Garden Tips

Multiply apple thorn - instructions for cuttings and seeds


Apple thorn can be propagated using cuttings or seeds. Our step-by-step instructions show you how to do this.

If you want to have several apple thorn trees in your garden, you can order planting seeds or simply multiply the small tree yourself. In this guide we tell you what you need to know and how to proceed best in this guide about the propagation of the Crataegus lavallei.

When growing the apple thorn you have the choice between two basic forms:
"Shrub or bush
In this case, the seeds can be buried or the seedling can be planted without further action and it will automatically assume the spreading bush form.
"Small tree
On the other hand, if you want an apple thorn in the form of a tree, you have to choose the strongest shoot from the bush and pull a trunk out of it. Alternatively, propagation can also be carried out with sowing. Additional information on this will follow in the next chapters of this guide.

Growing apple thorn - that is what you need to consider

  • When choosing the location, the expected size should be taken into account: the tree can be between five to ten meters high and about three to five meters wide - therefore, sufficient space should be planned.
  • Since the apple thorn grows 20 to a maximum of 40 cm per year, it can be seen as it thrives. If you first decide to keep a container, you should always keep in mind that the ornamental shrub may soon become too large for the pot.
  • The place should be sunny, but the ornamental tree also forgives a partially shaded location.
  • The apple thorn on the ground is just as undemanding. A loamy, sandy and calcareous soil is optimal - but also a classic garden floor is not a problem.
  • The fruits of the ornamental tree or suitable seeds are required to propagate the Crataegus lavallei. Since this is a so-called cold germ that requires severe cold, sowing should be carried out in January.
  • Transplanting, however, should be done in autumn.

Multiply apple thorn by sowing - step by step instructions

Are there any fruits or seeds, planters and growing soil ready? Then it can go:

  1. First, the small seeds are removed from the fruit. Alternatively, seeds purchased from specialist dealers can of course also be used.
  2. Now the seeds are placed in suitable planters in which there is already moistened growing soil. It is best to do this in January, because the cold germers need strong cold to germinate due to their hard, thick shell.
  3. The planters are then buried in beds. Alternatively, the planters can remain so for the time being or be buried in buckets. In this case, we recommend to put a foil over it and to place the pots in a shady and cool place, in order to create as low temperatures as possible. A temperature range of - 4 ° to + 4 ° C is ideal. So that the whole thing does not mold, the film should be aired regularly.
  4. In order to create optimal conditions for germination, we also recommend keeping the substrate evenly moist. However, waterlogging must be avoided.

Now it's time to wait. When the first cotyledons appear after five to six weeks, the multiplication seems to have worked. Anyone who has decided to remain in the planters or tubs should then put the pots in a bright, frost-free place. A winter garden, greenhouse, cellar window or cold frame is best suited for this. When the small plants have reached a size of about ten centimeters, they can be relocated to their final location.

If you want to let nature run its course or just don't feel like this effort, you can also bury the fruits of the apple thorn in a bed. With a little luck, they will germinate and the young plants will find their way to daylight in early summer. These can then be easily dug out and transplanted. More on that later.

Multiply apple thorn with cuttings - step by step instructions

Alternatively, cuttings from annual apple thorn shoots can be used to propagate. The best for this are sticks, which are already about 20 cm long and have some leaves and a bud. However, some gardeners already use cuttings that are five to 10 cm long. After these have been cut off, proceed as follows:

  1. In the first step, the planter is prepared with a permeable substrate. Peat with about 20 percent expanded clay or gravel is ideal.
  2. Then the cutting or the stick is inserted into a third party.
  3. For an optimal climate, we recommend putting a foil bag on the cuttings. However, this should be ventilated regularly - to avoid gray mold.
  4. The plant pot will ideally be in a frost-free, bright place.
  5. This variant also means watering regularly. Waterlogging should also be avoided.
  6. As soon as new leaves form, the rooting seems to have worked. Then the apple thorn can be planted in its new location or in a larger container.

" Note: Very soft shoots are less suitable when cutting the sticks. Sticks from the center of the ornamental tree are also unsuitable.

Transplant apple thorn

If the young plant is approx. 10 cm tall, it can be safely relocated to its later location:

  1. First the young plants are carefully dug out. Since the roots of the apple thorn are longer than long, the hole should be deep enough.
  2. A sufficiently large planting hole is now being dug at the new location. The soil in it should be loosened so that the roots can settle more easily. Instead of a bed, transplanting into a bucket is also possible. Its capacity should be at least 10 liters and more, so that the apple thorn with its deep roots has enough space.
  3. In both cases, the space around the young plant should be filled with a mixture of soil and compost or humus. In the case of a bucket, make sure that there are holes in the floor so that there is no waterlogging. Otherwise mold can form.
  4. Optional: If the apple thorn is to be cultivated, we recommend positioning two piles next to it in the ground. When the trunk is tied to them, the direction of growth is straight up. If you don't care, you will be able to look forward to a large shrub or bush over time.
  5. We recommend watering regularly to ensure that the plant thrives. On the other hand, if the floor is too moist, it makes sense to install a drainage.
    In the case of tubs, additional fertilization should be carried out.

For experts: refine apple thorn

In general, the finishing of an apple thorn is just like that of all fruit trees. With the method, there is a choice between bark plugs, rice finishing and okulation. While only buds or eyes are used in the latter, shoots with three to four eyes are used in the bark grafting method, which are grafted laterally behind the rings. Alternatively, rice with three to four buds can be placed on the head of an apple-leaved hawthorn plant. However, this should be healthy and strong, so that nothing stands in the way of refinement.