cherry tree bonsai

Cherry Blossom (Prunus) Bonsai Tree: How To Grow and Care

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In Japan, there is a longstanding tradition of watching and admiring the appearance of the cherry blossom tree. Also known as Sakura, this cherry blossom tradition has been around for many centuries. As a result, cherry blossom bonsai trees are often kept in Japan.

You don’t have to live in Japan in order to appreciate this bonsai tree’s beauty. In fact, this is one of the most popular bonsai specimens for growers in other parts of the world, too. Caring for one of these plants is easy – here’s what you need to do.

Interesting Facts about Cherry Blossom Bonsai

Height: 15 inches

Width: 10 inches

Sunlight: Full sunlight 

Flowering Time Length: Spring

Lifespan: 30-40 years

Scientific name: Prunus serrulata

Types of Cherry Blossom

cherry tree bonsai
Photo by T.Kiya | Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

There are more than 420 varieties of the cherry blossom bonsai species. Prunus serrulata is the most popular. Found in the Prunus species, the cherry blossom bonsai (Prunus serrulata) is not only native to Japan but can also be found in China and Korea, too. 

Other plants in the Prunus species include plums, apricots, almonds, and peaches. 

Cherry blossom bonsai is the most inspiring for its beauty. It produces gorgeous blossoms in the early spring that fall to the ground and create a gorgeous backdrop of pink.this plant is also known as Japanese cherry blossom bonsai, east Asian cherry blossom bonsai, and oriental cherry blossom bonsai.

Growing Cherry Blossom Bonsai from Seed or By Propagation

Cherry blossom bonsai can be grown both from seed as well as by propagation. If you plan to grow it from seed, you don’t need to worry about selecting certain seeds that are bonsai-specific. Any cherry blossom tree seed will die. It can take several weeks for your seeds to germinate.

If you grow your cherry blossom bonsai from cuttings, you will need to use the cuttings from another tree. This saves you time as you don’t need to wait for the seeds to germinate. However, settings don’t have taproots, so they can lack some stability. 

How To Care for Cherry Blossom Bonsai

Sunlight

The cherry blossom bonsai requires lots of sun with minimal wind. A location that gets full sun is ideal. 

Ideally, you should allow it to go dormant during the winter months for at least three months. It’s important to keep it cool at this time, although it will also need to be protected from frost. A spot like a cold garage is the perfect choice. 

Watering

This bonsai specimen is not that picky when it comes to water. Just make sure you water often and as needed. The tree should never be allowed to dry out completely. If you are growing your plant in direct sunlight, you will need to water more often. When water begins to leak from the bottom of the container, you’ll know you have sufficient water.

Fertilizing

You can fertilize your cherry blossom bonsai once per month with a liquid or organic fertilizer. This should only be done during the growing period and not when your plant is dormant during the winter.

It is important to fertilize your plant as it will help it remain nourished at all times. You can use any high-quality fertilizer to feed the soil.

Potting and Repotting 

You can repot your cherry blossom bonsai once every two to three years. Put it in a well-draining potting mix when you are finished. Organic soil is your best option. Late winter is the best time to repot, as the plant will have stopped flowering. Potting the plant will help the plant develop more compact, vigorous roots. 

Pruning a Cherry Blossom  Bonsai

You only need to prune your cherry blossom bonsai every so often. This should be done just to maintain a small size but you should wait until all of the flowers have dropped from the plant. When you prune a bonsai, just cut back a bit of fresh growth but avoid removing all new growth. 

Pests and Diseases

There aren’t many diseases that you will need to worry about when it comes to caring for your cherry blossom bonsai. However, you should watch out for caterpillars and aphids, both of which can be quite destructive. Though rare, some diseases you will need to be aware of peach leaf curl, blossom wilt, and taphrina wiesneri. 

Where to Buy Cherry Blossom Bonsai

You can purchase a cherry blossom bonsai plant online. You can also buy seeds from just about any local or online seed shop, too. This will let you fully control the growth of your plant. 

Up Next: Cherry Blossom Meaning and Symbolism

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