Sweet fruits of wild cherry people enjoyed from ancient times, and this tasty and useful plant was first domesticated by old Greeks and Egyptians. Romans took it from them and spread it across the Europe. Cherry has remarkable taste and beneficial effect on health, and because of that it held special place compared to other fruits and very often it was planted right next to the house.
Today, through artificial selection and cross breeding, people created large number of varieties, whose cultivation does not require hard work, they don’t need to be cropped and they are resistant to many diseases and pests. Depending on a variety, tree can grow up to 30 meters, producing abundance of white flowers that later form sweet, juicy light red, carmine red or yellow fruits.
The best time to plant a cherry is autumn, separating the seedlings at least 7 meters. Put them in pits whose depth and width is large enough to cover its roots. Tree starts to produce fruits six to eight years after it has been planted, and it will last at least 50 years.
Sometimes healthy tree lavishly bloom but does not bring any fruits. Explanation for this is very simple, many varieties cross pollinate, and therefore it is necessary to plant at list two frits one next to the other.
Of course there are varieties that pollinate themselves but they are less frequent.
Cherry needs a lot of light and likes warmth, however in hibernation it can take very low temperatures up to -30 Celsius. The tree does not require large amount of water in the soil because its roots have high absorption power.
It favorites dry air and it does not stand humidity well – rainy days disrupt creating buds, low pollination, cracking of the fruits and diseases starts to appear. It does not like wind, but it can be beneficial because it disperses humidity. Plants that produce light red and yellow fruits are more resistant than the one that produce dark red ones.
When it comes to nutrition, nitrogen is the element that mostly affects growth and fertility of cherry. Cherries are rich in flavonoids – anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory effect, and in particular they are effective in case of rheumatism and gout, as they reduce the level of uric acid in the body and relieves pain. Also it eliminates the problems caused by asthma and allergy and stimulate collagen production.
Can it be grown in the pot?
Oh, yes. Get really big pot around 50 cm wide and deep, and put gravel on the bottom. Cherry in the pot has similar needs like one in the garden, but it requires regular nutrition and watering, especially when it’s blooming and giving fruits. Plant it only if your balcony is on the sunny side and buy variety that pollinates itself.