How To Grow Apricots

Not much rivals the sweetness of a fresh home grown apricot. The super market ones don’t even come close. Apricots are a versatile tree and you can buy a young one on a variety of different root stocks so you can fit them in a pot on a patio or have a full blown majestic tree. Their blossoms in early spring time are also a beautiful sight when everything else is very bare. Follow the tips and tricks below to grow apricots easily at home. 

They are commonly trained into fan shapes to increase yield and make harvesting easier but with a little training and pruning know how they are a super easy and interesting fruit tree to have in your garden. As they are self fertile one tree will do perfectly well on it’s own but having two means more apricots and that’s usually the best bet.

Quick Guide

Perennial 

Hardiness
Hardy
Sunshine
Sun
Watering
Water Well

Various sizes depending on root stock

Apricot blossoms

varieties

There is a lot of different apricots. They are usualy differentiated by size and hardiness. As I live in the north I generally stick to the hardier species as it can get pretty cold up here. These are some suggestions of hardy but delicious Apricots of various sizes that should perform well in the UK. 

Aprigold

This dwarf variety will only reach around 5ft in 10 years! Making it perfect for a large pot. The small size doesn’t affect the crop though and you can expect plenty of yellow/gold fruits.

King

One of the largest apricots (fruit and tree) this impressive specimen may only be suitable in larger gardens but the fruits are worth it if you have the space.

Flavorcot

This Canadian variety is super hardy and a personal favourite. It’s reliability and long cropping season make this a great garden addition. 

Tomcot

Another hardy variety this early cropping tree will provide with fruits before most other things have even got going.

soil

Apricots like deep moist and nutritious soil as they flower early they can be damaged by a late frost so a sunny sheltered spot is best. They also prefer things slightly alkaline so try and avoid a manure based compost. As you will likely be buying a young plant rather than growing from seed (this can take up to four years for your tree to develop enough to fruit so only good if you are in for the long haul) you will only need to think about soil if you are potting up or planting out. If you are planting into the ground make sure you choose a spot with nice, deep soil and dig in some compost a few weeks before you plant. Only move your trees during the dormant season, autumn time is best. 

apricots

timing

  • Move your plants (potting up or planting out) in autumn.
  • Prune after harvest in June - August.

planting

  • A sunny and sheltered spot
  • Use good compost and fertilise well for soil texture and nutrients
  • If growing in containers use one per plant and good quality potting mix

companion planting

Apricots as with most fruit trees will do better if you companion plant to help reply insects that will destroy your crop in no time once they move in. Planting things such as Garlic, leeks or onions around the base of your tree will act as a natural mulch and pest control. I also love planting chives around fruit trees as their flowers help attract pollinators like bees! Strawberries also work really well underneath other fruit trees.

Most root vegetables will compete with tree roots for space and nutrients so these are best avoided. Peppers and chillis are also a big no no and should be kept as far away as possible as they carry a fungus that will just straight up kill your apricot tree if its gets hold. 

care

  • Water well throughout the growing period,
  • If a late frost threatens the blossoms then you can wrap your trees in fleece to keep them warm
  • Pruning should be done after harvesting your fruit as apricots grow on the previous years growth. There is several different shapes you can prune your tree into depending on size and space available including pyramid, fan or bush training.

harvest

Your apricots should be ready July-August when they are soft and come from the tree easily. Be careful with them as they will bruise easily! 

Storing

Apricots won’t last that long fresh so you are better eating all you can then turning the rest into jam or other preserves.

apricots-pile

If you follow the steps and tips above you can grow your own apricot tree that fits perfectly into your garden.

If you want to learn more about apricots and how to preserve them check out the articles below;

We hope that you’ve enjoyed our article and that it has inspired you to turn your green hands to a new challenge.

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