With their beautiful spring blossom and vibrant autumn foliage, flowering cherry trees are fantastic for any garden. And with so many different varieties to choose from, there’s one to suit even the smallest space. Here are six of our favourite flowering cherries and how to grow them.
How to grow flowering cherry trees
Flowering cherries grow well in a sunny spot, sheltered from strong winds that could strip the blossom in spring. They will cope with most garden soils but don’t like heavy clay – moist, well-drained soil is ideal. Mulch annually in spring with well-rotted farmyard manure. Flowering cherries don’t need regular pruning. If you do need to prune – for example, to remove damaged or crossing branches – do it in summer to avoid the risk of silver leaf disease.
6 top flowering cherries
There’s a wide range of flowering cherries, including big, spreading trees, narrow upright varieties and dwarf trees small enough for a large pot. Here are six of our favourites:
Prunus avium ‘Plena’ – a cultivar of our native wild cherry, with elegant hanging clusters of pristine white double flowers in spring. In autumn, the leaves turn vibrant crimson. This large flowering cherry needs plenty of space, as it can grow to 20m tall.
Prunus ‘Kanzan’ – this medium-sized tree is one of the most famous Japanese flowering cherries, with abundant deep pink double flowers in spring. The new leaves emerge bronze before turning green in summer and brilliant orange in autumn. Height and spread in 20 years: 6m x 4m
Prunus ‘Amanogawa’ AGM – one of the best flowering cherries for small gardens, thanks to its narrow columnar shape. In late spring, the branches are covered in semi-double pale pink blossom, and the leaves turn vibrant shades of orange and yellow in autumn. Height and spread in 20 years: 6m x 2m
Prunus ‘Pink Shell’ – another excellent tree for small gardens, with a spreading shape and hanging clusters of pale pink flowers in spring. The leaves turn bright orange in autumn. Height and spread in 10 years: 3m x 4m
Prunus ‘Taihaku’ AGM – this legendary flowering cherry had become extinct in its native Japan. Still, in 1932 a single specimen was found in a garden in Sussex, allowing it to be reintroduced to Japan. A medium-sized tree has masses of large snow-white flowers in spring and bronze new leaves that turn green in summer and then yellow and orange in autumn. Height and spread in 20 years: 6m x 5m
Prunus ‘Kojou-no-mai’ – a dwarf flowering cherry, low and spreading with elegant twisty branches, perfect for a large pot on a sunny patio. In early spring, the bare branches are covered with tiny pale pink flowers, and the leaves turn a rich red in autumn. Height and spread in 20 years: 2m x 2m
Our centre has a superb range of flowering cherries and other ornamental trees. Visit us today and pick the one that’s perfect for your garden!