Growing almonds from seed

Discussion in 'Fruit and Nut Trees' started by Alec, May 30, 2008.

  1. Alec

    Alec Member

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    I live in Detroit, Michigan and I have a 5 year old almond tree in my back yard. Almond trees do live in North America climate. I received this plant by mail order, it was 1 foot high and now it is about 15 feet high. The nut is bitter to the taste and I have been looking for the kind that is sweet almond (regular kind you find in stores). Well I need to know what is the best way to grow almond from the nut. I tried several times and could not get them to germinate . Any input from you will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. LeonaS

    LeonaS Member

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    Hi Alec,

    I’ve successfully germinated 6 almonds seeds using the following method:

    Soak the seeds in water overnight. Soak lots of them as some may not germinate and some may get moldy.

    Take a nut cracker and crack or split the nuts just so they open up a little (at the seam).

    Plant the nuts in good quality soil on their sides with the seam up leaving some of the seed exposed.

    Place containers holding seeds on a cookie sheet and place on top of a heating pad set on low or medium depending on how hot your heating pad gets.

    Water and wait. Watch for mold. The soil may need to be sprayed with damp off every once in a while if mold appears. I can’t tell you how long they took to germinate as I didn’t keep track.

    I heard that if you plant the seed as above, then place in the fridge for a few weeks prior to placing them in a warm spot (or like I did on a heating pad) it will help them to germinate faster.

    I’m trying both methods and have just pulled some out of the fridge. It’ll be interesting to see if they do germinate faster.

    I guess the big question is whether they will grow successfully and actually produce nuts. I’ve read on the internet that most nut trees require 2 trees in order to pollinate. I’ve also read, again on the internet, that nut trees grown from seed won’t produce nuts. I guess we’ll see.

    I live in a zone 5 climate. We can grow hazelnuts, walnuts, chestnuts and almonds. My neighbor has almonds. They are good to eat but the nut is smaller and the shell is thicker than the ones you buy in the store. His almond trees were grafted onto peach trees as we can successfully grow peach trees here. I may have to experiment and try that with mine as it probably gets to cold here to just plant them in the ground.

    I was able to germinate hazelnuts using this method as well.

    PS: There was another gal on this website who successfully grew almonds from seed. Her name was "homestaymom". If you search this site for her name I think she explains her method as well (thread started Sept 5/07).

    Good Luck!

    LeonaS
     
  3. bedixon

    bedixon Active Member

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    Not that this will be of great help to you, but for general interest I will relate how I was digging in our compost pile recently and just happened to look down at something that fell by my foot... it was an almond, with wee root hairs and a sprout emerging from it. I couldn't believe it, the almond must have fallen into our kitchen compost and got thrown into the pile; for how long it was there, I don't know. I picked up this perfect little baby and took it straight to the greenhouse and into a pot. I let the sprout just emerge from the soil, and several weeks later it's now about 7 inches tall and looking good. I don't think I could have done this intentionally, so it was a fortunate moment - I could so easily have stepped on it, or dug it back into the heap. Good luck with your almond sprouting... and maybe try your luck at throwing a few into your compost heap, you never know!
     
  4. LeonaS

    LeonaS Member

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    This is quite funny. It just so happens I was at a supper tonight and met a woman who has 3 almonds trees growing in her back yard. She started them from whole almonds, used for baking (no shell), that she bought out of a bin at a grocery store. She germinated them indoors and planted the trees outside last summer. They actually made it through the winter (zone 5). I didn't get a chance to ask her all the fine details but I will and I'll let you know.

    LeonaS
     
  5. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Ready-shelled almonds won't be at all easy to germinate, as they dry out and die soon after having the protective shell removed. Almonds bought in the shell have a much better chance of being viable.

    Note though that sweet almonds are just cultivars of the species, selected for low cyanogen content; this trait is not necessarily inherited by seedlings. To guarantee production of sweet almonds, the selected cultivars have to be propagated vegetatively by grafting.
     
  6. LeonaS

    LeonaS Member

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    Alec,

    I just wanted to let you know that more of the seeds did in fact germinate after being in the fridge and also that they germinated faster.

    LeonaS
     
  7. LeonaS

    LeonaS Member

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    Hi Alec,

    I went to the ladies house that has the almond trees in her yard that she grew from seed. She did nothing special to the seeds to get them to germinate. She planted them in soil put a peice of saran wrap over them to help keep in the moisture, watered them regularly and eventually they sprouted. This was around February/07. She kept them indoors until late August then started taking them outside to harden them off. She planted them in in full sun in her garden in early September and watered them regularly. They made it through the winter and are now about 1 to 1 1/2 feet tall with lots of branches and leaves. They look very healthy.

    So that's it. Good luck with your seeds. Even if they don't produce nuts, it's still fun to see if you can actually get them to germinate and watch them grow.

    Leona
     
  8. tmzt

    tmzt Member

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    I too am going to try to grow an almond tree from seeds. I received some almonds seeds from Greece and I have searched high and low on instructions in how to plant them, until I read your post....Thank You!!! Only question I have is, my father picked them off the tree before he came home. Are the seeds ready to be planted as you stated, or should the seeds dry out some? My husband believes the seeds need to dry out some, as he believes they are too green still.

    Thanks,
    Teresa




     
  9. LeonaS

    LeonaS Member

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    Hi Teresa,

    I'm not sure about drying them out but I think your husband may be right. The ones I planted were definetly dry. Depending on how many seeds you have you could try a few but save some and dry them out.

    One thing I did find out is that setting them in the fridge for a month or two made a big difference in the germination rate. I also didn't have to use a heating pad after I pulled them out of the the fridge and the almond trees were healthier. When I put them in the fridge I planted them in a container of half sand half peat moss and then put a lid on the container. I made sure the dirt was a bit damp but not soggy. The fridge, minus heating pad method worked the best. Let me know how it goes. I have six trees planted outside right now and they are doing great. It'll be interesting to see if they make it through the winter.
     
  10. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    For planting, they are much better 'green', NOT dried out.
     
  11. Tledbetter

    Tledbetter Member

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    I have had a Halls HArdy Almond tree for about ten years. My biggest problem is either Japanese Beetles or Squirrels. Hot pepper spray kept the squirrels away this year and insecticide kept the beetles away after the blooms died away. The almonds in my tree have a buttery flavor. I would like to see if planting one would actually get me a tree that bares fruit. Thanks for all the advice you have given.
     
  12. joshuaslocum

    joshuaslocum Member

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    I've not had any success yet with almonds - but I have grown hazelnuts, avocados, loquats, and apricots (and oaks (which are edible by the way) all from seeds (that i ate the fruit or got the shell directly off the ground from under a tree).

    it's such a fantastic thing to do. my biggest mistake with the hazelnuts was putting some of them in full sun after they had grown about 6 inches. they shrivelled and died immediately.

    i have some pictures up on the dwarf fruit trees blog

    http://www.dwarffruittrees.org
     
  13. JenniferJackson

    JenniferJackson Member

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    It is against the law to sell almonds that grow in this country that aren't pasteurized. The law was passed in 2007. You would have to import "raw" almonds from italy or somewhere in europe to grow from seed. If they say they are raw in the grocery they are not if they are from the US.
     
  14. farmer10

    farmer10 Member

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    hi everybody,

    i am new here. just wondering, i am going to try grow some almond trees from seed. now information i got with the seeds, says to crack seed then put in fridge. i was reading some of your posts and it says to soak them in water overnight. which is best.

    have a great day
    happy thanksgiving
    wayne
     
  15. Sparkling

    Sparkling Member

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    Alec, I know you posted this about 4 years ago... but if you happen to still have those bitter almonds, I would love to have some seeds from them! Please email me and I will give you my address to send the seeds to. tinyzoo (at) yahoo [dot] com

    Or if you have a sapling that would be awesome! I live in Oregon. I am willing to pay shipping via paypal.

    Thanks for considering it.


    I have grown avocados from seed several times but they always die when they get to about a foot tall. How do you keep them alive after that?


    That's very encouraging news! Thank you Leona!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 2, 2012
  16. alexofthefrozennorth

    alexofthefrozennorth New Member

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    Hi all. I'm new to Campbell River and since moving here (from the frozen north) have installed a small greenhouse and have been growing olives, figs, grapes, black Hungarian peppers and a pomegranate with varying degrees of success. I've just come back from Mexico where I gathered a few fallen almond fruits. The locals told me they were edible and ripe (reddish not green). I'm now thinking of trying to grow these but have not removed them from their soft outer fruit casing yet (the fruits are like a peach. seed/shell/outercasing). The previous posts speak to taking seeds or seeds in their hard shell and starting from there. Anyone have suggestions for starting from the raw red fruit stage? Thanks.
     
  17. bonsaipf

    bonsaipf Member

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    I have had success growing the seeds by collecting very fresh almonds and then cracking and planting them almost immediately. I have also had success starting them by storing them in in a cool dry place over the winter (in their shells) and then cracking them and planting them. I now have a few seedlings. I would have had more by now except I only recently discovered where there are some almond trees growing in my area and also just very recently (within the last two years) thought about trying to grow them.
     

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