Caring for Kwanzan Cherry Trees

Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated January 13, 2023)


Kwanzan cherry trees are so beautiful, that they have become a symbol of a nation, a treasured gift, and immortalized in song an poem for generations. These beautiful trees typically grow to a minimum of 15 feet, and have the potential to grow up to twice that high with the proper care. With their beautiful double-pink flowers, there can be no mistaking them when they are seen. Caring for Kwanzan cherry trees is actually fairly easy to do, so if you want to add this gorgeous tree to your landscape design here is what you need to do.

  • Soil requirements. A Kwanzan cherry tree can tolerate clay, loam, sandy, acidic, alkaline, occasionally wet, and well drained soils. That being said, this tree thrives in soil that is loose, and plenty of moisture. This tree is not one that is ideal for planting along an exposed street or a parking lot. Ideally speaking, the soil will have very good drainage, as well as plenty of humus, and has a low salt content.
  • Sunlight. These cherry trees require a lot of sunlight. In fact, these trees should be planted in full sunlight and not in the shade. These trees do not deal well with excessive shade, and typically need at least six hours a day of full sunlight.
  • Watering. On the average, a Kwanzan cherry tree is moderately drought resistant. However, if you want to see your tree really thrive, then provide a regular watering. Typically, means that you only need to water the tree deeply once a week. You can tell if you need to water your tree again, if the top three inches of soil around the tree are dry. Ideally, the Kwanzan cherry tree requires between 1/2 an inch to 1 inch of water each week.
  • Nutrition. This tree doesn't really require a whole lot of attention throughout the year to ensure proper growth. Typically all you will need to do is mix in a slow releasing complete fertilizer, that has been designed for flowering trees, once a year to meet all of the tree's nutritional requirements.
  • Climate. The Kwanzan cherry tree is not native to the United States, but does enjoy some decent life here. Originally, this cherry tree is from the Japanese islands, and from the Chinese mainland. That being said, the tree will thrive in the USDA hardiness zones of 5B through 9A. It can also put up with temperatures as low as 15 degrees below zero (Fahrenheit).
  • Pruning. Pruning of this tree should be accomplished in the early summer, after the first blossoming has been experienced. This will allow you to identify the dead or diseased tree branches that need to be removed. Also remove any branches that appear to be crowded or growing back inwards towards the trunk.
  • Common pest problems. The Kwanzan cherry tree is susceptible to aphids, mites and caterpillars

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


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What is 3 + 0?

2017-08-03 23:13:16


I have a 20 foot White blossom Kwanzan Cherry tree in my back yard. I also have two slightly smaller pink blossom ones. Recently the leaves have started to turn brown and yellow and fall off. I don't want to loose these gorgeous trees. Can you tell me what might be wrong with them? I thought it might be the heat. It has gotten around 95 to 100 degrees here in Utah lately. They get watered every day. Any info. would be much appreciated.

Thank you,

2016-06-26 18:46:38


I bought Kwanzan flowering cherry tree,not sure what I did wrong but what leaves There was on it wilted and turned brown.Need info on how to care for it Thank you

2016-05-29 11:57:12

Ruchika Croall

One of my 3 Kwanzaa cherry trees is experiencing the same issue. The leaves started to wilt and dry out this week. Anyone know what's going on with them or how to fix it? Sane issue as Nora below

2016-05-20 17:02:02

Nora Goeler

My tree flowered for a day or two this spring -- warm March and cold thereafter until May -- now it looks like its dying. Anyone up northeast experience this?

2016-04-09 16:49:35

Peggy Levine

My Kwanzan flowering cherry tree got waterlogged last Spring so I moved it. I was advised not to fertilize just let it be as it was probably in shock. Now we are almost in Spring 2016 and there are no buds, nothing, but the trunk is wick while many branches appear dead. Can this tree be saved? Any advice would be very appreciated. It was a Mother's Day gift to me.

2016-04-09 15:31:32

Ksu Koystinen

Kwanza cherry tree are amazing in bloom.
Here is a pic one from our front yard:

2015-10-31 21:34:27


I have (had)a beautiful Kwanza cherry tree until last summer when some type of bug destroyed the leaves before I noticed it. It is sad looking now. I want to know if it could be cut back this fall and would come back looking beautiful next spring. What do you suggest?

2015-07-17 13:35:50

Lisa Ortiz

Hi I brought this tree and planted it in an area where there is sun for at least 6 hrs and then there is shade I also have been watering it everyday for 5 mins. We also put peet moss in the ground when we planted the tree. I dont know what is happening to the tree it looks like its dieing. The tree branches are brown and they aren't green like when we first planted it. we planted it in the beginning of June and now its July 19th n its looks like its died. DId i do something wrong? If in fact its died I would replace it w another one but I'm afraid it might die again.

2015-06-28 11:38:28


I planted kwanza cherry tree late last summer in spring had plenty of buds now (June 28) plenty of leaves but it never flowered. tree gets plenty of sunlight and water. also how do I prune there is so many leaves tree is bending over so I attached strings to stakes to keep it straight.

2015-06-11 14:09:34


Our Kanzan Cherry has been planted for 1 year and it bloomed this spring. Now two of the lower branches have all turned brown and are dead. We have got 14 inches of rain since the 1st of May. Is that what's killing it? Is there anything we can do to keep it? Thanks

2015-04-28 21:53:13


I planted two 7'Kwanzan cherry trees last fall (2014)about 15feet apart. One looks great,bloomed and is now leafing out (End of April 2015). The other one had only a few blooms and those it did have are rotting. It still has buds that have not opened yet but still no leaves. This tree though close to the other gets about 2 less hours of sun in the afternoon.Any ideas?

2015-04-21 03:07:19


I have the same problem as Brenda. My tree is about 5-6 years old. It is growing and leaves look great but it never flowers. I did notice about 3 on it today. That's about all it ever does in the spring however. It gets full sun until late evening. I would love some advice on what to do to help it please.

2015-03-21 12:48:29

Brenda Gray

Had (2) of these tree's planted by my lawn-care maintenance crew in 4-13. The tree's were blooming at the time of planting, but have not bloomed since. They are in direct sunlight and in a well drained area. We have irrigation, so water is not a problem. Should I try a different area of the yard to plant these beautiful tree's and if so what time of the year would be best to have them transplanted. Oh, they have grown each year and offer plenty of foliage during the spring and summer.
Any advice and tips would be greatly appreciated.

2014-08-30 15:39:13


Just brought kwanza tree. Scared to death, afraid of callipars and afraid of all the diseases you talk about that will happen to this tree. I

I paid so much for it, now afraid to even plant it. Is there any preventive action I can take to avoid the diseases you mentioned, especially catipplars and aphids. I just brought it, august and very hot .Should I plant it in a pot since it is so hot, and should I fertilize it as soon as planted or put in a pot?
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