Are sweet cherries hardy in Iowa?


Are sweet cherries hardy in Iowa?


Many varieties of sweet cherry are not reliably cold-hardy in Iowa.  Because they tend to bloom earlier in the season than other fruit trees, like apples and pears, they are also more prone to damage from a late spring frost.  When flowers are exposed to frost, the crop that season is smaller or possibly eliminated.

‘Gold,’ BlackGold™, and WhiteGold™ are sweet cherry varieties (cultivars) that can be successfully grown in the southern two-thirds of Iowa.

  • ‘Gold’ has golden yellow skin.  It is self-unfruitful.  Another late-blooming sweet cherry variety must be planted for pollination and fruit set.
  • BlackGold™ and WhiteGold™ are self-fruitful, mid to late-blooming cultivars from Cornell University in New York.  BlackGold™ has dark red skin, while WhiteGold™ is light yellow with a reddish blush.

Other possibilities for southeastern Iowa include:

  • ‘Hedelfingen’ (self-unfruitful, red fruit)
  • ‘Kristin’ (self-unfruitful, purplish-black fruit),
  • ‘Sam’ (self-unfruitful, dark red fruit)
  • ‘Van’ (self-unfruitful, reddish black fruit). 
Last updated on
March 11, 2024