Amazing sprouted apple seed?

klangeAugust 11, 2008


First time post. Shortly after my fiance finished his granny smith apple this morning, I found an apple seed on the floor... It was sprouted! It it common for the seeds to sprout inside the apple? I know it's not an older seed since we never have apples in the house and I just bought it the day before. I put it on a moist paper towel in a baggie. Is it hard to keep apple sprouts alive? Can I do this? Any tips?

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You might get a very nice tree, but since almost all fruit trees are grafted (a strong rootstock below a desired scion), you won't get the same fruit. I'm not sure about Granny Smith's, but for many hybrid varieties, the seed's characteristics can also revert back to one parent or the other.

But growing the tree can still be good fun.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 1:42AM
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gnomey(7b SC zip296)

This is fairly common in tomatoes, but I've never heard of it in an apple. In tomatoes, it's a certain genetic defect that allows the seeds to sprout while still in the fruit. Since your apple seems to have had a similar defect, I would compost the sprout.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 7:06PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Pot it up and grow it on. A young apple tree is attractive in a pot and in a year or two you might use it as a root stock and bud or scion graft a favorite apple on to it. The tree will probably be a standard but can be pruned to size. Al

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 9:08AM
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Many of the apples we get here in Florida actually have seeds that have started to sprout in them. So, it's not very uncommon here, but I do eat a lot of apples sometimes!

The only problem I've had with many of the apple seedlings is that they usually sprout easily in the winter but die in the summer, because so many of them are apples that will only grow up north, probably zone 7 or lower.

Occasionally, I do get a few to survive and grow well, but I never mark which variety of apple I plant. I just kind of collect the seeds in a pile, until there is enough to fill a pot.

Doing this can come back to haunt you, because I've done this with citrus too, and when you mix sweet orange, grapefruit, lemon, and marmalade orange seeds together, you really don't know what's what when they start coming up.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 12:12PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

My old Golden Delicious apple is 50 years old and the forest to its south has grown to provide too much shade. With this in mind I have grown from one of its seeds a new seedling tree. My orchard is dry farmed on a hillside and I need the best roots possible, which describes the Golden Delicious roots. The downside is it is a large tree difficult to manage on a hillside. I have over the years pruned down my old tree and I believe a new tree carefully pruned from the start will be easier to limit its size. Al

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 10:20AM
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I had the same thing happen to me with a granny smith apple. I planted the seed in a pot and a few months later it is now about 4 feet tall. Yours should be just fine as well.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 3:20AM
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Most apple trees need the dormant Winter each year to grow into healthy trees in the Spring and Summer. In apples from the cold-winter states, a seed that sprouts in the apple is actually a defect. Why? Because if that apple had fallen from the tree to the ground, and the seed had begun to grow, it would have been killed by the first frost. This type of apple seed normally needs a period of chilling before one can plant it and expect a little tree to sprout.

Sometimes, though, apples go into cold storage for awhile before they are sold in stores. Then, when the apples warm up on the way to the grocery, the seeds react as though winter has passed and they begin to sprout.

As mentioned by someone else on this site, if the seedling does survive to tree-dom, it will be several years before you see your first apple, and there is no way of knowing what it will taste like. You might have a fantastic new variety, or you might have one so tart only a pie made with lots of sugar could find a use for it. But it's fun to grow your own anyway!

If you have your own property, and have space to spare, there is no reason not to take a chance, see what it turns into.

I wouldn't advise trying to keep one potbound year 'round indoors, though. (Although if you have done Bonsai, and know when to give the plant its cold weather, you might just be able to grow a little apple tree for many a year.)

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 9:28PM
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How big should i let the sprout get ? And how deep in the potting soil should i plant it? THANK YOU

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 8:52PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Dennis I would plant the seed in a four inch pot of mix about 1/4 inch deep. When the seedling gets to about 8 inches tall I would pot up to a one gallon nursery pot. Al

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 10:09AM
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We got three apples that had seven already growing
plants in them (with tiny leaves and roots), we
planted them for three mounts inside and then put
them outside and watered them every day with water
from our vegetable scraps. Planted then about ten
feet apart whe they got to about 3 ft in the autumn
and they seem to have made it through the winter
and are about 4 1/2 feet tall now. Not sure what we
will get from them as it was an apple we don't
usually have regularly, only whatever grows will be
wonderful anyway.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 5:12AM
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I'm so excited to read this! My Husband just handed me two sprouted seeds from an apple he ate. He grew up in apple orchard country and has never had this happen. How fun would it be if they grew into little trees like the stories here! Should I plant them with the little sprouts exposed or covered?

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 12:54AM
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I never heard that about Apple. Onion and Garlic yes they sprout all the time. Potatoes too sprout

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 4:21AM
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LB - if there are seed leaves on your little apple trees, those should be above the growing mix when you pot them up. The first leaves are cotyledon/seed leaves and I've read somewhere they're actually part of the embryo. The next leaves are the first "true" leaves.

I winter sowed 4 apple seeds given to me by a neighbor and all 4 have sprouted and sent out their first true leaves. They're about 2 inches tall so as soon as I see the second set of true leaves forming, I'll pot them up to grow on.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 7:05AM
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I just got two sprouted seeds from an apple I ate. I store apples in the fridge, so I think the cold storage that mimicks natural winter is what activated the growth enzyme in the seed. Makes me think it was an old apple, lol

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 4:33PM
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I live in Nigeria, I am trying to grow an Apple tree. I put them in Water three weeks ago, and they are like sprouting. what can I do to see that I can make them germinate very well

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 1:49PM
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Ament(5a SD)

I bought a bunch of Gala apples, cut into one, several of the seeds had just started to sprout. So I put them in a pot with soil, that was a month ago, now they have two sets of true leaves and seem to be doing fairly well.
I'll keep at them and hope they survive through the hot summer here and through the winter inside so that I can plant them outside next spring. Currently, they are and have been outside since placing them in the pots. I water them every other day so as to force strong roots in them. They haven't wilted at all on me yet. :)

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 4:28PM
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I am wondering if these are genetically modified apples and that is what is causing them to sprout inside the apple?

    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 3:28PM
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I had heard that eating the whole apple (core, seeds, and all - well, maybe skip the stem) was better for you. So, having been doing this for a while now I've noticed this several times. Seeing as how I don't really like apples and I live in zone 9, I haven't tried to plant seeds before, even the sprouted ones I've found in the core.

Last night I found three in my apple and put them to the side. I went to get a small dish of water and by the time I got back to put them in, the root tips poking out were "oxidizing" much like the core will do if you leave it sitting out for a short while.

Come to think of it, reminds me of mung bean sprouts left out on the counter - they also start to turn brown. Is this a general quality of young sprout roots? If I had gotten them in the water as quickly as possible, would it still have happened?

And, finally, does anyone know if there is any hope for these three little guys going forward? I'll report back what happens.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 7:01AM
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To armymom16 who posted above me...

My guess would be that the cold storage apples are put through from the time they are picked until the time they reach our grocery cart has to do with it. It's a common suggested step to give many types of seeds cold dormancy/ conditioning prior to planting, and I think this globalization system definitely has to do with it considering the distance and time the apple traveled and spent in a refrigerated environment. The apple seeds I just mentioned came from a Chilean apple!

At any rate, I think it probably means the apple is old, if anything else...

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 7:11AM
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Cut open a gala apple for breakfast, and all of the seeds were sprouted. One even had roots. Since reading this thread I have since put it in some dirt with some water. I have the perfect pot for it but couldn't find it quickly so used an old egg carton I was saving for seedlings.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 2:53PM
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Have you read the history of the Granny Smith Apple? It grew from a seedling in a scrap pile in the corner of an old Woman named Smith. It might grow into a nice apple tree or it may not. Most apple cultivars today started from an unknown seedling. Granny Smith Apples have sprouted seeds in quite often.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2014 at 5:45PM
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