Apricots can be difficult to grow in the Pacific Northwest, but a successful home gardener will enjoy a fruit that is delicious eaten fresh, dried, canned, frozen, and otherwise preserved.

Apricots tend to bloom during warm periods (above 40ºF) in late winter. This means their flowers may to be damaged by frost, and in a wet spring, pollination can be inhibited. It’s a good idea to select later-blooming varieties to avoid frost damage. If we see heavy rains that decrease insect activity during flowering, consider hand-pollinating by collecting pollen on a paint brush and moving it from flower to flower.

Dormant sprays are a critical tool for growing apricots successfully west of the Cascades. They will provide much needed protection from fungal problems. Copper sprays can be used, but never use sulfur on apricots. Download the Organic Care Schedule for more information on treating insect and fungal issues.

Apricots are self-fruitful, and therefore do not require a pollinator. Apricots should be pruned annually, lightly when young and moderately at maturity. The trees have a similar habit to cherries and should be pruned to a modified central leader, and a shape suitable to your garden. The fruits need to be thinned since the trees set unusually heavy crops.

Learn more about: Pruning & Training Fruit Trees