Growing Apple Seeds
Growing little apple trees from seed is great fun. It is a great experience for kids to be able to take a seed from a fruit that they have eaten and watch it grow into a little tree.
- apples (preferably local, organic; but store bought ones are ok too)
- paper towel
- potting compost
- zip-lock bag
- Remove the seeds from the apple.
- Place the seeds in a warm dry place and allow them to dry out completely
- Wet the paper towel and then squeeze excess water from the towel. Fold it so that it will fit into a small zip lock bag
- Place the apple seeds onto the paper towel and place into the zip lock bag
- Place in the refrigerator. Leave the seeds to germinate – this will take approximately 1 month but may be faster or slower.
- Once small shoots appear from the seeds, remove them from the refrigerator as they need to be placed in pots
- Fill your pots with potting compost. Use your finger to poke a hole in the compost about half an inch deep.
- Very carefully transfer the apple seeds into the hole you have just made, and gently cover with soil.
- Water the seed until the soil is damp.
- Place the pot in a warm, sunny position. Water whenever the soil becomes dry.
- Watch your apple seed grow.
- It is important to keep the compost damp but not wet – otherwise your seedling will not prosper.
- It is fun to try to grow seeds from different varieties of apple. If you do this, don’t forget to write the name of the variety on your zip lock bag.
- Apples are normally propagated by grafting because they do not produce true from seed – in other words, the fruit on the seedling is unlikely to resemble to apple the seed came from. Your seeding is a true experiment – it may produce fruit that tastes wonderful, or it may not! Who knows, maybe you will have created a new, delicious variety of apple!
- It will take about 3-4 years for an apple tree to bear fruit – it make take up to 10 years before that fruit is edible! Don’t let that stop you and your kids enjoy the fun though!
- Combine this activity with a reading of the story of Johnny Appleseed.