How to care for Prunus glandulosa

How to care for Prunus glandulosa

Species: Prunus glandulosa

Common name: Dwarf flowering almond

Plant Overview

Prunus glandulosa (Dwarf flowering almond) is a multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub. In the lingo of plant taxonomy, this pink-flowered bush is called Prunus glandulosa ‘Rosea Plena.’ The cultivar name breaks down as ‘Rosea,’ meaning “pink,” and ‘Plena,’ meaning “full” or “double.” This name thus tells you two things about the flowers: their color is pink, and they are double flowers. Another common cultivar name is ‘Sinensis.’

Not surprisingly, the true spectacle of this dwarf shrub is its profusion of double pink flowers (or, occasionally, white blossoms) when it blooms in spring. The flowers appear before any leaves grace the branches. Flowering almond is indigenous to China (indicated in the cultivar name ‘Sinensis’) and is best grown in planting zones 4 to 9. 

Dwarf flowering almond does not produce edible almonds. The plant that bears the well-known almond nuts is Prunus dulcis, a tree native to parts of the Mediterranean region. It is taller (up to 15 feet) and less cold-hardy (only to zone 7).

How to care for Prunus glandulosa


Plant typeDeciduous shrub
Mature size3 to 4 feet wide and 4 to 5 feet tall
Sun exposureFull sun to part shade
Soil typeRich, well-drained
Soil pH5.5 to 7.5
Bloom timeApril
Hardiness zones4 to 8
Native areaChina, Japan
Water1 to 2 times a week


Water regularly to keep the soil moist but not wet.

How to grow

This shrub’s branches are notoriously weak, so be careful when handling the plant (many a gardener has accidentally broken off a branch when transplanting). Provide your plant with artificial irrigation during dry periods until it has had time to become established. Once the plant has taken root, is tends to resist drought well.

The single most important aspect of plant care for this plant is pruning. Flowering almond can become messy-looking if left to its own devices for too long. Suckering can also be a problem, so yearly pruning is advisable.


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


The plant is tolerant of a wide range of soil conditions, from sandy to clay. It should be of average fertility and, most important, it must drain well.

Temperature and humidity

Dwarf flowering almond grows well in a variety of climates. It requires only a brief season of chilly weather to prompt flowering in the spring. It is also considered urban-tolerant.


Fertilize this shrub with compost in spring. Otherwise, it does not need additional feeding if the soil is healthy.


P. glandulosa ‘Alba Plena’ is the white version.P. glandulosa ‘Alba’ is also white, but with single, rather than double flowers.P. triloba is a taller plant, capable of reaching 15 feet tall. It is thus sometimes called a tree.


The best time to prune your flowering almond is just after blooming is over, since it is a shrub that flowers on old wood. Prune with an eye to shaping your plant, removing any branch that is too tall, just above a set of leaves. Also, remove dead wood or branches rubbing against each other. Err on the side of pruning off too much rather than too little. You will not hurt this shrub by giving it a significant pruning.

Should your shrub ever be damaged, simply cut the branches right down to the ground level to rejuvenate it. Future blooming will be delayed, but the plant will eventually come back as good as ever.