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Stark® Ruby Darling™ Apple

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A Stark Bro's Exclusive!New Product!

It’s a keeper! A natural cross resulting in the best of Honeycrisp and Gala! Large cherry-red apples have an elegant shape. Extra-large cells deliver a distinctive crisp-crunch and refreshingly sweet juice. Cook them or eat them fresh... these apples do double-duty. Tree has an open, spreading growth habit and is a heavy-bearer. Keeps for 4-5 months in proper cold storage. Originates from Winchester, Illinois in 2000. Ripens starting in early October. Pollinator required: Choose another apple variety like Starkspur® Red Rome Beauty, Stark® Jon-A-Red® Jonathan or any Golden Delicious. May be covered by patent (U.S.P.P. application filed).


Bloom Color Pink, White
Fruit Color Red
Fruit Size Medium - Large
Pollination Pollinator Needed
Ripens/Harvest Early October
Shade/Sun Full Sun
Soil Composition Loamy
Soil Moisture Well Drained
Soil pH Level 6.0 - 7.0
Taste Sweet/sub Acid
Texture Crisp, Juicy
Years to Bear 2 - 5
Zone Range 5 - 7

Zone Compatibility

This Variety's Zone Range 5 - 7
My Hardiness Zone ?
The USDA hardiness zones offer a guide to varieties that will grow well in certain climates. Each zone corresponds to the minimum winter temperatures experienced in a given area. Make sure that your hardiness zone lies within the zone compatability range of this variety before ordering.

Size & Spacing

Mature Size

The mature size of this variety depends on the version you choose to plant:
Semi-Dwarf 12 - 15' Tall X 12 - 15' Wide
Dwarf 8 - 10' Tall X 8 - 10' Wide

Recommended Spacing

The space needed for this variety to grow depends on the size you plant:
Semi-Dwarf 12 - 15'
Dwarf 8 - 10'

Recommended Pollinators

This variety requires another one for adequate pollination.

Cross-pollination by a different variety is key to its growing and bearing success. Our experts recommend planting one of the following within 50' for optimum pollination.

Tools & Supplies

Having the proper tools and supplies when growing your own can make the difference between a good harvest and a great harvest! Here's a list that our experts recommend for this variety.

Planting & Care

Learn all about how to grow apple trees in The Growing Guide. An entire section of our website dedicated to your growing success.

Shipping Information

Estimated Delivery Date

You don't pay until it ships.

We work hard to make sure that your order arrives at the ideal time for planting in your location. That's why we only ship living products during certain times of the year. Order now and your credit card won't be charged until your climate is suitable for planting success and your order is shipped.

Our Promise of Satisfaction

1 Year Warranty

Every order comes with our promise of satisfaction. If you aren't completely satisfied with your order, let us know within one year for a free one-time replacement or refund.


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Questions & Answers

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Browse 6 questions Browse 6 questions and 7 answers
Why did you choose this?
Stark Bro's Store
I could not decide between planting a Gala or a Honeycrisp, but have very limited space, so now I can have both!
NANCY S on Feb 9, 2017
I could not decide between planting a Gala or a Honeycrisp, but have very limited space, so now I can have both!
NANCY S on Feb 9, 2017
We wanted Honeycrisp but they are not listed for zone 7 and Ruby Darling is! Love Honeycrisp & Gala... sounds great!
Nancy and Stena Z on Feb 8, 2017
We wanted Honeycrisp but they are not listed for zone 7 and Ruby Darling is! Love Honeycrisp & Gala... sounds great!
Nancy and Stena Z on Feb 8, 2017
Will this tree do well in Zone 7B? I see it's marked as 5-7. Not sure if that includes 7B.
Melanie W on Feb 25, 2017
BEST ANSWER: If a tree is suited for your general zone, it is suited for either the A or B subzone.
Is this new variety resistant to fire blight?
Gene P. on Jan 25, 2017
BEST ANSWER: To date, it has shown resistance to apple scab, bitter pit and cedar apple rust. We don't yet have data regarding fire blight.
Is this hybrid resistant to cedar apple rust?
JessM on Jan 19, 2017
BEST ANSWER: There has been no observed cedar apple rust susceptivity in this variety, but it has not yet been classified as "resistant".
How will the two new honeycrisp varieties work for organic farmers?
Laura W on Jan 19, 2017
BEST ANSWER: Thank you for your question! We are very excited about these new Honeycrisp crosses. They are resistant to bitter pit and are much more adaptable to warmer climates, so they can be grown further south (Zones 5-7). If you are growing "regular" Honeycrisp organically, you should have no trouble doing the same with either Stark?? Ruby Darling??? or Stark?? Scarlet Crush???.
does the Stark Bros exclusive "Ruby Darling" come as an EZ Start Potted Tree?
Dorothy A S on Jan 2, 2017
BEST ANSWER: Thank you for asking about our newest apple! At the moment, Ruby Darling??? is only available as a dwarf or semi-dwarf bare-root tree.

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