How Do I Start to Grow Fruit Trees?

I would like to try and grow fruit trees from seeds. Do I let the seeds dry out and if so where do I start do I just put them in soil and hope for the best?

Botanical Journeys Plant Guides

It is best to plant fruit trees seeds while they are fresh. After you have eaten a particularly delicious piece of fruit, rinse any remaining flesh off the seeds and plant them right away.

I use small pots of sterile potting mix. Other gardeners have had success planting fruit tree seeds directly in the ground but I like to get the trees up to a certain size (2-4 feet tall) in pots before subjecting them to the rigors of growing in the open ground.

Bury the seeds as deep as they are wide. For instance, apple tree seeds would need about a quarter inch of soil covering them while peach pits would need about 2 inches.

If you can't tell which end goes up (mango seeds, etc.) plant them on their sides.

You should know that seedling fruit trees often take many years longer to produce fruit than grafted or cutting grown trees.

Some may never fruit at all. Others will produce fruit that is not worth eating.

Seedling fruit trees will sometimes be much larger than grafted trees. Not all of them will grow or produce fruit in containers.

Even if you plan to grow your orchard outside in the ground, you might want to consider how many more trees you would have room for if you planted grafted dwarf fruit trees.

Some fruit trees that can be grown from seed and will produce quality fruit in a reasonable time are:

  • Loquat

  • Calamondin

  • Key lime

  • Note:Seedling citrus has wicked thorns that grafted citrus does not.

    Once the seedlings sprout, move them into strong light. Keep their soil barely moist. If they dry out, they're goners. If they get too wet, they will rot.

    Feed them any liquid plant food every 4 weeks. Mix it at half strength until the trees are 2 feet tall. Then switch to a food that is formulated for that type of fruit tree.

    Keep shifting the plants into larger pots as they grow. When you see roots peeking out the hole in the bottom of the pot, it's time to put the tree into a pot just 1 size larger.

    Don't wait until the roots begin to circle around inside the pot or the tree's growth may be stunted.

    Growing Fruit Trees

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