Apple tree (Malus pumila) Care Guide
Paradise apple is a deciduous tree that grows up to 15 m tall. Under cultivation conditions, it is generally 3 - 5 m tall. It can be planted in gardens and is easy to care for. As it blooms in summer and gives harvest in late summer and early fall, it is considered an excellent tree species.
Quick Care Guides
Water and Hardiness
Paradise apple is resistant to cold and requires little water. It prefers dry and cold climates and dislikes wet, hot environments. It can adapt to temperatures down to -34 ℃, though its optimum temperature range is between 13 - 25 ℃. It can deal with heat up to 40 ℃. It copes with drought more easily than accumulated water.
Paradise apple prefers full sun and can only grow normally with sufficient sunlight. More than 6 hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day is best. Insufficient sunlight causes softness of branches and leaves, poor resistance to diseases and pests, fewer flower buds, fewer blooms and fruits, slow root growth, low sugar content and dim color of fruits, etc.
paradise apple likes fertile, thick, well-drained culture medium rich in organic matter with a soil pH between 5.3-7.6. Garden soil, river sand, decomposed sheep manure, rotten leaves, and fermentation fertilizer can be mixed at the proportion of 6:2:1:1:1. The root system generally develops quickly, so the tree grows rapidly.
Planting is usually done in mid-spring on a warm day. Select a healthy, robust, disease-free seedling with plump buds. Keep the diameter and depth of the underground part around 76 cm for both potting and open field planting.
Soak the roots for several hours if they are dried out. Put a small amount of prepared culture soil at the bottom of the pit or basin, place the seedling, and cover the pit or basin with more culture soil. Water immediately after planting to ensure the survival rate of the seedling.
Water the young tree regularly, like once a week. Adjust watering frequency by soil condition, season, and weather. Most established trees do not need extra water when there is adequate rainfall.
If the soil is particularly dry, more water is required. Completely saturate the soil each time. Water more during germination, blooming, and fruit-swelling times. Reduce watering in early summer when the flower buds differentiate. In rainy seasons, water less.
Apply fertilizer to paradise apple several times each year if you want to harvest tasty fruit. Apply 0.2% fast-release nitrogen fertilizer once before or after germination. Apply a liquid fertilizer every 10 days before summer using 200 times-diluted organic fertilizer, and supplement with 0.2% urea, 0.2% diamine, and 0.2% ammonium sulfate inorganic liquid fertilizer.
In summer, add fertilizer once as the fruit grows, and spray 0.3% urea on its leaves. When the fruits are about to ripen, apply 200 times-diluted organic liquid fertilizer once every 15 days. During early growth, use nitrogen fertilizer. When the fruits are about to ripen, use phosphate-potassium fertilizer. this promotes even coloring of the fruit and improves fruit quality.
Paradise apple can be pruned according to your preference. Make sure the remaining branches do not shade each other too much. Remove poorly developed, diseased, and pest-affected branches, and leave healthy and robust branches. Prune too-dense branches and fruits to ensure ventilation and sunlight transmission. this not only improves nutrition to the fruit, lets the fruit receive sunlight evenly, and improves its color, but also guarantees the stability of the crown structure.
Why does my paradise apple grow well but bear few fruits?
Paradise apple fruits stably 1-2 years after planting. In older trees, check whether the tree needs artificial pollination. If the tree you choose is not a self-pollinating variety, you must pollinate it during its blooming period. If excessive nitrogen fertilizer is applied to seedlings, the plant may grow well but develop few flower buds. Apply phosphate-potassium fertilizer when the tree starts to bear to improve the quality of the fruits.
Why does the tree bloom a lot but produce few fruits?
Firstly, check for pests and diseases, and prevent and control them as early as possible. Secondly, check whether the tree is successfully pollinated. If it is successfully pollinated and many flowers and fruits still fall off, there could be a nutrient deficiency. Prune excessive flowers and fruits and apply phosphate-potassium fertilizer. Nitrogen fertilizer should be applied as seldom as possible.
Why are the fruits uneven in color?
Unevenly-colored apples are caused by pests and diseases or uneven sunlight exposure. Get rid of pests and diseases, and expose your paradise apple to even sunlight. Prune branches to ensure good ventilation and sunlight transmission to the crown. In this way, fruits enjoy sunlight evenly, improving the quality of the fruits.
Pests and Diseases
Black rot often occurs on bark cracks and branches damaged by cold. It shows irregular and brown or dark brown spots, and summer and fall are its peak seasons. Appropriate watering prevents black rot. In the case of drought, trees should be watered more often to ensure good growth and enhance disease resistance.
The germs hide in bark and trunk cracks for overwintering. Therefore, protect the trunk and prevent it from damage. Regularly check for and remove disease spots.
Alternaria Leaf Blotch
this disease usually affects leaves, causing them to fall off early and affecting the growth and yield of the tree. It may occur anytime except winter, and summer is its peak season. At the early stage, round brown spots appear on the leaves, gradually expand, and turn red-brown. Concentric whorls appear at the center of disease spot.
If such symptoms are found, remove diseased parts immediately and apply fertilizer to increase the plant's disease resistance. Use fungicide once every 10-15 days for 3-4 times. Spray pesticide at the early stage of the disease in spring and fall as it may be caused by mites.
Ring rot mainly occurs on the branches and fruits of paradise apple. Summer is the peak season for this disease. If branches are infected, dark brown and water-stained nodules appear on the branches, accompanied by cracking at the edge of the disease spot. In a severe case, the bark grows coarse. Round, light-brown spots dot infected fruit, presenting concentric whorls of the same color, and eventually, the fruit rots.
Prevention is key for ring rot. Spray fungicide before germination in spring or harvest in summer. Remove infected parts with a sharp knife.
Bitter rot is one of the main diseases of paradise apple and affects the fruits and branches. this disease often occurs in summer, especially in areas with high temperatures, ample rain, and high humidity. Small, round light-brown spots appear on the fruit surface and expand rapidly. The diseased spots are dark brown concentric circles. The surface of the fruit sinks and the flesh rots. The rotten flesh secretes a red paste in humid weather.
Remove the diseased fruits and corresponding branches, and prune to increase air ventilation and sunlight transmission. Clear surrounding weeds and parasitic plants. Treating with special fungicide before germination helps prevent bitter rot.
Aphids gather at the leaves, buds, and damaged branches, feed on their sap, and form galls at the infected parts. Spring is the peak season of aphids, and eggs should be removed in fall and winter. To remove small numbers of aphids, flush with water or brush with a wool brush. For larger infestations, spray aphid killer.
Oriental Fruit Moths
Oriental fruit moths mainly damage the outermost layer of the fruit's pulp. Dark brown dots appear, and the surface of the fruit is depressed. Remove infected fruit immediately. Apply pesticides to prevent and control such pests.
Codling moths (Cydia pomonella) are pests that produce the most serious damage to the fruits all over the world. They adapt easily and have a strong reproductive capacity. Their larvae cause the fruit to fall off. Eliminate the moths immediately, and remove any infected fruit. Apply pesticides to prevent and control such pests.