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Nature is Elegant: How to grow an apple tree from a seed

Growing trees and progressing green living is a passion in our Green Life community. This project is one of our kids' favorites, and our kitchen windows are lined with apple tree sprouts.

Supply List

  • apples (preferably local, organic; but store bought ones are ok too)

  • paper towel

  • pots

  • potting compost

  • zip-lock bag


  1. Remove the seeds from the apple.

  2. Place the seeds in a warm dry place and allow them to dry out completely

  3. 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

  4. Place the apple seeds onto the paper towel and place into the zip lock bag

  5. Place in the refrigerator. Leave the seeds to germinate – this will take approximately 1 month but may be faster or slower.

  6. Once small shoots appear from the seeds, remove them from the refrigerator as they need to be placed in pots

  7. Fill your pots with potting compost. Use your finger to poke a hole in the compost about half an inch deep.

  8. Very carefully transfer the apple seeds into the hole you have just made, and gently cover with soil.

  9. Water the seed until the soil is damp.

  10. Place the pot in a warm, sunny position. Water whenever the soil becomes dry.

  11. Watch your apple seed grow.


  1. It is important to keep the compost damp but not wet – otherwise your seedling will not prosper.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. Combine this activity with a reading of the story of Johnny Appleseed.

In natural elegance,

Green Life

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