While I was in Japan a few weeks ago I picked up a small cherry blossom sapling to bring home (I believe it's a Yoshino cherry blossom). My girlfriend's grandfather who we were staying with on his farm, wrapped the roots up after dipping them in some sort of liquid to help them survive (I'm not exactly sure) to prepare them for my travel back to Ontario Canada. Luckily I was able to make it home without it being taken away at the airport. When I got home I did as much research as I could and found that Cherry blossom trees do best in soil with good drainage. The same day I went to my local hardware store and picked up some "cactus potting soil" that said it provided good drainage and aeration of the roots.

I transferred it into a pot on April 4th and within a day the blossoms started budding, but after a few days, just wilted and died but in their place came bright green leaves so I just assumed it was because it was the end of the blooming season. I proceeded to water it every second day, letting the water begin to drain before stopping. I later changed it to every three days. Within about a week the bright leaves started to wilt and I'm not sure exactly what to do. I don't want to let this tree die. I've waited about 5 days to water it since then and the soil still feels moist. It is in a place with moderate light beside a window facing east, so it only gets light in the second half of the day. I'm not sure if it is transplant shock or over watering or if I need to grab better soil with more drainage, but I really don't want this tree to die.

Thank you so much!

(Just as another note, when I bought this in Japan, the soil it came in was very stoney and had amazing drainage, draining out water almost immediately.)

  • Not sure what this is, but you were over-watering the plant unless there is a Desert in Ontario I haven't heard of. Your soil was probably wet at all times.
    – user10810
    Apr 20, 2016 at 1:27

1 Answer 1


I think your tree's roots are damaged. It is important to keep the tree from desiccating before the roots can recover. You need to make a little terrarium for it. This will reduce the rate moisture is lost to the air.

Put a clear and/or translucent plastic bag over it or cut the bottom off a clear and/or translucent plastic container (e.g.,milk container, soda bottle) and fit that over the plant down to the soil level or enclosing pot and all. Then keep it out of direct sun, but exposed to indirect sunlight - in a shady spot outdoors or in a north facing window. It will need little if any watering during this time.

Photosynthesis is necessary for your tree to regenerate roots. I am pretty sure that it cannot be saved if all of the leaves wilt, wither, and turn brown. On the other hand, if it is recovering, the leaves will develop a darker green color and won't be particularly curled - you'll know. But, be patient. Don't be too hasty deciding that it has recovered or died.h

  • So is it supposed to hold all the moisture in, like a little greenhouse? And I just watered it a bit today because the soil was becoming pretty dry. Apr 21, 2016 at 19:37
  • Yes, just like a little greenhouse
    – user13580
    Apr 21, 2016 at 20:21

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