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Oh, what a joy it is to bite into a fresh plum! And you don’t need to visit the road-side shop to get it – just walk into your backyard. Little is needed to grow these trees, except full sun and feeding throughout the year.

There are two types of plums: the European plum, which is suited to cool climates and the Japanese plum, which grows better in warmer areas. They can grow up to 4m high and wide, but don’t fret if you don’t’ have the space – they’re available in dwarf forms, too. 


How to grow plums in a garden

  1. Choose a sunny spot with well drained soil. Enrich the soil with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. If the soil is clay based, add gypsum and fork in well.
  2. Dig the planting hole twice as wide and to the same depth as the root-ball. Remove the shrub from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots.
  3. Position in hole and backfill, gently firming down. Form a raised or doughnut shaped ring of soil around the outer edge of the plant's root zone. This helps keep water where it's needed.  Always water in well after planting to settle the soil around the roots and keep the soil moist for several weeks while the new plant establishes.
  4. Mulch with an organic mulch, such as bark chips, sugar cane or pea straw ensuring to keep it away from the trunk.
  5. Water deeply, once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions.
  6. Feed your tree once every autumn and late summer with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser.. When flowering and fruiting, feed weekly with Yates Thrive Citrus Liquid Plant Food to help promote fruit production. 
     
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How to grow plums in a pot

When growing in pots or small spaces, choose a dwarf varieties, such as Ruby Blood, Satsuma or Mariposa Dwarf plums. Remember, you’ll need at least two fruit trees for fruit set, but if you don’t have room, grow Santa Rosa Dwarf plum, which is self-fertile. 

  1. Choose a pot at least 600mm wide. Position in full sun and fill with quality potting mix, such as Yates Potting Mix with Dynamic Lifter. 
  2. Remove the shrub from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots.
  3. Position in hole and backfill, gently firming down. Water in well.
  4. Mulch with an organic mulch, such as bark chips, sugar cane or pea straw ensuring to keep it away from the trunk.
  5. Water deeply, once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions.
  6. Feed your tree once every autumn and late summer with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. When flowering and fruiting, feed weekly with Yates Thrive Citrus Liquid Plant Food to help promote fruit production.

Growing tips

  • Neither European nor Japanese plums (with the exception of ‘Santa Rosa’) are self fertile and require a pollinator belonging to the same group to set fruit. Japanese and European plums do not cross-pollinate as they are different species. 

  • Prune trees in winter, removing crowded branches and weak stems, to help open up the centre and encourage new growth. Once a framework has been established, little pruning is required.
  • Water well when in leaf during dry weather - drip-irrigation is ideal. Avoid wetting foliage when watering or feeding.

  • European plums fruit on two-year-old wood and Japanese plums fruit on one-year-old wood, both on spurs which crop for a few years. 

  • 'Angelina’, ‘President’ and ‘Grand Duke’ are popular European varieties.  Any two will cross-pollinate.

  • Most plums set too much fruit, so thinning is necessary to boost fruit size and ease the weight on the branches. 

  • Remove fallen or spoiled fruit to prevent the spread of pests and diseases.

  • For the best flavour, allow plums to ripen on the tree – they’re ready for picking when they’re soft. 

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