How Much Water Does A Crabapple Tree Need?

Figuring out how much water a crabapple tree needs can be tricky. Do you think you're overwatering, or does your crabapple look like it's desperate for some moisture? Wonder no more; we're here to discuss how much water a crabapple tree needs.

Crabapple trees need at least an inch of water per week. For younger crabapples, under a year old, it is essential to keep the base of your tree moist. Generally, crabapples are low maintenance, moderate growing trees that prefer little amounts of water.

As we begin, we will cover all things crabapple trees and discuss how much water they need. Whether it rains often or you live in the desert, too much or not enough water can affect how your tree grows. With that said, let's dive into this topic!

A crabapple tree with riped apples, How Much Water Does A Crabapple Tree Need?

What's The Best Way To Water A Crabapple Tree?

Typically, crabapples need the most frequent watering during their first year. When it comes to the best way to water, keep the base of your tree moist and use about an inch of water per week.

Once your crabapple tree is more mature, it does not need frequent watering and should be okay as long as it rains periodically.

Blooming crab apple tree

Do Crabapples Do Well In Wet Soil?

When it comes to crabapples doing well in wet soil, that should be fine for the first couple of years but isn't ideal for an older tree. Like we mentioned, crabapples prefer light watering and don't like their soil to be super wet.

Surprisingly, crabapple trees are very drought-tolerant, so this might be a good option for you if you live in the desert.

Live Magenta Crabapple Tree

This live crabapple tree will come 18 to 24 inches tall and is ready to plant upon arrival.

Follow this link to see it on Amazon.

Can You Overwater A Crabapple Tree?

Although newly planted crabapples love moisture, it is very easy to overwater your tree. Water-wise, more than an inch, even for a mature tree, is plenty, and any more than that can harm your crabapple.

Overwatering a crabapple can cause its roots to rot, so try to keep it minimal.

How Much Sun Do Crabapple Trees Need?

When it comes to the sun, crabapple trees love it. Ideally, you should plant a crabapple in a spot with at least eight hours of direct sunlight.

With that said, if your tree is in the shade, it will be fine but might not flower/fruit as much as one with full sun.

To learn more about crabapples' sun needs, head over to this post: How Much Sun Does A Crabapple Tree Need?

How Quickly Do Crabapple Trees Grow?


For the most part, crabapples are slow to moderate growers at a rate of 13 to 24 inches per year. On average, a crabapple tree takes about two to five years to produce fruit/flower. For more growth information, read this post: How Big Does A Crabapple Tree Get?

With that said, if your tree isn't showing much growth, we think adding fertilizer to its soil is a good idea.

What Kind Of Fertilizer Does A Crabapple Tree Need?

Fertilizer-wise, crabapple trees do well with a standard 10-10-10 granular formula and should only need it once a year. For best results, we recommend using around one to two pounds of fertilizer per 100 square feet.

Another fertilizer that works well on crabapples is a continuous release formula to feed your tree through the spring growing season.

Southern Ag All Purpose Granular Fertilizer 10-10-10

This granular fertilizer comes in a five-pound bag, contains nitrogen,  phosphorous, and potassium, and works well on flowering trees.

Check this out on Amazon here.

Miracle-Gro Shake 'N Feed Continuous Release Plant Food

This fertilizer comes in an eight-pound bag, helps maintain healthy tree growth, and feeds plants for three months after each use.

See this fertilizer on Amazon here.

Where Should I Plant A Crabapple Tree?

Generally, a crabapple tree will do well in a sunny location with good draining, somewhat acidic soil. Climate-wise, crabapples grow in zones four through eight and don't mind cold weather.

If you want to grow a crabapple tree in a hotter, dryer climate, this is when a partially shaded location and more water are a good idea.

When Should You Plant A Crabapple Tree?

The best time to plant a crabapple tree is right at the beginning of spring. If your tree is bare-root, make sure you plant it right as winter ends so it can develop enough roots before the following winter season.

For container-grown crabapples, you have more leeway and can plant them during the spring, summer, or fall.

Robinson Pink Flowering Crabapple

This Robinson crabapple tree will come two years old and four to five feet tall upon arrival.

Follow this link to view it on Amazon.

How Often Should I Prune A Crabapple Tree?

Picture of malus x zumi

Usually, crabapples need pruning between late winter and early to mid-spring. It is better to wait until the temperatures are a bit warmer before you start pruning, so check the weather forecast before grabbing your shears.

For the most part, Crabapple trees don't need frequent pruning and should be okay with an annual trim.

These heavy-duty shears can cut through two-inch branches, feature a giant ratchet jaw to maximize cutting, and have a carbon steel blade.

Click this link to see these on Amazon.

Can You Keep Crabapple Trees Small?

If your garden space is on the smaller side, there are ways to keep your tree from growing too big. Although pruning too often is not great for a crabapple, maintaining a certain size and shape by pruning your tree every few months shouldn't cause any harm.

Of course, another way to keep a crabapple tree small is to plant it in a pot so its roots and overall size won't become an issue.

This planter is suitable for indoor/outdoor use, is UV resistant, holds 5.6 gallons, and comes in a few size options.

View this planter on Amazon here.

How Often Do Crabapples Bloom?

Typically, crabapples bloom annually for two to three weeks during the mid-spring. The average flowering period for crabapple trees is ten days, but flowers usually last a few weeks if the weather is mild.

A few notable bloomers include the Prairifire, Brandywine, and Charlottae varieties due to their gorgeous spring flowers.

Do All Crabapple Trees Produce Fruit?

Although crabapples are known for their slightly bitter-tasting fruit, there are a few ornamental varieties you can grow. The Prairie Rose, Spring Snow, and Marilee crabapples do not produce fruit but will still have flowers during their blooming season.

If you love how crabapple trees look and smell but don't want to pick up fallen or rotted fruit, we think planting one of these options is the perfect solution for you.

To Wrap Things Up

Whether you just planted a crabapple tree or want to, make sure not to overwater your plant. From what we found, crabapples do best with about an inch of water per week and don't require much upkeep. If your tree is new, try to keep its soil consistently moist until it reaches about a year old.

Surprisingly, crabapples are drought-tolerant, so if you live somewhere without frequent rainfall, your tree should be okay. Nevertheless, make sure your tree is in a sunny location with well-draining, slightly acidic soil, and keep an eye out for your tree's springtime flowers and fruit.

Wanting more crabapple content? Check out these related posts below!

Do Crabapple Trees Bloom Every Year?

Crabapple Tree Not Leafing Out - What To Do?

How To Remove A Crabapple Tree Stump - 7 Steps To Follow

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