Alphabetical Plant Listing

How To Choose The Right Flowering Crabapple for Your Garden

Malus, Crabapples, Crab Apples, Spring Flowering Trees


Among the most prized of ornamental trees, flowering crabapples have long been a staple of landscape gardening. They are best known for their spectacular display of magnificent blooms in spring and colorful fall fruit. Their summer foliage, small stature and various tree shapes add to their charm and give them year-round interest.

Most gardeners are unaware of the wide range of characteristics offered by Malus species and their cultivars in terms of flower color, fragrance, fruit color, fruit retention, fall foliage, tree shape, and disease resistance. These are key elements to consider when selecting a flowering crabapple. Consequently, you should not eliminate varieties merely by flower color alone, or you may end up with a less than optimum tree with limited interest.

Crabapple Flower Color

In the springtime, crabapples unfold their deep carmine, red, pink, or white buds and explode in a spectacular display of clouds of white, cream, pink, magenta, red, burgundy, red-orange and orange-coral. Often the combination of rich red buds opening to pure white blossoms adds to the sheer beauty of the floral display

  • Crabapple blossoms come in several forms - single, semi-double, and double. Some look like miniature roses while others have fringed or cupped petals.
  • Typically, Flowering crabapples bloom throughout a 4-5 week period starting in mid spring with Malus baccata (Siberian Crabapple), the earliest, and ending with Malus coronaria (Wild Sweet Crabapple) and Malus ionensis (Prairie Crabapple).
  • Peak crabapple bloom time is mid-spring to late spring, depending on regions and varieties. The average flowering period is about 10 days, although very hot days or windy conditions with rain can cut this down to 5-6 days. Double-flowering crabapples generally have a longer period of blooms, up to 12 days.

Guide Information

Hardiness 4 - 8
Heat Zones 1 - 9
Plant Type Trees
Plant Family Malus - Crabapples
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Fragrant, Showy, Fruit & Berries
Tolerance Drought
Attracts Birds
Landscaping Ideas Beds and Borders, Small Gardens
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Informal and Cottage, Traditional Garden
Compare All Malus - Crabapples Great Plant Combination Ideas with Malus - Crabapples Guides with Malus - Crabapples

By Zanna Pesnina/Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

Guide Information

Hardiness 4 - 8
Heat Zones 1 - 9
Plant Type Trees
Plant Family Malus - Crabapples
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Fragrant, Showy, Fruit & Berries
Tolerance Drought
Attracts Birds
Landscaping Ideas Beds and Borders, Small Gardens
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Informal and Cottage, Traditional Garden
Compare All Malus - Crabapples Great Plant Combination Ideas with Malus - Crabapples Guides with Malus - Crabapples

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