Mountain Apple Care: Tips For Growing Mountain Apple Trees

malay apple
malay apple
(Image credit: rockyoubaby)

Have you ever heard of the mountain apple, also called the Malay apple? If not, you may ask: what is a Malay apple? Read on for mountain apple information and tips on how to grow mountain apples.

What is a Malay Apple Tree?

A mountain apple tree (Syzygium malaccense), also called a Malay apple, is an evergreen tree with shiny leaves. According to mountain apple information, the tree can shoot up rapidly to some 40 to 60 feet (12-18 m.) tall. Its trunk can grow to 15 feet (4.5 m.) around. Shoots grow in a bright burgundy color, maturing to pinkish beige. The showy flowers are bright and abundant. They grow in on the upper trunk of the tree and mature branches in clusters. Each blossom has a funnel-like base topped by green sepals, pinkish-purple or red-orange petals, and numerous stamens. Those growing mountain apple trees appreciate their fruit, a pear-shaped, apple-like fruit with smooth, rose-colored skin and crisp white flesh. Eaten raw, it is quite bland, but mountain apple information suggests that the taste is more agreeable when it is stewed.

Growing Mountain Apples

Malay apple trees are native to Malaysia and cultivated in the Philippines, Vietnam, Bengal and South India. The tree is strictly tropical. That means that you cannot start growing mountain apples in even the warmest locations in the continental United States. The tree is too tender even to be grown outdoors in Florida or California. It needs a humid climate with 60 inches (152 cm.) of rain every year. Some Malay trees grow in the Hawaiian Islands, and it is even said to be a pioneer tree in new lava flows there.

How to Grow Mountain Apples

If you do happen to live in an appropriate climate, you may be interested in information on mountain apple care. Here are tips for growing mountain apple trees: The Malay tree is not picky about soil and will grow happily on anything from sand to heavy clay. The tree does well in soil that is moderately acidic, but fails in highly alkaline locations. If you are planting more than one tree, space them between 26 to 32 feet (8-10 m.) apart. Mountain apple care includes ridding the areas around the tree of weeds and providing generous irrigation, especially in dry weather.

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.