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The Purple Prince Crabapple Tree

The purple prince crabapple tree is a vibrant magenta-colored variety of crabapple trees that produces edible fruits and grows in many areas.

This hardy variety grows into a small, ornamental tree that is a beautiful home garden addition.

Keep reading to learn more about the purple prince and why you might want to add this crabapple tree to your landscape this year!

Looking to buy a purple prince crabapple tree? Check availability.

Many reddish-purple flowers of a purple prince crabapple tree.


The purple prince crabapple tree is native to the mountainous regions of central Asia. It is said to have been brought from Asia to Europe by the Romans, where it was used to cultivate many different varieties of crabapple trees.

These beautiful ornamental trees are found in temperate regions like Russia, China, and North America, mostly in open areas with great sun exposure.

The tree bark of crabapple trees was used medicinally by some indigenous tribes for various ailments, like skin problems or digestive problems.

These trees have also played a spiritual role in some cultures as they were regarded as reincarnations of loved ones passed.

Characteristics of the Purple Prince Crabapple Tree

Closeup of flowers of a purple prince crabapple.


These compact trees display an abundance of reddish purple blooms during the spring, producing fruit in late summer to early autumn.

The bright magenta blooms are framed by purple leaves, which hold their color for a few months before transitioning into a greenish hue.

The purple prince crabapple tree can grow up to twenty feet tall and twenty feet wide and boasts vibrant bronzish-green foliage.

This tree produces small, vibrant, ruby-red fruit into the winter, making it popular for home landscapes. This crabapple tree is well-suited for smaller gardens, given its bushy but smaller-than-average size for a tree.

Closeup of deep red crabapples in the fall.


Raw purple prince crabapples taste bitter, so they are best when prepared in a cooked recipe.

Ways to Use

There are many different uses for purple prince crabapples. They can be used to make topical creams for skin issues.

They can also be used to make jams, jellies, and juices. Crabapples naturally produce pectin, which is a known necessity to make most jellies.

Crabapple wood puts off a very pleasant aroma when burned and is often used to flavor smoked foods.

These versatile little fruits can be used in pies, cakes, and tarts. They’ve also been used for natural remedies dating back centuries.

Health Benefits

A bowl of large crabapples.

Crabapples have many of the same nutrients as regular apples but on a much smaller scale.

These fruits contain malic and tartaric acids, which target and neutralize the effects of indigestion and heartburn.

Purple prince crabapples are an excellent source of vitamin C and other antioxidants, like polyphenols, that work to rid your body of harmful toxins such as free radicals.

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and a vital nutrient that promotes a healthy immune system and helps the body defend against illnesses.

Crabapples also contain less iron, phosphorus, manganese, calcium, and magnesium.

These little fruits contain a well-known pre-biotic known for the thickening power of jams and jellies – pectin. This nutrient helps maintain a healthy gut and helps reduce inflammation while regulating the immune system.

Growing Your Own

White and pink crabapples planted in a botanical garden.

The purple prince crabapple tree is a beautiful, hardy tree to have in your home garden to beat the heat. These bushy trees make the perfect shade on hot, sunny days.

This variety of crabapple trees is low maintenance and grows in most areas. It doesn’t require very much water to thrive.

How To Plant

Plant purple prince crabapple trees in the late spring but no later than early fall for the best results.

The best place to place these trees is a sunny spot with excellent drainage because damp, waterlogged soil can encourage disease and molding. Choose a spot where the roots can fan out and grow freely.

To prepare, first, dig a hole that is as deep as the rootball on the tree and about three times wider than the rootball. Once you have finished digging the hole and removing all the soil, amend it with some compost or peat moss to enrich it and promote a healthy root system for your tree.

A gardener digging in the ground with a shovel.

Plant your three to six-foot-tall bare-root tree directly into the ground. Place the tree so that its growing base is level with the ground, and then bury the bottom with loose soil. Then pack down the soil with your hands to secure it and soak it very well.

Once you have the tree in the ground and have watered it, add a layer of mulch around the area, but not too close to the tree trunk, so as not to cause decay.

New purple prince crabapple trees need to be watered regularly. If there is no rain, these trees must be watered weekly through the first year. To determine if the tree needs to be watered, check the first two to three inches of soil. If it is dry, it’s time to water your tree.

After the first year or two of monitoring these trees for proper moisture, they will be able to survive on their own.


Blossoms on a purple prince crabapple tree.

Purple prince crabapple trees must be fertilized every two to three years using a 10-10-10 fertilizer mix. They should be fed in the early spring once the plants begin growing and blooming.

Pruning Purple Prince Crabapple Trees

These trees are very bushy and may need to be pruned occasionally to remove dead branches and encourage healthy bush growth. Pruning a crabapple tree promotes a higher fruit yield, with even more stunning flowers covering the tree after dead branches and leaves are removed.

Dead limbs should be removed close to the trunk of the tree. Make cuts at a slight angle right above the leaf buds to shape a crabapple tree.

Pruning a deciduous shrub like the crabapple tree is the best way to promote the natural growth of the bush while removing any dead limbs or branches hindering its growth.

Pests and Disease

A crabapple tree affected by cedar-apple rust showing up as yellow and brown spots on the leaves.
Cedar apple rust on a crabapple tree.

A host of pests and plant diseases are known to target crabapple trees.

Powdery mildew can be a problem for crabapple trees if the soil is exposed to too much moisture. To remedy this issue, spray the affected leaves with a prevention/treatment fungicide once a week for three weeks and be sure not to overwater.

Cedar-apple rust is another problem you may encounter with crabapple trees if they are located near a cedar tree. A copper fungicide can be used once every ten days up to three times to combat this issue.

Blight can be a problem for the purple prince crabapple tree. If you notice any shriveling or browning blossoms, break off the affected branches and dispose of them immediately to prevent the spread of the disease to any other plants or trees nearby.

Aphids, spider mites, scale insects, and Japanese beetles may attack your crabapple tree. The beetles can be removed by hand, while the other pests can be removed by spraying them off the leaves and branches of the tree.

Where to Buy a Tree

Closeup of magenta-colored blossoms on a crabapple tree.

Are you ready to grow a purple prince crabapple tree in your own backyard garden for fruit, or for the perfect shade tree? We can point you in the right direction!

You can find your purple prince crabapple tree at one of our favorite online retailers, Nature Hills Nursery.

Order yours in time for spring planting or visit them later to add the purple prince to your fall planting lineup.

A Vibrant Garden Addition

Closeup of crabapple blossoms with a blurred background.

Looking for a beautiful and vibrantly pink-purple addition to your home garden? You’ve found it! The purple prince crabapple tree is easy to grow and maintain, requiring minimal preparation and aftercare to thrive.

If you would like to learn more about the different varieties of crabapples and their uses, check out the Crabapple Trees page on our website.