Along with watermelon, peaches, and other iconic summer fruit, one of the best hot-weather snacks is a nice, ripe apricot. Delicious on their own, on a cheese board, or cooked into jams and sauces, the list of amazing recipes that include apricots is endless.
The only way you can make an apricot better, in fact, is by growing it yourself! We’ve all had the childhood fantasy of plucking a seed from our latest fruit snack, burying it in our backyard, and waking up to a full-grown fruit tree the next morning.
Though this Jack-and-the-Beanstalk-type dream isn’t very accurate, you can and should try growing your own apricot trees. Not just for the fruit harvest, but also for the wonderful experience!
Keep reading to learn everything about apricot trees!
Growing Apricot Trees
You can grow apricot trees in one of two ways: from seed, or by transplanting a young plant into your backyard. Neither method is better than the other, but there are important differences that you should be aware of.
These two guides will walk you step-by-step through the process of planting and growing apricot trees from seed. The process is long but incredibly rewarding. And in case you’re wavering on your decision to grow from seed, they will even remind you of all its benefits!
As mentioned earlier, you don’t need to be a commercial apricot grower to grow your own apricot tree! Learn the ins and outs of this wonderful hobby with my comprehensive guide.
Not sure which variety to start with? Take a look at these handy lists, which will quickly help you narrow down the varieties that will thrive in your geographic location and work best for your particular circumstance.
Or, skip ahead to my varieties section, where I provide in-depth information in individual posts on almost two dozen apricot tree varieties.
Caring for Apricot Trees
The next step after planting your apricot tree, is caring for it! Use these guides to address all of your questions. You’ll be surprised to discover that they’re actually very low maintenance!
This post will give you a high-level view of what apricot tree care looks like. Plus, learn some fun information about apricot tree history—like the fact that they originated over 3000 years ago!
One of the surest ways to ensure healthy tree growth is to provide high-quality, nutrient-rich soil. That means relying on established brands with a reputation of happy customers! This guide will point you to my favorite fertilizers.
But if you’re in a rush, I’ve highlighted my top three for you to check out:
If you’ve never grown a fruit tree before, the idea of pruning might seem strange, if not outright intimidating. The truth is that pruning is an essential step in the care routine of an apricot tree. Learn why and how to do it for yourself in my comprehensive guide!
Like most trees and plants, apricot trees are susceptible to a variety of pests and diseases. These can range from little nuisances to harvest-threatening problems, so it’s good to have an idea of what you might have to deal with.
Of course, the best solution to all pests and diseases is prevention. If it’s a little too late for that, learn how to spot, diagnose, and treat the most common bugs and maladies in your apricot trees.
Apricots in the Kitchen
Now for my favorite part: apricots in the kitchen!
First thing’s first: learn how to harvest apricots without damaging the fruit or the tree.
If you’re interested in apricots on a molecular level, then this post is for you. Take a closer look at what’s going on under that bright orange skin.
What do all those nutrients mean for your body? Learn exactly why apricots are healthy for you, which will make you enjoy them all the more for it!
Say you’re not quite ready to eat all your apricots after the harvest. What do you do with them? Check out the ways I think apricots store best.
Not sure what to do with that big apricot harvest? Make jam! Not only is it delicious, but it will last you long enough for you to enjoy the taste of home-grown apricots well after the harvest season.
Take a look at all the amazing apricot tree varieties out there.
Can my pets eat apricots?
I don’t know about your dog, but mine follows me everywhere in the kitchen, hoping for a scrap of food to fall to the floor and escape my notice. So what happens if a piece of apricot falls to the ground, and your pets eats it up?
The answer is yes, your dogs and cats can eat apricot in small quantities. However, apricot leaves, stems, and pits can be toxic for them. If any of those parts of consumed, your pet might need medical attention.
Are apricot seeds poisonous?
With too much consumption, yes. There have been several cases reported over the years of people who have sadly passed away from toxicity akin to cyanide poisoning after consuming too much apricot seed extract.
This is due to the presence of a chemical called amygdalin in the apricot seed, which the human body converts into cyanide when ingested. While consuming a bit of apricot seed is not likely to be lethal, the exact level at which consumption becomes toxic or lethal is unknown.
For that reason, it’s wise to be wary and avoid consuming apricot seed and apricot seed extract whenever possible.
What are the health benefits of apricots?
The health benefits provided by apricots are vast! These tasty fruits are completely free of sodium, cholesterol, and saturated fats, making them a sweet treat even for those on restricted diets.
They are fortified with up to 20% of the daily advised intake of vitamin A, and are a great source of soluble fiber and potassium. They also help your body to raise good cholesterol levels and lower bad cholesterol levels naturally, while not containing any additional cholesterol themselves.
Of particular note to many, apricots are also extremely high in beneficial antioxidants, making them a key component in fighting free radicals in the body that can otherwise lead to all kinds of illnesses. Regular consumption of apricots can give you a serious health and wellness boost in lots of different areas!
For more info, check out the apricots in the kitchen section.
How should I store my apricots?
If you’re hoping to ripen up your apricots, it’s always best to keep them at room temperature! Ideally, you will want to place them in a paper bag on a countertop or other area removed from extreme heat or cold.
As soon as an apricot is introduced to cold temperatures, such as in the refrigerator, it hampers the ripening process. When your apricots are at the desired ripeness, you can place them in the fridge to slow down any further ripening, and enjoy the fruit when you’re ready!
Can I grow an apricot tree at home?
You absolutely can! In fact, apricots are one of those fruit trees that can be grown from the seed within the fruit itself! Take a look at my growing apricot trees section for comprehensive growing guides.
What can I do with a lot of apricots?
Because they’re not often named among the most popular fruits in modern groceries, apricots sometimes fly under the radar. These delicious relatives to plums and peaches are a sweet, tart delicacy, but you may find yourself wondering precisely what to do with them once you’ve grown them, or if you’ve happened to purchase a large crop.
Luckily, these fruits are very versatile for use in cooking and are great for eating raw! Being mindful to remove the pit, apricots are a delectable treat, particularly on a hot summer day. You can also include them in fruit salads, smoothies, and pies, or even blend them into an ice cream or frozen yogurt base.
Apricots also make for a fantastic jam component, where they’re often one of the most sought-after flavors on the modern American market. Check out my very own apricot jam recipe!
If you’re not a fan of the texture of apricots, as some folks aren’t, you can also freeze dry them and consume them that way; this will give them an extra boost of sweetness and you may find the texture more appealing that way.
Grow Apricot Trees!
Now that we’ve gotten you started on your apricot tree growing journey, bookmark this page and check back often for new content. In the meantime, learn a little more about other great fruit trees: