Friday, May 11, 2012

Nanking Cherry Bush Information

Nanking cherries grow on a bush rather than a tree and these fruit bearing bushes produce a tremendous crop of tart berries for jams, wine and some people make pies, but I have never tried. If you prefer to not use the berries for food consumption then leave on the bush and feed the wildlife.

The Nanking cherry (Prunus Tomentosa) is a moderate to fast growing bush that is native to China and to Japan.  The Cherries are edible for human consumption and will attract birds, deer and other wildlife to your yard.   

Two years ago I bought 3 18-24 inch Nanking Cherry bushes from and planted them in full sun with well drained soil.  

I fertilized the bushes with Spray n' Grow and by the end of first growing season my Nanking cherry bush had doubled in size. 

 This year my cherry bush was covered with pale pink spring flowers and by the end of June the bush was covered with berries.  

These berries ripened to a bright red color and I harvested 1 quart of cherries for recipes and left the remaining berries on the bush for the birds.

In the fall the leaves turn a lovely shade of gold which makes the nanking a lovely accent bush. 

Growing Nanking Cherry
 If you reside in growing zones 2-8 you can grow Nanking Cherries.  Plant two or more cherry bushes and you will get a large yield of berries. 

Fully grow bushes are 6-8 feet high and will yield a crop of 2-4 quarts of cherries.  If growing more than one bush; plant 8 feet apart.

Plant in spring after the threat of frost has past. Grow Nanking cherry bushes in a sunny area of your yard.  Cherries do not grow well in wet areas so choose soil that is well drained.  

Dig a hole that is the same depth and width as the nursery pot.  Add time released fertilizer into the hole and mix with soil.  Set the cherry bush in the center of the hole and back fill the soil.  Apply two inches of mulch around the stem.  This mulch will help in deterring weed or grass growth.  Water newly planted bush so that soil is moist but not wet.


 Nanking cherries are self pollinating so if you have a small yard you may grow one bush and harvest an average of 2-4 quarts of cherries.

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