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Winter Interest with Taiwan Cherry

There is interest to be found in the winter garden but nothing quite as bold as the color offered by the Taiwan cherry, Prunus campanulata. The coastal south climate is not very suited for many selections of edible and ornamental cherries but the Taiwan cherry is very adapted for North Florida gardens.

Taiwan cherry brightens the winter landscape as a small landscape tree. Photo by Beth Bolles, UF IFAS Extension Escambia County.

Right now is a good time to plant a Taiwan cherry. If you would rather enjoy a lighter pink flower, look for the ‘Okame’ selection in your local nursery. Choose a sight that receives good sunlight and has well drained soil. Plants will benefit from placement in a mulched area which will keep roots cool in the summer and prevent any damage from general turf maintenance. Also choose a location that allows for canopy development as the plant ages. Make sure that you install container plants following University of Florida planting guidelines. Planting too deeply can result a stressed plant that is more susceptible to pests.

The flowering period of Taiwan cherry may only be a few weeks during winter but the vibrant color and small size make it a good selection for all types of landscapes.