Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Grow Cherry Fruit in the South

By Kelsey Erin Shipman ; Updated September 21, 2017

Cherry blossoms are most commonly thought to live in the northeastern United States, but Southern cherry cobbler is one of the most popular desserts below the Mason-Dixon line. Sweet and sour cherry varieties grow well in areas of the Southern United States like Virginia and the Carolinas. Well-maintained trees will produce buckets of fruits that can be used in jams, jellies, pies and ice cream. Grow cherries in the South by planting young trees in the right location and pruning during summer months.

Find the right area to plant your tree. Cherry trees do best in full sun, well-draining soil and a 5-10 foot radius of space to grow.

Prepare the soil by pulling any weeds and removing large stones and rocks.

Mix compost or manure into the soil. This will give you cherry trees a healthy start with a flush of nutrients.

Dig a hole twice the width of the container and the same depth.

Spread the roots of the tree and place it in the center of the hole.

Cover the roots with 2-3 inches of soil. Be sure the graft area is at least 2 inches above the soil to be sure no roots grow out of it.

Water your tree immediately after planting. Fully soak the soil around the base of the tree in order to drench the roots and eliminate any air pockets. Allow the first 3 inches of soil to dry before fully soaking again. Regular watering is especially important in dry, southern climates with little rainfall.

Fertilize your cherry tree with a slow release fertilizer. Look for a formula especially made for cherry trees.

Prune your cherry tree during the summer months. Lightly thin branches and prune off any dead or dying wood.


Things You Will Need

  • Young cherry tree
  • Compost or manure
  • Fertilizer
  • Pruning shears
  • Water


  • Spread high-quality mulch around the base of the tree to aid in soil moisture retention.


  • Be sure not to over-water, as cherry trees are susceptible to root rot.