Rudolph Crabapple Malus 'Rudolph'

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


The Malus 'Rudolph', commonly known as Rudolph crabapple, presents a striking visual display with its ornamental features. It announced its presence when it puts on a springtime show of vibrant blossoms that attract onlookers. The flowers have a rich pink color that can range from deep fuchsia to a lighter, more pastel shade. These blooms bring not only color but also a delightful fragrance to the garden, signaling the warmer days ahead. As the flowering season progresses, the Rudolph crabapple's foliage emerges as a complementary attraction. The leaves are a glossy green, maintaining a fresh, lively appearance throughout the growing season. The shape of the leaves is generally oval, coming to a subtle point, and they can have a slightly serrated edge. As the seasons change, the foliage often transitions to display autumnal hues, providing a prolonged period of visual interest. Following the blooms, the tree produces small fruits that are typically about the size of a cherry. These crabapples are often a red or deep burgundy color, which both adorn the tree and provide a food source for local wildlife. Often clustered, the crabapples can remain on the tree well into winter, offering a stark contrast to the bare branches of the colder season. Throughout the year, Rudolph crabapple's bark remains a sturdy, textured background to its more colorful features. The bark has a rugged appearance, with a color palette that typically includes shades of gray and brown. The branches spread out in an aesthetically pleasing manner, contributing to the tree's overall shape and structure, which is often described as rounded or vase-like. Overall, the Rudolph crabapple is a plant that provides multi-seasonal decorative value, seamlessly transitioning from a blossoming beacon of spring to a fruit-adorned emblem of autumn and winter.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Rudolph Crabapple

    • Common names

      Malus 'Rudolph'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Malus 'Rudolph', commonly known as the flowering crabapple, is not considered highly toxic to humans. However, like many members of the Malus genus, the seeds of the crabapple contain cyanogenic glycosides, which can release cyanide when ingested in large quantities. Eating a few seeds is unlikely to cause harm, but consuming them in significant amounts might lead to symptoms of cyanide poisoning. These symptoms can include headache, dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea, and potentially more severe reactions like seizures, loss of consciousness, and in extreme cases, death. The risk associated with the crabapple seeds is generally low unless one deliberately eats a large number of seeds.

    • To pets

      The Malus 'Rudolph', or flowering crabapple, poses a similar risk to pets as it does to humans. The main concern comes from the seeds, which contain cyanogenic glycosides capable of releasing cyanide when metabolized. Ingestion of a small number of seeds typically does not lead to poisoning, but if a pet consumes a large volume of seeds, symptoms may include drooling, dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, and shock. In severe cases, ingestion can lead to seizures, coma, or even death. It is advisable to prevent pets from accessing large quantities of crabapple seeds to avoid the risk of toxicity.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      15 feet (4.57 meters)

    • Spread

      12 feet (3.66 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    1. Ornamental Value: The plant has striking pink to red flowers that enhance the aesthetic appeal of any garden or landscape.
    2. Pollinator Attraction: Its flowers are a source of nectar and pollen for bees and other pollinating insects, promoting biodiversity.
    3. Shade Provider: As a medium-sized tree, it can offer shade and cooling effects to gardens and outdoor spaces.
    4. Seasonal Interest: It has a seasonal display that includes spring blossoms, summer foliage, and often colorful autumn leaves.
    5. Edible Fruit: Produces apples that can be enjoyed fresh, in cooking, or for making cider, depending on the variety.
    6. Wildlife Habitat: Offers shelter and sometimes food for birds and small mammals.
    7. Privacy Screen: When planted in groups, they can form a natural privacy screen or windbreak.
    8. Cultural Significance: Apples have various symbolic meanings in different cultures and are used in many traditions and celebrations.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Wildlife Habitat: Malus 'Rudolph', commonly known as Crabapple, can offer shelter and nesting sites for birds and other small wildlife within its dense branches.
    • Natural Dye: The bark, leaves, and fruit of the Crabapple tree can be used to produce natural dyes for fabrics or crafting materials.
    • Photography Subjects: The vibrant blossoms of Crabapple trees provide a picturesque setting for photography, especially during the spring bloom.
    • Educational Tool: Crabapple trees can be used in educational settings to teach students about plant biology, growth cycles, and pollination.
    • Bonsai Art: Crabapple trees are suitable for bonsai cultivation, offering enthusiasts a way to practice the art of miniature tree shaping.
    • Soil Erosion Control: Planting Crabapple trees on slopes can help prevent soil erosion due to their root system that stabilizes the ground.
    • Windbreaks: A row of Crabapple trees can serve as a windbreak, reducing wind speed and protecting smaller plants or gardens.
    • Crafting Material: Fallen Crabapple branches can be used for woodworking, turning, or as decorative elements in rustic craft projects.
    • Living Fences: By planting Crabapple trees in a line, they can form a living fence that demarcates property lines or encloses a space.
    • Culinary Experiments: While not a common culinary fruit, Crabapple's tart fruit can be used in experimental cooking, especially in jams, jellies, or as a flavoring agent in certain dishes.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Crabapple is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Crabapple is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Renewal and Beginning: Malus 'Rudolph', commonly known as the crabapple tree, blooms in the spring, symbolizing new beginnings and the renewal of life.
    • Love and Marriage: Since crabapple trees are often covered in beautiful blossoms, they can represent love and the celebration of marriage, especially with their connection to the blooming season.
    • Peace: The crabapple tree can be a symbol of peace, as its gentle appearance and pleasant fragrance create a serene atmosphere.
    • Hope: The hardy nature of the crabapple, which allows it to withstand many environments, can symbolize hope and the resilience to overcome challenges.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Not applicable
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Rudolph Apple Tree should be watered regularly, especially during its first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Water the tree deeply once a week, applying around 1 to 2 gallons per application. During periods of drought or extreme heat, you may need to water twice a week. Adjust watering based on rainfall; in wet conditions, reduce frequency to avoid waterlogging. It’s important not to overwater, as standing water can cause root rot.

  • sunLight

    The Rudolph Apple Tree thrives in full sunlight, requiring at least six hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day. The best spot for planting is an area that receives morning sun, which is less harsh than afternoon sun and helps dry dew on the leaves, reducing the risk of diseases.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Rudolph Apple Tree can tolerate a range of temperatures but grows best in temperate climates. It can survive winter temperatures as low as -20°F and summer temperatures up to 90°F. However, the ideal growing temperature range is between 60°F and 75°F.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune the Rudolph Apple Tree during its dormant season, in late winter or early spring, to maintain its shape, improve air circulation, and remove dead or diseased branches. Pruning is also necessary to encourage the growth of fruiting spurs. It should be pruned annually, but heavy pruning should be avoided to maintain a productive tree.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Crabapple 'Rudolph' prefers well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. Mix loamy soil with peat, compost, and a balanced, slow-release fertilizer for best results.

  • plantRepotting

    Crabapple 'Rudolph', when grown in a container, should be repotted every 2-3 years or when it becomes root-bound to encourage healthy growth.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Crabapple 'Rudolph' thrives in outdoor environments and does not require specific humidity levels; average outdoor humidity is suitable for this plant.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Not ideal for indoor growth; requires full sun, space.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun, well-draining soil, space to grow.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Malus 'Rudolph', commonly known as Rudolph Crabapple, begins its life as a dormant seed which, after stratification, germinates in the spring. It grows into a seedling with a small root system and a shoot that develops into a trunk and branches. As the tree matures, it develops leaves, which photosynthesize to fuel its growth into a young tree. Once mature, usually after several years, the Rudolph Crabapple produces flowers in late spring, which are pollinated by insects to produce fruit. The tree's fruit, or crabapples, contain seeds that, when dispersed, can give rise to new seedlings, thus beginning the cycle anew. Throughout its life, which can span several decades, the Rudolph Crabapple undergoes periods of vegetative growth and dormancy, typically losing its leaves and entering a dormant phase each winter.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • The most popular method of propagating Malus 'Rudolph', commonly known as crabapple, is through grafting. This process is best performed in late winter to early spring before new growth begins. In grafting, a scion, which is a young shoot or twig of the crabapple, is selected for its healthy, disease-free status. The scion is then carefully cut at an angle and joined to the rootstock of another apple tree that has been prepared with a matching cut. The two are bound together with grafting tape or a similar material, ensuring a snug fit to facilitate the successful fusion of their vascular tissues. Over time, the scion and rootstock grow together, resulting in a new crabapple tree that combines the rootstock's hardiness with the desirable characteristics of the 'Rudolph' variety.