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After eating a Honeycrisp apple, I thought I would dry the seeds out and attempt the germination process, just for fun. One apple produced eight seeds, so I sat them on a paper towel to dry them before starting the winterizing process. In a matter of 3-4 days, however, the seed coating started opening and some of the inner white seeds have come out on their own. Is this normal? Does it impact the steps I should take to winterize the seeds to prepare them for germination/implantation?

apple seeds

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Sometimes apples get "winterized" in cold storage before you buy them, and the seeds are already starting to grow inside the apple by the time they are sold.

I would just plant them as they are, and if they don't germinate within say 4 weeks then try winterizing the complete pot they are planted in. Don't try digging them up to see what is going on and risk damaging them.

Note, the seeds will NOT produce "honeycrisp" apples, they will be a hybrid of honeycrisp and whatever pollinated the parent tree. But if you plan to grow them for fun, that might not matter to you.

  • Well that's good to hear, the winterizing process takes a while :) I'm hoping that because the apple that bore these seeds was picked from roughly the middle of a multi-acre honeycrisp field that it isn't a hybrid, but it doesn't really matter and as you said, is just for fun! Thanks! – Tim S. Sep 12 at 18:29
  • Like many commercial apple varieties, honeycrisp is self-sterile. It can't pollinate itself (even from one tree to another) and it is impossible for the seeds to "breed true." Most likely there were a few "pollinator" trees in the orchard as well as the honeycrisps. But you might get lucky - some successful commercial varieties were crosses of a known tree with an unidentified pollinator! – alephzero Sep 12 at 19:25
  • Ah, good to know, thanks for the info! – Tim S. Sep 13 at 1:57
  • @TimS. "the winterizing process takes a while" - yes, but nature's way to do it is just drop the apple on the ground somewhere outside, and wait till next spring - that's not exactly a labour intensive task :) – alephzero Sep 13 at 11:16

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