When Do Cherry Blossoms Bloom? Discover Peak Season by Zone

Written by Jennifer Haase
Published: January 31, 2024
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With their delicate pink and white petals, cherry blossoms mark the arrival of spring in a breathtaking display of blooming trees. Unfortunately, most of these beloved blossoms don’t last long. When cherry blossoms bloom in early spring, they typically last up to two weeks, weather permitting. So, knowing when cherry blossoms bloom in your growing Zone is important for enjoying their beauty for every moment possible.

Peak cherry blossom season in the U.S. is usually between late March and mid-April. However, ornamental cherry trees aren’t as successful in some growing Zones as they are in others.

Close up of pink cherry blossoms on a branch against a blurred green background

Cherry blossoms, or Sakura in Japanese, bloom in the spring.


Peak Cherry Blossom Season By Zone

The timing of cherry blossom blooms varies greatly between the different types of trees. However, the climate in your local growing Zone is also a major factor. Most ornamental cherry trees grow best in Zones 5-8.

If you’re unfamiliar with growing Zones, or need help determining the Zones where you live, try using the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. This map separates the country into climate Zones based on the average coldest winter temperatures.

Since different plants need different climates to thrive, growers should know the average temperatures in their local region.

See the table below for when cherry blossom trees bloom where you live.

USDA Plant Hardiness ZonesPeak Cherry Blossom Season
Zones 2a-2bNot recommended as winter temperatures get too cold
Zones 3a-3bNot recommended as winter temperatures get too cold
Zones 4a-4bNot recommended as winter temperatures get too cold
Zones 5a-5bearly-to-late spring, depending on tree type
Zones 6a-6bearly-to-late spring, depending on tree type
Zones 7a-7bearly-to-late spring, depending on tree type
Zones 8a-8bearly-to-late spring, depending on tree type
Zones 9a-9bearly-to-late spring, depending on tree type, though Zone 9 may be too warm for some tree cultivars
Zones 10a-10bNot recommended as summer temperatures get too hot
Zones 11a-11bNot recommended as summer temperatures get too hot
Knowing your local growing Zone is important for growing healthy trees.

What about the bloom timing of different types of cherry blossom trees? Keep reading to learn the peak bloom timing for early, mid, and late-season trees.

Weeping cherry blossoms in full bloom against the blue sky

Cherry blossom trees come in early, mid, and late-season blooming cultivars.

©y-studio/iStock via Getty Images

Types of Cherry Blossom Trees

Climate isn’t the only factor that determines when cherry blossoms bloom. It’s also essential to know the bloom timing of each type of flowering cherry tree in your care.

Early Season Cherry Blossom Trees

The early-blooming types of cherry blossom trees produce their flowers in mid-to-late March. Common early-season trees include:

  • Prunus ‘The Bride’: This is an award-winning tree with white-petaled blooms for Hardiness Zones 5-8.
  • Prunus ‘Kursar’: Here’s another award-winning early-season tree with pink petals for Zones 6-8.

Midseason Cherry Blossom Trees

Cherry blossom trees that bloom in midseason produce flowers between late March and mid-April. Common midseason trees include:

  • Prunus ‘Asano’: This midseason cherry blossom tree (named for a heroic Japanese warrior) has fluffy chrysanthemum-style blooms. It grows best in Zones 6–8.
  • Prunus pendulaPendula Plena Rosea’: Known as a weeping cherry, this tree has pendulous pink blooms and grows best in Zones 5-8.

Late Season Cherry Blossom Trees

The flowering cherry trees that bloom the latest each year usually produce their flowers in mid-to-late April. Common late-season cherry blossom trees include:

  • Prunus ‘Pink Perfection’: This award-winning tree produces pink double blooms and thrives in Zones 6–8.
  • Prunus ‘Shogetsu’: Also an award-winner, this Sakura (cherry blossom tree) produces white double blooms and grows best in Zones 6–8.
A magnificent photo of the Cherry blossom tree at the University of Washington in Seattle

Ornamental cherry blossom trees are prized for their flowers, not their fruit.


Cherry Trees vs. Ornamental Cherry Blossom Trees

In this article, we’re featuring ornamental cherry blossom trees, not cherry fruit trees. What’s the difference? Cherry trees have better-tasting and abundant fruit. Ornamental cherry blossom trees provide longer-lasting, impressive floral displays.

Because ornamental cherry blossom trees are bred for their beauty, the fruit they produce doesn’t taste very good. However, many birds enjoy the fruit and may also eat the blossoms from these stunning trees.

Ornamental cherry trees are sometimes sterile, which means they don’t produce any fruit at all. For example, this is the case for the Prunus ‘Kanzan’ cherry blossom tree suitable for Zones 5–9.

Selective focus of beautiful branches of pink Cherry blossoms on the tree under blue sky, Beautiful Sakura flowers during spring season in the park, Flora pattern texture, Nature floral background.

Cherry blossom trees with few blooms may need more sunlight, better watering practices, or better soil.


Why Didn’t My Cherry Blossoms Bloom?

Many factors can influence the bloom timing of flowering cherry trees. If your trees didn’t bloom this year, check for the possible causes we list below. 

Not Enough Full Sun

Cherry trees need lots of full sun to produce the most flowers. If your trees aren’t getting at least 6 hours of full sun every day, that could be why they didn’t bloom. 

Soil Type or Nutrients Need to be Adjusted

Is the soil under your tree well-draining and kept moderately moist? Does it have too much nitrogen? These are two ways your soil could be the problem causing non-blooming cherry blossom trees. Here are a few important tips for optimal cherry blossom soil:

  • Provide cherry blossom trees with acidic soil that has an average pH of 6.5.
  • Keep the soil under your trees moist but not soggy.
  • Rich soils work best as long as they are well-draining.
  • Loosen impacted soil by adding elements like compost or peat moss.
  • Test the soil for nutrient imbalances and adjust as needed, especially if your soil is too high in nitrogen or too low in phosphorus.
  • Mulch over the soil to keep moisture in.

You May Need to Water Differently

Are you giving your mature cherry blossom trees long drinks of water every couple of weeks during dry growing seasons? If not, they might not bloom to their full potential. Sufficient rainfall is best, but supplemental watering is necessary during high heat or drought. 

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources recommends a “deep and infrequent” approach to watering landscape plants like trees. They suggest using an overhead sprinkler or soaker hose when supplemental watering is needed.

Cherry blossoms in Central Park, New York City.

Blooming cherry blossom trees provide a beautiful sign that spring has arrived.

©Kristjan Veski/Shutterstock.com

How To Prolong Cherry Blossom Blooms

The best way to ensure that cherry blossoms last as long as possible on a tree is to grow healthy trees.

As we stated above, ensuring cherry trees receive 6–8 hours of full sun, deep watering when needed, and moist, well-draining soil are great first steps.

However, you may be able to boost their bloom time by fertilizing cherry blossom trees. Adding some garden compost or manure to the soil is one way of adding nutrients. Or you can apply a balanced (10-10-10) tree fertilizer in early spring.

How To Prolong Cut Cherry Blossom Branches

To make your cut cherry blossom branches last as long as possible in vase arrangements indoors, keep them in a room with a cool to moderate temperature.

For branches with buds, keep them out of direct sunlight until blooms appear.

For branches that are in full bloom, use a misting sprayer to keep the branches moist and place them in direct sunlight.

Always change the water for cut flowering tree branches daily for long-lasting blooms.

Cherry blossoms against a blue spring sky

©iStock.com/Travel Faery

Cherry Blossom Blooms are Beloved Spring Flowers Worldwide

From the famously lush Sakura of Japan to the beautiful trees that grow here in the U.S., cherry blossom blooms are magnificent gifts of spring across the globe. However, the peak season for cherry blossoms can differ between climates and tree cultivars. So, study up on the best plant types and growing conditions for where you live!

The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/Azuki2021

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About the Author

Jennifer Haase is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is on plants, pets, and places of interest. Jennifer has been writing professionally about plants and animals for over 14 years. A resident of Nebraska, Jennifer enjoys gardening, floral design, nutrition studies, and being a cat mama.

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