How to grow pink lady apple trees from seeds

S-Japan/iStock/Getty Images

Pink lady apple trees produce apples that are sweet and crisp, making them ideal for eating fresh or making into pies and tarts. A cross between the golden delicious and the Lady William apple varieties, the pink lady was developed in Australia by John Cripps; that's why the variety is sometimes referred to as Cripps' pink. Apple trees are easy to start from seed, however hybridised varieties, such as pink lady, may not grow true from seed.

Harvest the pips

Slice open a pink lady apple. You can use fresh, ripe apples that you have bought or picked yourself.

Separate the pips from the pulp of the fruit. You can do this by hand or if you are planting larger quantities of seed, mash the fruit gently, then manually pick out the seeds. You can also pour the mashed fruit into a small basin or bucket where the pulp will float and the seeds will sink to the bottom.

Rinse off the pink lady apple tree seeds under cool tap water. Set them aside on to paper towels to dry for about 12 to 14 hours. If you cannot plant the seeds directly or you want to wait until early spring to plant the seeds, proceed to the next step. Otherwise, leave the seeds at room temperature to further dry for three months.

Mix together equal portions of fine sand and sphagnum peat moss. Scoop the mixture into a zipper-top plastic bag or lidded container. Push the apple seeds into the mixture and seal the bag or container closed.

Transfer the bag or container into a refrigerator where it will be stored at a temperature of between 1.5 and 4 degrees C (35F to 40F) for 30 days.

Remove the apple seeds from the sand and peat moss mixture after three months, and plant them.

Plant the seeds

Scoop potting mix or seed-raising mix into 4.5 litre (1 gallon) plastic pots.

Dip each of the pots into a bucket or basin that has about 10 cm (4 inches) of water in it and let the pots soak until the potting mix is saturated. Set the pots aside and let them drain before continuing.

Poke two to three 1.25 cm (1/2 inch) deep holes in the pots. Drop one pink lady apple tree seed into each of the holes, then cover them with no more than 1.25 cm (1/2 inch) of the potting mix.

Transfer the pots to a sheltered location that will provide some filtered light every day. Keep the potting mix moist by misting them with water as needed. Germination should begin in about 30 to 60 days depending on conditions.

Transplant the pink lady apple tree seedlings into their permanent location when they are large enough to handle, generally when they are at least 30 to 35 cm (12 to 14 inches) tall.

Most recent