Outdoor Sandcherry Garden Plants

Outdoor Sandcherry Garden Plants

Sandcherry garden plants (Prunus x cistena) is a member of the Rose family. Prunus is Latin for ‘plum’ while cistena is the Sioux word for ‘baby’ in reference to its smallish size. The “x” is indicative of the shrub’s hybridism. These garden plants are useful as ornamental specimens due to its beautiful red, maroon, or purple foliage. The shrub grows at a moderate rate and is suitable in USDA zones 2-8. The parent plants of sandcherry bush hail from Western Asia (Prunus cerasifera) and the Northeastern United States (Prunus pumila). This purplish-red leafed plant has an oval growth habit gradually maturing into an arched form and opening out from the center of the shrub. The stunning 2-inch long, serrated foliage emerges crimson-purple and remains throughout the summer, gradually changing to a green-bronze hue in the fall. Around April, the plant’s pink buds open into whitish-pink flowers, the same time as the red foliage. The innocuous blooms become small black-purple fruit barely noticeable without contrast to the purple foliage in July.

The multiple gray-brown trunks are prone to trunk fissuring and cankers, which ooze sap. Water sandcherry garden plants regularly during the first growing season. Usually, one watering per week is ample, or whenever the top 1 to 2 inches of soil feels dry to the touch. Thereafter, water only during extended periods of hot, dry weather. One feeding every spring is sufficient for sandcherry. Any balanced, general-purpose fertilizer is fine.

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