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Sweet cherry
Plant Care Instructions By Steve Brigham

In the mild coastal Southern California climates, Sweet Cherries will grow, but they generally do not fruit well (if at all). This is because they do not get nearly enough winter chill to set fruit, and warm late fall and winter daytime temperatures can further disrupt dormancy. Still, folks will always keep trying! Although there are currently (2009) no truly \"low chill\" varieties of Sweet Cherry commonly available, there are four that come close: \'Royal Lee\' and its pollinator \'Minnie Royal\' require only 400-500 hours of winter chill (temperatures below 45 degrees F.), \'Lapins\' (self-fertile) needs 500 hours, and \'Stella\' (self-fertile) needs 500-600 hours. While these numbers are a real stretch for most gardeners in these climate zones, if you live in a real \"cold hollow\", you might give these varieties a try.

Is Indoor Plant?

No

These month by month plant care tasks are for plants in the following zones :
Sunset Zones : 22, 23, 24
USDA Zones :
Web Link - For more information
Scroll down or click on any month for plant care instructions
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
  • January
    • Buy

        Buy bare-root trees from a reputable nursery to get the varieties you want.

    • Plant

        Plant in full sun in rich, well-drained soil. Choose the coldest part of your yard.

    • Water

        Water regularly during dry periods, but don't overwater.

  • February
    • Buy

        Buy bare-root trees from a reputable nursery to get the varieties you want.

    • Plant

        Plant in full sun in rich, well-drained soil. Choose the coldest part of your yard.

    • Fertilize

        Fertilize with a balanced plant food.

    • Water

        Water regularly during dry periods, but don't overwater.

    • Prune

        Cherry trees don't need to be pruned. Prune only to maintain good structure and shape, and do not prune heavily.

  • March
    • Water

        Water regularly during the growing season.

    • Mulch

        Mulch to conserve water use.

  • April
    • Water

        Water regularly during the growing season.

    • Protect

        Protect fruit from birds, if necessary, with netting.

  • May
    • Water

        Water regularly during the growing season.

    • Protect

        Protect fruit from birds, if necessary, with netting.

    • Harvest

        Harvest cherries when they are fully ripe and sweet.

  • June
    • Water

        Water regularly during the growing season.

    • Mulch

        Mulch to conserve water use.

    • Protect

        Protect fruit from birds, if necessary, with netting.

    • Harvest

        Harvest cherries when they are fully ripe and sweet.

  • July
    • Water

        Water regularly during the growing season.

  • August
    • Water

        Water regularly during the growing season.

  • September
    • Water

        Water regularly during the growing season.

    • Mulch

        Mulch to conserve water use.

  • October
    • Water

        Water regularly during the growing season.

  • November
    • Water

        Water regularly during dry periods, but don't overwater.

  • December
    • Water

        Water regularly during dry periods, but don't overwater.

  • Winter
    • Spring
      • Summer
        • Fall
          • Buy

            When's the best time to buy this plant? When can you buy these from seed (if you can)? When is it usually available? What are things to look for when you're buying it? Or anything other tidbit of information you can share!

            •  Jan
            •  Feb
            •  Mar
            •  Apr
            •  May
            •  Jun
            •  Jul
            •  Aug
            •  Sep
            •  Oct
            •  Nov
            •  Dec
            • January

              Buy bare-root trees from a reputable nursery to get the varieties you want.

            • February

              Buy bare-root trees from a reputable nursery to get the varieties you want.

          • Plant

            When's a good time to plant this plant or bulb? Any special planting instructions?

            •  Jan
            •  Feb
            •  Mar
            •  Apr
            •  May
            •  Jun
            •  Jul
            •  Aug
            •  Sep
            •  Oct
            •  Nov
            •  Dec
            • January

              Plant in full sun in rich, well-drained soil. Choose the coldest part of your yard.

            • February

              Plant in full sun in rich, well-drained soil. Choose the coldest part of your yard.

          • Sow Seeds

            When can you plant these seeds? When's the best time? Can you start them indoors and move them out? Do they have any special requirements?

            •  Jan
            •  Feb
            •  Mar
            •  Apr
            •  May
            •  Jun
            •  Jul
            •  Aug
            •  Sep
            •  Oct
            •  Nov
            •  Dec
            • Fertilize

              When should you fertilize this plant? Which kind of fertilizer do you recommend? Should you use different fertilizers at different times of year?

              •  Jan
              •  Feb
              •  Mar
              •  Apr
              •  May
              •  Jun
              •  Jul
              •  Aug
              •  Sep
              •  Oct
              •  Nov
              •  Dec
              • February

                Fertilize with a balanced plant food.

            • Water

              Is there a time to reduce or increase watering? Any special requirements? Things to avoid during certain times of the year?

              •  Jan
              •  Feb
              •  Mar
              •  Apr
              •  May
              •  Jun
              •  Jul
              •  Aug
              •  Sep
              •  Oct
              •  Nov
              •  Dec
              • January

                Water regularly during dry periods, but don\'t overwater.

              • February

                Water regularly during dry periods, but don\'t overwater.

              • March

                Water regularly during the growing season.

              • April

                Water regularly during the growing season.

              • May

                Water regularly during the growing season.

              • June

                Water regularly during the growing season.

              • July

                Water regularly during the growing season.

              • August

                Water regularly during the growing season.

              • September

                Water regularly during the growing season.

              • October

                Water regularly during the growing season.

              • November

                Water regularly during dry periods, but don\'t overwater.

              • December

                Water regularly during dry periods, but don\'t overwater.

            • Prune

              When's a good time to prune this plant? How about deadheading, pinching back, trimming or any other grooming? Any special requirements?

              •  Jan
              •  Feb
              •  Mar
              •  Apr
              •  May
              •  Jun
              •  Jul
              •  Aug
              •  Sep
              •  Oct
              •  Nov
              •  Dec
              • February

                Cherry trees don\'t need to be pruned. Prune only to maintain good structure and shape, and do not prune heavily.

            • Mulch

              Does this plant need to be mulched? Are there specific types of Mulch which are better for this plant? How much?

              •  Jan
              •  Feb
              •  Mar
              •  Apr
              •  May
              •  Jun
              •  Jul
              •  Aug
              •  Sep
              •  Oct
              •  Nov
              •  Dec
              • March

                Mulch to conserve water use.

              • June

                Mulch to conserve water use.

              • September

                Mulch to conserve water use.

            • Protect

              When and how should you protect this plant from birds, deer, rabbits? Does this plant need be covered, or wrapped or painted or moved?

              •  Jan
              •  Feb
              •  Mar
              •  Apr
              •  May
              •  Jun
              •  Jul
              •  Aug
              •  Sep
              •  Oct
              •  Nov
              •  Dec
              • April

                Protect fruit from birds, if necessary, with netting.

              • May

                Protect fruit from birds, if necessary, with netting.

              • June

                Protect fruit from birds, if necessary, with netting.

            • Pest/Disease Inspection

              What are the common problems this plant will face and when should you look for them to appear?

              •  Jan
              •  Feb
              •  Mar
              •  Apr
              •  May
              •  Jun
              •  Jul
              •  Aug
              •  Sep
              •  Oct
              •  Nov
              •  Dec
              • Treat for Pest/Disease

                How do you treat the common problems for this plant? What products or concoctions or natural means do you use? Any special requirements?

                •  Jan
                •  Feb
                •  Mar
                •  Apr
                •  May
                •  Jun
                •  Jul
                •  Aug
                •  Sep
                •  Oct
                •  Nov
                •  Dec
                • Transplant

                  When's the best time to dig up and transplant this from one spot to another? (This is different than planting). Any special requirements?

                  •  Jan
                  •  Feb
                  •  Mar
                  •  Apr
                  •  May
                  •  Jun
                  •  Jul
                  •  Aug
                  •  Sep
                  •  Oct
                  •  Nov
                  •  Dec
                  • Propagate

                    When's a good time to divide, take cuttings, layer or propagate this plant. Any special requirements?

                    •  Jan
                    •  Feb
                    •  Mar
                    •  Apr
                    •  May
                    •  Jun
                    •  Jul
                    •  Aug
                    •  Sep
                    •  Oct
                    •  Nov
                    •  Dec
                    • Harvest

                      When's a good time to harvest this plant? What's the best way to harvest? Are there special requirements or features?

                      •  Jan
                      •  Feb
                      •  Mar
                      •  Apr
                      •  May
                      •  Jun
                      •  Jul
                      •  Aug
                      •  Sep
                      •  Oct
                      •  Nov
                      •  Dec
                      • May

                        Harvest cherries when they are fully ripe and sweet.

                      • June

                        Harvest cherries when they are fully ripe and sweet.

                    • Special requirements

                      Any other requirement for this plant? Is there anything that doesn't fit into the other care categories?

                      •  Jan
                      •  Feb
                      •  Mar
                      •  Apr
                      •  May
                      •  Jun
                      •  Jul
                      •  Aug
                      •  Sep
                      •  Oct
                      •  Nov
                      •  Dec

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