Purpleleaf Sand Cherry (Prunus)

Purpleleaf Sand Cherry


What is Purpleleaf Sand Cherry

Intense Red-Purple Shrub Provides Color Through Fall

The Sand Cherry shrub is an ornamental delight, with burgundy leaves reminiscent of a dark, red wine.

The perennial shrub renews its foliage each spring and stays colorful well into the fall. Then, its leaves become bronze and really stand out. You’ll appreciate the small tree as a focal point near an entryway, a foundation, or simply as a landscaping accent. It can also be pruned into a formal hedge.

The distinct, ovate-elliptical leaves lend a pop of exquisite color to your landscape, especially set against a green backdrop. You’ll make a bold statement with the Sand Cherry, and the vibrant plant will grab your guests’ attention, season after season!

More Than a Beautiful Shrub – It Produces Large Dainty Flowers

Start looking forward to beautiful flowers every May when the elegant Sand Cherry shrub bursts with whitish-pink blossoms! A member of the Rose family, the Sand Cherry produces buds and blooms that contrast exceptionally well with its dark foliage. You’ll be delighted by an explosion of fragrant, solitary blooms, each measuring about ½ inch across, as it brings fresh flowers to your garden, year after year.

Want Fast Results? You’ll Get it!

You can’t help but be impressed by the Sand Cherry’s energetic leafy growth that unfurls from its center and pursues an oval habit. In fact, growers are advised to prune the shrub at least once per year because the Sand Cherry is so robust! The grower shrub quickly establishes itself in moist, well-drained soil and will reach heights upwards of 10 feet. Since the Sand Cherry becomes very lush in a short amount of time, you’ll get beautiful benefits, right away.

You Won’t Have to Fret ANY Forecast with This Resilient Shrub

Among purple-leafed shrubs, the Sand Cherry distinguishes itself by surviving nearly everywhere in the U.S. (Zones 3– . The tough hybrid doesn’t blink at droughts, hot summers, or cold winters. With occasional irrigation and pruning, you can expect year-round resiliency. Although most Sand Cherry shrubs live 10-15 years, this is often because growers miss the appearance of pests. With good care, expect the plant to live even longer.

Attract a Wide Range of Birds

As well as being a splendid flowering shrub, the Sand Cherry offers small, black-purple cherries in late summer. The fruit is very inconspicuous, as it blends so well with the shrub’s foliage, but you can count on songbirds to find it! You’ll benefit local wildlife and get a garden filled with birds as the Sand Cherry draws them in, beautifying your space in more ways than one.

Don’t hesitate to add this beautiful shrub to your garden. Order quickly!

purpleleaf sand cherry

How to Grow and Care for Purpleleaf Sand Cherry

Purpleleaf Sand Cherry (Prunus) Growing Requirements

Hardiness zone 3-8 outdoors


The hardy Prunus x cistena, also called the “Purpleleaf Sand Cherry,” grows best in USDA plant hardiness zones 3-8. It is commonly grown as a small tree or multi-stemmed shrub. The tree’s cherry crop is often used to make jams, jellies, or pies. It is an important food source for songbirds, squirrels, and other small garden creatures. Choose a location in the garden where the small tree’s spring flowers can be enjoyed.

Planting Instructions

Plant the Purpleleaf Sand Cherry tree in a location where it receives full to partial sunlight. It does not tolerate heavy shade well.

The small tree grows well in acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, and clay soils. The planting location should be well draining because the Purpleleaf Sand Cherry does not tolerate waterlogged roots.

Dig a hole that is at least twice as large in diameter as the tree’s root system. Place the tree into the hole and carefully spread the roots out. Fill the hole to the point where the tree is slightly more elevated than the container. This will help against issues such as crown rot. Tamp the soil firmly around the tree’s root system to remove all air pockets.

Spread a three-inch layer of mulch such as peat moss, pine needles, bark chips, or recycled plastic garden chunks around the base of the tree. The mulch will keep the soil moist, the tree’s roots cool, and also prevents weeds from growing.


The Purpleleaf Sand Cherry tree does not tolerate drought. It prefers evenly moist soil to thrive. Water the small tree at least once per week. During periods of exceptionally hot weather, the tree might require additional watering to thrive.


In the spring months apply an application of general purpose fertilizer to the tree to encourage strong growth. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer for application ratios. Water slowly and deeply to help push the fertilizer into the soil.


When young the tree might require staking in areas of excessive wind. Use one stake if the tree stands up 12 feet in height to provide ample support. If the tree stands taller than 12 feet, use two stakes to secure the tree’s trunk and keep it from breaking.


Prune the Purpleleaf Sand Cherry in early spring just before new growth emerges. You can cut away up to one-third of each branch’s length. Remove and discard dead or damaged branches. Also, prune away branches that are crossing each other or rubbing together. If the Purpleleaf Sand Cherry is old and overgrown, it can be cut almost to ground level in late winter and it will usually regrow more vigorous in the spring.

Pests and Diseases

The Purpleleaf Sand Cherry is a relatively hardy tree and rarely suffers from diseases or pests. If pests should plague the tree, identify the pests and use a broad-spectrum insecticide for control. Follow the directions on the insecticide label for application ratios and instructions.

Purpleleaf Sand Cherry (Prunus) Details

Common name Purpleleaf Sand Cherry
Botanical name Prunus
Plant type Shrubs, Hedges
Hardiness zone 3-8 outdoors
Growth rate Fast
Height 6-10 ft.
Width 5-8 ft.