Purple Plum Tree Is Losing Leaves

Updated February 21, 2017

There are a number of reasons for a purple plum tree, also called the purple leaf plum tree, to lose its leaves. The common health problems that affect this tree require immediate attention and ongoing care.


A late frost can damage a plum tree and cause it to drop its leaves, especially newly forming and young leaves. Pruning the tree helps to promote new growth, but severe frost may stop a plum from producing leaves.

Light Needs

Purple plum trees that do not receive enough light sometimes drop their leaves early. Purple plums grow best in full sun, and shaded plums are more likely to lose their leaves. Plum trees should receive full sunlight throughout the day.

Nutrient Deficiency

A deficiency of the major nutrients needed by fruit trees, including nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, can cause a plum tree to lose its leaves. Adding fertiliser and compost to the soil helps keep purple leaf plum trees healthy.

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About the Author

Bailey Shoemaker Richards is a writer from Ohio. She has contributed to numerous online and print publications, including "The North Central Review." Shoemaker Richards also edits for several independent literary journals and the Pink Fish Press publishing company. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from Ohio University.