Apricots are one of the most popular fruits in the world. They grow wild throughout much of the Northern Hemisphere from Canada to South America and even into Africa. They have been cultivated since ancient times, but their popularity was only recently brought under control with the introduction of European varieties such as Golden Delicious or Red Delicious. These early cultivars were not suited for tropical climates where they could not compete with other crops and died out quickly.
The first commercial apricot trees were planted in California in 1852. By 1890 there were over 10,000 acres of them producing thousands of tons of fruit annually. However, these trees were not adapted to the tropics and died off rapidly after being transplanted. In fact, they did so fast enough that by 1900 they had become extinct!
In recent years scientists have discovered that many species of apricots are actually hybrids between two different kinds of apricots. One of these hybrid types is the “red” variety, which produces red fleshy fruits rather than yellow ones. This type was introduced into Australia in 1891 and became very popular there until it disappeared completely from that country in 1932.
A second type, called the “golden”, produces golden fleshy fruits instead of red ones. This type was introduced into New Zealand in 1893 and became very popular there until it vanished entirely from that island in 1926. Both the red and golden apricots are entirely different species from the yellow or “orange” varieties that became extinct in California.
All of these different groups (red, gold, orange, and yellow) can be reproduced by seed. This fact has finally allowed scientists to begin recreating apricot “varieties” in warmer areas where they became extinct. In recent years two new hybrid types have been produced, one red and one golden. These varieties are being planted out and grafted to create more varieties adapted for warmer, tropical climes.
In this guide you can read about all the amazing benefits you get from apricot trees. We provide you also with detailed instructions how to grow an apricot tree from seeds.
If you want to grow your own apricot tree, the first thing you need to know is that not all types of apricots grow true to type i.e. from seed. There are two basic types:
1. Prunus armeniaca
These include the so-called “apricot” variety as well as other similar types like “Daughtermaker”, “Blirel”, and “Green River”.
2. Prunus incense (sometimes called Prunus salicina)
These are a different type of apricot altogether. They are smaller, seed more easily, and taste a bit different. They are also the type of apricots usually dried to make what we call “dried apricots” or used in Chinese medicine (especially for coughs).
If you want to grow an apricot tree of the first type (Prunus armeniaca), you will need two things:
Sources & references used in this article:
The effect of spraying a growth promoting bacterium on the yield, growth and nutrient element composition of leaves of apricot (Prunus armeniaca L. cv. Hacihaliloglu) by A Esitken, H Karlidag, S Ercisli, M Turan… – Australian Journal of …, 2003 – CSIRO
Effects of pre-blossom temperatures on flower development and fruit set in apricot by J Rodrigo, M Herrero – Scientia Horticulturae, 2002 – Elsevier
Effects of paclobutrazol on vegetative and reproductive growth and leaf mineral content of mature apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) trees by K Arzani, HR ROUSTA – 2004 – sid.ir
Brown rot of stone fruits on the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Areas. II. Aetiology of the disease in Trevatt apricot trees by PF Kable – Australian Journal of Agricultural Research, 1969 – CSIRO
Floral biology of ‘Búlida’apricot trees subjected to postharvest drought stress by MC Ruiz‐Sanchez, J Egea, R Galego… – Annals of applied …, 1999 – Wiley Online Library