Depending on a variety of factors- site, cultivar, and of course the weather, Japanese flowering apricot can flower anywhere from late December to early March. Although the tow are closely related, these beautiful flowering trees give the more popular Japanese cherry trees a run for their money. Prunus mume trees are rounded, with handsome, dark green leaves and bright green young stems in Spring and Summer. Winter is this tree’s time to shine, offering a burst of bright color in a generally dismal winter landscape. Blooms range from single to double and can be white, red or pink. The flowers have a nice, spicy, fragrance.
Planting & Care
The plant is self-fertile and will bear small edible fruit. Whichever variety you choose, plant in full sun to part shade in acid well drained soil. Be sure it gets adequate water for the first two seasons. Once established, it is a tough, heat tolerant and easygoing tree for the South. The Arboretum has trialed dozens of selections over the years and claim most to be good performers and reliable.
Prunus mume flowers on the previous year’s wood so some caution is recommended when pruning. Buds will set during the growing season so care should be taken not to prune these future flowers away. Reserve pruning until after flowering; this regular pruning will be beneficial to flower quantity as well as overall tree health.
If you are looking to add an small ornamental tree to your landscape with winter interest, Japanese flowering apricot is a fantastic choice!