Find a local pick your own farm here!

Looking for Best Apple Varieties to Grow in 2023?  Scroll down this page and  follow the links. And if you bring home some fruit or vegetables and want to can, freeze, make jam, salsa or pickles, see this page for simple, reliable, illustrated canning, freezing or preserving directions. There are plenty of other related resources, click on the resources dropdown above.  If you are having a hard time finding canning lids, I've used these, and they're a great price & ship in 2 days.

If you have questions or feedback, please let me know! There are affiliate links on this page.  Read our disclosure policy to learn more. 

Best varietioes odf apples to grow in your yard or garden

Notes for March 2023: The northern half of the U.S. (and most of Canada, of course) are under snow. So, the crops to pick are pretty much limited to Florida, Texas, southern California and a few other areas of the Deep South.  Citus, for one, is a crop that is usually available now; and in those areas, soon also strawberries and blueberries. Check your area's copy calendar (see this page) and call your local farms for seasonal updates.

Children's Consignment Sales occur in both the Spring and Fall  See our companion website to find a local community or church kid's consignment sale!

Next year, don't miss an Easter Egg Hunt for your children: See our companion website to find a local Easter Egg hunt!

We also have a website for both Valentine's Day information, facts and fun and one for St. Patrick's day (including great recipes for corned beef, Irish stew, etc.)

We also have home canning, preserving, drying and freezing directions. You can access recipes and other resources from the drop down menus at the top of the page or the site search. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to write me! It is easy to make your own ice cream, even gelato, or low fat or low sugar ice cream - see this page. Also note, there are many copycat website listing U-pick farms now.  They have all copied their information form here and usually do not ever update.  Since 2002, I've been updating the information every day but Christmas; so if you see anything wrong, please write me!

Apples: Best Apple Varieties to Grow

Choosing the Best Variety of Apple to Grow in Your Area

Which to grow in your area and why!

This page helps you find the right variety of apple to grow in your area. For detailed descriptions of many apple varieties that you can pick or buy at the grocery store (or grow), see this page!  Also, see our pages on tips for picking apples at a farm, easy illustrated directions to make applesauce, apple butter, apple jelly and apple pie; and our list of apple festivals!

Choosing the right variety of apple for your yard

Ultimately, best best variety is the one you like to eat best, but there are some other considerations:


  1. Know your area's Chilling hChilling hours map for stone fruitsours: Apples, like all stone fruit, require a specific duration of cold below 40 F in order to set a good crop. Specifically, chilling hours are the number of hours below 45F accumulated by the tree during the winter to overcome dormancy. Knowing the typical chill hour accumulation for your area should be one of the primary criteria you use in choosing varieties that are suitable to grow there. This map, from the University of Maryland's research, gives you a good idea for your area, to match up against the requirements of each variety of apple that you like.  Most apple varieties have a chill requirement of about 1,000 hours or more, which is readily achieved in the temperate apple-growing regions of the USA (which, you can see from the map, does NOT include Florida, south Georgia and much of the Gulf Coast areas) But you need to check your specific state and area.  The northern half of Alabama, for example, can grow apples (see this page). Apples do grow well in most areas of  South America, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. Sorry Florida, apple trees will grow there, but rarely produce fruit.
    Some exceptions: Anna, a Golden Delicious style apple, and Ein Shemer, a yellow/green variety, developed in Israel, both tolerate climates with only 300-400 chilling hours. Dorsett Golden, which was found in the Bahamas, needs less than 100 hours.Florida chill hours map
    You also should check your area's planmt hardiness zone on the US plant hardiness zone map.

  2. Select varieties that have a chilling requirement at least 20% less than local averages.
  3. The chilling hours need to match your area: If you choose a low chill variety in a cold area, that will result in trees flowering too early and being damaged by late frosts. Conversely, choosing a high chill variety in a warm area will result in little or no fruit production.
  4. Early ripening varieties tend to be best in areas with hot summers, like the Deep South, and late ripening varieties are best in areas with cooler summers, like the northern US and Canada..
  5. Local terrain can affect the chilling hours actually received. For example, open slopes may receive more chilling hours than sheltered areas next to the south side of warm buildings.
  6. Freezes, late frosts and winter cold: Too much cold, or cold at the wrong time can be equally harmful; see this page.
  7. Disease resistance - some varieties have been found to be more resistant to bugs, fungus and bacteria attacks.
  8. Heirloom, like Orange Pippin; or modern variety, like Honeycrisp? It's just your preference; there are no "GMO apple" varieties.
  9. Climate change? at least for now, there is a trend towards shorter, winters and longer hotter summers, l so keep that in mind when choosing varieties
  10. How to find out which variety does best in your area?   Ask the nursery.  Usually, the online nurseries, like Raintree, put it in the description for each apple tree.

Finally, if you have an apple tree and want to know what variety it is, see this page.


Websites for Apple Variety Descriptions:

Apple Trees for Northern Climates (Saint Lawrence Nursery - NY)
The best list of apples, both modern and heirloom, for northern states, including Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, upstate New York, Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Alaska. It is an especially good site for finding hardiness information.

Big Horse Creek Farm - Master Variety List
Descriptions of about 300 varieties from this nursery located in North Carolina. This is an excellent source for descriptions of apples suitable for the southern or Appalachian regions.

Apple Varieties for Home Production
A huge alphabetical list of varieties suitable for various regions from
FairShare Recipe Exchange - Apple Varieties
Another alphabetical list. This one emphasizes the culinary uses of the varieties listed.

Apple Source (Descriptions of the apple varieties they sell)
Want to try some of the apples you've picked for your orchard? This site not only offers descriptions, but they also sell and ship more than 80 kinds of apples!

Tree of Antiquity
Brief descriptions of hundreds of varieties as well as information on disease-resistant varieties and a comparison (complete with pictures) of popular apples.

The many apple associations listed on this page have more facts and resources

Apples for making apple cider

The following varieties are consider ideal for apple cider. They are all juicy, sweet and cook readily.:

  • Empire
  • Gala
  • Golden Delicious
  • Golden Russet
  • Goldrush
  • Jonathan
  • Jonagold
  • McIntosh
  • Northern Spy

Recommended Apple Varieties for 40 States :

If the link for your state does not tell you enough about apples recommended for your region, use the sites above to find out more about the varieties you are considering including in your orchard.

Apple Varieties in Alabama (Alabama Cooperative Extension)

Vegetable and Fruit Varieties for Interior Alaska (U. of Alaska - Fairbanks)
Recommended Varieties for South Central Alaska (UAF)
Alaska Apples

Fruit Trees: Planting and Varieties (University of Arizona)
Fruit Trees: Introduction and Plant Climate Zones (University of Arizona)

Apple Production in the Home Garden (U. of Arkansas)

Growing apples in California (University of California - UC Davis)

Growing Temperate Tree Fruit and Nut Crops in the Home Garden and Landscape (University of California)

Low Chill apple varieties

Fruit Fetish (Colorado State University)

Apple disease management in Delaware

Low Chill Apple Cultivars for North and North Central Florida (IFAS Extension)

Home Garden Apples (U. of Georgia)

Apple Cultivars for East Idaho (U. of Idaho Extension)

Apples and More (U. of Illinois Extension)
Fruits and Nuts that Do Well in the Chicago Area (Bob Kurle's Fruit and Nut List)

Apple Cultivars (apple varieties) for Indiana (Purdue U.)

Apple Varieties and Their Uses (Iowa State U.)
Suggested Apple Varieties for Home Gardens in Iowa (Iowa State U.)

Fruit and Nut Cultivars (KSU Extension)

The Louisiana Home Orchard (LSU Ag Center)

Apples Grown by Hillside Orchard (Manchester, Maine)
Apple Varieties (Ricker Hill Orchards - Turner, Maine)
Apple Varieties in Maryland (Maryland Apple Promotion Board)

100 Varieties (and that is only counting apples) (U. of Massachusetts Cold Spring Orchard)
Apples and Crab Apples (U. of Mass.)

Apple Scion/Rootstock Selection and Planning for Michigan (MSU)


Growing apples in the home garden
Growing Apples and Pears in Minnesota Gardens (U. of Minn.)   
Apples for Minnesota and Their Culinary Uses (U. of M.)
Commercial Fruit Production in Minnesota (U of M)

Apple Cultivars and their Uses (U. of Missouri)
Missouri Apple History

Fruit Tree Cultivars for Nebraska (U. Nebraska- Lincoln)

New Hampshire
Dwarf Apple Trees for the Home Garden (University of New Hampshire)
Growing Fruit Trees (UNH)    

New Mexico
Fruit Species and Varieties for the Home Orchard (New Mexico State University)

New York
New York Apple Varieties and information
Apple Varieties Grown in NY State (Cornell Univ)
New York Apple Growing Information and Guidance

North Carolina
Producing Tree Fruit for Home Use (NCSU)
Apple Varieties and Descriptions (Big Horse Creek Farm, North Carolina)

North Dakota
Fruit Tree Culture and Varieties in North Dakota (NDSU)  

Apple and Peach varieties for Oklahoma (Oklahoma Cooperative Extension)

Apples: A Guide to Selection and Growing in Home Orchard (Ohio State Univ.)

Growing Fruits and Nuts in the Home Orchard (Oregon State U.)


Apple cultivars (varieties)
Tree Fruit Production Guide (Penn. State U.)
Heirloom Mid-Atlantic Varieties (Pennsylvania)

South Carolina
Home and Garden Information Center - Apple (South Carolina - Clemson U.)

South Dakota
Fruit Cultivars for South Dakota (South Dakota Cooperative Extension Service)

Fruits and nuts for the TN home orchard (U. of Tennessee)

TexasTexas chilling hours map
Home Fruit Production - Apples (Texas State U.)
Apple Varieties (Texas A. & M.)

Apples (Utah State U. Extension)

Vermont Apple Varieties (Vermont Apple Board)

Growing Apples in Virginia (VT Virginia Cooperative Extension)
Tree Fruit in the Home Garden (Virginia Tech)
Vintage Virginia Apples

Growing Tree Fruit at Home in Eastern Washington  (WSU)
Apples in Washington State (WSU)     
Apple Research/Variety Trials (WSU)
Backyard Apple Production (WSU)

Apple Cultivars for Wisconsin (U. or Wisc.)
Apples of Wisconsin (Dane Co. Conservation League)

Home Canning Kits

This is the same type of standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from applesauce to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need and lasts for years: the canner, jar rack, Jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer, and the bible of canning, the Ball Blue Book. It's much cheaper than buying the items separately. You will never need anything else except jars & lids (and the jars are reusable)! There is also a simple kit with just the canner and rack, and a Pressure Canner, if you want to do vegetables (other than tomatoes). To see more canners, of different styles, makes and prices, click here!

Get canning lids on Amazon here, fast and inexpensive, and BPA-free    Mrs. Wages salsa canning mix

Lids, Rings, Jars, mixes, pectin, etc.

Need lids, rings and replacement jars?  Or pectin to make jam, spaghetti sauce or salsa mix or pickle mixes?  Get them all here, and usually at lower prices than your local store!

Get them all here at the best prices on the internet!

Get the
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