pots.
A pot filled with soil and a seedling is sprouting.
After the seedling stage, the plant demands repotting to establish its roots for at least 2-3 years.
  • Avoid pruning the tree branches in the first four to five years to prevent the stunted growth of the Apple tree.
  • Protect your seedlings and plant from the pests like aphids, moths, and capsid buds using insecticidal soap and systemic insecticide.
  • Diseases that attack the plants are scabs, mildew, and canker. You can treat them using a copper fungicide, removing and burning the damaged parts.

From Editorial Team


Apple seeds planting is easier than grafting as it does not need expertise and can initiate quickly, giving you a mature tree in about 4-5 years.

However, do not be upset if your plant bears no fruit because Apple seeds’ germination rate is tricky, and not all give successful germination.

But who knows, your seeds can be the luckiest to bear fruit.

Moreover, like cherries and peaches, apple seeds contain Cyanide compound makes your cells oxygen deprived.

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