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A hardy spring-blooming shrub, flowering almond is a reliable performer that is smothered in bright pink double blossoms every year. Sometimes the flowers are followed by small round red fruit that is coveted by squirrels. Flowering almond is much more cold-tolerant than flowering cherry, so it’s a good substitute in Zones where winter temperatures go below freezing. This shrub, which can grow 10 to 15 feet tall, is also a good companion for late-spring flowering bulbs like tulips and daffodils. Choose the dwarf variety—Prunus glandulosa—if you prefer a 4- to 6-foot shrub that bears pink or white flowers.
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Exceptionally cold hardy and one of the first shrubs to bloom in spring, the deciduous flowering almond is a great addition to shrub borders and low-maintenance landscapes. Cotton candy pink blooms decorate the leafless twigs of this small deciduous shrub in early spring—about the same time daffodils and early tulips unfurl their flowers in your area. Underplanted with bright-eyed spring bulbs, flowering almond creates a colorful backdrop for a springtime celebration.
Plant a Shrub Border
Call on easy-care flowering almond when planting a shrub border or wildlife planting. It's a great plant for mixing with other blooming shrubs—like hydrangea, beautyberry (Callicarpa Americana), viburnum, weigela, ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius), and bluebeard (Caryopteris x clandonensis)—to create a colorful perimeter planting that flowers from spring through late summer.
Flowering almond's thicketlike growing habit makes it a great habitat plant for wildlife. Place it alongside plants that produce berries that are popular with birds in your region and you are well on your way to creating a backyard oasis for winged visitors. Add a water source, such as a simple birdbath or fountain, and enjoy the songbird parade.
Flowering Almond Care Must-Knows
Flowering almond grows best in full sun (essential for masses of flowers) and moist, well-drained loam. It tolerates a variety of soil conditions although its flowering may be compromised in excessively dry or wet soil. Plant flowering almond in spring, and water it regularly during the first growing season. Cover the soil around the plant with a 2-inch-thick layer of shredded mulch to prevent soil-moisture loss.
Prune this shrub in late spring right after it finishes flowering to keep it looking well maintained. Cut dead twigs off at the base of the plant and shear back live twigs to create the desired plant size and shape. Worth noting: A light pruning often helps promote better flowering the following year.
This shrub is susceptible to a myriad of problems. Watch for potential diseases like black knot, cankers, die back, leaf spot, powdery mildew, and verticillium wilt, as well as troubling insects like aphids, borers, caterpillars, Japanese beetles, scale, and spider mites.