What colors do apples come in?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “What colors do apples come in?”  and provide information on what the Ground color of apples is, what is Overcolor, factors influencing an apple’s color as well as some popular varieties of apples.

What colors do apples come in?

The colors that apples come in are green, red, yellow, white, and striped. Green apples can sometimes come with a slightly red or brownish-orange tone. The texture would be often smooth. 

Yellow apples can come with slightly reddish tones once they get ripe. These yellow-colored apples can develop slightly white tones when they become ripe.

White apples are ones that appear creamy and have slightly translucent skin. Striped apples are apples that have red stripes against a yellow background. 

Sometimes red stripes can be seen against a green or white background too. These apples tend to be slightly sweet but they can be a bit acidic too. If over ¾ portion of apples appears red, they are classified as red.

What exactly is the Ground color of apples?

The base color is the color of the apple behind the stripes or flush. For instance, an apple that has red stripes over a yellow background would have a Ground color of yellow. If there are no red stripes present, the Ground color would still remain yellow.

What exactly is Over color of apples?

The over color of apples is the flush colors of apples. Apples that are immature or fall from immature trees might not have an Over color. For instance, if an apple has a flush of brownish red over a yellow background, the brownish red would be determined as the Over color.

What can give color to apples?

Anthocyanins are compounds that can give color to apples. Anthocyanins can be influenced by the pH in cells. This difference in pH can produce a wide range of colors in fruits, leaves, flowers, or seeds. When the pH is low, the color turns red.

There are chlorophylls located in the green pigments of the apple trees. Anthocyanins can be purple, blue, or red in color. Once the apples start to grow and become mature, there is the destruction of chlorophylls and an increase in anthocyanins.

The epidermis is the outer skin of the apple and the hypodermis is present below the epidermis. The redness of the apples can depend on the amount of anthocyanins present in these skins.

What are some factors that can influence an apple’s color?

Some factors that influence an apple’s color are given below:

  • The genetics of apples play a major role in determining their color. For instance, Golden Delicious and Granny Smith are some kinds of apples that have only a little red color.
  • The physiological development of apples can be another factor that determines their color of apples. For instance, some apples can turn green when it is unripe. Once ripe, apples can turn red, pink, yellow, etc. 
  • Temperature and light can be other factors that influence an apple’s color. Light is required for the development of Anthocyanins which can influence the color of apples. 

Light can promote the development of sugars in apples. The amount of light required for color development can depend on the physiological stage of apples as well as the cultivar.

Exposure of apples to light for 2-3 weeks before being harvested can influence their color development. 

When apples are exposed to low temperatures for several nights followed by warm sunny days, there can be an improvement in color development.

  • Nutrition received by apple trees can be another factor that could influence growth and development. For instance, potassium can influence color development. 

However, applying too much potassium and magnesium can lead to the bitter pit development of apples.

  • If the apple trees undergo a lot of stress, like deficiency of water or light, there will be less color on apples. Insects feeding on the leaves of apple trees can lower photosynthesis and affect the color of apples as well.

What are some popular varieties of apples?

Some popular varieties of apples are given below:

  • Gala apples have a combination of sweet and juicy flavors which makes them popular.
  • Red Delicious apples have a sweet and crunchier texture.
  • Granny Smith apples have a tart-like flavor and are green in color. 
  • Honeycrisp apples are medium to large-sized apples that have a crisp and juicy taste.


In this brief article, we have answered the question, “What colors do apples come in?” and provided information on what the Ground color of apples is, what is Overcolor, factors influencing an apple’s color as well as some popular varieties of apples.