Can apple trees be grown in the Philippines?
It can be very tough but not impossible to grow and harvest apples in the Philippines. This is because the area is not sufficiently cold or long enough for times when apple trees grow appropriately.
The second difficulty is the sustenance of the apple tree growth owing to the weather in the Philippines. You might want to eat organic, wax-dipped free apples or you might want to grow an apple tree, but whatever the reason may be, growing them is possible.
Apple trees have been grown by some people in the Philippines and it is not impossible. In this article, we will see possible ways on how to grow apple trees in the Philippines.
How do I Make an Apple Tree Grow in the Philippines?
You can let an apple seed germinate by extracting the seeds from an apple bought at your store.
You might not end up with a similar type of apple as you bought in the end. This could be as farmers grow these apples by controlling their generation quality and grafting it over earlier planted apple trees.
Seed germination holds a risk of generating hybrids that can result due to cross-pollination.
In the following section I will take a closer look at some important points to growing and apple tree from the seeds.
Growing Apple Trees From Their Seeds
- Seed Extraction: Take store-bought apples and slice them open. Do not cut your apple in the middle as this is where the seeds are. You want whole apple seeds and by cutting the apple in the center and cut the seed too. Always remember the type of apple you picked up. Cut the portion of the apple with seeds. Poke them and remove them without damaging their exterior or breaking or cutting them. These seeds shall be used to germinate.
- Stratification process: Stratification is essential to germinate apple seeds. This is a process of germinating seeds in a cold environment. You can speed up the stratification process by eliminating seed coat away from the apple seeds. Sink your nail in the pointed seed tip and peel the seed coat off the seed. This should be done without bruising the seed.
- Germination: You can germinate the apple seeds taken right from the apple. Then cold stratify the seeds for about 30 days to 40 days. This is when you will notice some white sprouts emerging from them.
- Post-germination: When you notice white sprouts on these seeds, then they are ready to be mixed with soil. Germination takes about 2 weeks to about a month. Drop these sprouted seeds in a container that is about 2 feet deep. Cover the seeds with compost. Wait until it grows.
- Planting in the ground: You can either continue growing the apple tree in a controlled environment in pots or once the apple tree has grown to a certain height with good roots, transfer it to the ground. The other method is to use these cold stratified seeds and plant them into the ground.
Step by Step Guide For a Clear Cut Procedure
- Take a container that has a proper lid or an empty box.
- Take kitchen towels and fill them by folding them. You can also use tissue paper.
- Dampen or wet the tissue paper or kitchen towel. Make a little puddle in it.
- Place these apple seeds over these towels. Ensure that the seeds get wet as well.
- The apple seeds should get wet but not drown.
- Cover this container with a lid or cover the box. Place it in the refrigerator.
- The ideal stratification temperature is between 40 deg F to 41 deg F/4.4 deg C to 5 deg C.
- Leave the box/container within the refrigerator for about 8 weeks.
- Check the apple seeds post this time. You will notice white tails developing on the seeds. This ensures germination is successful.
Potting the seeds
- Take a decent spaced pot(s) and fill the pot(s) with sufficient soil. Use loam soil being the most nutritious amongst all types of soil.
- You can use more than a pot to plant these seeds as there are chances that some seeds might not successfully grow into a plant while others can. This is because some seeds have germinated more actively than others.
- Place 2 of the apple seeds in one pot. You shall place 2 as either of them can grow and if both of them do, you will have to re-pot them in a different pot.
- To ensure loose soil and for repotting them, you can soak the potting soil in water. This will make sure you can loosen up the roots when required without harming the roots. It will also ensure easy detangling of the roots of one plant to another.
- Once you place the seeds, soak them and gradually the soil pulls them in and buries them. Place them in a greenhouse. For people who have no greenhouse, place the pot in a location that is not impacted by frost.
- Water them 2 times per week.
Planting the Apple Tree Seeds
- Plant the seeds in the ground near wintertime. This is because with temperature drop below the ideal temperature can result in rot.
- Gradually release the roots by loosening the soil by soaking it in water.
- Dig a hole in the ground and loosen the soil around the hole.
- Transfer the apple plant into the hole and cover it loosely with soil.
- Water once or twice per week.
Pruning Apple Trees
- Prune them in December as this is the best time to prune apple trees.
- Prune them when the temperature is not below 10 deg C. Give them time to heal for a whole week.
- Once they grow to a sufficient height, plant them into the ground.
Important Tips to Grow Apple Trees Healthier and Faster
- When you plant the apple trees into the ground, you can train the plant to grow their stems in the horizontal direction by using plant clips. This way they tend to flower faster.
- In weather like the Philippines, training plants to flower is crucial as they flower slowly. This is because they have been in pots for the majority of the time.
- You can use organic enhancers to induce flowering.
- Apple trees grow in 3 to 5 hardiness zones with temperatures to set fruit between 32 deg F to 45 deg F.
- Check for pests often.
It is important to remember that growing apple trees in the Philippines is a patience work. However, it is not impossible. Follow the guidelines above to enjoy apples from your yard.