What are Regina cherries? These luscious cherry trees, introduced from Germany in 1998, produce fruits having a sweet-tart flavor and an attractive, bright red color. The sweetness of Regina cherries is compounded if the fruit is harvested when the cherries are a fully ripe shade of deep purple. Growing Regina cherries is suitable for growing in USDA plant hardiness zones 5 through 7. Read on to learn how to grow Regina cherry trees.
Growing Regina Cherries
The best time for planting Regina cherries is generally late fall or early spring. Select a planting spot where the tree is exposed to at least six hours of daily sunlight. Otherwise, blooming may be limited, or may not occur at all.
Like all cherry trees, Regina cherry should be planted in soil that is moist but well-drained. Avoid soggy areas or spots where water puddles or drains slowly after a rainfall.
Regina cherry trees need at least two or three pollination partners nearby, and at least one should bloom about the same time. Good candidates include:
- Amber Heart
Regina Cherry Tree Care
Mulch Regina cherry trees generously to prevent moisture evaporation and keep weeds in check. Mulch also moderates soil temperature, thus preventing temperature fluctuations that can cause cherry fruit split.
Provide Regina cherry trees with about an inch (2.5 cm.) of water every couple of weeks. Soak the tree deeply by letting a soaker or garden hose trickle slowly at the base of the tree. Avoid overwatering. Too little water is always better than too much, as too much moisture can drown the roots.
Fertilize Regina cherry trees lightly every spring, using a low-nitrogen fertilizer, until the tree is mature enough to bear fruit. At that point, fertilize every year after Regina cherry harvesting is complete.
Prune cherry trees in late winter. Remove dead or damaged branches, as well as those that rub or cross other branches. Thin the middle of the tree to improve access to air and light. Remove suckers as they appear by pulling them straight out of the ground. Otherwise, suckers rob the tree of moisture and nutrients. Control weeds for the same reason.
Regina cherry harvesting generally takes place in late June. The cherries store well for about five weeks.