How to Grow a Sand Cherry Bush


The sand cherry bush (Prunus pumila) is also called the dwarf American cherry, the Great Lakes sand cherry and the beach plum. It is an indigenous plant to regions in the northern United States and Canada. It is a very hardy, small- to medium-sized shrub that usually grows between 3 to 9 feet tall, depending on the variety. The sand cherry produces white flowers in late spring to early summer (usually May through early June) followed by purple-black semi-sour fruit in late summer to early fall, (generally July through September).

Step 1

Dig a planting hole for the sand cherry bush plant that is as deep as its growing container and about twice its width. Make sure the location for planting the sand cherry bush is in full sun. Sand cherry bush plants cannot tolerate shade, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

Step 2

Remove the sand cherry bush plant from its growing container. To accomplish this, lay the container on a sturdy surface. Place your hand firmly on the top of its root ball. Place a finger inside one of the drain holes and wiggle the container off the root system. If there are any matted or encircled roots, loosen them with your fingers.

Step 3

Place the sand cherry bush plant into the planting hole. Ensure the top of its root ball is not sitting below the level of the surrounding soil surface. If it is, remove the sand cherry bush plant from the planting hole and scoop in about 1 to 2 inches of soil, then reset the sand cherry bush plant in the planting hole.

Step 4

Scoop soil in and around the sand cherry bush plant until the planting hole is full of soil. Gently firm the soil down around the sand cherry bush plant using your hands or a trowel.

Step 5

Create a 2- to 3-inch high circular dam of dirt that is between 12 and 16 inches in diameter around the sand cherry bush. The dam of dirt will help when watering so enough water can pool up allowing it to soak down to the roots.

Step 6

Pour water into the dam of dirt you created until it is full of water. Water the sand cherry bush one to two times a week for the first six months after planting. Once sand cherry bush plants become established (between six months and a year), they are fairly tolerant of drought and will no longer require weekly watering.

Things You'll Need

  • Sand cherry bush plants
  • Shovel
  • Trowel
  • Fertilizer


  • Plants for a Sand Cherry
  • United States Forest Service: Information on the Sand Cherry Bush
  • Ohio Department of Natural Resources: Sand Cherry
Keywords: growing sand cherry bushes, growing prunus pumila, growing dwarf america cherry

About this Author

Katelyn Lynn is a certified holistic health practitioner who specializes in orthomolecular medicine and preventative modalities. She also has extensive experience in botany and horticulture. Lynn has been writing articles for various websites relating to health and wellness since 2007. She has been published on She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in alternative medicine from Everglades University.