Spartan apple Malus domestica 'Spartan' (D)

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
apple 'Spartan'


The apple tree known as 'Spartan' is a variety that produces fruit admired for its aesthetic appeal and taste. The appearance of this apple tree, without focusing on its size, is characterized by its lush green foliage that provides a striking contrast to the deep red skin of its apples. The leaves are typically ovate with a slightly serrated margin and a glossy finish that catches the light, adding to the tree's vibrant look. As for the apples themselves, they have a round, slightly conical shape, smooth and waxy to the touch. The skin of Spartan apples is predominantly a rich, dark red hue, which may exhibit streaks or blushes of brighter red depending on sunlight exposure. Underneath the attractive exterior, the flesh of these apples is commonly white to cream-colored, known for its crisp texture and juicy consistency. The fruit stem is short to medium in length, sturdy enough to support the weight of the fruit until ripe. Clusters of pale pink to white blossoms emerge on the tree during spring, providing a fragrant and visually pleasing display. These flowers eventually give way to the developing apples, which grow and mature through the summer months. The overall visual impression of the Spartan apple tree is one of robust vitality and abundant fruitfulness, often making it a popular choice for both orchards and home gardens.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Synonyms

      Spartan Apple

    • Common names

      Malus domestica 'Spartan', Malus pumila 'Spartan'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The common name for Malus domestica 'Spartan' is apple. Apples are generally non-toxic to humans and are widely consumed as food. However, the seeds of apples contain amygdalin, a compound that can release cyanide when digested. Consuming a large number of apple seeds may lead to symptoms of cyanide poisoning which include headache, dizziness, shortness of breath, and in severe cases, seizures, and cardiac arrest. The risk is generally low as one would have to consume an unusually large number of seeds to experience toxicity.

    • To pets

      The common name for Malus domestica 'Spartan' is apple. Apples are typically safe for pets such as dogs and cats to eat in moderate amounts. However, similar to their effect on humans, the seeds contain amygdalin, which can release cyanide when digested. It is advised to keep apple seeds, stems, and leaves away from pets as consumption in significant quantities can lead to symptoms of cyanide poisoning, which can include dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, panting, and shock. Generally, the flesh of the apple is safe for pets, but always remove the seeds and core before offering apples to pets.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      12-20 feet (3.7-6 meters)

    • Spread

      12-15 feet (3.7-4.6 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic Appeal: The 'Spartan' apple tree produces vibrant pinkish-white blossoms in the spring, adding ornamental value to gardens and landscapes.
    • Fruit Production: It yields a crop of crisp, sweet-tart apples typically ready for harvest in the autumn, providing a source of fresh fruit for eating, baking, and preserving.
    • Shade Provider: As a medium-sized tree, it offers shade during hot summer months, creating a cooler microenvironment.
    • Habitat for Wildlife: The tree can attract various birds and pollinators like bees, providing them with food and shelter.
    • Educational Opportunities: Ideal for use in educational gardens or programs where the life cycle of plants, pollination, and fruit development can be observed and studied.
    • Carbon Sequestration: Like all trees, 'Spartan' apple trees absorb carbon dioxide, helping to mitigate the effects of climate change.
    • Soil Improvement: Leaf litter from the tree adds organic matter to the soil as it decomposes, improving soil structure and fertility.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Antioxidant Content: Apples are a good source of antioxidants, which may help neutralize free radicals and reduce oxidative stress.
    • Dietary Fiber: The fiber in apples can promote digestive health and contribute to the maintenance of a healthy gut microbiome.
    • Vitamin C: Apples provide vitamin C, which is important for immune system function and the maintenance of skin integrity.
    • Quercetin: This flavonoid found in apples is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and potential role in reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
    • Heart Health: The fiber, antioxidants, and other compounds in apples may contribute to heart health by reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Floral Arrangements: The branches of the apple tree, particularly when in bloom, can be cut and used in floral arrangements for their delicate flowers and fresh fragrance.
    • Natural Dyes: The leaves and bark of the apple tree can be used to make natural dyes for fabrics, offering a range of green and brown hues.
    • Photography Props: Apple trees, especially when laden with fruit or blossoms, make picturesque props for outdoor photography and contribute to a natural rustic charm.
    • Wood Carving: The wood of the apple tree is valued for its density and can be used in wood carving and turning to make small objects like handles, knobs, and decorative items.
    • Walking Sticks: The strong, straight branches of older apple trees can be harvested and crafted into durable walking sticks or canes.
    • Insectary Plants: Apple trees can attract beneficial insects to the garden, such as bees for pollination and predatory insects that help control pests.
    • Educational Resource: Apple trees can be used in schools or educational programs to teach children about plant growth, fruit development, and the ecosystem.
    • Living Fences: By training and pruning, apple trees can be shaped into living fences or boundary markers that are both functional and fruitful.
    • Wood Smoking Chips: The wood from apple trees is often used to create smoking chips for barbecuing, imparting a sweet, fruity flavor to smoked meats.
    • Wildlife Habitat: Apple trees provide shelter and a food source for various wildlife, including birds and small mammals, contributing to biodiversity in a garden setting.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Apple Tree is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Apple Tree is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Beauty: With its appealing red skin and attractive form, the Spartan apple represents physical beauty and charm.
    • Knowledge: Apples are often connected to wisdom, as seen in mythological stories such as Adam and Eve, and the Spartan variety inherits this classical association.
    • Temptation: Reflecting the biblical story of the forbidden fruit, Spartan apples symbolize desire and the enticing allure of what may be off-limits.
    • Health: The well-known saying "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" relates to the health benefits of apples, and Spartan apples, like others, are emblematic of health and well-being.
    • Abundance: Apple trees' prolific nature makes them a symbol of abundance and fertility, suggestive of life's luxuriance and fullness.

Every 7 to 10 days
2500 - 10000 Lux
Not applicable
Late winter
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Spartan apples, or apple trees in general, should be watered regularly, especially during their first few growing seasons to establish a deep, extensive root system. The watering frequency depends on the weather and soil moisture levels, but as a rule of thumb, give the tree about 5 gallons of water per week. During hot and dry periods, increase watering to twice per week, ensuring that water reaches deep into the soil. Decrease watering as the weather cools and rainfall increases. Overwatering can be as harmful as under-watering, so make sure the soil is draining well and not waterlogged.

  • sunLight

    Apple trees, including the Spartan variety, thrive best in full sun. They should receive a minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight each day. The best spot for planting is in a location where the tree will get unobstructed sunlight throughout the day. Avoid planting in shaded areas as this can reduce fruit production and make the tree susceptible to diseases.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Spartan apple trees are hardy and can tolerate a range of temperatures, but they grow best in USDA hardiness zones 5 through 8. The ideal growing temperature is between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. They can survive winter temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit, but young trees are more susceptible to frost damage. During the growing season, it is crucial to ensure the trees are not exposed to extreme temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, which can stress the tree and affect fruit development.

  • scissorsPruning

    Apple trees, such as the Spartan variety, should be pruned to promote healthy growth, improve sunlight exposure, and increase fruit quality. Prune in late winter or early spring before the new growth starts. Remove any dead, damaged, or diseased branches, along with any that cross or rub against each other. Thin out the canopy to allow sunlight and air to penetrate, which reduces the risk of disease. Prune annually to maintain the structure and health of the tree.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Apple trees like 'Spartan' prefer a well-draining soil with a mixture of loam, organic compost, and a balance of sand/clay for aeration and moisture retention. The ideal soil pH should be between 6.0 and 7.0.

  • plantRepotting

    'Spartan' apple trees, when grown in containers, should be repotted every 2 to 3 years to ensure they have enough space to grow and to refresh the soil.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    'Spartan' apple trees thrive in moderate humidity levels, typically ranging between 60-70%. They are adaptable to outdoor conditions where humidity fluctuates naturally.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Ensure full light, keep cool, water well.

    • Outdoor

      Full sun, well-drained soil, seasonal pruning.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The Spartan apple tree, like other Malus domestica varieties, begins its life cycle from seed germination, where it grows from a seed into a small seedling. After transplantation or natural progression, it enters a juvenile phase where it focuses on vegetative growth, developing roots, stems, and leaves but does not yet produce fruit. The tree then reaches maturity after several years, capable of flowering annually in spring; this is when pollination occurs, typically facilitated by bees, leading to the development of apples. Fruit development progresses through the summer, with mature Spartan apples typically ready to harvest in the fall. Once harvested, the tree enters a period of dormancy during the winter months, conserving energy for the next growing season. This cycle of flowering, fruiting, and dormancy repeats annually throughout the tree's productive life span, which can be several decades long.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Late winter

    • Propogation: The most popular method of propagating the 'Spartan' apple, a cultivar of Malus domestica, is through grafting. This is typically done during the dormant season, most commonly in late winter or early spring before active growth begins. In grafting, a scion, which is a cutting from a desired 'Spartan' apple tree with two to three buds, is joined to a rootstock that is compatible and known for imparting desirable characteristics like disease resistance and size control. The scion and rootstock are cut at matching angles and bound tightly together, often with grafting tape, to encourage the tissues to fuse as they heal. The graft should be kept moist and monitored for signs of growth, which indicates successful union. This method is chosen because it maintains the varietal characteristics of the 'Spartan' apple while taking advantage of the robust nature of the rootstock.