The Q&A Archives: Deep Red Or Purple Bush

Question: I have like a tree or a bush, with tall red or purple stems with leaves. (leaves not to big).
My question is: is it a plum or a prune tree?. right now is planted on the East side. How big does it grow, does it need to be covered in the winter time like a fig bush or tree? What kind of food does it need?

Answer: Based on your description I would guess you might have a purple leafed sand cherry which would grow about 8 or 10 feet tall and wide. The Latin name for this is Prunus x cistena. It has pale punky purple flowers in mid spring and makes tiny dark colored fruits. It is grown as an ornamental plant rather than as a fruit tree. This plant should do well with an early spring application of some compost and/or a complete granular fertilizer such as 5-10-5 according to the label instructions. However, there are many smaller trees that have purple foliage, so you might want to consult with a local nursery or your county extension as to what you really have.

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