If you think apricots won’t grow in the UK, think again! These new varieties have been specially developed to deal with lower temperatures and to crop reliably year after year. Premium, well-sized trees with inbuilt disease resistance, our growers have chosen just a few of the best for our collection. They’re hardy enough to grow outdoors in warmer parts of the UK and compact enough to grow in pots further north. Forget the flavourless imported version and rediscover what apricots are meant to taste like.
Which apricot tree?
If you’re growing your apricots outdoors, choose the most hardy and reliable variety New Large Early, which does exactly as its name suggests! For growing in pots or containers, choose a compact variety - Early Moorpark, deliciously sweet Flavourcot and heavy-cropping Tomcot are available in sizes to suit any space. Here’s some more help with choosing.
What's the deal with rootstocks?
Your apricot tree’s rootstock is the main factor in how large it will grow, so it’s good to check before you choose. St Julien A (SJA) rootstocks are pretty vigorous, reaching heights of 4.5-5m and making them ideal for average to large gardens. A Myrobalan rootstock will produce a smaller tree of around 3m - both of these can be kept smaller with regular pruning.
Apricots are not the hardiest of fruit, and should be grown outdoors only in the warmer parts of the UK, on a South or West facing wall. However they do extremely well in containers sited on a sheltered patio in the warmer months and brought indoors over Winter. Smaller trees can even be grown in a greenhouse, where they will fruit earlier. Apricots tend to blossom early when there may not be many flying insects around, in which case they can be hand-pollinated with a paintbrush. Water them well and prune yearly to keep them in good shape. All of our apricots are self fertile, so they’ll produce fruit without a partner tree.
Using your apricots
Apricots from your own tree have a far superior flavour and texture to shop-bought, and can be enjoyed fresh from the garden. If you have a good crop, experiment with lovely apricot dishes including parfait, glazed tartes, tagines and Ally’s mum’s speciality dish. Apricot jam is also a must!