Why Is a Flowering Plum Tree Dropping Leaves in the Spring?

Updated February 21, 2017

Flowering plum trees are landscape trees rather than fruit-bearing trees, and they have glossy, decorative foliage during the summer. They bear sweet-smelling white or pink flowers in spring, but should never lose their leaves during that period. A flowering plum that's losing its leaves may be suffering from a lack of proper care.


Plum trees are hardy to United States Department of Horticulture growing zone 4, but will suffer in colder growing zones where they get heavy freezes during the winter. A plum tree will lose its leaves and die if temperatures are too cold.


Like all fruit trees, flowering plum trees do best if they get full sun for eight hours a day. A plum tree that doesn't get enough sun will experience yellowing leaves and lack of blooming.


A plum that's not getting enough water -- around 2 inches a week -- may be unable to support leaves and blossoms.

Nutrition and Soil

Although flowering plum trees don't require heavily nutritious soil, they do require some nutrition and a healthy growing situation. Gardeners should keep their plums in loose, quick-draining soil and give them fertiliser or organic compost every spring. This soil combination will support blooming and leaf growth.

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