Japanese apricot is one of the glories of late winter. Delicate, lightly fragrant blossoms cover its bare, leafless branches on the cusp of spring's return. A native of China and the Korean peninsula, this small, deciduous tree has a rounded, spreading crown and develops beautiful, gnarled bark with age. It has been in cultivation for centuries, in Japan as well as its countries of origin, so there are lots of delightful cultivars to choose from. Unlike most fruit trees, Japanese apricot is also very long-lived, so most old selections are still in existence.
The simple, tapered, oval leaves of this ornamental apricot appear in mid-spring, after bloom time. They are slightly glossy and light green when they emerge, deepen to drab deep green by summer and then turn shades of yellow in fall. The flower buds emerge and open any time from early winter to early spring, depending on local climate. They are commonly damaged by severe winter cold, so plant them in spots protected by harsh winter winds and cold snaps. The small, single, lightly fragrant flowers are rose-pink. They are pollinated by bees, and the small, yellow apricots that follow mature by late summer. Japanese apricots are edible but have a sour, bitter taste. In Asia they are often pickled. (info source: Learn2Grow.com)
Genus - Prunus
Species - Mume
Common name - Japanese Apricot
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 6 - 9
Height - 18'-25' / 5.5m - 7.6m
Spread - 18'-28' / 5.5m - 8.5m
Plant type - Tree
Vegetation type - Deciduous
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Sun
Growth rate - Fast
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral
Soil type - Clay, Loam, Well Drained
Water requirements - Average water needs. Water regularly, do not over water
Landscape uses - Feature Plant, Fruit / Fruit Tree, Shade Trees, Street Trees
Germination rate - 75%
Bloom season - Early Spring, Early Winter, Winter, Late Winter
Leaf / Flower color - Green, Fall - Yellow, Light Yellow, Yellow Green / Rose - Pink
|1. Soak the seeds in a bowl of cool water overnight. Lay the seeds on a flat surface to dry for several hours.
2. Stratify seeds in a plastic bag full of moist sand inside the refrigerator for 90 days. Keep the sand barely moist during the cold stratification period.
3. Sow the seeds the following spring once outdoor temperatures rise above 65F (+18C) during the day and 48F (+8C) at night. Or sow indoors in the propagator or pots
4. Prepare a pot for each seed. Fill 8-inch plastic pots with garden soil taken from the bed where the trees will eventually be planted. Sow one seed in each pot at a depth of 1 inch.
5. Water the seeds to a depth of 3 inches after planting them. Maintain moisture at a 3-inch depth during the germination process.
6. Place the pots outdoors in a sheltered spot where they will be exposed to direct sun in the morning and afternoon. Protect the seeds from direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day since the soil will warm too quickly and dry out.
7. Watch for sprouting one month after sowing. Maintain the same light and moisture conditions provided to the seeds during germination until they grow to 4 inches in height.
8. Plant the seedlings into a sunny, sandy bed at least 75 days before the first frost in autumn, or shelter the seedlings in a cold frame until the following spring if it is too late in the year for planting. (info source: eHow.com)