The Q&A Archives: Fruit Trees from Seed

Question: I am just starting out with planting trees and I would like to know if it would be possible planting seeds from fruits (i.e. orange, apple, plum, peach) which you would purchase from the store. If this is possible, How can I get the seeds to sprout?

Answer: The answer to your question is "it depends". You can try planting the seeds and see what happens as an experiment. Warm climate fruits such as oranges can be started in a pot indoors. (Use a moist "soilless potting mix", plant seeds so they are barely covered, enclose in a plastic bag to maintian humidity, place in a bright spot away from direct sunlight. Gentle bottom heat may be helpful. Remove plastic at first sign of sprouting.) Cold climate fruits such as apples and the stone fruits will often germinate in spring if planted outdoors in the ground in the fall and allowed to winter. The resulting trees, however, in all likelihood will not produce fruit similar in quality to the fruit you started with. The reason for this is that most fruit trees are grafted, meaning a good fruiting top has been attached to a superior set of roots in order to create an overall high performance plant. Finally, in some cases the fruit we eat does not produce viable seed, in which case they won't germinate no matter what you do. Have fun with your project!

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