Where to grow it ?
The Japanese cherry tree is at home in any good garden soil, even limestone, as long as it is well drained and moist.
As far as exposure is concerned, this tree only needs sunlight to bloom well and offer a sumptuous autumn foliage. Place it away from cold drafts.
Can it be grown in pots?
Avoid. The Japanese cherry does not tolerate pot growing conditions, but certain more compact varieties, such as Prunus serrulata Amanogawa or Kojo-No-Mai, can be satisfied with a piece of land next to a sunny terrace.
How to plant it?
- Prepare the site carefully. Dig a hole at least twice the size of the container.
- Loosen the soil at the bottom, pour and mix two to three good handfuls of mature compost.
- Soak the root ball for a good ten minutes in a bucket of water.
- Remove the plant, untangle its roots without breaking them and install it. Fill in carefully.
- Pack with your hands and water thoroughly.
- Mulch to prevent the development of undesirable weeds and to keep the plant fresh.
Remember to water regularly the year of planting.
How to use it ?
Japanese cherry trees are usually used in isolation, on a lawn, at the edge of a busy path or in an unsightly corner of the garden that you want to hide. A carpet of spring bulbs (Narcissus, tulips…) at their feet contribute to highlight them nicely! The lowest forms, which can be bonsaied, can be placed in small gardens, even in the city, or in a Japanese-style space, especially at the edge of a pond where they are most effective in recreating a Japanese-inspired landscape.
How to care for them?
Like their fruit-bearing cousins, Japanese flowering cherry trees do not really appreciate pruning, especially as they age. The wounds caused by pruning often lead to gum leakage.
In general, Prunus should be pruned only when necessary, after flowering, in early summer.
Nevertheless, every 3 to 5 years, it is important to clear the branches of dead wood and to thin out the center to let in more light. Intervene during the summer to limit gum secretion and the risk of infection.
Lower forms can be pruned every 2 years to maintain a compact and branched silhouette. Shorten the branches by one third.
Which variety to choose?
Royal Burgundy” Japanese flowering cherry
Not exceeding 6 meters in height, this variety is ideal for a medium-sized garden. In April, the branching completely disappears under a shower of pink, very double flowers. The autumn foliage of Royal Burgundy turns red.
Japanese Flowering Cherry ‘Kanzan
The most spectacular flowering! This tree can reach 6 meters high when trained on a stem. Otherwise, it grows as a bush that opens up with age and is covered with very double flowers of soft pink in April while the copper-colored leaves appear.
Japanese flowering cherry tree “Kojo No Mai
A real bonsai! This beautiful variety (Prunus incisa kojo-no mai) is distinguished by:
- its contained dimensions: about 2 m high after 10 years (adult age),
- its tortuous silhouette which is covered from the end of winter (beginning of March) with a multitude of elegant small pinkish-white bell-shaped flowers and red leaves in autumn.
- Its slow growth. There is no need to prune this Japanese cherry tree.
- Just find a nice spot for it. An ideal tree in small gardens or on the terrace.