How to Grow Dwarf Flowering Almond

pink flowering almond bush

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

Dwarf flowering almond (Prunus glandulosa 'Rosea Plena') is a multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub. It bears pink, full, double flowers, with the occasional white blossom. During a bloom, the flowers appear on the branches before the leaves. It blossoms during the spring but handles winter months well. Dwarf flowering almond is indigenous to China and is best grown in planting zones 4 to 9. The plant's leaves are toxic to humans, although at a low level. Dwarf flowering almond stems, leaves, and seeds contain cyanide, especially during wilting.

Common Name Dwarf Flowering Almond
Botanical Name Prunus glandulosa
Family Rosaceae
Plant Type Shrub
Mature Size 3-4 ft. wide, 5 ft. tall
Sun Exposure Full
Soil Type Moist, well-drained loam
Soil pH Neutral
Bloom Time Spring
Flower Color Pink
Hardiness Zones 4-8 (USDA)
Native Area Asia
Toxicity Toxic to people
pink flowering almond tree

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

closeup of a pink flowering almond tree

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

closeup of a flowering almond tree

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

Dwarf Flowering Almond Care

Dwarf flowering almond branches are notoriously weak, so be careful when handling the plant. Provide your plant with artificial irrigation during dry periods until it has had time to become established. Once the plant has taken root, it tends to resist drought well. The plant thrives in full sun and sandy to clay soil. Be sure not to overwater or under-water, as it can cause damage to dwarf flowering almonds. While the plant doesn't require excessive fertilization, applying compost in the spring can help promote growth.

Good pruning practices are essential to the health of a dwarf flowering almond. You should prune a dwarf flowering almond after bloom and deadhead the flowers continuously as it grows. Prune well before winter to help prepare your plant for weather changes.

Light

Dwarf flowering almond does best in full sun to partial shade. Try to give it five hours of sun each day.

Soil

Dwarf flowering almond is tolerant of a wide range of soil conditions, from sandy to clay, but excessively dry or wet soil can be damaging. Always test the soil to ensure it's between 5.5 pH and 7.5 pH. It should be of average fertility, and, most importantly, it must drain well. Cover the soil with 2 inches of shredded mulch for extra protection.

Water

Water regularly to keep the soil moist but not wet, especially during the summer.

Temperature and Humidity

Dwarf flowering almond grows well in a variety of climates. It requires only a short season of cool weather to prompt flowering in the spring. Dwarf flowering almonds are also considered urban-tolerant.

Fertilizer

Fertilize this shrub with compost in spring. Otherwise, it does not need additional feeding if the soil is healthy. If you're looking to promote extra root strength, you can use a phosphorus fertilizer.

Types of Names

  • P. glandulosa 'Alba Plena'
  • P. glandulosa 'Alba'
  • P. triloba

Pruning

The most critical aspect of plant care for dwarf flowering almond is pruning. Dwarf flowering almond can grow messily if left alone for too long.

The best time to prune a dwarf flowering almond is just after blooming is over because it is a shrub that flowers on old wood. Prune carefully to shape the plant, removing any branch that is too tall, just above a set of leaves. Remove dead wood or branches that may be rubbing against each other. You will not hurt this shrub by giving it significant pruning. It's better to prune too much than too little.

If your shrub is damaged, cut the branches to ground level to promote rejuvenation. Future blooming will be delayed, but the plant will eventually return to a healthy state.

Propagating Dwarf Flowering Almond

Propagating a dwarf flowering almond is simple and can be accomplished with two methods, hardwood cutting, and softwood cutting. Propagation is ideal for the uniformity of your shrub growth, as the propagated plant will be genetically identical to its parent plant. It's best to take cuttings in spring and summer. Here's how to propagate your dwarf flowering almond:

Hardwood Cutting

  1. Trim a 12 to 16 inch, mature section from the plant. Be sure not to trim the connecting shoot.
  2. Scrape 1 inch of bark
  3. Remove the leaves from the bottom of the shoot
  4. Place the trimmed end into a rooting hormone
  5. Plant the shoot in a pot of soil
  6. Check back in six to eight weeks

Softwood Cutting

  1. Trim a five to seven inch long shoot
  2. Trim the lower leaves, but keep a few at the top of the shoot
  3. Dip in a rooting hormone and place in a pot of soil
  4. Cover with plastic to retain humidity
  5. Check frequently for signs of wilting

Overwintering

Dwarf flowering almond does well in the winter, but be sure to prepare it by watering well in the fall. You can prune and shape throughout the winter to maintain plant health or supplement the dwarf flowering almond with horticultural oil.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases

Dwarf flowering almond is prone to several diseases and pests. The plant is commonly affected by leaf spot, verticillium wilt, dieback, and powdery mildew. Damaging pests include caterpillars, spider mites, and Japanese beetles. You can help prevent fungus disease and pests by raking fallen leaves around the shrub.

How to Get Dwarf Dwarf Flowering Almond to Bloom

Dwarf flowering almonds typically bloom between March and April. Bloom produces soft, pink clusters of flowers, but they don't create a significant fragrance. Note that the flowers will appear before the leaves. You can promote healthy bloom by ensuring ample sunlight and watering. Do not prune during bloom. Instead, wait until the flowers are fully developed. The plant blooms each year.

Common Problems With Dwarf Flowering Almond

The main problems with dwarf flowering almond are their susceptibility to disease and pests. Boring insects are the leading cause of damage to the plant, and wilting roots significantly affect the plant's lifespan.

Curling Leaves

Verticillium wilt is a common cause of curling leaves on dwarf flowering almond. Recurring wilt is unpredictable, so keep a close eye on your plant for any signs of disease and neighboring shrubs that may be affected.

Leaves Turning Yellow

Yellowing leaves on dwarf flowering almond is usually a sign of a mineral nutrient deficiency, such as a lack of nitrogen or iron. You may need to supplement your plant with fertilizer rich in the minerals it's lacking. Be careful not to create an excessively high pH in your soil when treating the problem.

Prunus glandulosa Alba Plena
Prunus glandulosa Alba Plena znm / Getty Images 
Prunus triloba
Prunus triloba  little_honey​ / Getty Images 
FAQ
  • What plants are similar to dwarf flowering almond?

    Prunus triloba, flowering plum, is similar to a dwarf flowering almond. It is taller than the dwarf flowering almond, growing between 10-15 feet in width and length. The flowering plum is more susceptible to damage from frost.

  • How long do dwarf flowering almond shrubs live?

    Dwarf flowering almond can live up to 20 years when given exceptional care.

  • Does dwarf flowering almond bear almonds?

    Dwarf flowering almond does not produce edible almonds. The plant that bears almond nuts is Prunus dulcis, a tree native to the Mediterranean.

Article Sources
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  1. Prunus glandulosa. NC State.