Crabapple (Malus)

Quick facts and care essentials

• Deciduous
• Climate zones 1-21, 29-43
• Full sun
• Regular to moderate water
• Growth rate varies

Crabapples are valued both for their white, pink, or red springtime flowers and for their showy (and sometimes edible) fruits. There are hundreds of cultivars. Most grow about 25 feet high, though heights range from as low as 6 feet to as tall as 40 feet. Pointed-oval leaves, often fuzzy in texture, vary in color from deep green to nearly purple; fall color is rarely noteworthy. Many varieties can be trained as formal or informal espaliers.

Crabapples prefer good, deep, well-drained soil, but they'll grow in rocky or gravelly soils, including those that are acid to slightly alkaline. Though they adapt to a variety of climates, they aren't at their best in the humid lower South or low desert. Choose cultivars resistant to fireblight, scab, and rust.