Bitter Pit Disease: Tackling Calcium Deficiency in Apples for Improved Fruit Quality

  • , ಮೂಲಕ Agriplex India
  • 5 ನಿಮಿಷ ಓದುವ ಸಮಯ

Apples are a popular and nutritious fruit enjoyed by people worldwide. However, apple trees are susceptible to various diseases, one of which is bitter pit disease. Bitter pit is a physiological disorder that affects the fruit, causing unappealing blemishes and impacting its quality. In this blog, we will delve into the symptoms, causes, and potential remedies for bitter pit disease in apple trees.

What is Bitter Pit Disease

Bitter pit disease is a physiological disorder that affects apple trees, resulting in unappealing dark, sunken spots on the fruit's skin. It is primarily caused by a deficiency of calcium within the fruit, leading to cell breakdown and the development of bitter-tasting and corky tissue. Environmental factors, imbalanced water supply, and certain apple cultivars can also contribute to the onset of bitter pit. 

Bitter Pit Disease on apple

Symptoms of Bitter Pit in Apple:

Bitter pit disease primarily affects the fruit, and its symptoms usually become evident after harvest or during storage. The following signs can indicate the presence of a bitter pit:

a) Dark, sunken spots: The affected apples develop small, dark, and depressed spots on the skin, usually near the blossom end.

b) Corky tissue: The affected areas within the apple flesh become dry and corky, leading to a bitter taste and a gritty texture when eaten.

c) Internal browning: As the disease progresses, the flesh beneath the skin turns brown, leading to reduced marketability.

Diseses Symtoms on Apple

 Causes of Bitter Pit in Apple:

Several factors contribute to the development of bitter pit disease:

a) Calcium deficiency: Bitter pit in apples is due to the deficiency of Calcium. Calcium plays a vital role in cell wall structure and integrity. Insufficient calcium uptake by the fruit can lead to the breakdown of cells, resulting in bitter pit symptoms.

b) Imbalanced water supply: Fluctuating water availability, such as excessive or insufficient irrigation, can impair calcium transport within the tree. This can disrupt the calcium distribution to developing fruit and increase the risk of bitter pit.

c) Environmental conditions: Certain environmental factors can exacerbate the likelihood of bitter pit, including low soil calcium levels, high nitrogen levels, excessive fruit thinning, and irregular weather patterns (e.g., drought or excessive rainfall).

d) Cultivar susceptibility: Some apple cultivars are more prone to bitter pit than others. Varieties such as 'Honeycrisp,' 'Cox's Orange Pippin,' and 'Golden Delicious' have been observed to be more susceptible.

How to Prevent Bitter Pit In Apples:

While bitter pit can be a challenging condition to manage, several strategies can help reduce its incidence:

a) Calcium applications: Proper calcium management is crucial to prevent bitter pits. Foliar sprays or calcium injections directly into the fruit can enhance calcium levels in the developing apples. These treatments should be applied during specific periods of fruit growth and development as recommended by agricultural experts.

b) Balanced nutrition: Maintaining a well-balanced nutrient profile in the soil, including appropriate levels of calcium, nitrogen, and potassium, is vital. Soil tests can help identify nutrient deficiencies and guide necessary amendments.

c) Irrigation management: Consistent and adequate water supply is important for calcium uptake and transport within the tree. Regular monitoring of soil moisture levels and careful irrigation scheduling can help maintain optimal water balance.

d) Fruit thinning: Excessive fruit load on the tree can strain the available calcium supply. Proper fruit thinning practices, as recommended for specific apple cultivars, can help improve fruit quality and minimize bitter pit risk.

e) Storage conditions: Proper storage conditions are essential to minimize bitter pit during post-harvest handling. Maintaining a cool and humid environment, controlling ethylene levels, and avoiding excessive pressure on the fruit can help reduce the risk of a bitter pit during storage.

 Popular Calcium Fertilizers available online in Agriplex are



Technical Composition


Multiplex Chamak

Mixture of Calcium and Boron

3 gm/litre for Foliar Spray

Pranam -Ca

Liquid calcium fertilizer – Ca 11%

2- 3 ml/litre for Foliar Spray

Anshul Shine+

Liquid Calcium 11%.

1-3 ml/litre for Foliar Spray


Calcium(18.8%) and Nitrogen (15.5%)

4.0 - 5.0 g per litre of water


Calcium Chloride – 27%

4-5 g per litre of water Ca

Calcium EDTA 10%

0.5 g per litre of water


Calcium 18.8 % and Nitrogen 15.5 %

4-5 g per litre of water


Bitter pit disease poses a significant challenge to apple growers, as it can lead to a reduction in fruit quality and marketability. By understanding the symptoms, causes, and potential remedies for a bitter pit, growers can implement management strategies to minimize its impact. Through a combination of calcium management, balanced nutrition, appropriate irrigation, and careful storage practices, it is possible to mitigate the occurrence of bitter pits and ensure the production of high-quality apples


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