Why won't my apple seeds grow after planting?

I live/work in Central African Republic. A Congolese friend asked if I could save some apple seeds for him because he heard that apples CAN be grown in a warm climate…
I have gotten about 20 seeds to germinate in a bag in the refrigerator, but once I put them into the soil they’ve done NOTHING…
Why aren’t they putting up shoots?

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I don’t know why they aren’t growing but you won’t get a good variety from seed. They do not come true from seed. All apple varieties are grafted onto apple rootstock. You’d probably get small apples with poor taste from seedlings.

Agree with Robert - if they grow at all they won’t necessarily be same as apples you took the seed from and it will take 8-10 years until you find out! I doubt apples would grow there anyway - I wouldn’t bother, you have such a rich diversity of fruits in the tropics why try to grow something that isn’t suited there? Apples are a naturally a temperate fruit or at best, with the breeding & adaptation of low-chill varieties, upland sub-tropical. However, having got them to germinate I can imagine you’re wanting to see more! How long since you planted the germinated seeds? Maybe they just need time? Or maybe soil fungi & bacteria have found them to be a tasty exotic snack & they are lost to disease?

The first batch of seeds I planted has been easily 6 weeks… The second batch was probably a month ago.
I’ve seen lots of things on the internet saying that it IS possible to grow apples in a warm climate. I could understand them never fruiting, but the seeds not even coming out of the ground after they sprouted before planting them…???

Have you tried poking down in the soil to see what’s happening? Whatever had originally sprouted will either now be alive or dead, so have a look and see.

I take back what I said about growing apples in the tropics - see here: Growing Apples In The Tropics: Is It Possible? | Homesteadinʻ Hawaiʻi - though it’s still very restricted. If you want fruiting apples, choice of rootstock will be key for growth/vigor, and choice of scion (the top bit) for fruting quality, with adaptation to site context.

It still remains that apples grown from seed will not grow true to parent because they contain the DNA going back to the original wild apples of Kazaksthan - so anything can happen, and it will take longer to fruit. Good luck!

You could grow this variety but as previously stated applies are going to struggle in hot humid Congo. You are trying to grow the wrong fruit. If you have a highlands area then you might consider trying that particular variety at a high altitude, maybe in eastern Congo at higher elevation. You are going to get apple scab and other fungal diseases at lower elevations and lose leaves prematurely.