The traditional source of beach plum jelly, this hardy, suckering, deciduous shrub is a signature plant of coastal dunes from New Brunswick to Maryland. Typically low-growing in its windswept native haunts, it can attain small-tree stature in less demanding conditions.
The toothed, oval, dull green leaves with paler fuzzy undersides emerge in mid-spring, shortly after the small, white, bee-pollinated flowers open. The abundant blooms occur in numerous small clusters on the previous year's growth. Grape-size edible fruits develop in summer, ripening from green to dull purple or crimson (or yellow in f. flava). The fruits, which vary widely in flavor, are most often used for jellies or preserves, but are also eaten fresh.
This shrub or small tree often suckers from its roots to form thickets. Its reddish brown bark provides winter interest.
Grow beach plum in full sun in any well-drained soil. Although a terrific plant for seaside gardens or windy locales, it often prospers elsewhere provided soil is not too rich or wet. Lowest branches (as well as root suckers) can be pruned away to form a picturesque small tree suitable as a garden focal point. Beach plum also makes an excellent naturalistic hedge, buffer or windbreak.
(Info source: Learn2grow)
Genus - Prunus
Species - Maritima
Common name - Beach plum
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 3 - 7
Height - 4'-16' / 1.20 - 4.90 m
Spread - 4'-15' / 1.20 - 4.60 m
Plant type - Shrub
Vegetation type - Decidious
Exposure - Full Sun
Growth rate - Medium
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral
Soil type - Loam, sand, well drained
Water requirements - Average Water
Landscape uses - Edible, Fruit / Fruit Tree, Hedges, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break, Wildflower
Germination rate - 84%
Bloom season - Spring
Leaf / Flower color - Green / White
|Germination||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)