How to grow a sakura tree

Facts and Planting Tips –

Flowering Trees

Blair Brown

Blair is the Content Marketing Manager at, and though she's not your traditional gardener, the planting world is definitely growing on her (pun intended!). She's enjoyed digging into plant care and maintenance and growing her plant collection, especially with exotic indoor varieties.

Written by

Blair Brown

Cherry Blossom Trees bring billowy pink and white blooms in the spring. These blooms often last no more than two weeks and are also a symbol of renewal and the ephemeral nature of life.

  • The most well-known species is the Japanese Cherry Tree or the Sakura.
    • These stunning trees, which are not to be confused with Cherry Trees cultivated for fruit, inspire millions of people to flock to Japan each year for flower-viewing festivals. In Japan, the ritual of viewing Cherry Blossoms dates back to the 700s.
    • In the United States, Cherry Blossom Trees can grow almost anywhere, living 30 to 40 years.
  • Cherry Blossom Trees also offer colorful autumn leaves, handsome bark, and quick growth while requiring little care, making them ideal for home gardens.

History of Cherry Blossom Trees in the United States

In 19th century America, only a few people in the United States—horticulturalists, generally—knew of the Japanese flowering cherry tree. This changed in 1912 when Japan gave 3,020 cherry blossom trees to the United States as a gift. The United States viewed this offer as a warm gesture of friendship and planted the trees in Sakura Park in Manhattan and Potomac Park in Washington, D.C. Each spring brings forth the breathtaking rebirth of the Cherry Blossoms and this international symbol of friendship is celebrated to this day with the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington. Other cities around the world also celebrate Cherry Blossom season with tree planting ceremonies and other events.

Selecting a Cherry Blossom Tree

There are hundreds of species, varieties, and hybrids of flowering cherry trees. Several characteristics, such as the number of petals, color of the blossoms, and cherry blossom leaves, differentiate the trees. Cherry Blossom Trees are typically deciduous and grow in different shapes and sizes. Some bloom early in the spring, while others are late bloomers.

The Okame Cherry Tree is an early bloomer with medium pink petals, while the Kwanzan Cherry Tree opens in late spring with deep pink flowers. The Yoshino Cherry Tree has wide-spreading branches with white blooms that are replaced by glossy green leaves in the summer. Pink and White Weeping Cherry Trees combine an elegant weeping form with a dramatic cascade of flowers on branches that spill downwards. You should select a cherry blossom tree based on the qualities most important to you and the parameters of your garden. If space is limited, consider a Dwarf Cherry Blossom Tree.

Where Should You Plant Your Cherry Blossom Tree?

Cherry Blossom Trees need lots of sunlight and soil that is rich and fertile, check the growing zone recommended for your species of Flowering Cherry. Experts suggest choosing a spot in the garden or yard that provides at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. The soil beneath your flowering tree should also have good drainage for proper growth. Flowering Cherry Trees can grow anywhere from 15 to 30 feet high with a canopy just as wide, so choose a location that can support the tree's mature size.

9 Tips For Planting Your Cherry Blossom Tree
  1. Plant your Cherry Blossom tree after the last frost to ensure your tree thrives.
  2. Space the tree about 10 to 20 feet from other plants, including trees, shrugs, and foliage.
  • This is important for water absorption and proper root growth. Also be sure to avoid planting your tree too close to a building or structure.
  1. Prepare a hole that is large enough for your root ball with a bit of extra width. Add a layer of organic matter, such as compost, to the bottom of the hole.
  • Adjust the hole so that the tree is planted at the same depth as it was originally growing.
  1. Place the tree in the hole and make sure the top of the roots are level with the surface of the soil.
  • Add or remove soil as needed. Before filling the hole, mix some organic matter with the soil you removed from the hole.
  1. Fill in the planting hole with the mixture of soil and organic matter.
  • Level out the soil with the surrounding area.
  1. Stake the tree with a rigid tree stake and tree ties to ensure it is supported against wind as it becomes established.
  2. Water the newly planted tree thoroughly to set the soil in place.
  3. Fertilize around the roots of the cherry tree.
  4. Cover the root area with bark, garden compost, or wood chips to protect the roots from temperature changes.

Cherry Blossom Tree Care

Flowering Cherry Trees grow at a rate of between 1 and 2 feet per year and once they are planted and properly established, Cherry Blossom Trees require little care afterwards.

Watering & Fertilizing

Only water the tree during prolonged dry periods of the summer. Cherry Blossom Trees do not like sitting in soggy soil. Feed the tree once per year with a general granular fertilizer in the spring.


Avoid pruning the Cherry Blossom Tree unless absolutely necessary. If you prune the tree, only do so while it is actively growing: from May to August.

Diseases & Pests

To control diseases and pests, examine the leaves of the Cherry Blossom.

Silver Leaf Fungus is a fungal disease that attacks Prunus trees and shrubs, including Cherry Blossom Trees. The disease infects wounds, mainly caused by pruning. Look for a grey or silver appearance on the leaves to learn if Silver Leaf Fungus is present. If the disease is visible, remove the affected branches as soon as possible as silver leaf fungus is progressive and often fatal. Always soak your pruning tools in a solution of bleach and water after using them on an infected plant.

Black Knot Fungus is a fungal disease also common to Prunus trees and shrubs. It produces small growths, usually light brown in color, on the joints and branches of the tree. Cut back diseased branches to prevent the disease from spreading. Don't allow cuttings to fall to the ground. Instead, carefully dispose of infected branches by burying, burning, or placing them in trash bags.

Aphids are small, nearly invisible insects that feed on plant and tree sap. Signs of Aphids include curling or stunted leaves, or when the leaves or stems are covered with sap from the aphids feeding. If the invasion is small, try spraying cold water on the leaves to dislodge the bugs. If spraying water is ineffective, treat the tree with insecticides to get rid of the aphids.

Buy Your Own Cherry Blossom Tree

One of the most beloved trees in the world, Cherry Blossom Trees are famous for their breathtaking pink and ivory blooms. You don't have to travel to botanical gardens to catch sight of these show-stopping Cherry Blossom Trees. These elegant, blossoming trees can thrive in any home garden under the proper conditions, providing years of serene beauty.

Brighter Blooms offers several types of flowering Cherry Trees that will impress onlookers with a spectacular show of Cherry Blossom flowers.

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How to Plant and Grow Cherry Blossom Trees

How to Plant and Grow Cherry Blossom Trees
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Photo: Lorado / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images


  • Thrives in hardiness zones 5–9

  • Flourishes in well-draining soil, from alkaline to acidic

  • Easy to maintain after initial year

  • Needs plenty of sun and room to spread

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Whether you're a cherry blossom festival enthusiast or are simply looking to attract more pollinators to your backyard, a cherry blossom tree is a must-have. There are hundreds of varieties of these popular flowering beauties, and lucky for us, they're pretty ideal for home gardeners. 

Let's explore the best tips for planting cherry blossom trees, how to keep them happy, and what to expect from these showstopping trees throughout the year.

What Are Cherry Blossom Trees?

While you'll find varieties all over the world today, Japan gifted the U.S. its first cherry blossom tree in 1912 as a sign of friendship, according to the National Park Service

Today, cherry blossom trees—aka ornamental, flowering, or Sakura trees—can be found across the country, from NYC and DC festivals to your neighbor's front yard. 

Can You Eat Cherry Blossom Tree Fruit? 

Keep in mind that cherry blossom trees differ from the cherry trees that bear tasty fruit—at least the fruit you'd want to pop on top of an ice cream sundae. Depending on your region, local pollinators, and the tree varieties, you may see small cherries on your tree, but it's best to leave these for the birds.

Hardiness Zones for Cherry Blossom Trees

Depending on the species, cherry blossom trees flourish in USDA hardiness zones 5 through 9—essentially regions with warm and humid summers and winters that don't get too extreme. 

As a deciduous tree, the cherry blossom goes dormant in the winter but sprouts lush pink or ivory flowers in the spring, often just for a couple of breathtaking weeks. Their leaves turn green in the summer and transition to stunning orange, yellow, and red foliage in autumn.

Here are some of the most common types of cherry blossom trees you'll find today.

Common Cherry Blossom Hardiness Zones and Sizes
NameHardiness ZonesSize
Akebono Cherry6 – 930 – 50 ft.
Autumn Flowering Cherry6 – 925 – 30 ft.
Kwanzan Cherry5 – 9Up to 30 ft.
Weeping Cherry5 – 920 – 40 ft.
Yoshino Cherry5 – 930 – 50 ft.
Common Cherry Blossom Colors and Features
NameFlower ColorFeatures
Akebono CherryPale pink that fades to whiteRounded top
Autumn Flowering CherryPale pinkBlooms both in spring and warm autumns
Kwanzan CherryBright pinkMultilayered blooms in clusters
Weeping CherryWhite or pink depending on the varietalLong, weeping branches
Yoshino CherryWhite2 – 5 flowers per cluster

How to Plant Cherry Blossom Trees

Purchase a cherry blossom sapling with a wrapped root ball or bare roots from your local nursery. Determine when to plant your cherry tree by the timing of your local frost. If you're planting a cherry blossom tree with bare roots—common when you order saplings online—plant your cherry blossom tree in the early fall. This gives the roots time to spread out before going dormant for the winter.

There is a little more flexibility with transferring container-grown trees to the ground. While most trees still do best when transferred in the early fall, you can also plant them in the spring after the last frost.

1. Choose the Right Location

Cherry blossom trees are relatively resilient, but you can help them grow taller and stronger against disease if you choose the right conditions.

  • Soil: Well-draining soil is key for cherry blossoms. And while they prefer acidic soil, they can grow in alkaline soil as well. 

  • Sunlight: Choose a spot with either direct or partial sunlight. The tree should receive at least four to six hours of direct sun a day.

  • Space: Give your cherry blossom roots and branches at least 10–20 feet to spread out.

  • Shelter: If you live in a windy area, plant your tree in a sheltered spot to keep spring gusts from removing the blooms.

2. Prepare to Plant

Dig a hole that is at least 2 feet in diameter and the depth of your root ball. When you place the root ball in your hole, the top of the ball should sit right at the surface. Shake loose or trim away any tightly bound roots that wrap around the ball and keep it from expanding. For best results, surround the root ball with fertile, compost-amended soil.

3. Stake for the First Year

Photo: brianbigel/iStock/Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Now's a good time to support your young tree with stakes and strings. Place your stakes in the ground at a 45-degree angle and attach them to the trunk with twine. Keep the supports in place during the first year. 

4. Water Thoroughly

Water the tree after planting and schedule consistent waterings during the first year or until the tree is established with a strong canopy and root spread. This is a good time to ensure your soil properly drains, as cherry blossom trees will not flourish in oversaturated soil.

How to Care for Cherry Blossom Trees

Learning how to plant a tree can take a little trial and error at first, but most only require consistent attention during their first year. The same goes for the relatively unfussy cherry blossom tree. Here's how to keep an eye on your cherry blossom tree as it grows over the years.


As we mentioned above, be sure to add an inch of water to your tree's soil at least once a week. Once the tree becomes established after about a year, you can let the rain do all the work unless you're currently in a period of drought. 

The tree should maintain about an inch of water each week either way. Like most plants, there's no need to water your tree once the ground is frozen for the winter.


Give your cherry trees a nice boost by adding a slow-release fertilizer in the early spring right before their big bloom. Speak with your nursery about purchasing specific types of fertilizer for ornamental flowering and fruit-bearing trees. 


Pruning a tree can be a DIY job if you don't have to climb too high on the ladder, but we recommend calling a tree service near you for taller or trickier jobs. Prune cherry blossom trees right after their bloom in the spring. Not only can you trim the tree to your desired shape, but removing dead buds and the ends of branches encourages better blooms in the long run.

Additionally, remove any branches sprouting from the trunk or branche that keep light from reaching the center of the canopy.

Pests and Disease

Pruning is also a great time to look out for signs of rot or pests. Trim back brown, dying leaves, dark and swollen branches, or leaves with a silvery hue. These can be signs of brown rot, black knot, or silver leaf fungus.

As for pests, keep an eye out for caterpillar nests, aphids, and spider mites. Remove or trim away areas with the beginning of infestations or treat with a natural insecticide oil if necessary.

Professional Care

If you're not sure about where and when to plant a cherry blossom in your yard or how to care for ongoing issues, call a local arborist for advice. 

Hiring an arborist costs as little as $75 for basic trimming services or between $80 and $120 for a consultation on disease and care, according to HomeAdvisor. Call in the pros whenever you're concerned that your cherry blossom tree requires a trained eye.

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How to grow a sakura tree in the garden.

Features of planting and care

Sakura is one of the most beautiful decorative trees, without which not a single design project made in oriental style can do. Yes, and European landscape architects today boldly use sakura in their mixed original compositions.

Sakura comes from Japan. There, it is considered almost a sacred tree, in which the souls of ancestors settle and protect peace in the house, driving away all dark forces from it.

In spring, the whole of Japan celebrates the cherry blossom festival. At this time, the country is flooded with crowds of tourists. People have picnics and tea parties under the crowns of flowering trees. It is believed that the more pollen from sakura flowers gets on clothes, the more prosperous and happier the coming year will be.

In fact, sakura is an ornamental variety of cherry. In Japan, there are about 20 species of this culture. Most of them are heat-loving and have a short dormant period.

Some varieties in the southern part of the country bloom as early as January. But among them there are also several frost-resistant with late flowering, growing on the northern Japanese islands. They were chosen by breeders from different countries as parent for breeding work on breeding frost-resistant, large-flowered and long-blooming sakura.

Thanks to their efforts, very beautiful large-flowered varieties of sakura have been created today, withstanding winter frosts down to -32 degrees and blooming in May. They grow and bloom beautifully even in the northern regions of our country.

Growing sakura in your garden is a dream of many gardeners. In this article, we will tell you how to plant this tree correctly, how to care for it, and which variety is better to choose.


Northern sakura, as a rule, is a low tree, up to 3.5 m high, with large double flowers of pale pink, crimson, lilac or white. In general, classic sakura flowers are dazzling white, up to 6.5 cm in diameter.

There are a lot of flowers. They are collected in large brushes of 8 - 10 inflorescences, completely covering the branch. As a result, the entire crown looks like one white or pale pink ball, behind which the leaves are not visible at all.

Flowering begins in May and can last for a very long time, and it's just a miracle. The most beautiful, frost-resistant and long-flowering - Taihaku sakura.

In addition to all other advantages, it practically does not get sick and is not affected by pests and is considered the most unpretentious in care. Even a beginner gardener can grow this sakura!

Sakura is a long-liver. It can grow in one place for more than 500 years. Flowering begins in the third year. The flowers exude a marvelous aroma and attract a huge number of pollinating insects to the garden.

Sakura leaves are golden-bronze in spring, changing to dark green by mid-summer. The bark of the tree is smooth, grayish-pink with thin cracks.

The wood of the tree contains a large amount of resin. Therefore, its branches are very flexible, drooping, perfectly amenable to shaping.

When growing sakura, keep in mind that it grows slowly. That is why its annual seedlings are often planted in bonsai-style gardens along with dwarf pines.

Sakura does not take root very quickly, so it should be planted in spring or early summer (plants with a closed root system), so that it takes root well before autumn and has time to prepare for winter frosts.


By its nature, sakura is a southern plant that is used to a lot of heat and sunlight. They are also needed by northern varieties.

Therefore, for sakura, as well as for cherries ( for more on growing cherries, see article "How to grow cherries" ), you need to choose the sunniest, quietest place, where there are no drafts and cold winds. Best of all - at the window on the south side of the house. Here you will constantly admire it. And the tree is good - enough light and heat.

If you want to plant sakura on a slope, remember that its root system is superficial, so the slope should not be more than 10 degrees, otherwise a strong wind or snow load will simply tear the tree out of the ground.

Sakura needs fertile, light, loose soils with a neutral reaction. It will not grow on clayey, acidic and constantly flooded (in the lowlands).

It is best to remove all the "native" soil from the planting holes and fill them with a specially prepared soil mixture, consisting of a fertile layer of rotted manure. Leaf earth and sand, taken in equal amounts of

Phosphorus-potassium fertilizers (superphosphate and potassium sulphate) and wood ash are added to this mixture.

Planting holes are dug 50 cm deep, 60 cm in diameter, 1 m apart. At the bottom of each pit, drainage is laid from crushed stone (preferably limestone) or broken brick with a layer of 10 cm.

All plants are well watered and the trunks are mulched with freshly cut grass or straw.

Sakura loves water, so you need to water it regularly, so that the ground in the circles around the trunks is always well moistened. But puddles should not stand there!

Cherry blossoms are fertilized twice a year - in spring and autumn. In the spring, she is given nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers, in the fall - phosphorus-potassium fertilizers (the best is some kind of ready-made mineral complex for the autumn feeding of stone fruits, balanced in all macro- and microelements).

Like all ornamental plants, sakura needs artistic shaping. But it must be done with great care. Sanitary pruning is carried out in early spring, before the start of sap flow, otherwise you can cause the appearance of gum disease (and there is a lot of resin in wood).

The artistic shaping of the tree begins not earlier than after 7 - 8 years. For this work, it is better to invite a specialist who will competently form the sakura crown in accordance with all your wishes.


In garden design, sakura is used both in single (solitary) plantings and in artistic compositions. It looks very good in combination with rocky hills, walls, next to a pond or a dry stream.

Stones must be present in any composition with the participation of sakura.

You can buy sakura Taihaku from us. We guarantee high quality and full compliance with the specified grade parameters.

There are no real cherry blossoms at garden markets. There, at best, they will offer you seedlings of felt cherry, Sakhalin or three-lobed almonds ( we talked about it in the article "How to grow almonds in the garden" ).

Three-lobed almond is also a very beautiful ornamental shrub with crimson-pink double flowers. However, this is not Sakura!

How to grow a tree of sakura: Features of landing and care


  1. What is the difference between Sakura from cherry
  2. Frost -resistant sakura
  3. Planting according to the Rules
    • Seed Place
    • Planting the Cabber
    • Sakura picking
  4. Sakura dressing
  5. Sakura care
  6. How to prune ornamental sakura bonsai

Sakura is actively used by landscape designers when it comes to oriental style. The tree looks no less luxurious in mixed compositions in the country. There are no equal sakura in beauty in the garden. For information on whether it is possible to grow sakura at home, read the article.

What is the difference between sakura and cherry

Sakura comes from Japan, where it is revered as a sacred tree - a receptacle for the souls of ancestors, and it is believed that sakura planted near the house becomes a family talisman from dark forces. Therefore, the Japanese celebrate cherry blossoms every spring and have picnics. Thanks to the efforts of breeders, this heat-loving plant has acquired frost-resistant properties and can grow in the Middle lane and even in the Urals. To grow an oriental beauty from a stone, you just need to create suitable conditions, properly feed and water the plant.

Unlike ordinary cherries, in Russia sakura is more often grown as an ornamental plant. The fruits ripen, but they are small and sour. In Japan, berries and sakura leaves are eaten, they are used to make wine and jam.

Frost-resistant sakura

An adult tree grows no higher than 3 meters, flowers have a different shade from lilac to pink. The brushes are so large and densely seated that they cover the leaves and branches. Flowering begins in May and lasts the whole month. Sakura grows slowly, its life span is calculated in centuries.

On the territory of Russia there are practically no pests of the Japanese cherry, the same applies to diseases. Care is simple, so the cultivation of sakura is within the power of novice gardeners. Flowering can be expected 3 years after planting. The fragrance of the flowers attracts bees and other beneficial insects.

Planting according to the rules

It is better to plant a young tree in open ground in spring or June, as it will have a long adaptation. During the summer and autumn, the roots will get stronger and be able to survive the Russian winter. But if you are interested in how to grow sakura from a seed, then in this case you can start planting both in spring and in summer and even in autumn.

Seed preparation

One of the important features of sakura cultivation is the correct selection and preparation of seeds for planting. Only frost-resistant varieties are suitable for growing sakura north of the Moscow region. The substrate is prepared from wood ash, washed river sand, sawdust and turf in equal proportions.

The seed preparation process is as follows: healthy, intact seeds are washed well and soaked for a day (experienced gardeners advise treating them with a fungicide), then dried and pressed into the soil by 1 cm, covered with a film and kept in the refrigerator for 2 months. Periodically moisten the earth. After the specified period, the container is removed and placed in heat, in the light. As soon as the sprout hatches, the film is removed. Before transplanting to a plot in open ground, a seedling is grown for 2 years in a greenhouse.

Choosing a planting site

Despite the frost resistance, the tree needs a lot of heat and light. Therefore, on the site it is worth choosing a place on the south side without drafts. The soil is light, fertile, with an acidity of about 7 (neutral). The root system of the tree is not very deep, therefore, in order to avoid flooding in the lowland, it is not planted.

Planting sakura outdoors

Having figured out how to grow sakura from seeds, you can begin to study the issue of transplanting a young tree into open ground.

In preparation for transplanting, you need to dig a hole with dimensions of 60x60x60 cm. If several trees are planted at once, the distance between seedlings should be at least 1 m. Drainage from crushed stone is laid at the bottom of the hole. The pit is filled with pre-prepared soil. To prepare it, 2 parts of the excavated earth are mixed, 1 part of cow manure, compost and river sand, 150 g of superphosphate, 80 g of potassium sulfate and a two-liter jar of ash are mixed. The seedling is lowered into a hole with a support, tied up and covered with soil. The trunk circle is covered with mulch.

Sakura picking

Sakura picking is an important step in growing sakura at home. In the process of growth, young seedlings are transplanted many times, which helps to strengthen the root system. Young plantings are allowed to rest only in winter, leaving them in a cool room until spring.

The main nuance in picking seedlings is the right choice of new containers. There are 2 options:

  1. Grow sakura in cramped pots to form a bonsai tree.
  2. Transplant into a wider and deeper container until it is time to plant a tree in the area

Top dressing of sakura

If there is a lack of nutrition, Japanese cherries do not bear fruit, so it is so important to feed regularly. As a fertilizer for sakura, both organic and mineral preparations with potassium and nitrogen in the composition are suitable.

Taking into account the characteristics of the soil, they choose how to feed the sakura and in what quantity:

  • for depleted soil - 9 kg of organic matter, or 16 g of minerals per 1 m2;
  • for medium nutritional soil - 5 kg of organic, or 8 g of mineral fertilizers per 1 m2.

Sakura care

The tree likes moist soil, but watering regularly should be avoided at the roots. Depending on the needs of the culture in a certain growing season, they choose how to fertilize the sakura. In spring, fertilizing with nitrogen and phosphorus is needed for active growth. In August, I use fertilizers rich in potassium and phosphorus to prepare the plant for wintering.

The beauty of sakura is not only in the abundance of large flowers, but also in the beautifully formed crown. Since the tree grows slowly, formative pruning does not begin until 8–10 years after planting. Sanitary pruning is carried out from the moment when the tree reaches 2-3 years, and is planned for the spring, until the movement of juices begins. The purpose of the procedure is to remove dried and damaged branches.

To protect the tree from diseases, it is enough to remove and burn fallen leaves in autumn. In the near-barrel circle should always be clean. In preparation for winter, the trunk at the base is covered with agrofibre, and the grafting sites are covered with special material.

How to prune ornamental bonsai sakura

Miniature Japanese cherry trees are easy to grow if you use proven crown formation techniques and choose the right sakura fertilizer.

How to grow sakura bonsai:

  1. Expose the roots at the base, remove the vertical shoots.
  2. Do not allow the barrel to be pulled up.
  3. Cut off part of the root at the base, deepening the cut into the ground. This will grow other roots, and you can repeat the pick and remove the old root.
  4. The thickest branch will be the bottom one. For its formation, you need to choose a suitable escape.
  5. To form a panicle-shaped crown, you need to cut the branches in a horizontal orientation, and vice versa.

The above steps are repeated regularly to maintain the trimmed shape. With each new season, the rhizome is shortened, and horizontal cuts are made on the bark of the trunk.

A common feature for all varieties of cherry bonsai is the need for daily attention.

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