Growing Guide

Where to plant

Full sun. Well drained soil.

Sow depth


Space between seeds / seedlings


Row space


Size of pot needed (width / depth)


Seedling Sow Depth


Best practice


Germination (days)


Maturity (days)


How to Grow

From seed

Cherries do not grow true to seed, meaning the tree won't be the same variety as its parent.

You might get a tree that can't survive your climate or local diseases, or that doesn't bear tasty fruit.

But you might get a new and beautiful tree, and either way you'll have fun along the way.

Taking a cutting from a known parent tree could be another alternative which guarantees you will get edible fruit!

From seedling

Keep the soil slightly moist.

You'll want to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.

Once the cherry develops a taproot, test the soil to a depth of 3 inches (7.5 cm) and water whenever this feels dry.

Water in a slow trickle until the soil is wet to the depth of the root.This won't take long at first, but remember to adapt as the cherry grows to a proper tree.

In a pot

Cherries grow into large trees so are better suited to medium or large pots.

Otherwise, choose dwarf varieties (i.e Griotella' and 'Compact Stella'.

Choose a pot at least 600mm wide.

Position in full sun.

Follow same planting instructions as garden cherry.

From Plant

Choose a sunny spot.

Enrich the soil with fertilizer/compost.

Dig the planting hole twice as wide and same depth as root ball.

Gently tease roots and position in hole.


Form a raised ring of soil around base of tree an water in well.

Mulch around base but away from the trunk.

Water in deeply.

Mulch annually.

Top dress the trees with well-rotted compost every year in early spring

Ready to harvest

The sugar content rises significantly in the last few days of ripening, so wait to harvest the fruit until it is completely red.

When the fruit is ready, it will be firm and fully colored.

Sour cherries will come off the stem when they are ripe enough to be harvested, while sweet cherries should be tasted for maturity.

Collect seed

Let the cherry pits soak for five minutes or so and then lightly scrub them free of any clinging fruit.

Spread the clean pits out on a paper towel in a warm area and let them dry for three to five days, then transfer the dry pits to a plastic container, labeled and fitted with a tight lid.

Store the pits in the refrigerator for 10 weeks.

Once the ten weeks has passed, remove the pits and allow them to come to room temperature.

You are now ready for planting the cherry seeds.

Put two to three pits into a small container filled with planting medium and water the seeds in.

Keep the soil moist.

When to Grow


Zone 1 - Cool

July , August , September , October


Zone 2 - Temperate

June , July , August , September


Zone 3 - Subtropical

May , June , July , August

Companion Planting

Tips for Care

Most cherry tree varieties require a compatible pollinating partner to help with pollination and fruit production.

Research this dependent on the variety you've chosen.

However, there are self fertile trees (i.e Lapin, Stella, Griotella, which can produce their own fruit)
Prune cherry trees to encourage open, vase shape.

After this framework is developed, the tree requires little pruning, except to remove branches that grow inward and/or dead branches.

Cherries bear fruit on two year or older branches.
Help plants make the most of available water by mulching heavily over the root area with 10cm thick mulch.

Pests & Problems