Granny Smith Apple Care: How To Grow Granny Smith Apples

Three Green Granny Smith Apples
granny smith
(Image credit: chengyuzheng)

Granny Smith is the quintessential tart green apple. It is famous for its unique, bright green skin but also enjoyed for the perfect balance of taste between tart and sweet. Granny Smith apple trees are great for the home orchard because they provide these delicious fruits in abundance. The apples can be enjoyed in any culinary use.

What is a Granny Smith Apple?

The original Granny Smith was discovered by Australian Maria Ann Smith. The tree grew on her property in a spot where she tossed crabapples. One little seedling grew into an apple tree with beautiful green fruits. Today, no one is certain of its parentage, but apple experts suggest the Granny Smith resulted from a cross between a Rome Beauty and a French crabapple.

Granny Smith is now among the most popular of apple varieties. The apples are truly versatile. Enjoy them fresh and store for up to six months. You can also use Granny Smith in cider, pies, and other baked goods, and fresh or cooked in savory dishes. It pairs well as a simple snack with cheese or peanut butter.

How to Grow Granny Smith Apples

When growing Granny smith trees, it’s best to be somewhere in zones 5 through 9, but this variety will tolerate heat better than many others. You’ll need another apple tree as a pollinator as well. Some good options include Red Delicious, Rome Beauty, and Golden Delicious as well as many crabapple varieties.

Plant a new tree in a sunny spot with soil that drains well. Work organic matter into the soil first if it needs more nutrients. Make sure the graft line is a couple of inches (5 cm.) above the soil line when planted.

Granny Smith apple care requires regular watering initially, until the tree is established, as well as pruning. Every year in late winter or early spring give the tree a good trim to shape it and allow air flow between branches. Remove suckers or any unwanted shoots at any time of the year.

Expect to harvest your Granny Smith apples in mid to late October.

Mary Ellen Ellis

Mary Ellen Ellis has been gardening for over 20 years. With degrees in Chemistry and Biology, Mary Ellen's specialties are flowers, native plants, and herbs.