The hawthorn enchants with its bright and full flowers. And it is also the ideal plant for beginners and everyone who wants to spend their time in the garden relaxed and not with laborious maintenance. In order for it to thrive, however, a few points must be taken into account when caring for and cutting the hawthorn.


There are two main factors that determine the right location for the hawthorn: the space and the amount of sunlight. As a tree or shrub, the carmine-red flowering plant can reach heights of four to ten meters and a corresponding girth.

Therefore, when planting, care should be taken to ensure that there is sufficient space and space upwards. Anyone who believes that the tree simply has to be cut more often in a small corner will quickly experience reduced growth and be confronted with costly compensation maintenance. The waste is therefore not an ideal solution to keep the hawthorn space-saving in the long term.

Young plants of this genus can also be kept in the tub. Shrubs or small tall trunks are best suited for this form of cultivation.

In any case, a sunny location is important. Partial shade can also be tolerated.

Insert the hawthorn
who has opted for an easy-care Rotdornbaum or -Strauch and chosen the right, must have the correct planting time does not wait for exactly. Because the plant can be planted in the garden all year round. And can also be used as a container plant.

Spring or autumn is still best in the garden. Because the hawthorn should be brought indoors in pots over the winter, spring or summer are more appropriate here.


The hawthorn is very easy to care for and requires little effort to bloom in full bloom and to thrive in the long term.

This includes choosing the right location. But also a suitable substrate, adapted watering and fertilizing as well as the correct blending.
However, it does not have to be overdone.


The ideal substrate for the hawthorn tree is a calcareous soil that is loamy or clay-heavy. Permeable but not too light, the chosen substrate must be as nutritious as possible.

Recommended are:

  • Garden soil enriched with compost
  • Rosenerde
  • Garden soil mixed with rotten leaves and clay
  • Loamy topsoil
  • in cubes

Loamy earth, which is exposed during construction excavation and normally disposed of, is ideal on its own or as a base for the hawthorn.

In any case, the substrate chosen should be rich in nutrients. If it is compost, no further fertilization needs to be added. Nor if pre-fertilized bucket soil is used. On the other hand, those who rely on already existing garden soil should enrich it accordingly. Compost or rose fertilizer, which is put into the prepared hole or bucket before planting, are again suitable for this.


Planted freely in the garden, the deep-rooted hawthorn only needs additional water for fertilization or in persistent dry phases. Care should be taken to ensure that waterlogging never occurs. Because the otherwise robust and resilient hawthorn can only tolerate this poorly. However, it thrives very well in a constantly slightly moist substrate. If you want to drive growth, you can use a hose or watering can more often in the warm season. But a mediocrity should be found. If trees or bushes receive too much water, they tend to develop water shoots that have to be cut anyway.

When cultivating the hawthorn in the bucket, regular watering is necessary. Rainwater is preferable here.


If a nutrient-rich substrate has been selected for the hawthorn, additional fertilization can be dispensed with initially. The older or poorer in nutrients the substrate is, the more important additional fertilizer becomes for maintenance.
Commercially available rose fertilizers are ideal, but should be used sparingly. It is best given in spring and summer when the hawthorn is also watered. Watering is necessary in any case so that the nutrients in concentrated form do not cause burns to the roots.

Tip: If you want to repot or move the hawthorn, or if you observe reduced growth, you can also add compost to the substrate.

Repotting and repotting

If the hawthorn is pulled in the bucket, repotting is possible without any problems. And should be carried out whenever the container becomes too small. Spring is ideal for this because the hawthorn then has enough time to develop new roots. Repotting in autumn is also possible.

Moving a tree or shrub is more difficult. Because the hawthorn forms very deep roots. The longer the hawthorn stood in one place, the lower the chances of it growing again at the new location. In addition, the change should be prepared.

To do this, a trench is dug around the hawthorn tree. The outer roots should be cut off and removed. The trench is then filled with compost and flooded. These first steps should be taken in autumn. About a year later, new fine roots have formed and the hawthorn can be moved.

Cut the hawthorn properly

Whether as a shrub or tree – the hawthorn needs an annual cut. Unlike most woods, this should not be done in spring or autumn. Because then the flower bases will unfortunately be removed.
The following points should therefore be observed when cutting waste:

  • Shaping cut directly after flowering in summer
  • Remove water shoots
  • Radically cut parts of plants that are too close or that are directed inwards
  • Shape the hawthorn into a cone or pyramid
  • Use only clean scissors and knives for cutting
  • The hawthorn tree can tolerate radical cuts
  • Flowers only appear on shoots that are at least two years old, so main shoots should be retained

With the hawthorn, the clippings ensure that dense and compact growth is encouraged. In addition, infestations by diseases and pests are limited. However, if this has already developed, a saving maintenance cut is necessary in addition to the shaping blending.

Blending as a treatment
measure If the hawthorn is attacked by pests that resist treatment with pesticides, scissors should be used. The same applies if discoloration indicates illness.

In any case, a combination of waste and the use of a protective agent is optimal. In this way, pathogens and parasites are reduced and the remedy has a better chance of success.

With such a blending, radical action can and should be taken with the hawthorn. However, it must be ensured that only clean – if possible disinfected – tools are used. Otherwise the already weakened tree can be infected with further bacteria and viruses. Of course, scissors and knives should also be disinfected after use. This prevents diseases from being passed on to other plants.


If the hawthorn tree or bush was planted freely in the garden, it does not need any special preparation for wintering. The hawthorn should only be covered with fleece, straw and brushwood in very harsh winters or in areas without any protection from the wind.

In temperate areas or sheltered corners, this can be completely dispensed with.
It looks different with the culture in the bucket. Here the roots can freeze through longer, which even the extremely frost-hardy hawthorn does not always get. Therefore, the bucket should be moved to a bright and cool room. A well-insulated cellar or unheated winter garden are ideal locations. If the temperature here is above 8 ° C, hawthorn must be watered sparingly.


The hawthorn tree can be propagated in three ways. On the one hand via the seeds that can be found in the round fruits. Here, however, long waiting times for the first shoots are to be expected.

Furthermore, hawthorn can be grafted for propagation on hawthorn. However, this variant requires a certain amount of knowledge and a sure instinct, which means that it is also not recommended for the hobby gardener.

There remains the third possibility. With this, root runners are separated from the mother plant and planted separately. It is optimal to obtain these when the shoots of young plants are already visible on the surface. Generously excavated and moved to the desired location, the daughter plants thrive quickly and do not require any special care.

Typical pests and diseases

The hawthorn, whether as a shrub or tree, is a robust plant – unfortunately there are still typical diseases and pests.

Aphids are annoying but not difficult to treat, as they enjoy having a good time on the hawthorn. Here, natural means of control are usually sufficient.

Web moths, or more precisely their caterpillars, are more common on the hawthorn. The voracious animals eat at a fast pace, which can cause considerable damage to trees or shrubs. They can be recognized by the typical webs that are reminiscent of spider webs and can cover large parts of the plant. Larvae and caterpillars can then be seen on the weave and eat the green leaves underneath. Such an infestation can lead to complete baldness. Unfortunately, once things have come this far, plant protection products usually turn out to be ineffective. Because the spray mist is intercepted by the web. It is better here to first remove the weave. This can be done through a stick, on which the nets are wound up or by radical cutting of the affected parts. The larvae and parts of the plant must then be destroyed and the hawthorn tree treated with appropriate agents.

The third and last damaging influence is the fire blight. This is transmitted by bacteria and leads to a brown or black discoloration of the flowers and young shoots. However, these do not fall off, even in the cold season. The suddenly very dark leaf veins are also noticeable. This disease is notifiable as it can cause great damage and spread quickly. Here again a radical pruning, destruction of the plant parts and treatment with suitable pesticides help. If the fire blight has already spread, the hawthorn should be completely destroyed. Otherwise it represents a danger to all surrounding plants.

Is the hawthorn poisonous?

The bright colors of the hawthorn blossoms and the round fruits can tempt younger children in particular to mistake them for delicious berries or even sweets and put them in their mouths. Should this ever happen, parents can keep calm. Because neither fruits nor flowers are poisonous.

However, intolerance may arise when consuming large quantities or when people are sensitive. Skin rashes, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, headache, fever and dizziness can then result. If such symptoms occur, a doctor should of course be consulted.

Beware of the spines
Even though the hawthorn tree is not poisonous, caution is advised. Because trees and bushes have relatively large thorns that pose a risk of injury. Children and animals in particular, who are inattentive while playing in the garden, can sting themselves or cause painful cracks. The same can of course occur if the care and cutting of the hawthorn is not proceeded with appropriate care. Solid work gloves offer a certain level of protection, and protective goggles should also be worn – primarily when cutting. Through this, falling spines can at least not get into the eyes.

The hawthorn is a splendidly blooming and easy-care plant that gets along well with just a few annual movements. Anyone who regularly checks trees or shrubs for diseases and pests can enjoy them for a long time and in them a wonderful enrichment for the garden and balcony.

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