Why Do Apples Grow in Cold Climates?-Top Reasons

One of the questions that many apple farmers and consumers usually ask is, why do apples grow in cold climates? Knowing why apples thrive in cold temperatures can enable you to understand the fruits’ optimal growing conditions. According to scientific research, fruits that grow in cold climates have a unique genome structure that allows them to withstand low temperatures.

Today, apples are grown in different parts of the world, with varying climates. Studies show apples can even grow in moderate to warmer climatic conditions. However, the fruits mainly thrive in cold environments. And that begs the question, what temperatures do apples grow in? This article seeks to answer the question, why do apples need cold weather? It also highlights the ideal apple growing conditions. You may also learn more about the best trees to grow in rocky soil here.

Why Do Apples Grow in Cold Climates?

It is not uncommon to wonder why do apples grow in cold climates. As a farmer or gardener, you may also ask, can apples grow in cold weather? Well, multiple studies and even experiences of individual farmers prove apples often do best in cold climates. The following are the top explanations for why do apples grow in cold climates?

Natural Defense Mechanism

As hinted above, cold climate fruit trees such as apples have a unique genome structure, with a natural defense mechanism that enables them to resist freezing temperatures. And this partly answers the question, why do apples grow in cold climates? The genetic trait that gives apples that protection is called cold hardiness. The apple tree’s cells start to break down when exposed to below-freezing temperatures. However, they can quickly rebuild the cells if the temperatures remain below 15 degrees Fahrenheit for a long.

Cold Weather Keeps Pests and Diseases Away

Pest and diseases are also vital to consider when answering the question, why do apples grow in cold climates? Like other fruit trees, apples usually attract many pests and diseases. While pests and insects can thrive in varying climatic conditions, cold temperatures significantly slow their reproduction. Apple scab is one of the common fungal diseases affecting apples that you can easily avoid whenever you grow fruits in cold weather. Cold temperatures make the plant inhabitable to most pests and inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, keeping the fruits healthy. Thus, this factor also answers the question, why do apples grow in cold climates?

Better Access to Water and Nutrients

Apples also do best in cold temperatures because they require more nutrients and water to maintain proper growth and development in freezing conditions. So, water and nutrients access is a vital consideration when answering the question, why do apples grow in cold climates? Unlike dry climates, cold weather enables plants to access plenty of water from rainfall, snow, and nutrients from the soil.

Like most fruits and vegetables that grow in cold climates, the freezing temperatures allow apples to collect and retain lots of water and nutrients, essential to producing healthy and juicy fruits. Besides, that implies that plants do not struggle to find adequate nutrients and water for optimal growth and development. Again, this partly answers the question, why do apples grow in cold climates?

However, that could also make you ask, do apples grow in winter? Apples can survive a cold snap for a few hours, but prolonged exposure to below-freezing temperatures can harm the fruits. A build-up of frost can quickly kill tender blossoms and weaken mature fruits. Although cold temperatures allow apples better access to water and nutrients, exposure to cold conditions can slow their growth and development.

Cold Weather Impacts on Apples

To understand why do apples grow in cold climates, you should also know how freezing temperatures impact the fruits’ overall growth and development. Thanks to their natural defense mechanism, apples can survive cold temperatures. However, below-freezing temperatures expose the plants to risks that every farmer should understand.

Freezing climates can lead to smaller crop yields, leaving you with a small fraction of hardier fruits. Below-freezing temperatures can induce a heavy toll on the plants, weakening and killing them. Advection freeze and radiation freeze are the two events to consider when answering the question, why do apples grow in cold climates?

Advection freeze occurs when a dry, cold air mass hits, with strong winds at night and early morning. That radiates away the heat held in the soil and within the plant. A radiation freeze occurs when a layer of cold, dry air forms under a layer of warm air on clear and calm nights. That can make the plant much colder, causing damage.

Frost is another thing you should be careful about when growing apples in cold weather. In the early season, a frost build-up on the plants can significantly slow their growth. The frost that hits at such times can form rusty brown patches on the fruits. The blemishes may not impact the apples’ flavor but can damage the fruits. Thus, frost is a vital consideration when answering the question, why do apples grow in cold climates?

Farmers who grow apples in cold climates should always look for weather forecasts to know when to apply frost or snow protection measures. The best methods for tackling freezing temperatures include covers, water applications, wind machines, and heaters. So, cold weather impact is a vital consideration when answering the question, why do apples grow in cold climates?

Apple Growing Conditions

You want to know the growing conditions for apple tree when asking, why do apples grow in cold climates? There are thousands of apple varieties with varying growing conditions. However, apple trees also share certain essential traits that enable them to tolerate similar conditions. And that can make it a bit confusing to tell the ideal apple tree climate zone. So, what climates do apples grow best in?

Growing Apples in Cold Climates

Where do apples do best? They primarily prefer temperate climates with cooler summers and long frost-free growing seasons. The ideal temperatures should range between 10-18 degrees Celsius. Apples usually bloom and produce fruit in autumn, so they need the temperatures to remain low enough to facilitate pollination and prevent damage to the blossoms.

Several apple varieties usually need at least three months without cold weather. That ensures the buds do not die off prematurely due to freezing temperatures. And this is essential to consider when answering the question, why do apples grow in cold climates?

Heavy or prolonged rains usually deliver more giant, plush apples, ideal for juicing. However, excessive rainfall can produce apple fruits with softer textures, more vulnerable to bruising. Too much moisture during and after the maturity stage can induce molding that could kill all the apples.

Although apples mainly thrive in cold climates, they can also survive in moderate to warmer climates. That is because apples also have a reputation as autumn fruit crops that can tolerate a wide range of temperature fluctuations. Nonetheless, extreme weather swings could alter the sweet flavor of the fruits. Therefore, they are vital considerations when answering the question, why do apples grow in cold climates?

Growing Apples in the Tropics

So, can apples grow in a tropical climate? Yes, apples can grow in tropical weather, and people have cultivated them in such conditions for decades. However, growing apples in the tropics require you to meet specific requirements for better yields. Which, again, partly answers the question, why do apples grow in cold climates?

The first condition for growing apples in a tropical climate is to ensure that the temperatures do not go beyond 5 degrees Celsius and 12 degrees Celsius or 41 degrees Fahrenheit and 54 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are growing quick-yield apple varieties such as Granny Smith or Pink Lady, the temperatures should not drop below 4 degrees Celsius.

When answering the question, why do apples grow in cold climates, is also essential to grow the apples in tropical areas with enough rainfall throughout the year, so they remain watered even during the dry periods. Proper spacing is also crucial when planting apple trees to ensure that the dense foliage does not prevent light from reaching all your plants.

While apples can grow in tropical climates under the above conditions, there are some potential shortcomings. Tropical climates generally give apples a hard time growing and developing. The temperatures keep the soil compact, moist, and hot, inhibiting the tree from establishing roots properly. Which also answers the question, why do apples grow in cold climates?

Besides, the high humidity levels impact poor air circulation around the plant, slowing growth and development. Apples grown in tropical climates will likely taste differently since the temperatures can interfere with the flavors. And this consideration is also vital when answering the question, why do apples grow in cold climates?

Growing Apples in Hot Climates

So far, this article has answered the question, why do apples grow in cold climates? However, you can also grow this fruit tree in hot climates. Apple is a unique plant that can tolerate diverse climatic conditions. Although most apple species do best in cold climates and tropical weather, some can also thrive in warmer and hot conditions. However, there are specific conditions on how to grow apples in a hot environment that you must observe to ensure good harvests.

Regular watering is one of the most important requirements for growing apples in hot climates. Apple plants usually need an average of 600 mm of water annually, with almost half of it administered during summer. The main goal is to keep the soil moist and wet but not soggy since overwatering can also harm the plants. So, water the apples daily but exercise caution not to give them excess. Please do this bearing in mind the answers to the question, why do apples grow in cold climates?

Fertilizers are also essential if you are planning to grow apples in warmer and hot climates. The dry conditions hinder the plants from accessing adequate nutrients, which could stunt their growth and development. Thus, you should apply fertilizers to give your apples the desired nutrient boost. Apple trees mainly need nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and trace minerals. Understanding the fertilizers to apply to your apple trees is essential even when not seeking the answer to the question, why do apples grow in cold climates?

Granular fertilizers with a ratio of 20:10:10 are usually the best, but you can also use animal manure and bio-fertilizers to improve yields. You can apply fertilizers at different times of the year. Apply the fertilizer at about one pound per foot along the drip line. It would also be ideal for planting cover crops around the plants to provide organic matter for better yields.

Farmers should also remember chemical fertilizers are not great for apples grown in hot climates since they can interfere with the pH levels. Also, plant the apples in well-drained soil with access to full sunlight. Additionally, avoid clay soil because it holds too much water that can cause root rot in apples.

This article has sufficiently answered the question, why do apples grow in cold climates? However, pruning is also be essential when growing apples in a hot climate. Shedding off dead and excessive branches will reduce the plant’s watering and fertilization needs. Besides, pruning can also help to prevent disease and pest infestation, promoting better growth and development. However, be careful not to damage the blossoms and pre-mature fruits.

Impacts of Warmer Temperatures on Apples

Although apples can tolerate hot climates if you provide the conditions described above, there are a few things to expect. Significantly warmer temperatures can cause early blooms that could alter apple fruits’ firmness and acid concentration levels. Like other plants, excessive heat can burn and kill apple trees rapidly. It could also change the color of red apple fruits, leaving them brown or pink.

Extended exposure to hot conditions can make apple fruits softer and mushy, with a mealy texture instead of crisp and juicy. However, apples that people cultivate in hot climates are usually small in size, with less water content and tastier flavors. And this makes them an excellent pick for those who prefer sweeter snacks.

Choosing Apple Trees

Apple tree variety is another factor to consider when answering the question, why do apples grow in cold climates? There are several apple varieties to choose from when growing these cold-climate fruit trees. While most apple tree varieties can grow and do well in varying climates, some require specific growing conditions. Thus, it is also essential to know how to choose the suitable apple trees that can thrive in your area.

Plenty of options exist for those planning to grow apples in cold climates since that is the optimal condition that apple trees require to thrive. However, growing apples in tropical and hot temperatures can be challenging since only certain varieties can do well in those conditions. The best types to consider if you intend to cultivate apples in tropical and warmer climates are Granny Smith, Tropical Anna, Golden Dorsett, and Fuji.

Also, consider how much time the apple tree will take to mature when choosing the varieties to grow. Some types mature faster, while others take longer. Besides, disease and pest resistance are also important factors when selecting apple trees. Red Delicious is one of the apple varieties with better disease-resistance properties, but you can also find other species bred to withstand different conditions, diseases, and pests.

Parting Shot

Apples are highly nutritious and plush fruits with exquisite flavors. While apple trees mainly prefer cold climatic conditions, they can also tolerate tropical and hot climates. This article has answered the question, why do apples grow in cold climates? It has also provided more insights for cultivating apple fruits in other climatic conditions.


What climate is best for apple trees?

Apples can thrive in varying climatic conditions but do best in cold climates. The ideal apple growing conditions should provide temperate weather, with cool summers and longer frost-free periods.

Why do apples need cold?

Apples have a natural defense mechanism that enables them to withstand freezing temperatures. Nonetheless, cold climates allow apples access to adequate water and nutrients essential to optimal growth and development. The cold also creates inhabitable conditions for apple pests and diseases.

What are the climatic conditions for growing apples?

Cold climates with temperatures ranging from about 10 degrees Celsius to 18 degrees Celsius are usually the best for growing apples. The plants also need sunlight, low humidity, and better air circulation.

What effect do high temperatures have on the growth of apples?

Although apples can grow in hot climates, exposure to extreme heat over long periods can change the fruits’ concentration levels and colors. It can also burn the plants and make the fruits mushy. However, hot temperatures can also induce sweeter flavors.

Where do apples grow best?

Areas with cold climates, well-draining soils, and sunlight provide the best growing conditions for apples. However, you can breed some apple varieties that thrive well in other areas.

Can apples grow in a hot climate?

Yes, apples can grow in hot climates but under specific conditions. The main requirements for growing apples in hot climates include regular watering, fertilizers, and proper disease and pest control.

Henry Mugambi

Henry Mugambi

Take a look at this guy. He's almost in his 40s, but he looks like he could be in his 20s. That's because he's a gardener—and a damn good one, too. He's been gardening since he was a little kid, and he loves nothing more than sharing his tips with others. He started blogging a few years ago, and his blog has since become a go-to source for gardening information. His audience trusts him because he knows his stuff, and he always offers sound advice that helps people get the most out of their gardens.

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