Plum trees are small fruit trees at 12 to 15 feet in height and grow in both fruiting and decorative varieties. These are hardy trees the produce glossy, green leaves and soft pink-and-white blooms. They live for up to 30 years. The trees require certain care and protection throughout the year.
Decorative and fruiting plum trees are summertime bearers and produce their blooms in early spring. Although the plum tree maintains its blooms into summer, gardeners should not expect to see new blooms in late summer, fall or winter.
Growing Zone and Protection
Plums are among the hardiest of fruit trees and grow down to U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zone 4. They will not survive the winter to flower in colder growing zones and should only grow in indoor, potted situations. Because these trees flower early in spring, they may require protection in USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 7 and below. If the tree blooms before the last frost in your area, it will lose its blooms unless protected. Covering the tree with a sheet every night protects the flowers until the last frost passes and temperatures warm to 12.8 degrees C.
Because these trees flower early in spring, they may require protection in USDA Growing Zone 7 and below. If the tree blooms before the last frost in your area, it will lose its blooms in that frost unless you protect it. Cover the tree with a sheet every night to protect the flowers until the last frost passes and temperatures warm to 12.8 degrees Celsius.
All fruit trees have specific maturity dates and must reach full fruiting maturity before they reliably bloom. Give plum trees 4 to 5 years of care and maturity before you expect to see consistent flowers or fruit.
Plum trees have specific growing requirements. Plant them in spots where they get full drainage and sunshine. The trees grow in partial shade but cannot bloom or bear fruit there. Give plum trees good nutrition with organic compost and 10-10-10 fertiliser in spring and fall and prune them in early spring to eliminated diseased wood and encourage new growth. Water plum trees with 2 inches of water a week.
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- University of Florida IFAS Extension; Growing Plums in Florida; E.P. Miller, et al.
- University of Minnesota Extension; Stone Fruits for Minnesota Gardens; Doug Foulk and Emily Hoover, 2007
- Binghamton University: Urban Forestry: Edible Horticulture: Fruit Trees
- Clemson Cooperative Extension; Plum; David Parker, Greg Reighard and Bob Polomski