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Prunus x cistena (Purple-Leaf Sand Cherry)

Purple-Leaf Sand Cherry, Prunus cerasifera 'Crimson Dwarf', Prunus × cistena 'Crimson Dwarf', Prunus × cistena 'Purpurea', Prunus 'Crimson Dwarf'

AGM Award
Prunus cistena, Prunus x cistena, Purple-Leaf Sand Cherry, Sand Cherry Tree, Flowering Tree, Pink flowers, pink prunus
Prunus cerasifera 'Krauter Vesuvius',Cherry Plum 'Krauter Vesuvius', Krauter Vesuvius Cherry Plum, Flowering Tree, Pink flowers, pink prunus

What is Prunus x cistena (Purple-Leaf Sand Cherry)?

Description: Prunus x cistena, commonly known as the Purple Leaf Sand Cherry or Dwarf Red-Leaf Plum, is a deciduous shrub prized for its striking foliage and delicate flowers. It is characterized by its deep purple-red leaves that create a dramatic contrast in the garden. The foliage color intensifies throughout the growing season, providing a visual focal point.

Growth Habit: This shrub features a compact, rounded growth habit, making it an excellent choice for small gardens or mixed borders.

Size: Prunus cistena typically reaches a height of 6-10 feet (1.8-3 meters) and spreads 5-8 feet (1.5-2.4 meters) wide, making it a suitable choice for hedges, screens, or specimen plants.

Flowers: In spring, the Purple Leaf Sand Cherry produces small, fragrant, pale pink to white flowers that grow in clusters. These blossoms attract pollinators like bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects.

Blooming Season: The blooming season for Prunus cistena is generally in spring, usually around April to May, depending on the climate.

Award: Recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticulture Society.

Hardiness: This shrub is hardy in USDA zones 2-8, making it suitable for a wide range of climates.

Uses: Prunus cistena is often used as an ornamental shrub, providing visual interest and texture in mixed borders, hedges, or as a specimen plant. Its contrasting foliage makes it an excellent companion for plants with lighter-colored leaves or flowers.

Growing Tips

To successfully grow Purple Leaf Sand Cherry in your garden, follow these tips:

Site selection: Choose a planting site that receives full sun, as the foliage color will be more vibrant with adequate sunlight. Tolerates part shade, but best flower production and leaf color are obtained in full sun. Ensure that the location provides well-draining soil to prevent root rot.

Soil preparation: Prunus cistena is adaptable to various soil types but prefers organically rich, well-draining, loamy soil. Amend the planting area with organic matter, such as compost or aged manure, to improve soil fertility and drainage.

Planting: Dig a hole twice as wide and just as deep as the root ball of the plant. Gently loosen the roots, place the shrub in the hole, and backfill with soil, ensuring that the top of the root ball is level with the surrounding soil surface. Water thoroughly to settle the soil and eliminate air pockets.

Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist during the first growing season, as this will help the plant establish a strong root system. Once established, water the shrub regularly, but avoid overwatering, which can lead to root rot.

Mulching: Apply a layer of organic mulch, such as shredded bark or wood chips, around the base of the plant to help conserve moisture, regulate soil temperature, and suppress weeds.

Fertilizing: Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in early spring to support healthy growth. Avoid over-fertilizing, which can lead to excessive foliage growth at the expense of flowering.

Pruning: Prune the Purple Leaf Sand Cherry in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins. Remove any dead, damaged, or diseased branches, and thin out crowded areas to improve air circulation. Pruning can also help maintain the desired shape and size of the shrub.

Pests and Diseases: The Purple Leaf Sand Cherry is also susceptible to Japanese beetles, aphids, scales, leafhoppers, caterpillars, and tent caterpillars. Trunk cankers and borers can be particularly harmful. Potential diseases include leaf spot, die back, leaf curl, powdery mildew, root Rot, honey fungus, and fireblight.

Propagation: Propagate by rooted stem cuttings.

By following these growing tips, you can enjoy the striking foliage and delicate flowers of the Prunus cistena in your garden for many years.

Requirements

Hardiness 2 - 8
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Rosaceae
Genus Prunus - Flowering Cherry Tree
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Height 6' - 10'
(180cm - 3m)
Spread 5' - 8'
(150cm - 240cm)
Spacing 60" - 96"
(150cm - 240cm)
Maintenance Low, High
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Plant of Merit, Showy
Attracts Birds, Bees
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Hedges And Screens
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Traditional Garden, City and Courtyard
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Prunus mume (Plum Blossom)
Prunus ilicifolia (Hollyleaf Cherry)
Prunus serotina (Black Cherry)
Prunus caroliniana (Carolina Cherry Laurel)
Prunus americana (American Plum)
Prunus ‘Snow Fountains’ (Weeping Cherry)

Recommended Companion Plants

Athyrium filix-femina (Lady Fern)
Hosta fortunei var. aureomarginata (Gold-Edged Plantain Lily)
Rudbeckia triloba (Brown-Eyed Susan)
Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ (Smooth Hydrangea)

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While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 2 - 8
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Rosaceae
Genus Prunus - Flowering Cherry Tree
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Height 6' - 10'
(180cm - 3m)
Spread 5' - 8'
(150cm - 240cm)
Spacing 60" - 96"
(150cm - 240cm)
Maintenance Low, High
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Plant of Merit, Showy
Attracts Birds, Bees
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Hedges And Screens
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Traditional Garden, City and Courtyard
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Prunus (Cherry Tree)
Not sure which Prunus (Cherry Tree) to pick?
Compare Now

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