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Apple Farming in Kenya

Admin - July 1, 2022 - 12 comments

How to grow best quality apples in Kenya

Mature Apple Tree in Kenya

Apple farming in Kenya is increasingly becoming popular due to increased demand of the precious fruit. The reason for the high demand is due to its rich nutritional content and health benefits. Returns from apple farming in Kenya are also high. Most apple fruits found in Kenyan market have originated from South Africa but local production is gaining momentum.

Apple growing areas in Kenya

In Kenya, apples are grown in highlands of Kenya including Transzoia, Uasin Gishu, Nandi, Kiambu, Nyeri, Kericho etc. Wambugu Apple, a local variety virtually thrives well in all climates in Kenya.

Ecological Requirements for Apple Farming in Kenya

  • Soils. Fertile, well drained and well aerated loamy-sandy soil, with a slightly acidic to alkaline P.H of 5.5-6.5
  • Altitude 1800m-2800ml, with
  • Rainfall requirement per year of 1000mm-1800mm
  • Irrigation. This is the best because it is precise.

Propagation of Apples

Best quality and high yielding apples are produced through grafting. Seed propagation is used for rootstock production. The most common apple variety grafted locally is the famous Wambugu Apple. Other apple varieties grown in Kenya are winter banana, top red, brae burn etc.propagation of apple seedlings can be done in a shade net or in a greenhouse

Land preparation

This involves bush clearing, removing obstacles such as stones and rocks and land preparation. Land for planting apples is prepared to a fine tilth.

Plant spacing is done depending on the rootstock, variety and the altitude of the site. The holes are dug in a square or rectangular layout. Recommended spacing is 3m X 2m or 3m X 2m


The top soil from the established hole is separated from the subsoil and mixed with 250g of TSP and 20kg of manure. On placing the tree inside the hole, the topsoil is first replaced and firmed around the root region to avoid air pockets. The subsoil is used to cover the hole and care should be taken as to level the planting hole with the surrounding area.

The apple tree is a self-sterile crop and thus needs a pollinator to be established in the orchard to encourage cross pollination thus fertilization of the crop.


A thick organic mulch is recommended to maintain moisture around the root zone during the early stages of crop development and also suppresses the growth of weeds.

Transplanted apple seedling in Nandi, Kenya

Apple Irrigation

Apples require a lot of moisture during the flowering and fruiting stage. Therefore, if you are growing apples in the hotter regions of Kenya, you will need to irrigate your trees. However, keep in mind that excess water around the root zone will encourage disease outbreak and thus low crop yield. The best method of irrigating apples is through drip irrigation. Drip Irrigation for apples is the most ideal because it is precise and minimizes over water logging.

Always store enough water during the rainy season for use during the dry season. You can do this by digging reservoirs and installing dam liners.

Drip irrigation for apple may entail the use of button drippers, drip lines and other irrigation pipes and fittings with a specified flow rate.

Irrigation of apples should be managed according to the main growth stages.

  • Budbreak-flowering
  • Beginning of rapid shoot growth
  • Beginning of fruit fill
  • Harvest
  • Leaf fall

Irrigation is very critical during the budbreak – flowering stage and during the beginning of fruit fill. Contact Grekkon Limited for design and installation of all types of irrigation systems.

Contact Grekkon Limited on +254 711 895 635 for all your irrigation needs.


During the first year the central shoot is pruned back to 1m from the ground to allow branching, and then 3-4 strong shoots are selected. In the second year the scaffold branches are pruned to encourage lateral branching. From the laterals 3-4 branches are selected and then pruned to encourage development of the lateral branches. The development of many lateral branches will increase the number of fruits each tree carries.

Apples nutritional requirements.

Application of fertilizer is done according to the soil requirements and the leaf tissue analysis of the plant. So make sure you have done a soil test for your farm before planting the apple seedlings. But a month after planting urea/CAN is added to provide Nitrogen to the plant and encourage growth. The subsequent years Farm yard manure, CAN at 125g per tree, DAP at 150g is applied in 2-3 splits per tree per year.

Pests and Disease control

Prevention measures are the best and most economical way for controlling pest and diseases and ensuring a high yielding crop. The measures include pruning, timely weed control, proper fertilizer application and selection of the suitable variety.

Can Apples be grown in Kenya?

Yes, they can


  1. Pastor O P Nsiah

    I am in Ghana, preparing for your arrival
    Hoping to meet you on the 5 th, of march.

  2. Jeanwell Odeu

    Does it have ready market.

  3. Derrick

    Where can I get apple seeds?

    • Admin

      Hi Derrick, we do not supply apple seeds but you can get seedlings from various local seedling suppliers such as Wambugu Apple. We will be very glad to irrigate them for you.
      Grekkon Support.

  4. Keeplah AB

    How well do apples do in Uasin Gishu County? Asking for Turbo Constituency. Also, possible to do with hosepipe direct irrigation in place of drip?

    • Admin

      Hello Keeplah, yes apples do well in Uasin Gishu. Hose pipe irrigation is especially good for small scale farming (a few trees). For efficiency and best water use, we highly recommend drip irrigation.

  5. Antony Owino

    Can Wambugu Apples do well within Siaya County?

  6. Geoffrey Ngombo Mwango

    Am a small scale farmer in Kilifi-South sub-county, Kilifi County. My question is, can apples grow in warmer regions like my place?

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