This plant grows as a narrow evergreen shrub, 10-20 ft high. It flowers in the spring and summer. Flowers are followed in three weeks by 1-2″ oblong, dark- red/purple fruits that are sweet, have a thin skin and a single seed. The fruit is eaten fresh or made into a jelly or jam. Cherry of the Rio Grande tolerates a wide range of soils, but can show signs of mineral deficiency in calcareous/basic soils, preferring those with a pH in the range of 5.5-6.8. New plants should be lightly fertilized with a magnesium containing fertilizer that has a 1-1-1 ratio.
Fruit size and quality is largely a function of proper nutrition and irrigation. Mature plants should be fertilized with an 8-3-9 with 5% MgO. Mineral deficiencies can be corrected with foliar sprays. Cherry of the Rio Grande is cold hardy to 20 degrees. Plant in full sun or part shade. It can be container grown. The plant can survive droughts well, but will fruit poorly during them. Seedlings often take Five years to fruit.
pdf_Cherry of the Rio Grande Information Sheet
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