The Rare Black Diamond Apple Variety: Care & Growing Guide

Most people think about apples as being red, though there are plenty of yellow and green varieties available. However, did you know there are also almost black apples? 

Wait: Are They Real?

Yes, black diamond apples are real. They’re a distinct apple variety with its own color, texture, and taste. With such a deep purple that they essentially look black. 

You’ve likely never seen one and perhaps never will without doing some real digging. They’re the apple variety that is probably the hardest to find. They’re extremely rare and are only grown in remote locations. 

What Does a Black Diamond Apple Taste Like?

Every apple variety has its flavor, and the black diamond certainly has its own. 

The inside of these apples is bright white, and their taste is delightful. They’re sweeter than most other types of apples. 

They’re packed full of glucose, a natural sugar, and are candy-sweet as a result. They are a rare type of the more common apple known as Chinese red delicious. 

Grown in Tibet

There aren’t many places where this apple tree grows, though it has been cultivated by adventurous gardeners in other areas. It is primarily grown in an area of Tibet called Nyingchi. And even there, it isn’t grown very much. 

The trees take eight years to mature and are hard to care for, so many farmers won’t grow them. It’s rarely grown today, and it’s possible that it could die out if more farmers aren’t willing to produce them. 

It’s yet to be determined how long this variety of apples has been cultivated. However, with the advent of the digital age, more people have learned about them and want to find and grow them. 

Because of this, there’s a lot of mystery around them, and so few people have seen them in person.

Benefits Of Black Diamond Apples

black diamond apple closeup

Many people have assumed that these apples are poisonous because of their covering. Often in nature, a plant that’s this color will be toxic and have this color as a warning. However, this type of apple gets its deep purple color from its environment rather than from any poisons inside it. 

A significant benefit is that these apples are perfectly safe and can be eaten raw. They’re also said to be a delicious apple variety, and eating them has no side effects.

The sweetness can be used in many recipes to add more sweet flavor. They would also be great for some variety on a fruit plate. 

Black Diamond apples can also be cooked and made into a pie. And also be preserved so that they will be available to eat during the winter. 

When apples are sweet, they have many more options for cooking than if they are sour or bitter. These sweet apples can be used in everything from savory foods to desserts, spicy chutneys, and more. 

Any recipe calling for sweet apples can be used with black diamond apples.

Another significant benefit is that apples are good for your health. 

When you have more apples in your daily diet, you get more of the essential nutrients they contain. They’re great to substitute for a sweet snack full of refined sugar. 

It’s been shown that apples can improve the heart’s health, help those with diabetes, and strengthen the immune system ¹.

The Cost

If you want to buy a black diamond apple tree, it can be challenging to find, and they are difficult to grow. 

The easiest way to get started with a black diamond tree is to buy seeds to plant in your yard. They aren’t generally available from the major online retailers, but some specialty sites sell these seeds. 

If you buy some, be prepared for a considerable expense. They’re rare and hard to find, which drives the price. Expect to pay upward of $15 for a few seeds. 

If you want to buy one of these apples itself, they are available in some high-end produce stores in Asia. You can expect to pay anywhere from $7 to $20 for just one apple.

Where and How To Grow Them

To grow them successfully, you need to be able to put them in an area that is much like the climate in the area of Tibet that they’re from. 

The temperature has to rarely get about 80 degrees F and shouldn’t often get below 30 degrees F. The trees can grow from 12 feet to 25 feet tall, so space them accordingly. They need a space around them that’s the same as their height to be healthy. 

Plant in a location where it can spread out and not compete for sunlight and water.

It’s a good idea to have more than one of these trees to have a good chance of pollination. They can also be grown near certain other apple trees, such as Red Delicious. 

Once you find a good space for the tree or seeds, you must know how to best care for the developing tree. There are many things about the black diamond apple tree that we don’t know because they are so rare and grown so far away. 

Although, it’s best to care for it much like the care for other apple trees.

They need to be planted in full sunlight. These apples get their deep purple color from the UV radiation that comes from the sun. Because they are grown in the mountains, it’s assumed they need soil that drains well. 

The area shouldn’t have standing water after rain. If needed, you can add some rocks and/or sand into the soil to help water drain better. It’s helpful if the area gets heavy rains regularly.

These trees need to be pruned just like other types of apple trees. They must be pruned in the later winter or the earliest part of spring. Remove any damaged branches, and prune the ends of the tree to prepare for the new growth of the spring. 

Pruning also helps later with fruiting and allows for better tree growth.

Apple trees of any type can get pests, and the pests in North America differ from those in Tibet. The trees may have no defense against the pests that we have here. 

Watch the tree to monitor whether it has pests or not. Various pesticides can work against common pests to preserve your tree’s health.

Growing black diamond apples is an adventure that takes a lot of work and the right environment. The trees make excellent statement landscaping in the yard, and there are always sweet apples to look forward to.

References

  1. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC442131/
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Davin is a jack-of-all-trades but has professional training and experience in various home and garden subjects. He leans on other experts when needed and edits and fact-checks all articles.