Growing Flowering Apricot

This little ornamental tree simply can’t wait for spring.
Related To:
Prunus mume  (01) Spring

Prunus mume (01) Spring

Japanese flowering apricots are among the first spring ornamental trees to bloom in winter, sporting, white, pink or rose flowers.

Japanese flowering apricots are among the first spring ornamental trees to bloom in winter, sporting, white, pink or rose flowers.

No doubt, Japanese flowering apricot is the perfect small tree.

The little ornamental, which grows to 20 feet, begins blooming in early January—even late December in mild climates—during the darkest days of winter. One glimpse of its white, pink or rose flowers, single or double, sparks fantasies of an an early spring.

Flowering apricot, Prunus mume, can put on a show that lasts six to eight weeks. That’s because its flower buds have a staggered dormancy—meaning if an inevitable freeze kills its early blooms it still has “back up” dormant buds that are unharmed.

Unlike the more common spring flowering trees—cherries, crabapples, pears, dogwoods—the apricot has been slow to catch on in this country, while in its native Japan there are some 300 varieties.

Once the flowers, with their rich, spicy fragrance, fade, they are replaced by attractive dark green foliage.

Easy to grow, the trees prefer full sun and fertile well-drained soil. They bloom on old wood, so any pruning should be done immediately after flowering so as not to remove new flower buds.

The earliest cultivar to flower is ‘Rosemary Clarke’, with her large double white flowers, followed by ‘Peggy Clarke’, sporting double rose-red blooms. There’s also ‘W.B. Clarke’ (double) and ‘Pendula’ (single), which are pink-blooming weeping varieties.

For really tight spaces, consider small cultivars that are perfect for containers, such as the bright pink ‘Beni-chidori’ and ‘Dawn’, which grow to only 8 feet.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Growing a Weeping Cherry Tree

Weeping cherries shout a boldly colorful statement in spring.

Growing Flowering Trees

Choose an ornamental variety that suits your needs and space.

How to Grow a Bay Tree

Season your garden with this culinary and ornamental delight.

Paperbark Maple Growing Tips

Wake up your garden with this showstopping ornamental tree.

Grow Guide: Giving Dogwoods a Leg Up

A stressed-out tree might explain a dogwood death.

Eastern Redbud Growing Tips

Bring color and drama to your garden with this eastern native.

Growing Tea Olive

This highly fragrant fall bloomer knows how to put on a show.

Growing Dwarf Fruit Trees

Turn your backyard into a miniature orchard—these gorgeous fruit trees are perfect for pots.

Growing Apples

Growing apples takes commitment that keeps the fire in the American love affair with the fruit.

Grow a Persimmon Tree

Easy to grow and maintain, persimmon trees are cold hardy and bear beautiful fruit in the fall.

On TV

Tiny House Hunters

6:30am | 5:30c

Flea Market Flip

8:30am | 7:30c

Flea Market Flip

9:30am | 8:30c

Flea Market Flip

10:30am | 9:30c

Flea Market Flip

11:30am | 10:30c

Fixer Upper

12pm | 11c

Fixer Upper

1pm | 12c

Fixer Upper

2pm | 1c

Fixer Upper

3pm | 2c

Fixer Upper

4pm | 3c

Fixer Upper

5pm | 4c

Fixer Upper

6pm | 5c

Fixer Upper

7pm | 6c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Fixer Upper

8pm | 7c

Good Bones

9pm | 8c

House Hunters

10:30pm | 9:30c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

House Hunters

11:30pm | 10:30c

Good Bones

12am | 11c

House Hunters

1:30am | 12:30c

House Hunters

2:30am | 1:30c

Fixer Upper

3am | 2c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.