By: Amy Grant
Almonds are not actually nuts. They belong to the genus Prunus, which includes plums, cherries, and peaches. These fruiting trees are usually propagated by budding or grafting. How about rooting almond cuttings? Can you grow almonds from cuttings? Keep reading to find out how to take almond cuttings and other information about propagating almonds from cuttings.
Can You Grow Almonds from Cuttings?
Almonds are usually grown by grafting. Because almonds are most closely related to peaches, they are usually budded to them, but they can also be budded to plum or apricot rootstock as well. That said, since these fruiting trees can also be propagated via hardwood cuttings, it is natural to assume that rooting almond cuttings is possible.
Will Almond Cuttings Root in the Ground?
Almond cuttings will likely not root in the ground. It seems that while you can get hardwood cuttings to root, it is quite difficult. This is no doubt why most people propagate with seed or by using grafted cuttings rather than propagating almonds from hardwood cuttings.
How to Take Almond Cuttings
When rooting almond cuttings, take cuttings from healthy exterior shoots that are growing in full sun. Choose cuttings that appear strong and healthy with well spaced internodes. Central stem or basal cuttings from last season’s grown will be most likely to root. Take the cutting from the tree when it is dormant in the fall.
Cut a 10- to 12-inch (25.5-30.5 cm.) cutting from the almond. Be sure the cutting has 2-3 nice looking buds. Remove any leaves from the cutting. Dip the cut ends of the almond cuttings into rooting hormone. Plant the cutting in a soilless media which will allow it to be loose, well-draining, and well-aerated. Place the cutting with the cut end in the pre-moistened media down an inch (2.5 cm.) or so.
Place a plastic bag over the container and place it in a 55-75 F. (13-24 C.) indirectly lit area. Open the bag every day or so to check to see if the media is still moist and to circulate air.
It may take some time for the cutting to show any root growth, if at all. In either case, I find that trying to propagate anything myself is a fun and rewarding experiment.
This article was last updated on
How to Grow Almonds
Last Updated: February 22, 2021 References Approved
This article was co-authored by Andrew Carberry, MPH. Andrew Carberry has been working in food systems since 2008. He has a Masters in Public Health Nutrition and Public Health Planning and Administration from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.
There are 18 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.
wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 18 testimonials and 92% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status.
This article has been viewed 575,653 times.
Delicious, nutritious almonds come from the fruit of the almond tree, which is native to the Middle East and South Asia and a relative to peach, apricot, and other stone fruit trees. Almonds can be finicky plants to grow without a suitable climate or proper care techniques, almond trees may struggle to survive, let alone bear fruit.
- 1 Description
- 1.1 Tree
- 1.2 Drupe
- 2 Origin and history
- 2.1 Etymology and names
- 3 Cultivation
- 3.1 Pollination
- 3.2 Diseases
- 4 Sustainability
- 5 Production
- 5.1 United States
- 5.2 Spain
- 5.3 Australia
- 6 Sweet and bitter almonds
- 6.1 Amygdalin and cyanide
- 7 Culinary uses
- 7.1 Use in desserts
- 7.2 World cuisines
- 7.3 Marzipan
- 7.4 Almond milk
- 7.5 Almond flour and skins
- 7.6 Almond syrup
- 8 Nutrition
- 8.1 Health
- 8.2 Potential allergy
- 9 Oils
- 10 Aflatoxins
- 11 Mandatory pasteurization in California
- 12 Cultural aspects
- 13 See also
- 14 References
- 15 External links
The almond is a deciduous tree, growing 4–10 m (13–33 ft) in height, with a trunk of up to 30 cm (12 in) in diameter. The young twigs are green at first, becoming purplish where exposed to sunlight, then grey in their second year. The leaves are 8–13 cm (3–5 in) long,  with a serrated margin and a 2.5 cm (1 in) petiole. The flowers are white to pale pink, 3–5 cm (1–2 in) diameter with five petals, produced singly or in pairs and appearing before the leaves in early spring.   Almond grows best in Mediterranean climates with warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters. The optimal temperature for their growth is between 15 and 30 °C (59 and 86 °F) and the tree buds have a chilling requirement of 200 to 700 hours below 7.2 °C (45.0 °F) to break dormancy. 
Almonds begin bearing an economic crop in the third year after planting. Trees reach full bearing five to six years after planting. The fruit matures in the autumn, 7–8 months after flowering.  
The almond fruit is 3.5–6 cm ( 1 3 ⁄8 – 2 3 ⁄8 in) long. In botanical terms, it is not a nut but a drupe. The outer covering or exocarp, fleshy in other members of Prunus such as the plum and cherry, is instead a thick, leathery, grey-green coat (with a downy exterior), called the hull. Inside the hull is a reticulated, hard, woody shell (like the outside of a peach pit) called the endocarp. Inside the shell is the edible seed, commonly called a nut. Generally, one seed is present, but occasionally two occur. After the fruit matures, the hull splits and separates from the shell, and an abscission layer forms between the stem and the fruit so that the fruit can fall from the tree. 
The almond is native to Iran and surrounding countries.   It was spread by humans in ancient times along the shores of the Mediterranean into northern Africa and southern Europe, and more recently transported to other parts of the world, notably California, United States.  The wild form of domesticated almond grows in parts of the Levant. 
Selection of the sweet type from the many bitter types in the wild marked the beginning of almond domestication.  It is unclear as to which wild ancestor of the almond created the domesticated species. The species Prunus fenzliana may be the most likely wild ancestor of the almond, in part because it is native to Armenia and western Azerbaijan, where it was apparently domesticated.  Wild almond species were grown by early farmers, "at first unintentionally in the garbage heaps, and later intentionally in their orchards". 
Almonds were one of the earliest domesticated fruit trees, due to "the ability of the grower to raise attractive almonds from seed. Thus, in spite of the fact that this plant does not lend itself to propagation from suckers or from cuttings, it could have been domesticated even before the introduction of grafting".  Domesticated almonds appear in the Early Bronze Age (3000–2000 BC), such as the archaeological sites of Numeira (Jordan),  or possibly earlier. Another well-known archaeological example of the almond is the fruit found in Tutankhamun's tomb in Egypt (c. 1325 BC), probably imported from the Levant.  An article on Almond tree cultivation in Spain is brought down in Ibn al-'Awwam's 12th-century agricultural work, Book on Agriculture. 
Of the European countries that the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh reported as cultivating almonds, Germany  is the northernmost, though the domesticated form can be found as far north as Iceland. 
Etymology and names Edit
The word "almond" comes from Old French almande or alemande, Late Latin *amandula, derived from amygdala from the Ancient Greek ἀμυγδάλη (amygdálē)  (cf. amygdala, an almond-shaped portion of the brain).  The al- in English, for the a- used in other languages may be due a confusion with the Arabic article al, the word having first dropped the a- as in the Italian form mandorla the British pronunciation ah-mond and the modern Catalan ametlla and modern French amande show a form of the word closer to the original. Other related names of almond include Mandel or Knackmandel (German), mandorlo (Italian for the tree), mandorla (Italian for the fruit), amêndoa (Portuguese), and almendro (Spanish for the tree), almendra (Spanish for the fruit).  Interestingly however, in Hebrew, the word for almond (שָׁקֵד, pronounced shak-ed) is also the word for tonsil.
The adjective "amygdaloid" (literally "like an almond") is used to describe objects which are roughly almond-shaped, particularly a shape which is part way between a triangle and an ellipse. See, for example, the brain structure amygdala, which uses a direct borrowing of the Greek term amygdalē. 
The pollination of California's almonds is the largest annual managed pollination event in the world, with 1.4 million hives (nearly half of all beehives in the US) being trucked in February to the almond groves.  Much of the pollination is managed by pollination brokers, who contract with migratory beekeepers from at least 49 states for the event. This business has been heavily affected by colony collapse disorder, causing nationwide shortages of honey bees and increasing the price of insect pollination. To partially protect almond growers from the rising cost of insect pollination, researchers at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have developed a new line of self-pollinating almond trees.  Self-pollinating almond trees, such as the 'Tuono', have been around for a while, but their harvest is not as desirable as the insect-pollinated California 'Nonpareil' almond tree. The 'Nonpareil' tree produces large, smooth almonds and offers 60–65% edible kernel per nut. The Tuono has thicker, hairier shells and offers only 32% of edible kernel per nut, but having a thick shell has advantages. The Tuono's shell protects the nut from threatening pests such as the navel orangeworm. ARS researchers have managed to crossbreed the pest-resistant Tuono tree with the Nonpareil, resulting in hybridized cultivars of almond trees that are self-pollinated and maintain a high nut quality.  The new, self-pollinating hybrids possess quality skin color, flavor, and oil content, and reduce almond growers' dependency on insect pollination. 
A grove of almond trees in central California
I really don't know too much about Flowering Almond bushes. Here are three different methods you might try.
The first is hardwood cuttings. These are generally taken in the early autumn as the plant starts to prepare for its dormant state. However, many gardeners (myself included) ignore this rule of thumb and take them in the summer.
Start by removing a 12 to 16 inch section from a mature shoot that is relatively low on the plant. Try to leave the "heel" intact-the part of the shoot that widens and connects with the main stem. The shoot should be the approximate diameter of a pencil or smaller. Lightly scrape about 1 inch of the bark from the cut end all the way around the "heel" end, and remove all of the leaves from the lower part of the shoot. Dip the "heel" (cut end) into some rooting hormone. (You can find this in either liquid or powder form at any nursery or garden center).
Plant the cutting in a pot or prepared bed, inserting it only as far into the soil as it needs to support itself. Keep it well watered and protect it from sudden temperature changes. In 6-8 weeks, give it a slight tug. If it has developed roots, you should feel a small bit of resistance.
Softwood cuttings are another option. These are taken in the summer from young shoots that are typically higher up on the plant. Soft wood is the new growth you see on plants each spring, or the new growth you see after you trim them back in the summer.
Select a shoot that is 5-6 inches long. Again, these shoots are the new growth, and generally located higher up on the plant. Trim off the lower leaves, leaving 2-3 pairs of leaves at the top. If the leaves are large, they can be snipped in half with a scissors. This will still provide the shoot with enough surface area to carry on photosynthesis, but it will save you room and make handling the softwood cutting easier.
If your mother's almond bush produces suckers (shoots growing independently near the main plant), it may be easiest just to dig these up and plant them. Use a shovel to dig out the sucker from the main plant, preserving as much of the root as possible. Plant it as you would a potted bush from the nursery.
About The Author: Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com
Add your voice! Click below to answer. ThriftyFun is powered by your wisdom!
Cher , Yes u can take a cutting off of your moms almond bush. I just did so myself here 2wks ago and put in water and its got roots. I live in Ohio. Actually its my bush which was a cutting from my mom and dads back in the early90's. It blooms beautiful every year and its been uprooted 3x because of moving . So goodluck. Lou Ann
I got mine from a friend as a start and he just dug up some roots beside the bush and I planted that. It's been there about 18 years now, hubby accidently cut a huge piece out of it with hedge trimmers a couple of years ago and it doesn't look as nice as it used to but it's still going.
Try "layering." Simply take one of the lower branches, pull it down to the ground, and weight it down with a rock. Check on it in the fall to see if it has put down roots. If it has, snip it off of the mother plant and dig it up and re-plant. I honestly don't know if this will work on a flowering almond, but it works very well for a lot of other flowering shrubs, including my snowball (viburnum). I've done it several times.
One of the advantages is that it seems to bloom much earlier than suckers--often the next year. I have done this in July and dug it up in October. I also did it in October and dug it up in April, and you wouldn't believe the root system it put down. In fact, it put root systems down at two places on the branch, and I was able to snip off two new shrubs. One of them bloomed this year!! Since I am not sure if this works on a flowering almond, you might want to try this along with another method. just to be sure.
Add your voice! Click below to answer. ThriftyFun is powered by your wisdom!