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As a picturesque design component, ornamental apple enriches the balcony with a lavish abundance of flowers and decorative fruits. Read here which varieties are particularly suitable for this function. There are also useful tips for professional cultivation.

Only very small varieties are suitable for pot culture

Dwarf varieties have the edge in pots

While majestic characters like the mighty Malus 'Rudolph' take center stage in the bed, the focus is on the dwarf varieties on the balcony. The two hybrids 'Tina' and 'Pomzai' have done particularly well in the bucket. They not only score with opulent blossoms and delicate fruits, but also inspire with an ideal growth height of 150 cm.

Important information about plants and care - short and compact

In order for a crab apple to look its best in a bucket, the container should have a volume of at least 20 liters. A floor opening as a water outlet with some potsherds above it as drainage is essential. As a substrate, we recommend a mix of 80 percent potting soil and 20 percent gravel, supplemented with stone dust and compost. Pay attention to these measures as part of the care:

  • Every year in spring with a complete nutrient fertilizer in a dosage of 4 grams per liter of substrate
  • Alternatively, from April to August, fertilize every 4 weeks with compost, rock flour, horn shavings (€32.93) or guano granules
  • Adjust the water supply to a periodically wet substrate
  • Every 2 to 3 years, repot ornamental apples into a larger bucket with fresh soil
  • In late winter, thin out the crown or the bush thoroughly and cut into shape

If your garden is in a winter-harsh location, a crabapple will move to bright, frost-free winter quarters in autumn. Alternatively, wrap the bucket in bubble wrap and place it on a block of wood. A breathable hood made of fleece or jute protects the branches so that late frosts do not destroy the tender buds.


The emphasis on ornamental value of ornamental apples does not imply that the fruit is unfit for consumption. In fact, some of the prettiest varieties also produce large, juicy apples. Classics like 'Golden Hornet' or novelties like 'Butterball' even taste fresh from the tree. Most of the edible fruits can be processed into fruity compote and tart-sweet jelly.

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