Pink Lady Apple Info – Learn How To Grow A Pink Lady Apple Tree
By: Liz Baessler
Pink Lady apples, also known as Cripps apples, are very popular commercial fruits that can be found in just about any grocery store produce section. But what’s the story behind the name? And, more importantly, for the avid apple growers, how do you grow your own? Keep reading to learn more Pink Lady apple info.
What’s in a Name – Pink Lady vs. Cripps
The apples that we know as Pink Lady were first developed in Australia in 1973 by John Cripps, who crossed a Golden Delicious tree with a Lady Williams. The result was a shockingly pink apple with a distinctly tart but sweet flavor, and it began being sold in Australia in 1989 under the trademarked name Cripps Pink.
In fact, it was the very first trademarked apple. The apple quickly made its way to America, where it was trademarked again, this time with the name Pink Lady. In the U.S., the apples must meet specific standards including color, sugar content, and firmness in order to be marketed under the Pink Lady name.
And when growers buy trees, they have to obtain a license to be able to use the Pink Lady name at all.
What are Pink Lady Apples?
The Pink Lady apples themselves are unique, with a distinctive pink blush over a yellow or green base. The flavor is often described as simultaneously tart and sweet.
The trees are famously slow to develop fruit, and because of this, they are not as frequently grown in the U.S. as other apples. In fact, they most often appear in American stores in the middle of winter, when they are ripe for the picking in the Southern Hemisphere.
How to Grow a Pink Lady Apple Tree
Pink Lady apple growing is not ideal for every climate. The trees take about 200 days to reach harvest time, and they grow best in hot weather. Because of this, they can be nearly impossible to grow in climates with late spring frosts and mild summers. They are most commonly grown in their native Australia.
The trees are somewhat high maintenance, not least of all because of the standards that must be met to sell under the Pink Lady name. The trees are also prone to fire blight and must be watered regularly during periods of drought.
If you have hot, long summers, however, Pink Lady or Cripps Pink apples are a delicious and hardy choice that ought to thrive in your climate.
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The Pink Lady® brand apple has a distinct sweet-tart flavor and crunchy texture, which makes it an excellent all around apple for baking, fresh eating and processing. The Pink Lady® brand is world renouned for its consistency in quality and high brand standards. Only the finest apples are labeled with the Pink Lady® brand name, so make sure that you always choose the Flowing Heart Logo when selecting what is sure to be one of your favorite apples.
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Consumers team up with Pink Lady® to celebrate the health benefits of exercise and eating America’s favorite apple.
Consumer surveys show fondness for the Pink Lady® brand
In the apple-growing regions of the United States, Pink Lady® apples are harvested in late October to early November.
When selecting a pollinator for "Pink Lady" apples, choose a variety with a similar bloom time. "Pink Lady" has a long bloom time, so finding a suitable cultivar isn't difficult. "Braeburn" (Malus domestica "Braeburn") hails from New Zealand and is one of the latest ripening varieties you'll find. Another one to try is "Wolf River" (Malus domestica "Wolf River"), an heirloom variety known for its large, flavorful fruit and resistance to scab and mildew. For long storing baking apples, try "Melrose" (Malus domestica "Melrose"). These tart apples will store for six months or more in cold storage. All of these varieties grow in USDA plant hardiness zones 4 through 9.
- "Pink Lady" apple trees, like most apple varieties, are self-sterile and must be grown with another apple variety to produce fruit.
- Another one to try is "Wolf River" (Malus domestica "Wolf River"), an heirloom variety known for its large, flavorful fruit and resistance to scab and mildew.
Plant the seeds
Scoop potting mix or seed-raising mix into 4.5 litre (1 gallon) plastic pots.
Dip each of the pots into a bucket or basin that has about 10 cm (4 inches) of water in it and let the pots soak until the potting mix is saturated. Set the pots aside and let them drain before continuing.
Poke two to three 1.25 cm (1/2 inch) deep holes in the pots. Drop one pink lady apple tree seed into each of the holes, then cover them with no more than 1.25 cm (1/2 inch) of the potting mix.
- Scoop potting mix or seed-raising mix into 4.5 litre (1 gallon) plastic pots.
- Drop one pink lady apple tree seed into each of the holes, then cover them with no more than 1.25 cm (1/2 inch) of the potting mix.
Transfer the pots to a sheltered location that will provide some filtered light every day. Keep the potting mix moist by misting them with water as needed. Germination should begin in about 30 to 60 days depending on conditions.
Transplant the pink lady apple tree seedlings into their permanent location when they are large enough to handle, generally when they are at least 30 to 35 cm (12 to 14 inches) tall.
ALTERNATIVES TO PINK LADY APPLES
Fiesta - very well suited to the UK climate, far more disease resistant, exceptional flavour and a white, crispy and juicy flesh.
Katy - one of the best looking apples of all time, rosy red all over. Crisp and slightly sweet, these are smallish apples which kids love. Can also be used as an excellent cooker.
Worcester Pearmain - Another multi-purpose apple for eating and cooking as well as juice. White, crisp flesh and very tasty. A good choice, not only for open ground, but also containers.