Blueberry : Purple leaf sand cherry
Prunus x cistena small tree
Purple leaf sand cherry can either be a shrub or a small tree. It is often chosen for its purple foliage. Latin Name: The botanical name of this shrub is Prunus x cistena and it is included as part of the Rosaceae family. Common Names: You will see this shrub named as the purple leaf sand cherry, purpleleaf sandcherry, purple leaf sandcherry and purpleleaf sand cherry. USDA Hardiness Zones: The preferred zones for Prunus x cistena are Zones 2-8. Size & Shape: The purple leaf sand cherry grows 7-10' tall and wide. When it is young, it has an oval shape. As it reaches maturity, it will become arching with an open center, if not pruned. Exposure: Purple leaf sand cherry should be grown in full to part sun. If it receives too much shade, the leaves will change to a bronze green color. Foliage/ Flowers/Fruit: The leaves are reddish-purple, 2" long, and elliptical in shape. In fall, they will turn a bronze-green. The flowers are pink or white, and appear in April. A few 3/4" purplish-black drupes will appear in July. Additional Facts: Purple leaf sand cherry is a cross between Prunus pumila and Prunus cerasifera 'Atropurpurea'. Design Tips: Use Prunus x cistena as a specimen to provide splashes of purple in the garden. Purple leaf sand cherry is very susceptible to pests and diseases, so plan on a life span of approximately 10-15 years. The small fruits will attract many kinds of birds. Good for drought resistant gardens. Growing Tips: Purple leaf sand cherry can grow in a wide variety of soils and conditions. Well drained soil is best. The stems will be red brown to dark gray, and tend to ooze sap. The roots are close to the surface and if they are damaged, they will make the shrub send up suckers. Propagation is through cuttings. Maintenance/Pruning: Pruning on Prunus x cistena should be done after the flowers come in spring. It should be pruned as needed to keep it in an oval shape, or it will become spreading and open in the center as it matures. Pests & Diseases: Japanese beetles are VERY fond of the purple leaf sand cherry, unfortunately. Other pests include peachtree borer, scale, fall webworm, aphids, mealy bugs,and tent caterpillars. Diseases include honey fungus, verticillium wilt, black knot, cankers, powdery mildew, leaf spot, bacterial leaf scorch, and frost cracks.Ericaceae Vaccinium corymbosum
These pretty blue green beetles can become quite a plague in some years, though they tend to be more of a pest of ornamentals than vegetables. They do eat some vegetable crops though, including strawberries, eggplant, pepper and potato. Fortunately for western gardeners they only occur east of the Mississippi river.
The easiest way to control Japanese Beetles is to physically remove the adults by knocking them into a bucket of soapy water (if there are a lot of them you might try laying down a sheet and shaking the plants). It is a good idea to remove any adults you see, as feeding beetles may send out signals that attract other beetles. If they become a real problem you could use floating row covers to keep them off your plants. Parasitic nematodes and Milky spore disease can be used to kill larvae in the ground, but they can fly well and may travel up to 5 miles. You might also use rotenone spray. Pheremone traps are sometimes promoted as a solution, but it’s been found that they commonly attract more beetles to the garden than they actually catch.
Steven Katovich, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org