The Flowering Crabapple is one of the best flowering trees for bonsai, right
along with Azaleas. This tree produces magnificent white, fragrant flowers that
will cover the entire tree during the early spring months just prior to the
start of foliage. Once foliage begins growing, you would see small, lobed green
pomes appearing in the summer that look like miniature apples. The crabapples
will ripen with varying colors during the fall months. The Flowering Crabapple
is extremely easy to grow and maintain, making it a great choice for beginners.
Although you would not find many species of Malus, you will find many varieties.
When choosing a variety for bonsai look for both flower and fruit color. Some of
the best choices include the Common Crabapple, Halls Crabapple, Nagasaki
Crabapple, and Toringo Crabapple. Regardless of the variety you choose, you will
love the ease in which this bonsai grows.
The Flowering Crabapple loves full sun. The key to prevent mildew is to provide
it with good air circulation. Although the Flowering Crabapple is hardy, you do
need to provide good protection from frost. This particular tree also needs
adequate water, especially during the fruiting season. For feeding, you should
provide fertilizer biweekly until the tree starts to flower, as feeding
afterwards, leaf growth could take place of fruiting. To protect the fast growth
of the tree, do not let the tree fruit for at least two years, which would only
weaken the tree.
You then want to repot the Flowering Crabapple annually prior to bud burst but
with a basic but good soil. To prune the tree, cut back new shoots to just one
or two leaves in the spring. Once pruned, the tree should be left alone until
late summer. To propagate the Flowering Crabapple, you can sow seeds outdoors or
use all wood type cuttings in the fall. You can also layer in the fall, as long
as the tree is protected from frost.
For styling, the best option is the informal, which works great with both single
and multiple trunks. Finally, the Flowering Crabapple does have some problems
with red spider mites, aphids, caterpillars, and apple scab, which can be
controlled with organic pesticides and insecticides.