How to Pot an Ornamental Cherry Tree

Even if you’re short of space, you can still enjoy an ornamental cherry’s gorgeous spring blooms by planting a tree in a container. 

Prunus 'Taihaku'

Prunus 'Taihaku'

When planting an ornamental cherry in a pot, choose a specimen grown on a dwarf rooting stock, such as M26—this will restrict its size and keep it from outgrowing its container.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

When planting an ornamental cherry in a pot, choose a specimen grown on a dwarf rooting stock, such as M26—this will restrict its size and keep it from outgrowing its container.

Materials Needed

  • ornamental cherry trees
  • weatherproof pot
  • rocks or broken pieces of old clay pots
  • gardening gloves
  • soil- or loam-based compost
  • controlled-release fertilizer
  • watering can or garden hose

Step 1: Place Rocks in Bottom of Pot

Add Loam Based Compost to Bottom of Planter

Add Loam Based Compost to Bottom of Planter

Place pieces of broken pottery on the bottom of the pot that is going to hold the ornamental cherry tree. Add a later of rich potting soil and mix in controlled release fertilizer.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

You might also consider using "crocks," which are broken pieces of old clay pots, in place of the rocks. Wearing gloves, add a layer of soil- or loam-based compost, and mix in controlled-release fertilizer, following the product guidelines.

Step 2: Soak Tree Roots

Coax Out Any Tree Roots Circling Root Ball

Coax Out Any Tree Roots Circling Root Ball

Coax out roots that are circling around the root ball after removing tree from nursery pot.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Soak tree roots in a bucket before planting. Coax out any roots that are circling around the root ball, and stand the tree on the compost, ensuring it is upright. 

Step 3: Plant the Tree

Center Apple Tree in Container at Same Depth

Center Apple Tree in Container at Same Depth

Position the apple tree carefully in the center of the container. Fill around it with soil and firm it in, making sure that it is planted at the same depth as in its original pot.

©2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Plant the tree at the same level it was growing at in its original pot. Fill in with compost and firm down, leaving a 2in (5cm) gap between the rim of the pot and the compost for watering.

Step 4: Give the Tree a Good Soak

Water regularly—every couple of days in the summer—and feed annually in the spring with a slow-release fertilizer. Underplanting will add floral interest through the summer.