Asian pears are round, and commonly go by other names including Japanese pear, apple pear, Chinese pear and Nashi. These firm, tart and slightly sweet pears ripen on the tree, rather than after they are picked like the common supermarket pear. Asian pears are light green to yellow in colour. By harvesting and sowing the seeds contained within the Asian pears, gardeners can plant an entire backyard orchid in inexpensive, simple steps. Although growing Asian pear trees from seed is relatively simple, the tree grown from seed may not be exactly like the tree the seed came from.
Cut open a ripe Asian pear with a sharp knife and extract the seeds. Rinse the seeds off under running water and dry on paper towels. Store the Asian pear seeds in a glass jar, tucked away somewhere dark and cool, until four to five months before the last hard frost.
Pour clean sand into a zip bag to fill it halfway. Add water to the sand to moisten. The sand needs to be damp without being too soggy, which could accelerate the growth of seed-killing fungi. Push the Asian pear seeds under the damp sand and close the bag. Store the bag containing the Asian pear seeds in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator for three to four months.
Check on the progress of the Asian pear seeds every two weeks during this three to four month period of stratification. When all of the seeds begin to grow tiny, white sprouts, remove them from the refrigerator.
Place the desired number of peat pellets into a seed-starting flat. Moisten and expand the peat pellets with 1 or 2 cups of water, depending upon how many peat pellets you have. Push the Asian pear seeds into the expanded peat pellets, covering them ¼ inch with the peat soil. Peat pellets consist of dried peat soil compacted down into small, coin-like shapes, surrounded with netting that expands and moistens with water.
Sprinkle more water over the peat pellets and cover the flat with clear, cling film. Do not pull the plastic tight, as the seeds need proper air circulation to germinate.
Move the flat somewhere warm. Keep the flat away from bright or direct light while the seeds are germinating. Continue to spray the Asian pear seeds with water to keep the peat moist.
Remove the covering when the Asian pear seeds germinate above the peat soil. Move the flat to a brighter area such as a sunny windowsill until 6 inches in height.
Dig an area totalling 2 square feet with a shovel when the last spring frost has passed. Scoop the existing soil out of the planting site and place in a wheelbarrow. Amend the soil in the wheelbarrow with an equal amount of peat moss and aged manure. Add a 1/2 cup of 10-10-10, slow-release fertiliser into the soil. Mix compost and fertiliser into the soil with the shovel.
Add enough of the amended soil back into the hole until filled. Insert one Asian pear seedling into the hole, levelling it so it sits in the soil at an equal level as in the expanded peat pellet.
Water the Asian pear regularly, not allowing the soil to dry out. As the tree grows taller, tie the main, central stem to a stake with flexible ties.
Things you need
- Sharp knife
- Paper towels
- Glass jar
- Clean sand
- Zip bag
- Peat pellets
- Seed-starting flat
- Cling film, clear
- Peat moss
- Aged manure
- 10-10-10 fertiliser, slow-release
- Flexible ties