Author Options:

Are there any fruit trees that will grow "true" from the fruit's seeds? Answered

For example, an apple tree grown from the seed of an apple from the grocery store will have a very small probability of ever producing an edible apple. Are there any varieties of fruit that can grow productive offspring from their seeds? In other words, can I go into the grocery store and buy some fruit, eat the fruit, plant the seeds, and in a few years sell fruit back to grocery store?


Tomatos, peppers, potatoes, berries, and cucumbers/zuccini were all quite successful for us. I'm sure there are lots of other fruits and vegetables that will grow. Things to think about: 1. Climate. I'm in a cold, foggy climate that gets about 8 weeks of "summer" a year. Therefore, I don't think an orange tree will even try. 2. Polination. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but some plants can self polinate, and some require another plant of the same (or hybridable) species nearby to polinate with. I've never tried to grow apples because of my climate, but if I'm correct... you need another apple tree and some bees to move polen back and forth. 3. Hybrids. If your apple is a hybrid, it may produce a plant that is sterile, or it may produce a plant that is one of its parent plants. I'm VERY fuzzy on this subject, but let's just say it messes things up. Wikipedia it.

There are some trees that grow true to seed and some do not. I will give you what I know for some of the more common fruits. Apricots, peaches and nectarines grow fairly true to seed. The fruit might be a little smaller. For apples, I've heard about 20% will be good, 20% will be spitters (really bad) and the rest will be ok, maybe better for cooking or for certain things. 1 in 10,000 will be a variety that someone would patent and commercialize. I haven't researches plums, pears or cherries that much, but I think cherries and pears are more like apples and plums more like apricots. Pears can take a really long time to bear any fruit. Polyembryonic citrus seeds are true. Sweet oranges, grapefruit, key lime, tangerine, and tangelo grow true to seed, but usually are thornier than when grafted. Meyer Lemon, temple orange and pomelo do not grow true to seed. For avocado, 50% will not bear any fruit, 25% will bear good fruit and 25% not good fruit.


8 years ago

Try papaya.  Always had luck with them.

I did have a lemon seed sprout, but I can't say if it was "true". I set it back outside too soon and too young and it didn't make it through the shock. But it is a pretty plant regardless with thorns that my cats don't like.


9 years ago

Youd probably have a better chance at finding "productive" seeds if you get your fruit from a farmer's market, rather than a grocery store. They taste better, too!

The simple answer is ..... well there isn't one really.....but it's not that complicated really.
The tree the fruit comes from is likely to be a grafted one. That is, a very hardy rootstock with a good fruit producing, but probably much less hardy, variety grafted to it.
The difference will be the potential vigour of the tree grown from the seed.
It is possible that the seed could be sterile but this is no barrier.
If the seeds don't grow so be it....they may have been from an inbred sterile variety.
If they do grow then you're on your way.

The fruit will produce true to type seed unless it is cross pollinated with another variety which is unlikely in an intensive orchard situation.
If the seed you have is cross pollinated you might even develop a new variety!.

Grow some of the seeds, "find' some suitable rootstock cutting material, grow some young trees from said cutting material, when they're a metre or so high do your own grafting (Google will help).
The resulting trees will have all the attributes you want, hardiness and maximum fruit production.
An added advantage of doing this is the opportunity to "Multi Graft" , graft more than one variety to a single rootstock. ie If you're using Apples you might grow some Jonathons and some Granny Smiths from seed and graft one of each to one rootstock that you've grown from cutting.
The same applies to most fruit groups (citrus, stone fruits etc).

The best advice is to find a tree in someones Nanna's back yard that's been there forever and produces lots great fruit.
This is likely to be a "Species" variety, that is, a non hybridized original variety that contains all the attributes needed for it to flourish in the climate it's in.
If that climate matches yours you can proceed with growing the seeds with confidence.
Cross pollination may come into play here too, depending on what trees the "Nanna's" neighbours grow.
Anwya....I hope this helps a bit.
All the best.