I’m curious to hear from anyone growing non-hybrid Korean Bush Cherry 물앵두 (Prunus japonica).
I have one which has grown well with only very minimal branch die back from bacterial issues. It has grown quickly and has been flowering very well for a few years now. However, the first couple years of heavy flowering resulted in maybe a few fruit max. There were no issues with late freezes damaging the flowers. Last year my Korean bush cherry had some bloom overlap with one of my sour cherries (Prunus cerasus) and for the first time set a decent amount of fruit (though still not a heavy crop compared to how heavily it flowered).
This leaves me wondering if some or all Prunus japonica are obligate out-crossers requiring cross pollination. I had been hoping it would be self-fertile, but if it isn’t any resulting seedlings from it could be very interesting considering it would potentially be producing only hybrid seed.
Please share any observations you may have about the pollination requirements of this species.
Note: I did save and plant seeds from last year’s fruit crop just in case they were actually pollinated by the Prunus cerasus. If they actually germinate I may be able to tell sooner than later whether they appear to be pure or hybrid based on the foliage.
i just read a artice that said nanking cherry is closely related to the korean bush cherry . maybe by grafting a few branches of nanking on your bush, it might help with pollination. i have a red and white cultivar. p.m me in april and i can send you some scion wood. in trade you can send me some of yours.
Thank you for the offer. I’m not intending to turn my bush cherry into a multi graft variety. I mostly wanted to determine if this species tends to be self fertile or require cross pollination. That would inform whether the seeds I collect will be true to type or if the resulting seedlings would all be hybrids since I only have one of this species.
from what i read on it yesterday, Korean bush cherry is self fertile but sets more fruit with another pollinator and they recomended the nanking as they are closely related. my thinking was if you grafted a branch of nanking on your bush it would give you more cherries due to better pollination. also nankings are more productive of fruit than the Korean so crossed seeds off your bush may produce more productive seedlings than the parents.
I’ve also been told (by the nursery I acquired it from) that P. japonica is self fertile. It’s not uncommon for nurseries to proliferate misinformation though. That’s why I was soliciting first hand observations here. I’m less interested in what it’s supposed to be and more interested in what people have actually found it to be.
If increasing fruit production were my only goal I’d plant a second P. japonica rather than grafting my original with P. tomentosa, but at this point I am just soliciting feed back from anyone else who is growing straight P. japonica.