Ideas & inspiration

Japanese clove cherry - plant, care & cut back

The Japanese carnation cherry with its attractive flower is a little exotic, but it is still easy to cultivate in this country if you follow some care instructions.

The Japanese clove cherry (Prunus serrulata) is a plant from the rose family. East Asian cherry or Oriental cherry are other common names. Ornamental cherries are preferably planted in parks and along avenues.

Japanese carnation cherries are particularly decorative in their own garden. The deciduous trees can grow about three to five meters high. Not only the cherry blossom in May is an eye-catcher, the carnation cherry is also impressive with its attractive autumn color.

A short pleasure - flowering and customs

The semi-double pink flowers of the Japanese carnation cherry appear between the end of April and mid-May. The flowers contrast nicely with the copper-colored leaves. The different types of Japanese cherry trees have differences in flower color and flower shape. The time of flowering also varies. Some species bloom in late March. Late varieties bloom in late May. The flowering period only lasts a few days and the spectacle is over at the end of May and the flowers fall to the ground.

The cherry blossom is very important in Japan. The delicacy of the flower is associated with the pure and simple life, one of the maxims of the culture of Japan. The short flowering period and the passing away at the height of their splendor are often equated with brave young warriors and samurai, this has been preserved in Japanese culture for many centuries.

The types of Japanese clove cherry

The Japanese silver cherry - small but nice

The Japanese hanging cherry is also a good choice for small gardens. The plants form funnel-shaped tree tops and have strongly overhanging branches. At first, the black clove cherry grows upright, with older plants the characteristic arch-shaped branches appear, which often reach the ground. The hanging cherry is about three to five meters high. The pink clusters of pink flowers appear in April.

The Japanese silver clove cherry prefers a loose and nutritious garden soil and grows preferably in a sunny location. In the first few years, the plant can also thrive well in the tub. The increased water and nutrient requirements must be taken into account here. The bucket should have a capacity of at least 30 liters.

An overview of other varieties with their special features

plant speciesexplanation
columns cherry
  • What is special about this type of ornamental cherry is its columnar growth habit.
  • The cherries up to six meters high are often planted in gardens.
  • The columnar cherry has light pink flowers.
  • This ornamental cherry came to Europe in the middle of the 19th century.
  • Due to the spreading growth form this plant needs a lot of space.
  • The semi-double flowers are light pink.
  • The pretty autumn color is striking.
  • Around 1900 this variety was introduced in Europe.
  • The tree can grow up to nine meters high and is more common in parks.
  • The leaves are strikingly large.
  • The double, light pink flowers appear comparatively late.
Tai Haku
  • The "Big White Cherry" has the peculiarity of a white flower.
  • The sturdy tree grows to around eight meters high.
  • The copper-red leaves are about 15 centimeters long and up to ten centimeters wide.
Shimidsu Sakura
  • This species, also known as "longipes", is popular as a garden plant.
  • The species that has been known in Europe since the beginning of the 20th century attracts attention with its large white flowers.
  • The flowering period is comparatively late between May and June.
  • The golden yellow autumn colors are also impressive.
  • This variety grows particularly abundantly.
  • The leaves appear reddish brown.
  • A specialty are the yellowish white flowers, which fade in the course of flowering.

How to plant the Japanese clove cherry

The Japanese clove cherry can also be an eye-catcher in smaller gardens. If the demands on the location and the soil are observed and maintenance errors are avoided, the hobby gardener will enjoy this exotic plant with its pretty flowers.

❍ Location:

The Japanese clove cherry is quite undemanding in terms of location. A sunny location is preferred so that the flowers appear in large numbers. A full sun place can be chosen for the solitary plant. There should be enough distance to other plants so that the plant can remain in its place and does not have to be transplanted, which is less well tolerated by older plants.

" Tip: The Japanese clove cherry can grow several meters high. This should be considered when choosing a location. The plants should preferably not be transplanted.

In short:

✔ sunny
✔ Unique position
✔ enough distance to other plants

❍ substrate:

The plant makes no great demands on the soil. A loamy and nutrient-rich soil accelerates growth. It is advisable to loosen the substrate sufficiently before planting and to enrich it with compost or peat. Then the Japanese clove cherry receives a slow release fertilizer when planted.

" Tip: The soil should not be too compact, then the deep-rooting plant has a hard time developing its root system and grows more slowly because the roots then have to find a way into the width.

In cure form:

✔ fresh
✔ moist
✔ nutritious
✔ clayey
✔ easy

❍ Planting instructions:

Pflanz best planting time - autumn
❷ Water the root ball
❸ Dig out the planting hole at least twice the width and depth of the root ball
❹ Enrich soil with compost
❺ Loosen hard floors
❻ Insert the root ball
❼ Fill up earth
❽ Press the floor well
Ießen Water and pour in plenty
❿ Place watering rim around the plant

How to properly care for the Japanese clove cherry

❍ casting:

After planting, the Japanese carnation cherries need even watering. Otherwise there are no special criteria to be considered when casting. The plant does not like waterlogging, nor should the soil dry out. By hanging the leaves, the plant indicates when there is an additional need for moisture in hot summers. In summer it is advisable to put a watering rim around the plant so that the water can distribute itself evenly. Watering edges are created when the clove is planted and are regularly provided with a mulch layer. This protects against weeds and stops water evaporation on hot days.

& raquo: Tip: The Japanese clove cherry loves irrigation with lime-poor rainwater.

❍ Fertilize:

The Japanese clove cherry does not have an increased nutritional requirement. To get a particularly expressive bloom, many hobby gardeners use a phosphorus-containing fertilizer. However, since many domestic garden soils tend to have an excess of phosphorus, fertilization is more economical. An analysis of the soil brings certainty. Synthetic fertilizers are usually rich in nitrogen, which can also have negative effects and promote the sprouting of the shoots instead of ensuring that they bloom profusely. There is compost and other organic fertilizers that the plant can use if necessary without over-fertilizing.

Some types can also be cultivated in a bucket. Container plants have an increased water and nutrient requirement. The bucket should be large enough to give the roots enough space. The substrate must be enriched with compost and a liquid fertilizer with a high phosphorus content can also be used during the flowering period.

❍ Cut back:

Thinning of the Japanese clove cherry can be done immediately after flowering. For this purpose, the branches are cut directly on the trunk and not only shortened proportionally. Cutting measures are to be avoided in the first few years. The summer months should be selected for cuts; trimming in winter is not tolerated. Since the plants develop a lot of sap in the cold season, they would bleed heavily, which has a negative effect on growth and can lead to winter damage.

" Tip: The first cutting measures should be carried out on plants that are at least three years old.

When cutting back for the first time, special care must be taken to remove only the oldest shoots. These can usually be recognized by a darker bark. If there is already a large branching, the side shoots can also be shortened so that an attractive growth habit can be maintained.

For older plants, annual pruning is advisable in summer. Use clean and sharp cutting tools. Cutting measures mean stress for the plant and can damage it. In addition to dead branches, twigs and shoots must be removed that have grown too quickly and thus affect the shape of the plant.

" Watch out: The Japanese clove cherry is sensitive to cutting measures. Therefore a wound closure agent should be applied to the affected branches after the cut.

❍ Multiply:

Sticks have proven to be a successful method of propagation. Inexperienced hobby gardeners will also be successful with this. If the leaves have fallen and there is no frost, the best time to cut the wood is. Woody shoots are chosen, which should be about 15 centimeters long.

" Tip: Pay attention to the presence of several pairs of eyes so that new shoots can develop there later.

If you want to accelerate the root formation, rubbing the lower ends of the wood with a root powder can be helpful. The sticks are now placed in potting soil. The distance should be about ten centimeters. Alternatively, individual planters can be used. The sticks can stay outside during the winter, because most of them
Ornamental cherry varieties are hardy.

With successful propagation, new shoots should appear in spring. Choose particularly strong plants and place them in a suitable location. However, the propagation is not always successful. Another disadvantage is the flower, which only appears in cuttings after a few years. If you have less patience and would like to enjoy the flowering as soon as possible, you should use refined plants offered in specialist shops.

❍ Wintering:

The Japanese clove cherry is hardy and does not need any special protection in the cold season. Young plants should be protected from major temperature fluctuations in the first winter. Container plants are more sensitive to frost and can be wrapped with garden fleece to protect them from frost. If the planter is placed on a styrofoam base, it also prevents frost from attacking the roots of the plant.

Detect and fight pests and diseases

The Japanese clove cherry is generally easy to care for. If the information regarding the location, the soil conditions and the watering behavior are taken into account, the plant will prove to be robust and resistant.

Nevertheless, the clove cherry is not completely spared from pests and diseases.

May occur:

  • tip burn
  • Shotgun disease
  • Winter Moth

The peak drought - danger to the shoots

This fungal disease is also known as Monilia and causes the tips of the shoots to die. The disease is often observed immediately after flowering. Affected branches should be cut back into the healthy wood. As long as there are still brown spots in the cross section, the infestation has not yet been completely eliminated and a further cut back is necessary.

" Watch out: Varieties with thin shoots are more likely to be affected by the top drought than ornamental cherries with stronger shoots.

The shotgun disease - danger to the leaves

If there are unsightly holes in the leaves of the Japanese clove and reddish to brownish spots appear, these are signs of the shotgun disease, an infestation with the fungus Stigmina carpophila. Since the fungus hibernates in the leaves, the disease usually occurs in spring. The shotgun disease usually affects weakened plants and is a frequent consequence of maintenance errors. An infestation occurs even if the climate is too humid. Infested leaves should be removed and should not be disposed of on the compost. Spraying with a broth made from horsetail herb has also proven itself.

The frost tensioner - danger to the entire plant

If the leaves can be seen bare in spring, the frost tensioner was probably at work. The caterpillars of the frost tensioner are particularly voracious and those who do not react in time will quickly have a bare tree in front of them. Collecting the animals has only limited success and is particularly difficult with older plants. With glue traps to be attached to the trunk, the females are prevented from reaching the top of the tree and laying the eggs there.

Keep the Japanese clove as a bonsai

Ornamental cherries are popular bonsai plants. The most popular varieties of bonsai come from Japan. The bonsai needs a bright and sunny location. Avoid the blazing sun in summer. A delicate touch is required when watering, waterlogging is not tolerated any more than the bale dryness of the plant. You can fertilize from the flowering period until the end of August. When cutting, pay attention to the flower buds. These already form in autumn. After flowering, the pruning can be done down to the old wood. The bonsai should be repotted every two to three years. A special bonsai mixture is to be used for this. There are no limits to the design, all styles can be realized. When wiring, the sensitive bark should be wrapped with bast to protect the bonsai from injury. The bonsai also needs protection in winter.