Growing apple pips

It's been a while since I've posted, but we've been doing some slightly longer term science activities!  My 4 year old asked me whether he could grow an apple tree from his apple, so we decided to find out! He ate the apple, then we cut open the core to find the pips (seeds). He carefully planted them in a transparent yoghurt pot with a little compost, watered them enthusiastically and left them on a windowsill. I think we watered them once more, and around a fortnight later we had four little plants with their first leaves (cotyledons)!

Apple seedlings

Using a transparent pot meant that my son could see their roots where they reached the edge of the pot, as well as their stems and leaves. We potted them up, each into their own pots, and in doing so had a good look at them when the soil fell away. We moved them outside, and with a combination of some sunny days and regular watering (both boys are keen on this, so they never dried out!) they grew rapidly, with the next leaves looking much more like apple trees. 

Getting bigger

After a further fortnight we decided they could do with bigger pots, and we potted them up again. We will probably do the same once more this year, and the saplings will join our little sycamore (planted a couple of years ago, the squirrels unfortunately removed the conker and acorn from the pot!) in a planter for now, until we work out where to put them in the garden - I'm not sure we have space for all four so we may need to rehome some if they grow well!  At the moment, all four are growing, and are about 10cm tall with six or seven leaves, although two have woolly aphid (as do other local apple trees) so not sure how well they will thrive.