The European plum is a great stone fruit for the home gardener. It has been cultivated for centuries but originates from western Asia and near the Caucasus Mountains.
The small to medium-sized tree is deciduous and has a rounded, somewhat sparse canopy lined with oval leaves. The spring flowers are typically fragrant, white and five-petaled. About half the known varieties require compatible trees nearby for cross-pollination and subsequent fruit set. The rest are self-fruitful but still produce more abundantly if another compatible variety is nearby.
European plum trees require full sun and are tolerant of nearly all soil types as long as they offer good drainage and moderate fertility. They are hardy and bear flowers and fruit on older wood. This means they are best pruned annually in summer to optimize fruit output. Suckers and unwanted old wood can be removed when the trees are dormant. These trees are susceptible to a number of pests and diseases, such as powdery mildew, bacterial spot and plum pox virus. (info source: Learn2Grow.com)
Genus - Prunus
Species - Domestica
Common name - European Plum
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 4 - 7
Height - 4 - 6 m
Spread - 4 - 6 m
Plant type - Small Tree
Vegetation type - Deciduous
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Sun
Growth rate - Medium
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral
Soil type - Clay, Loam, Sand
Water requirements - Average Water
Landscape uses - Edible, Fruit / Fruit Tree, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier
Germination rate - 75%
Bloom season - Spring
Leaf / Flower color - Green / White
|1. Soak the seeds in a bowl of cool water overnight. Lay the seeds on a flat surface to dry for several hours.
2. Stratify seeds in a plastic bag full of moist sand inside the refrigerator for 90 days. Keep the sand barely moist during the cold stratification period.
3. Sow the seeds the following spring once outdoor temperatures rise above 65F (+18C) during the day and 48F (+8C) at night. Or sow indoors in the propagator or pots
4. Prepare a pot for each seed. Fill 8-inch plastic pots with garden soil taken from the bed where the trees will eventually be planted. Sow one seed in each pot at a depth of 1 inch.
5. Water the seeds to a depth of 3 inches after planting them. Maintain moisture at a 3-inch depth during the germination process.
6. Place the pots outdoors in a sheltered spot where they will be exposed to direct sun in the morning and afternoon. Protect the seeds from direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day since the soil will warm too quickly and dry out.
7. Watch for sprouting one month after sowing. Maintain the same light and moisture conditions provided to the seeds during germination until they grow to 4 inches in height.
8. Plant the seedlings into a sunny, sandy bed at least 75 days before the first frost in autumn, or shelter the seedlings in a cold frame until the following spring if it is too late in the year for planting. (info source: eHow.com)