How to grow Prunus Serrulata (Japanese cherry) From Seed And Its Best 7 Uses

Prunus Serrulata is the first plant to bloom in later winter/early spring.

So, it is the best model plant to study early flowering as well as chilling tolerance.

Starting cherry trees from seed can be a rewarding and cost-effective way to grow your own

fruit-bearing trees.

In this detailed guide, I will walk you through the process of germinating cherry seeds, providing

step-by-step instructions to ensure a successful outcome.

By following these guidelines, you’ll be able to grow your own cherry trees from seed with


How to grow Prunus Serrulata (Japanese cherry) From Seed And Its Best 7 Uses

How to grow Prunus Serrulata(Japanese cherry) seed

Clean the seed well to remove any pulp.

Then wrap it in a damp paper towel, put the seed into a plastic zip-top bag, and

place it in the refrigerator.

This process mimics the conditions they experience in nature. After germination transfer the

seedling to a small container with potting soil.

Seed Preparation:

To kickstart the germination process, start by collecting fresh cherry seeds.

It’s crucial to clean off all the pulp from the seeds, as the pulp can inhibit germination.

Soaking the seeds in warm water for two days is an effective way to jump-start the process.

During this soaking period, it’s essential to change the water at least twice a day.

Seeds that float to the top are likely to be non-viable, while the ones that sink to the bottom are

considered good seeds.

Avoid nicking the seeds, as this can create an entry point for pathogens during the subsequent

3-4 months of cold stratification.

How long do you leave cherry seeds in water?

Let the seeds sit in a bowl of warm water for 5-10 minutes, then thoroughly wash and scrape

off any residual fruit still clinging to the seeds. Allow them to air-dry for 5 days in a sunlit area.

Beautifully blooming Japanese cherry blossoms. This is a close-up image of the cherry blossoms in full bloom in Japan happily blooming. Prunus Serrulata stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Cold Moist Stratification:

Cherry seeds require a cold moist stratification period of around 90 to 120 days for successful


This process mimics the conditions the seeds would experience in their natural environment,

where they undergo a period of cold, damp conditions followed by a period of damp, warm


To achieve this, roll the cleaned seeds in a damp (not moist) piece of cloth.

Place the wrapped seeds in a ziplock baggie and store them in the bottom part of your

refrigerator where temperatures are around 38°F for the next 3-4 months.

Although 40°F is ideal, using a standard refrigerator is practical and accessible for most


Throughout the refrigeration period, periodically check to ensure the cloth remains damp.

If you notice any seeds germinating during this time, remove them and sow them separately.

Potting and Planting:

After the 3-4 months of cold stratification, it’s time to take the seeds out of the bag.

Since cherry trees develop taproots, choose a decent-sized pot to accommodate this growth.

Consider using 2-liter plastic bottles, cutting off the top about an inch and a half above the

label with a utility knife.

Keep the potting medium consistently damp.

You can use universal potting soil, ensuring it is well-draining.

Place the seed on top of the soil mix and cover it with about a quarter inch of the medium.

Take the pots outside and position them in a sunny location, protecting them from excessive

rain to prevent overhydration.

Germination Period:

How do you germinate seeds?

Once you have an overview of your germination instructions, consider the following
these general steps:

1: Prepare the seed-starting soil mix

2: Place the seeds in soil or a wet paper towel

3: Cover the seedlings with a plastic bag or lid

4: Place the seeds in a warm location

5: Keep the potting mix moist

What season does cherry seed germinate?

With proper seed and soil preparation, under ideal conditions, cherry seeds started in the fall
germinate the following spring.
A rule of thumb is that it generally takes 90 to 150 days after planting the seeds in the garden.

Patience is key during the germination period, as some seeds may take a long time to sprout.

Germination can occur anywhere from 2 weeks to 4 months, and some seeds may not

germinate until the following year.

For seeds that do not germinate, store the trays in an unheated garage during winter and

reintroduce them outdoors in spring, ensuring they remain damp (not moist) over the winter.

Cherry 'Kawazu-zakura' Pink blossom of Kawazu-zakura Prunus Serrulata stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Uses Of Prunus Serrulata (Japanese cherry)

Prunus serrulata, commonly known as the Japanese cherry tree or sakura, is a

species of cherry native to Japan, Korea, and China.

This beautiful flowering tree has various uses and is valued for both ornamental and cultural


Here are some of the uses of Prunus serrulata:

Ornamental Purposes:

Landscaping: Prunus serrulata is widely planted for its ornamental beauty in gardens, parks,

and along streets.

The tree’s stunning blossoms, which range in color from white to pink, make it a popular choice

for enhancing the aesthetic appeal of outdoor spaces.

Cherry Blossom Festivals: The blossoming of Prunus serrulata marks the arrival of spring,

and in many countries, especially Japan, cherry blossom festivals are held to celebrate the

the beauty of these trees.

Cultural Significance:

Symbol of Transience: In Japanese culture, cherry blossoms symbolize the transient nature

of life and the beauty of fleeting moments.

The tradition of Hanami involves appreciating and enjoying the beauty of cherry blossoms,

often with friends and family.

Wood and Timber:

Limited Timber Use: While Prunus serrulata is not primarily grown for timber, its wood has

been used for small woodworking projects and crafts due to its fine grain.

However, it is not a major source of commercial timber.

Medicinal Uses:

Traditional Medicine: Some traditional medicinal practices in East Asia use certain parts

of the cherry tree for its potential medicinal properties.

For example, the bark and leaves may be used in traditional herbal remedies.

Wildlife Habitat:

Attracts Pollinators: The flowers of Prunus serrulata attract bees and other pollinators,

contributing to local ecosystems by supporting biodiversity.

Birds and Wildlife: The fruits of the cherry tree, though not as commonly consumed by

humans can provide food for birds and other wildlife.

Culinary Uses:

Edible Fruits: While the fruits are not as widely consumed as those of some other cherry

species, they are edible.

In some cases, the fruits may be used in traditional culinary practices.

Bonsai Cultivation:

Bonsai Trees: Prunus serrulata is a popular choice for bonsai cultivation.

The tree’s small size, delicate flowers, and distinctive bark make it well-suited for bonsai


It’s important to note that the primary uses of Prunus serrulata are ornamental and cultural,

and it is not typically cultivated for industrial or commercial purposes.


Growing cherry trees from seed is a fulfilling journey that requires attention to detail and


By following these step-by-step instructions, you can increase your chances of successful

germination and enjoy the satisfaction of nurturing your own cherry trees from the very


Prunus serrulata, the Japanese cherry tree, emerges as a symbol of beauty and

cultural significance.

Its ornamental allure enhances landscapes, while its blossoms mark the arrival of spring,

celebrated in traditions like Hanami.

Though not a major source of timber, the wood finds application in crafts.

The tree’s contribution to biodiversity, coupled with its potential medicinal uses, adds depth

to its value.

Prunus serrulata remains a cherished emblem of transient beauty, weaving its cultural and

natural tapestry with grace and symbolism.




Aqsa Kanwal

Aqsa Kanwal