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Growing Plums

Growing Plums

Mount Royal Hardy Plum


 Attractive, hardy trees with tasty fruit in a range of colors. There are two main types of Plums, European and Asian. Both are hardy to at least zone 4, and Pipestone (30905) is zone 3 hardy. Fruit is excellent for fresh eating, canning, freezing, jams, and jellies and is best allowed to ripen on the tree. Most varieties require a pollinator, but Mount Royal Hardy Plum (30915) is self-fertile. Usually begins fruiting 3 to 4 years after planting. Keep bare root trees out of sunlight and in a cool area until ready to plant. Can hydrate trees by soaking roots in water for 2 to 3 hours. Transplant outdoors in spring 4 to 8 weeks before the last frost. Loosen the soil 18 to 24 inches deep and wide enough to fit all roots. Add compost or other organic matter to loosened soil and mix well. Trim off damaged or broken roots, and spread roots out evenly and without bending. Plant slightly deeper than when grown in the nursery.


For full sun in well-drained, moist soil. Avoid planting in low areas where frost is prone to settle. European varieties bear fruit on spurs older than 1 year, and Asian types fruit on one-year old spurs as well as older spurs, so they require more pruning that European types. Asian types may also need fruit thinning for best production. Plum trees may benefit from support, especially in windy areas, while becoming established. Annual pruning is needed for good growth and strong fruiting. Remove prunings, fallen fruit, and dead leaves to reduce overwintering of pests and diseases. 

Fertilizer Recommendations

Use Gromax Fertilizer Tablets 20-10-5 (51165) or full rates of Algoflash All-Purpose Liquid Fertilizer 6-6-6 (51085) or Neptune Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer 2-3-1 (51221).

Alternative Products

Other stone fruit trees include Cherry, Nectarine, and Peach.

Complimentary Products

Moderate feeders, Plums benefit from yearly fertilization. All Seasons Spray Oil (50002) can be used in early spring when leaves emerge to help control overwintering insect pests. Fence trees with 7 X 100 Foot Deer-X Fencing (52107) to prevent deer damage.

Product Recommendations

Use Bird-X Netting if birds damage fruit.

Plum Facts

Usually free from pest problems, but may benefit from preventative spraying. Brown rot, bacterial canker, aphids, plum maggot, and wasps are sometimes problems. Birds may also feed on fruit. Fruit of Plums is high in antioxidants, vitamins B and C, and potassium.


Growing Tips