Rainier Cherries Plant Care

You must agree that cherries are a delicious fruit. You can enjoy different sweet cherry varieties to add to desserts, jams, and more.

So, instead of buying them at the shop, why not grow your own Rainier cherries?

With the care tips that Plantly provided in this article, you can ensure that your cherry trees will thrive. It’ll provide you with fresh cherries to enjoy as you please.

More About Rainier Cherry Trees

Rainier Cherries

The Rainier cherry is one of the most popular varieties found in America. Even if you do not have a green thumb, you will quickly grow one. On top of that, you’ll be rewarded with red or yellow fruit.

You get sweet cherries, and beating the flavor is hard as people come back for more time and again. The Rainier is a hybrid between the Van and Bing’s cherry varieties, creating the famous Rainier that everyone knows.

The fruit has yellow flesh and not the typical red as in other fruit. So during the spring, your garden pops with a backdrop of pink, followed by huge yellow to reddish fruit.

Even in fall, the Rainier provides a gorgeous display of color in yellow and bronze. The best part is it is native to America and was developed by Washington State University. The name comes from Mount Rainier, a high peak near the university.

How to Care for your Rainier Cherry Trees?

Rainier Cherries

When you add the Rainier cherry trees to your outdoor space, you can enjoy a steady yet heave crop of fruit in the summer. The tree can grow in different environments but does need protection from the wind.

To enjoy a crop of delicious fruit in summer, you need more than one tree. The best pollinating trees are:

  • Bing Cherry Trees

  • Montmorency Cherry

  • Black Tartarian Cherry Tree

  • Stella Cherry Tree

Best Potting Mix for Rainier Cherry Tree

When it comes to the Rainier cherry trees, they prefer fertile, well-drained soil. As it is sweet cherries, drainage is essential compared to sour cherry trees which are not that fussy. So, provide it with some loamy soil with a pH of 6.5-6.7 for best results.

Lighting Needs for Cherry Tree

Rainier Cherries light

Your trees need full sun to produce those sweet cherries. It’s best to plant it in places where it gets eight hours of sunlight throughout the day.

Another helpful thing is to provide your tree with some protection from the afternoon sun when grown on the southern edges of the USDA hardiness growing zones.

Watering Needs for Rainier Sweet Cherries

Once your Rainier cherry tree is established, it does not need much water. On the other hand, a sapling needs regular watering to keep the soil damp for the first year of growth. The same applies to container growing.

Also, remember towater 2 feet around the trunk as it has broad spread roots and is relatively shallow, needing to look for water above the water table. We recommend checking the soil to know if your tree needs watering.

Temperature and Humidity

The tree prefers drier and cooler climates. As part of its growth cycle, rainier cherries undergo a period of dormancy in the winter months. Younger cherry trees can handle frost a bit, but they are susceptible to late frost.

The reason is that they come out of dormancy when the weather starts warming up and cannot cope with low temperatures. If the tree buds when late frost arrives, it does not bud quickly.

You can protect your young trees with a burlap tree. Of course, this does not apply to your indoor plants‘ setup as the trees are protected from the cold outside.

Fertilizing Rainier Sweet Cherry Variety

To grow a healthy fruit tree, it needs regular feeding. The good thing is they are light feeders and do not take up loads of nutrients. So instead, choose a low in nitrogen fertilizer with more phosphate and potassium to help the tree fight diseases.

You can find some great organic options available. A helpful tip is if you live in colder climates, we recommend avoiding fertilizer. Only feed your tree after mid-summer to prevent the new growth from hardening before it frosts.

Pruning Your Fruit Trees

Fruit trees need pruning done during the winter months. Pruning helps promote new growth during spring to enjoy a good crop of sweet cherries in summer.

Propagation of Rainier Cherry

While you can propagate your cherry trees using seed, you can also use semi-hardwood or hardwood cuttings. You take a semi-hardwood cutting in summer when the wood is soft yet partially mature. You can take hardwood cuttings during winter when the tree is dormant.

  1. Start by filling a container with potting mix, half perlite, and half sphagnum peat.

  2. Water well and leave to drain.

  3. Select your branch with leaves and three to four nodes of a tree younger than five years of age.

  4. For older trees, you can take cuttings from younger branches using sharp, sterile shears.

  5. Cut about an eight-inch section with a horizontal angle and strip away the leaves at the bottom.

  6. Dip the cut end into some rooting hormone and insert the cutting into the soil. You can place a plastic bag or the bottom section of a milk jug over the pot if you want to.

  7. Keep it standing in a sunny area and keep it moist with some misting twice a day.

  8. Keep removing the bag or jug to provide enough airflow daily. You can remove the plastic bag or milk jug after three months when you notice new growth.

  9. Depending on the container size you used, you can transplant the sapling to a bigger container to care for as a houseplant until needed to plant outdoors.

Rainier Cherry Tree Varieties

For a different sweet cherry, variety looks at the following trees to add to your garden.

Whitegold Cherry

whitegold cherry

Compared to the Rainier cherries, the white gold is self-pollinating and does not need another tree to bear fruit. The fruit it produces is golden blush and tasty.

Bing Cherries

bing cherries

The fruit has a heart shape and is a leading commercial sweet cherry popular in Washington. The fruit is firm, huge, and juicy and ranges from rich mahogany to deep red.

Lambert Cherries

lambert cherry

The fruit is bright red and sweet to eat straight from the tree. The cherries are great to use in baking as the texture remains when cooked and is found mostly in summer.

Rainier Cherry Tree Diseases and Pests

The Rainier cherry is prone to cracking after heavy rains while ripening. Other concerns are knot disease, spot, and rot. Sometimes the tree can get canker, powdery mildew, or blight. Also, look out for crown and root rot, a fungal disease found in most soils.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Rainier cherry is a cold-hardy tree that you can grow outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 9. Provide your tree with full sun to partial shade in hot to dry areas.

The tree is not a fast grower and can take up to five years to mature and carry fruit.

No, the fruit tree is not self-pollinating, and you will need to grow them with other cherry tree varieties.

A mature Rainier cherry tree can grow up to 35-feet, and it is best to provide them with enough space in the garden to grow.

Whether you want to buy, sell or simply reach out to other plant enthusiasts, Plantly is the right place to be!

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