Kei apples have a firm, mealy texture, similar to apricots. They are excellent for jams or added to a salad for a tangy zing. They have loads of vitamin C, antioxidants, and amino acids. The plant is also believed to have antibiotic properties.
Position – The Kei apple tree grows best in full sun or partial shade and can withstand high daytime temperatures. They should be planted about 1.5 to 2 metres apart for a hedge, and further apart for free-standing bushes.
Size – Kei apple trees grow to between 3 and 6 metres in height and bear their first fruits about 4 to 5 years after planting a seed. If they are growing in a particularly moist area, they can reach a height of about 9 metres.
Soil Type – These trees need well-draining soil with good aeration. However, they grow quite easily in different types of soil, whether sandy or loamy clay. The Kei apple thrives in soil with a pH of between 5.5 and 8.5, which should be enriched with plenty of well-aged compost to create the optimal growing environment.
Mulch – a thin layer of mulch will ensure that the plant can retain moisture and that the soil is likely to have a healthier pH. Organic materials like straw, green pine needles, wood shavings and so on work best as a mulch.
Watering – The Kei apple tree can withstand drought and tough conditions. So, be careful not to over-water your tree.
Fertilising – This tree thrives with a nutrient-rich, well-aged compost.
Pruning – Prune or trim your Kei apple trees at least twice a year to prevent them from becoming leggy with sparse foliage.
Harvesting – Once the flowers have opened, mature fruits should take about 90 days to develop. You will know that the fruit is ready by its vibrant bright-yellow or orange colour. This fruit is juicy and very tasty, but will likely need a little added sweetness for most palates.