Can you grow a cherry blossom tree in a pot

Discussion in 'Ornamental Cherries' started by newbie2021, Mar 3, 2021.

  1. newbie2021

    newbie2021 New Member

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    Hi. Can you grow a cherry blossom tree in a pot?

    I'd like to grow one on my terrace in LA. I don't know much about gardening but willing to learn.
     
  2. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Good morning and welcome to the forum, the answer is yes to your question. But it is important to understand that the soil/compost you put in the pot should be free draining and IMO replaced every 2-3 years. This can put people off as they think they can just leave it. This is not so as it will break down over time and become spent. A good slow/controlled release fertiliser should also be added each Spring or a seaweed feed.
    Do understand that a Cherry will get bigger and as such heavier, so repotting will become more difficult each year. The pot you choose should be deeper and wider than the root ball to allow for root growth and have sufficient drainage holes to stop water logging that will lead to root rot and death.
    Another thing to mention is to look around your area and see what Cherry trees are growing well and go for one of those varieties. If you want fruit then a self fertile is best, otherwise you are looking at getting two.
    Hope this is of help and if you decide upon this route do please update the forum with photos of what you get.
     
  3. newbie2021

    newbie2021 New Member

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    Hi. Thank you for the welcome and reply.

    I don't want to grow fruit. I am wanting an accent tree. I like the cherry blossom trees that are famous in Korea and Japan. But those trees are very big. Can you recommend some cherry blossom trees that would be ideal to grow in a pot? I would prefer the pot to be smaller than 3 feet x 3 feet x 3 feet. And I prefer the flowers to be a lighter pink.

    If I can find such a tree, I would be happy to post photos.
     
  4. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I posted a photo of a 'Whitcomb' cherry in a large planter at West End / Stanley Park. We don't usually see cherries in pots; there is probably a reason for that. I think the issue for you is more that you won't get cold enough temperatures in Los Angeles for flowers to develop - there is a very short list of what cherries will flower at all in your area. Here is one article that recommends a few: 4 Best Flowering Cherry Trees to Grow in the South | Gardener's Path. Most of these would be too large, but 'Okame' might be a possibility. You would want to find one on its own roots, that is not grafted onto a vigorous rootstock.
     
  5. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    @newbie2021, totally understand what you are saying, how about a dwarf cherry. Prunus incisa Kojo-no-mai. A lovely pink flower. I feel that this one would be more suitable for the size pot you are talking about.
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Except for the naturally small one just mentioned (often presented to the US market as Little Twist) you would in fact want to buy a grafted specimen. One that was grafted onto a dwarfing rootstock. (Also a special effort would probably have to be made to find an own root - as in raised from a cutting - Japanese flowering cherry in commerce anyway. With despite the fact that own root 'Kanzan' may be possible to locate because you want a light pink kind that will perform well in LA having the plant also be cutting raised might add an impossibly restrictive requirement. Unless it happens that the Little Twist for instance is being grown from cuttings at least part of the time).

    Otherwise note that following description designates USDA 9 as the warmest winter climate suitable for Little Twist. If accurate then you may be too far south for it.

    Product Detail - Bailey Portal (baileynurseries.com)
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2021
    wcutler likes this.
  7. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    A forum member has been growing a Prunus incisa 'Kojo-no-mai' in a pot outdoors in France, has posted some photos and has made a comment about repotting.
    Prunus incisa 'Kojo no mai'.

    There is another thread with a comment about how few choices there are for cherries that will bloom in Los Angeles:
    Japanese weeping cherry tree
    Edited, to quote the comment that I'm elaborating on in the last paragraph:
    Here's a page about the one that was mentioned, 'Pink Cloud'.
    Pink Cloud Flowering Cherries (lecooke.com)

    The Taiwan cherry, Prunus campanulata is supposed to be the only ornamental cherry grown on O'ahu, and there only in one town where it gets low enough temperatures. The 'Okame' that I mentioned above is a hybrid, with Prunus incisa as the female parent and Prunus campanulata as the male parent.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2021
  8. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Wendy your penultimate and last sentence above do not go with one another - you must have left something out.
     
  9. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Thanks, Ron. I edited something else, then found what you were really talking about, have fixed that too.
     
  10. newbie2021

    newbie2021 New Member

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    A local nursery is selling pink cloud. They tell me that I can grow it in a pot. What do you think of this tree? I'm thinking to get 2.
     
  11. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Good morning newbie2021, this is a lovely tree, my only thoughts are that this variety can get rather wide. I would think something like Prunus triloba might be a little better for a pot, it is a dwarf and grows to around 8ft. Prunus amanogawa is another that might be ideal for your pot. It is more conical in shape, but does grow to around 12ft.
    Just my thoughts to help...
     
  12. newbie2021

    newbie2021 New Member

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    Good point. Is this something I can prune to keep under control?

    The person at the nursery seemed to think the size wouldn't be an issue if I grew in a pot.
     
  13. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Keeping the roots confined will obviously help and pruning is a way around the growth. I just thought that a dwarf variety might be easier for you in the long term. Please don't let my thoughts put you off. If you want the Pink cloud, then go for it and enjoy.
    Look forward to seeing your update and photos when you do go ahead with the purchase of your chosen trees.
     
  14. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    'Pink Cloud' unsuitable unless on a dwarfing rootstock. I grew one for some years and it shot right up. However it was on a sweet cherry rootstock, with typical associated problems developing in time. Also most years the flowers were spaced out so that a comparatively diffuse display was produced, making it additionally hard for me to warm up to this tree. (Photos on the web taken in coastal southern California show trees of this variety with the dense flowering more typical of popular Japanese flowering cherry cultivars - so it is probably a climate based thing).

    Unless a body is already well versed in pruning cherries to control size in an attractive way setting up a situation where this will be required is probably best avoided. Same as when pre developed bonsai starters are purchased by those with no background in this practice, resulting in mystification about what to do with them going forward.

    Prunus triloba is not a cherry, 'Ama-no-gawa' gets much larger than 12' tall (unless there are some on the market somewhere growing on dwarfing stocks).

    Besides Little Twist another small bushy cherry that has been on the general market in the past is 'Hally Jolivette'. However I don't know how easily this can be found at this time. Or how it might do in southern California.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2021
  15. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    @newbie2021, you've named yourself "newbie" - we appreciate your interest in cherries, but maybe starting out with something that is not likely to lead to success is not the best idea. What about growing a gardenia? Or bougainvillea? They both have much longer flowering seasons too, much more than the two weeks for cherries. You can grow lots of nice flowering plants in California.
     
  16. newbie2021

    newbie2021 New Member

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    Right, I really don't anything about gardening. I imagine I'll make mistakes, but trying to research so hopefully I don't make a catastrophic mistake. That's why I'm reaching out here. The information I'm finding online is limited.

    Then is the pink cloud not a good idea to try in a pot in southern California?

    The Little Twist or "the Bride" are the smaller cherry blossom trees but the zones are 8. Pink cloud is 9. LA is 10. Are the Little Twist or Kojo No Mai not suitable for LA then?

    And lastly, where can I buy these trees? I can't seem to find an online store that will ship to California. The local nursery has pink cloud and so that makes purchase easier.
     

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