Growing Prunus caroliniana ‘Bright and Tight’

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Posted by Horticulture Guy - Peter Punzi | Posted in Southwest U.S. Gardeners | Posted on 29-04-2006

Q. How tall will Prunus Caroliniana ‘bright and tight’ grow?  Will these shrubs grow as vigorously in a wine barrel container? Jamie Jameson – Monterey, CA

A. The Carolina Laurel Cherry is an evergreen tree/shrub that is native to the east coast from North Carolina over to Texas. This variety has a more compact habit than the species as the cultivar name suggests.  In the size container you suggest they probably will top out at 10 feet tall.  If they were grown in the ground they may reach 20 feet (The species can get as large as 40 feet tall).  I am sure you can grow them in California in pots but here in the Puget Sound region you would need to protect the plants during the winter.  These trees are rated to USDA Hardiness Zone 8, which would overwinter here in the ground.  When grown in containers I usually suggest buffering 2 zones.  So here in our Zone 8 areas I would suggest growing Zone 6 plants in containers when they are not protected during the winter.  Protection could be as simple as moving them to an unheated garage or in a protected area near the house.