How to Care for a Prairie Fire Crabapple Tree


The Prairie Fire crabapple (Malus Hybrida) tree is a beautiful ornamental, hardy in growing zones 4 through 7. This disease-resistant, dense and rounded-top tree reaches up to 20 feet tall. With crimson-colored buds blooming from late spring into summer, this tree reveals 1/2-inch wide purple flowers. In the fall, the flowers of the Prairie Fire crabapple tree turn bright orange and shiny red, and produce cone-shaped fruit.

Step 1

Grow your Prairie Fire crabapple tree in well-draining, loamy soil. Choose a location that gets full sun daily for the best growth, ensuring abundant flowers and fruit.

Step 2

Keep your tree watered consistently, using drip irrigation or a garden hose with the water trickling out. Water one time a week, letting the water run deeply for about one hour. This process encourages deep root growth---so the tree is less susceptible to drought stress. During the warmer summer months, water your tree two to three times weekly as necessary to keep the soil moist.

Step 3

Add a layer of mulch to retain water in the soil; keep weeds to a minimum, because they compete for water and nutrients. Use shredded bark, leaves or pine needles.

Step 4

Feed your tree with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer such as 5-5-5. Fertilize in early spring and again in early summer, watering well after each application.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid planting in heavy clay soils. Do not apply fertilizer in late summer and fall.

Things You'll Need

  • Loamy soil
  • Fertilizer


  • Gardener's Supply Company; Planting & Care: Prairie Fire Crabapple Tree
Keywords: crabapple tree, prairie fire variety, care of crabapple

About this Author

Residing in Southern Oregon, Amy Madtson has been writing for Demand Studios since 2008 with a focus on health, pregnancy, crafts and gardening. Her work has been published on websites such as eHow and Garden Guides, among others. Madtson has been a childbirth educator and doula since 1993.