Sprouting apricot hybrid seeds?

milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)March 5, 2014

I put some seeds from a Black Velvet apricot away and I just now found them. I have heard that they need to be warm stratified and then cold stratified. How is this best accomplished?

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I don't know the answer to your question; but wonder how long the nuts have been "away", and how dry they may have become. The test of viability for walnuts, acorns, chestnuts, etc., is to put them in water, and reject the ones that float, as they are too dry remain viable.

I don't know if this holds for apricots; but I would check before investing much effort in them if they have been laying around for long.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 10:47PM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)


I put the Black Velvet plumcot seed in the fridge around late August of 2013 and in January 2014 I used a nut cracker to crack the shell of the seed open and planted it. I will attach the picture for you to see.


    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 11:16PM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)


I wish I hadn't forgotten about them. They've been in a drawer since September. So at this point I could just plant them outside and cover the area with some hardware cloth. Is this the best way? For some reason I am hesitant to crack them.

When warm stratifying, do they need to be kept moist, or would the warmth of the drawer satisfy that requirement?

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 2:46PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I think warm stratification will cause rotting. I'd plant them outside right now where you want the trees and see if they'll grow. Next time plant them in September or even right after fruit harvest. I've done that several times with apricots and they come up in early spring.

PS: Last time I tried cold chilling type stratification most of the seeds rotted. That's why I'll plant directly in place as I harvest the seeds next time I try this. I might plant apricot and pluot seeds this summer. That's natures way and you will get the warm/cold regimes.

This post was edited by fruitnut on Thu, Mar 6, 14 at 15:51

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 3:16PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

I'd plant directly. I've done a ton of cold stratification of seeds over the years. Pears/apples are simple...no issues, but stonefruit are tougher. Peaches and apricots both want to sprout so fast (usually after Christmas) that you have to baby them (around here) until April or later. Plus they get a lot of rot issues if you don't catch it in time (i tend to forget about them in the refrigerator). Sweet cherries i find impossible to get to sprout. I think i've had one or two successes out of probably 100+ seeds. Plant in the ground or even in a pot outside and just let them wake up when mo nature decides.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 4:40PM
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aphahn(6a CO)

I crack the pits slowly with a bench vice to avoid crushing them, the put them on moist vermiculite in a clear plastic container in the fridge. Transplant when the root sprouts. I get nearly 100% germination with stone fruit this way (never tried cherries). Though, it can take months with some species. Using a medium like vermiculite helps prevent the seed from rotting.
Planting them outside should work well too, just protect them from rodents!


    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 11:52PM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

When you say, "crack" do you mean fracture or remove?

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 12:53AM
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aphahn(6a CO)

The goal is to remove the shell, but the bench vice is only to start the process by cracking it. Putting the presure on the "seam" works very well to avoid damaging the kernel.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 2:01PM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

Sorry to be a pest, but does it help to soak them first?

I think I'll practice on some seeds that I put in my canned peaches last year; a little trick I learned from my grandma to keep oxidization down (or turning brown, as she called it)

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 8:42PM
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No point in soaking, to dense of a shell to be softened that way.

So this seed grows true I take it if both you and Tony are wanting to do it.

Since you didn't seem to embrace the vise method you must not have one. So how about vise grips? start carefully, clamp then release, tighten 1/4 turn clamp again & so on. this will keep you from going too far and ruining the seed.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 9:08PM
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aphahn(6a CO)

I have never tried soaking them. Soaking can help remove germination inhibitors in some seeds, but it can also cause them to rot. I would only try it if they won't germinate for you.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 10:42AM
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