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Pinoys can grow cherry blossoms at home—here’s how

By JUSTINE PUNZALAN Published Oct 01, 2020 1:22 am Updated Oct 14, 2020 11:38 pm

Take a cue from this Cebuano family with their 16-year-old Sakura tree on their front yard.

The Sakura season of Japan is always on the bucket list of many travelers around the world. Although the pandemic has postponed our cherry blossom viewing indefinitely, seeing those pretty pink and white flowers up close (and all the time) is not impossible.

Fact is, you can have these beautiful trees planted right at your house here in the Philippines.

The Lozada family’s Sakura tree in Cebu City was planted from seedlings from Honolulu, Hawaii
Photos by Manuel Busano 

Take a cue from the Lozada family, who have a 16-year-old cherry blossom tree in their home in Dumanjug, Cebu City. According to Cecille Lozada, her parents Cherry and Cezar took the seeds home from Hawaii in 2004.

“My parents got the seeds from Honolulu, Hawaii when they were visiting my brother who lives there. They planted them way back in 2004,” she said in an interview with Philstarlife.

“They decided to plant it because they were amazed at the blooms and the tree is really beautiful.”

Cherry blossom trees are more likely to thrive in countries with cold climate. To ensure their growth, sans cool weather in the Philippines, the seeds must be planted on well-draining soil that isn’t exposed to extreme heat or cold. It’s also best to position the seeds 20 to 30 feet apart from each other because they grow up to 25 feet tall.

Apply vermicast fertilizer to the tree’s roots to keep it healthy. It can take up to five years before it displays its gorgeous flowers.

Knowing that growing Sakura trees tend to be hit-or-miss, the Lozada family wasn’t surprised that only one of their trees survived. Cecille’s mother went on to look after it with utmost care, just like the Hawaiians did with their cherry blossom saplings.

Cecille continued, “For the seedlings, my mom watered them every day. When it got bigger, twice a week; if it’s already full-grown, once a week depending on the weather.”

Her mother also applied vermicast fertilizer to the tree’s roots to keep it healthy. It took five years for the tree to start displaying its gorgeous flowers.

Cecille added, “It usually blooms during the Lenten season, starting in March until the end of Lent. End of April, it starts to wilt.”

Mindy Busano stops by the cherry blossom tree with her husband, Cebu-based photographer Manuel Busano

Cebu-based photographer Manuel Busano and his wife, Mindy, were witness to the beauty of the Lozadas’ cherry blossom tree. “We are from Cebu. We went to Samboan, the southern tip of Cebu, to visit my wife’s lola,” Manuel said. “As we were going back to the city, my wife told me she saw on social media that there are cherry blossoms in Dumanjug. So, we planned our route home with Dumnjug as one of our stops.”

Manuel and Mindy visited the Lozadas’ residence on April 21, 2019. Luckily, the cherry blossoms were at their prime at the time. “My wife was excited to see the cherry blossoms. I was amazed it survives in our climate,” Manuel remarked.

Want to grow your own cherry blossom tree in your backyard? Drop a message on Cecille Lozada’s Facebook page to order seedlings worth P150.