Bitter Pit

Bitter pit can be a problem in fruit grown in Maine and New York. Early harvests and low croploads are associated with increased bitter pit levels. Apply CaCl2 throughout growing season to reduce bitter pit incidence (Rosenberger et al., 2003). Use at least 6 applications of at least 3 lbs per acre (3.4 kg per ha) of elemental calcium sprayed to drip with 100 gal per acre (Rosenberger et al., 2004).

Bitter pit is less of a problem in Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, and Nova Scotia.

In these areas, as well as Washington, apply calcium sprays throughout the growing season, starting in June, to minimize bitter pit incidence (Peryea et al., 2007).


  • Peryea, FJ, GH Neilsen, and D. Faubion. 2007. Start-timing for calcium chloride spray programs influences fruit calcium and bitter pit in ‘Braeburn’ and ‘Honeycrisp’ apples. J. Plant Nutrition 30:1213-1227.
  • Rosenberger, D., Schupp, J., Hoying, S., Cheng, L., and Watkins, D. 2003. Managing bitter pit in Honeycrisp. N.Y. Fruit Quarterly 11(3):17-21.
  • Rosenberger, D., Schupp, J., Hoying, S., Cheng, L., and Watkins, C. 2004. Controlling Bitter Pit in 'Honeycrisp' Apples. HorTechnology. 14(3):342-9. zHC Bitter pit -Ca sprays HortTech .pdf
  • Watkins, C., Nock, J., Weis, S., Jayanty, S., Beaudry, R. 2004. Storage temperature, diphenylamine, and prestorage delay effects on soft scald, soggy breakdown and bitter pit of 'Honeycrisp' apples. Postharvest Biol Tech. 32:213-221.