Purpleleaf Sand Cherry

As low as $49.49 was $89.99
Availability: In stock

Are you in the market for an outstanding accent plant to use as a focal point in your landscape? "Ornamental" is certainly the perfect word for the Purpleleaf Sand Cherry (Prunus x cistena). This is one of the very best selections for foliage, flowers, and bird-watching!

A hybrid cross between Cherry Plum (Prunus cerasifera) and Sand Cherry (Prunus pumila), you end up with an absolutely beautiful large shrub or small tree for you, your landscape, and your wildlife!

Spring erupts in a flush of reddish-purple foliage that is semi-gloss and profuse! Soon the darling pink buds pop open to reveal white to baby pink petals with dark pink centers and stamen. These fragrant spring blooms are irresistible to bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects and pollinators!

Prunus are members of the Rose family, so the overall look of the flowers is really pretty! From a distance, the entire shrub appears to be a soft purplish-pink cloud!

The reddish foliage mellows to a gorgeous purple, and they'll maintain that strong color in your yard throughout the summer months. Even the young bark has a purplish hue!

Purple-Leaf Sand Cherry is a wonderful plant for birds! Small blackish-purple fruits appear in July and are enjoyed by both songbirds and can even be eaten by people! But the fruit is small and not as noticeable, but the birds love to feast on these tiny cherries! You'll feel a sense of pride that you gave our feathered friends a helping hand to prepare for winter, as the summer season begins to draw to a close.

Sandcherry are hardy throughout USDA growing zones 4 to 7 and only reach a 6-8 foot tall height with a slightly wider spread at maturity. Also called the Dwarf Red-Leaf Plum, as fall comes on, you'll see the leaves transition to a red-bronze hue before they drop from the plant. What a show!

Planting and Application:

The Purpleleaf Sand Cherry is a dense-growing shrub that reaches an impressive size for a shrub if allowed to grow naturally. However, you can easily prune it to stay within a desired size. It's versatile and can be trained into either a single-stem small tree form, or used as a natural shrub with lower branches. Either way, this is a highly ornamental plant that is worthy of an esteemed location in your landscape!

People love using this ornamental deciduous shrub near an entranceway to welcome guests. It has such a wonderful look, it helps spark conversation right off the bat! This shrub is pretty in every season, including winter, thanks to its graceful branch structure and unique foliage color.

Include this plant in a mixed foundation planting. It's gorgeous near your front door or placed at the corner of your house. Mix the shrub form with the single-trunked Tree Form for a unique display! You'll appreciate how the effect captures attention!

Raise this beauty high on a berm in your front yard, underplanted in Cranesbill Geranium, and surrounded with Coneflowers, Wild Roses, and late-blooming Sedum for a pinkish display all growing season long!

Plant several as a hedge along your patio to give yourself a very appealing visual barrier and light screening. This lovely shrub won't make your yard look like a fortress! Tough enough for Rock Gardens, and pretty enough for an informal Cottage Garden, the purple foliage stands out beautifully without being pretentious.

Place this accent shrub in a prominent position where you'll be able to enjoy it throughout the year. You'll delight in the passing seasons by watching the growth of the dark leaves, and delicate flowers transform into the tiny cherries. You won't be able to keep your eyes off it!

And it's not just sight, this plant also has appeal for your ears! The leaves catch the breeze and provide gentle sounds to your garden environment. Set up a garden bench nearby to watch the pollinators flutter, and then in the fall, you'll hear bird calls as they come to reap the cherry harvest.

  • Eye-Catching Pinkish-White Flowers
  • Reddish New Growth Ages to Striking Purple Foliage
  • Bronze Red Foliage in Autumn
  • Tiny Edible Cherries Attract Birds Birds Birds!
  • Edible Raw or Cooked - Make Great Preserves!
  • Specimen Shrub or Tree, Hedges, Accents, Backdrops & Focal Point Color

#ProPlantTips for Care:

As with all plants sold by Nature Hills, read our Plant Highlights to learn about the unique growing conditions and preferences. Full sun will keep the best leaf color and excellent uniformity. You'll also want to ensure it has moist, well-draining soil for the best performance. Just like people, a healthy tree is a happy tree!

Provide new shrubs with regular water to get them established, however, once they are settled after their first year, Sand Cherry becomes drought-resistant and very low-maintenance! You can topdress the soil surface with 3-4 inches of arborist mulch to help shrubs planted in some of the harshest sites thrive with minimal supplemental moisture.

This is a low-maintenance, medium-sized shrub. It tends to establish itself very quickly, so you won't have to wait long to witness its outstanding benefits! Plant with Nature Hills Root Booster to set up the root system for life with symbiotic mycorrhizal fungal support from day one!

Prune these deciduous shrubs in the very early spring, before you see new growth. They can develop an upright growth habit that becomes open and spreading with age. Air circulation is important for this tree, so give it "elbow room" and let it truly shine for you. Give Purpleleaf Sand Cherry plenty of room to grow into its full mature size. This will eliminate heavy pruning chores for you.

  • Full Sun For Best Color & The Most Flowers
  • Any Well-Drained Organic Soil
  • Moderate Moisture Needs & Appreciates Mulched Beds
  • Prune Very Early Spring
  • Very Cold-Hardy & Easy To Grow!

If you're looking for a pretty shrub to captivate you year-round, the Purpleleaf Sand Cherry is the perfect choice. Purpleleaf Sandcherry are hardy, long-lived, and beneficial to wildlife. Order yours today from Nature Hills Nursery and enjoy the convenience of having your landscape delivered to your front door!

Buying Options for Plants

Nature Hills sells a large variety of plants with several options available. Plants are offered in both potted containers and as dormant bare root without soil. Here is a helpful resource to understand your options as you create a beautiful landscape with help from Nature Hills.

Ever wonder what a larger plant will mean for your landscape? Container Sizes are really all about the age of the plant!

Seasonally, Nature Hills offers hand selected, high quality bare root trees, shrubs and perennials. Bare root plants are sold by height from the top of the root system to the top of the plant. Plants may be taller than the height minimums.

  • Popular sizes of select trees are 1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet, etc.
  • Popular sizes of select bare root plants is 1 foot, 18 inches, etc.

Nature Hills Container Size by Volume

Keep in mind, specific varieties and different growing conditions can affect the rate at which plants grow. Variations in size may occur.

Young Plants to 18 Months
Size Volume
2"x2"x3" Ranges from .18 to .21 dry quarts / .198 to .23 dry liters in volume
4.5" Container Equal to .65 dry quart / .72 dry liter in volume
Sprinter Pot Equal to .63 dry quart / .69 dry liter in volume
4" Container Ranges from .31 to .87 / .35 to .96 dry liter in volume
6" Container Equal to 1.4 dry quarts / 1.59 dry liters in volume
1 Quart Equal to 1 dry quart / 1.1 dry liter in volume
5.5" Container Equal to 1.89 of a dry quart / 2.08 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x5" Ranges from .8 to 1.1 dry quarts / .88 to 1.2 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x6" Ranges from 1.0 to 1.3 dry quarts / 1.1 to 1.41 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x9" Ranges from 1.1 to 2.1 dry quarts / 1.2 to 2.3 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x10" Ranges from 1.7 to 2.3 dry quart / 1.87 to 2.53 dry liters in volume
Plants 18 Months - 2.5 Years Old
Size Volume
2 Quart Equal to 2 dry quarts / 2.2 dry liters in volume
#1 Container Ranges from 2.26 to 3.73 dry quarts / 2.49 to 4.11 dry liters in volume
5"x5"x12" Equal to 3.5 to 4.3 dry quarts / 3.85 to 4.74 dry liters in volume
Plants 2 - 4 Years Old
Size Volume
#2 Container Ranges from 1.19 to 1.76 dry gallons / 5.24 to 7.75 dry liters in volume
#3 Container Ranges from 2.32 to 2.76 dry gallons / 10.22 to 12.16 dry liters in volume
Plants 3 - 5 Years Old
Size Volume
#5 Container Ranges from 2.92 to 4.62 dry gallons / 12.86 to 20.35 dry liters in volume
#6 Container Ranges from 5.25 to 6.01 dry gallons / 23.12 to 26.42 dry liters in volume
#7 Container Ranges from 5.98 to 6.08 dry gallons / 26.34 to 26.78 dry liters in volume

About Plant Sentry™

Plant Sentry is designed to protect both consumers and the nursery trade from invasive plant pests and diseases. Sites that display the Plant Sentry protection badge are protected from consumers buying and nurseries shipping material carrying invasive pests and diseases.

This proprietary eCommerce software prevents the shipment of a restricted plant to each state. The Plant Sentry system includes a shipment certification program. The Plant Sentry Compliance Officer works closely with NatureHills.com and each nursery or fulfillment center to ensure only compliant plants are sold to customers.

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Plant Sentry


To obtain a more accurate shipment time-frame, simply enter your zip code in the “Find Your Growing Zone” box to the right. Our plants are grown all over the country and lead time on items may be different because of this. Once your order is placed, you will also receive the specific shipment time-frame information as part of your order confirmation. Once an item ships, you will receive shipment notification and tracking numbers, so you can follow along while your plant travels to your doorstep. We use FedEx, UPS, or USPS at our discretion.

Due to winter weather we have put a hold on shipping to the areas shown below in grey. You can still order now and we will ship the plant to you during an appropriate time for your zone.

*If you have found your zone already, it will be highlighted in the table below.
Color Zone Times
3 Spring 2019
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Shipping Rates

At Nature Hills we handle, package and ship the products you order with the utmost care to ensure healthy delivery. Shipping and handling charges are calculated based on the tables below. Please note that some items include an additional handling surcharge, these will be noted on the item's product page.

From To S&H
0 - 19.99 24.99
20 - 49.99 29.99
50 - 69.99 34.99
70 - 99.99 39.99
100 - 129.99 44.99
130 - 149.99 48.99
150 - 150+ Approx 28%

Click here to see our full rates


Purpleleaf Sand Cherry Is Suited to Grow in Zones 4-7
Growing Zones 4-7
More Information
Brand Nature Hills' Choice
Botanical Name Prunus x cistena
Type Deciduous
Mature Height 6 - 8 feet
Mature Spread 7 - 8 feet
Sun Exposure Full Sun
Soil Well-Drained
Moisture Moderate
Growth Rate Medium
Flower Color White/Pink
Foliage Purple
Fall Color Red
Harvest Time Mid Season
Pollinator Friendly Yes
Pruning Time Early Spring
Fragrant Yes