How to Successfully Grow Apricot Trees from Store-Bought Fruit

Have you ever wondered if it’s possible to grow apricot trees from store-bought fruit? The answer is a resounding yes! In fact, one gardener in Garden Grove has successfully grown four apricot trees from the seeds of store-bought fruit. These trees are now five feet tall and bear delicious apricots. If you’re eager to try this yourself, keep reading to find out how to get started.

Planting Apricot Seeds from Store-Bought Fruit

When it comes to planting apricot seeds, there are a few key steps to follow. First, it’s important to note that each apricot pit contains a single seed. Unlike seeds picked directly from a tree, which need to be refrigerated for 4-6 weeks to simulate the cold required for germination, store-bought apricots and their seeds have typically already undergone this cold treatment. So, you don’t need to refrigerate them before planting.

To plant the apricot seed, carefully crack open the pit with a pliers, nutcracker, or vise, and extract the seed. Then, plant it 1-2 inches deep in a well-draining soil mix. Since the seed has already been chilled, it should sprout within a few weeks.

Consider the Chilling Requirement

While germinating the apricot seeds shouldn’t be an issue, it’s essential to consider how much cold your variety of apricot tree needs to produce flowers and fruit. In Orange County, the annual average number of chill hours (winter hours below 45 degrees) is around 300. Apricots typically require between 300-1000 hours of winter chill to flower, depending on the variety.

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If you have a variety with a low chilling requirement of around 300 hours, you can expect flowers and fruit to develop within 3-5 years of planting the seed. However, if your store-bought apricots come from a variety that requires significantly more winter cold than 300 hours, you may not have a harvest to enjoy.

Self-Pollination and Cloning

The fact that your friend successfully grew sweet apricots from store-bought fruit seeds isn’t surprising. Apricots, along with peaches and nectarines, are self-pollinating and self-fertile. This means they don’t require another tree for pollination, and the seeds planted from their fruit often grow into trees that produce similar fruit.

It’s worth noting that other stone fruits, such as almonds, oranges, lemons, limes, and mandarins, also grow true to seed. However, to ensure you have a seedling that produces identical fruit to the parent plant, it’s best to sprout several seeds. Some citrus seeds are polyembronic, meaning they produce multiple seedlings. The most robust among them is likely to be the clone you desire.

Expert Advice for Choosing Varieties

If you’re unsure about which apricot variety is best suited for your area, it’s always a good idea to consult with a fruit tree expert. Gary, the fruit tree expert at Laguna Hills Nursery, can provide valuable guidance on selecting the most appropriate apricot varieties for your specific climate.

Bonus Tips

While this article focuses on growing apricot trees from store-bought fruit, there are other interesting gardening questions worth exploring. For example, if you discover ground bees nesting in your garden, don’t worry! These bees are generally non-aggressive and can be easily encouraged to move by filling their nesting holes with water.

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Additionally, if you or someone in your household suffers from asthma and is sensitive to scented flowers, it’s essential to know which types of flowers are safe to plant. While the pollen from flowers pollinated by bees, beetles, or birds typically aren’t problematic, there are some flowers to avoid if you want to minimize allergic reactions.


Growing apricot trees from store-bought fruit is an exciting and rewarding gardening project. With the right techniques and considerations, you can cultivate your own apricot tree that will eventually bear delicious fruit. Remember to select the appropriate variety for your climate and consult with experts to ensure success. Happy gardening!

Ames Farm Center