Apricot is a plant which belongs to the Prunus genus.
Apricot is a large tree 10-15 metres, but can be kept small by regular pruning.
Although the apricot is native to a continental climate region with cold winters, it can grow in Mediterranean climates if there is some cool winter weather to allow a proper dormancy. The dry climate of these areas is good for fruit maturation. The tree is slightly more cold-hardy than the peach, tolerating winter temperatures as cold as −30 °C or lower if healthy. A limiting factor in apricot culture is spring frosts: They tend to flower very early, meaning spring frost can kill the flowers.
The apricot was known in Armenia during ancient times, and has been cultivated there for so long it is often thought to be native there. Its scientific name Prunus armeniaca (Armenian plum) derives from that assumption.
(Courtesy of Wikipedia – Footnote 1)
Apricot is normally fairly low maintenance and is normally quite easy to grow, as long as a level of basic care is provided throughout the year. Being aware of the basic soil, sun and water preferences will result in a happier and healthier plant.
This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Apricot have been kindly provided by our members.
Requires fertile well drained soil.
Regular crops of good fruit are produced on un-pruned trees grown in good conditions. Trees are very susceptible to wood-rotting fungi entering through pruning cuts, so prune in summer after harvest. Spray with copper-based fungicide in winter to control fungus diseases.
Vase shaped pruning – the main central limb is removed at a young age, leaving an open centre. Instead of having a central leader, the open-centre tree has three to five major limbs or leaders, coming out from the trunk. This training system allows for adequate light penetration into the centre of the tree, minimising shading problems prevalent in higher vigour trees such as apricots.
If your tree looks like it will be overloaded and you have a history of small fruit, you may like to augment the summer pruning – by thinning flowers. Recommendation to remove upward facing buds, buds too close to other branches, and reduce clustered flowers to two. CAUTION: If you live in an area subject to late frosts / hail – you should leave some extra buds on the tree.Try to plant in a location that enjoys full sun and remember to water moderately. Zone 5 to 8 are typically the USDA Hardiness Zones that are appropriate for this plant (although this can vary based on your microclimate). Ensure your soil has a ph of between 6.0 and 8.0 as Apricot is a weakly acidic soil - weakly alkaline soil loving plant. Keep in mind when planting that Apricot is thought of as very hardy, so this plant will tend to survive through freezing conditions.
The fruit which ripens in the Southern Hemisphere between November and January depending on variety.
Ripe fruit is a yellow-orange colour, sunburned fruit is an orange colour, and even though coloured, can be hard and not yet ripe.
The fruit is very sweet is most tasty when allowed to ripen on the tree. [Footnote 3]
These plants have been known to grow well alongside Apricot so consider planting:
These plants will not grow well with Apricot so avoid planting these within close proximity:
Apricot hates Tomato
Apricot plants don't do well if tomatoes are nearby.
These problems, diseases and pests are known to affect Apricot plants:
Subject to fungal attack following pruning in winter. Try to prune in Summer after harvesting fruit. Treat fungal attack with a copper-based fungicide. Not sure if there are organic alternatives!!
Aphids, earwigs, fruit tree leafrollers, and peach tree borer:
See Footnote 2
The scientific name armeniaca was first used by Gaspard Bauhin in his Pinax Theatri Botanici (page 442), referring to the species as Mala armeniaca “Armenian apple”. It is sometimes stated that this came from Pliny the Elder, but it was not used by Pliny. Linnaeus took up Bauhin’s epithet in the first edition of his Species Plantarum in 1753.17
The name apricot probably is derived from a tree mentioned as praecocia by Pliny. Pliny says “We give the name of apples (mala) … to peaches (persica) and pomegranates (granata) …”18 Later in the same section he states “The Asiatic peach ripens at the end of autumn, though an early variety (praecocia) ripens in summer – these were discovered within the last thirty years …”.
The classical authors connected armeniaca with praecocia: Pedanius Dioscorides’ " … Ἀρμενιακὰ, Ῥωμαιστὶ δὲ βρεκόκκια" and Martial’s “Armeniaca, et praecocia latine dicuntur”. Putting together the Armeniaca and the Mala obtains the well-known epithet, but there is no evidence the ancients did it; Armeniaca alone meant the apricot.
Accordingly, the American Heritage Dictionary under apricot derives praecocia from praecoquus, “cooked or ripened beforehand” [in this case meaning early ripening], becoming Greek πραικόκιον “apricot” and Arabic al-barqūq “apricot” (although in most of the Arab world the word now means “plum”).
The English name comes from earlier “abrecock” in turn from the Middle French abricot, from Catalan abercoc.
Both the Catalan and the Spanish albaricoque were adaptations of the Arabic, dating from the Moorish occupation of Spain. The name apricock is sometimes still used in English.
However, in Argentina and Chile the word for “apricot” is damasco, which probably indicates that, to the Spanish settlers of Argentina, the fruit was associated with Damascus in Syria.
See Footnote 1
The Chinese associate the apricot with education and medicine. For instance, the classical word 杏壇 (literally: ‘apricot altar’) which means “educational circle”, is still widely used in written language. Chuang Tzu, a Chinese philosopher in 4th century BCE, told a story that Confucius taught his students in a forum surrounded by the wood of apricot trees.
The fact that apricot season is very short has given rise to the very common Egyptian Arabic expression “filmishmish” (“in apricot [season]”), generally uttered as a riposte to an unlikely prediction, or as a rash promise to fulfill a request.
Among United States Marine Corps tank-driving soldiers, apricots are taboo, by superstition. Marine Corps tankers will not eat apricots, allow apricots onto their vehicles, and often will not even say the word “apricot”. This superstition stems from Marine Sherman tank breakdowns purportedly happening in the presence of cans of apricots.24
The Turkish idiom “bundan iyisi Şam’da kayısı” (literally, the only thing better than this is an apricot in Damascus) means “it doesn’t get any better than this” and used when something is the very best it can be; like a delicious apricot from Damascus.
Again – details courtesy of Wikipedia – Footnote 1
20 Apr 2013
The fruit turned black and dead. Possibly due to a late frost.
29 Mar 2012
This tree was grown from a seed, so it is the only one of it’s kind in the world. I like it because it is later to blossom than other apricots in the neighborhood, so less likely to get frost damage.
04 Oct 2011
Lots of fruit forming. Hopefully this year the majority of the fruit won’t fall off.
Apricot care instructions
How long does Apricot take to grow?
Footnote 1: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apricot. Information sourced 18/8/2010 GMT+10.
Footnote 3: For details on soil PH, harvesting, tree size http://www.sardi.sa.gov.au/pestsdiseases/horticulture/horticultural_crops/apricots/about_apricots