I recently found a sprouted pip inside a Pink Lady apple. How can I grow a plant from it, preferably indoors? I live in a cool climate, in Scotland.

I would just like to grow the plant; I do not mind particularly whether it yields edible fruit.

2 Answers 2


If you try this, you will definitely not get "pink lady" apples, you will get something random, and you might have to wait 7 to 10 years before you get any fruit at all. Also apples grown from pips are more susceptible to disease than those propagated by grafting.

It's unusual that your pip has already sprouted. Normally apples need a spell of cold conditions to make them germinate. Maybe it was in cold storage for a long time before it got to the shop. Just plant it in ordinary potting compost, and see what you get!

To germinate pips that haven't sprouted already, remove them from the apple, wrap them in some damp cloth, seal them in a plastic bag and put them in the fridge (but not in the freezer!). Check every 2 weeks that the cloth is still damp and see if any of the pips have sprouted. If they have, plant them in a pot.

If you have no success after about 10 weeks in the fridge, give up - apples have a poor germination rate, and one in four germinating is better than average.

(Of course the "easier" way is just to plant them in the ground out of doors, and let winter do the chilling for you)

To be honest you would probably do better buying a tree that is grafted onto a dwarf or miniature rootstock. They are perfectly hardy grown outdoors (even in Scotland) - they will need a 24 inch pot or container when they are mature. If you try to grow one indoors, it will probably not get enough light. All fruit trees really need full sun all day.

Also keep in mind that apple trees are deciduous - they drop their leaves in autumn so your "house plant" will just be bare branches for 5 or 6 months of the year. If it doesn't get cold enough in winter when grown indoors to make it drop its leaves, it won't thrive in the long term.

  • 1
    A note from personal experience: A few years ago our family were getting lots of Pink Ladies from the supermarket. Many of them had sprouting pips in them, often multiple sprouting within one apple. We tried nurturing some of these (outdoors of course). Many died after awhile (most through neglect), but here it is about 10 or 12 yrs. later. One of them has become a small tree, and we are getting nice tasting fruit from it for the third year now. The apples do somewhat resemble Pink Lady: possibly a little yellower, a bit more "starchy"(?), but juicy & sweet...Amazing luck?
    – Lorel C.
    Nov 3, 2018 at 15:02
  • The variety (Cripps Pink - "Pink Lady" is just a marketing name) was bred in Australia, and not grown in the UK because the climate is not hot enough, so I guess they spent enough time in cold storage to germinate the pips before they were sold in the UK.
    – alephzero
    Nov 3, 2018 at 18:40
  • @LorelC. I think what alephzero means is that it will be genetically different (and whether or not it resembles Pink Lady, it's not Pink Lady). People tend to exaggerate how different the apples will be, though. They will have some kind of resemblance (it's like kittens from a mongrel; they can be pretty different, but they still get their genes from their parents). Nov 4, 2018 at 1:57
  • My previous comment is assuming that Pink Lady isn't an heirloom (heirloom apples do exist, and they grow true to type, but they may be very hard to find). Apples are diploid; so, although it takes a while to breed stable apples from seed, it's certainly possible. Nov 4, 2018 at 2:31
  • Apparently, Pink Lady isn't even a breed of apple. There are multiple breeds sold under the trademarked name Pink Lady (they—the fruits, not the breed—have to meet quality standards to do so, too). Here's a page that lists some heirloom apples: scottfarmvermont.com/heirloom-apples/collection Nov 4, 2018 at 2:39

I've grown several Apple saplings from sprouting seeds, and I've just put them into seed raising mix until large enough to be potted. However, one I grew out in water or in my Aquaponics system and that's about 6 years old now.

This 4 year old one is in a air pot since I didn't want the tap root killing the tree.

4 year old sapling from Apple seed

But since it's over 7 foot tall I suspect the roots have grown across the air gap into the ground.

Neither have flowered yet and I don't recall which Apple I got them from since it hardly matters since any fruit I get won't resemble its parent. I assumed the seeds had cold stratified in long term refrigeration storage.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.