How Long Does it Take for Plums to Grow?

Plums on a branch, close up look.

Prunus salicina and Prunus avium are two typical cultivars of plum tree that bear plums (Prunus domestica). Plums bloom in the late winter or early spring, and fruit ripens from May to September, depending on the species, cultivar, and climate. All kinds of plums.

Japanese plums flourish in USDA plant hardiness zones 4 through 10, while European variety do well in USDA zones 3 through 9. Most plum trees, but not all, are self-unfruitful, and in order to produce fruit, they need to be pollinated by two or more other trees of the same variety.

Four to six years after they are planted, fruit can be expected from the trees. Pruning, a cold winter, and the correct climate are all requirements for a successful crop of plums.

Plum Pollination

Planting plum types that bloom at same time is essential for pollination. For this reason, European types cannot serve as pollinators for Japanese cultivars. Both the pollinizer and the trees selected must be compatible with each other if fruit is to be set successfully.

Any self-fertile tree of plums can pollinate any other plum given their bloom periods don’t overlap. Varieties that reproduce by themselves are frequently utilized as universal pollinators. “Santa Rosa” is a self-fruitful plum that’s frequently employed as a pollinator by other plants as well. USDA zones 4–9 are suitable for growing the tree. Plant a ‘Victoria’ plum if you’re a fan of traditional English cottage gardening. It is a self-fertile cultivar that is hardy in USDA zones 5 to 9.

How Fast Do Plum Trees Grow?

Plum tree grows an average of 24 inches per season until it reaches its mature height. It spreads sideways with lateral growth, often producing branchlets with thorns.

Remember that most ornamental plums don’t bear fruit when choosing a variety. Plant at least two plum trees for good pollination to receive the best fruit production. Some varieties are self-fertile so you can get away with a single tree if you get the right type.

Where Do Plum Trees Grow Best?

Plums thrive in climates with only sporadic summer rainfall and low humidity. During the growing season, dry leaves and fruit reduce the likelihood of disease spreading to the plant. When the weather is damp for an extended period of time, most plant diseases target plum trees.

How Do Plums Grow?

Fresh plum seeds should be sown in the soil 3 inches (8 cm) deep. Keep track of where you put the pit so you know where it is in spring. Keep an eye on the plum pit during the winter to see if it sprouts anything. If it does, water it regularly and allow it to grow.

When Does a Plum Tree Produce Fruit?

After three to six years of planting, a plum tree bears fruit. Normally, plum trees are acquired from a nursery rather than raised from seed because they are already 1–2 years old when they are planted (stone).

When do Dwarf Plum Trees Produce Fruit?

Dwarf plum trees, on the other hand, may bear fruit a year earlier than their larger counterparts. It has the disadvantage of not bearing as much fruit as a full-sized plum tree.

However, a dwarf plum tree can be good option if you are growing in a limited area, want to harvest soon, or are looking for a shorter tree.

Do Plum Trees Produce Fruit Each Year?

A plum tree can bear fruit in June and continue to do so until September. Late winter to early spring is when plum trees bloom with pink or white blooms. Plum trees don’t bear fruit all year round. When a plum tree doesn’t bear fruit, it’s usually because it hasn’t reached full maturity yet.

After planting, most plum trees need 3 to 6 years to reach fruit bearing maturity. Plum trees of dwarf types may begin bearing fruit a year earlier than those of regular size.

Pruning Your Plum Tree

All Japanese plum cultivars require substantial annual trimming to keep them healthy and productive. These cultivars grow copiously and necessitate fruit thinning in order to lessen the overall weight of the crop and avoid damaging tree limbs. Pruning begins as soon as the fruit is apparent, and it is then thinned to a spacing of 4 to 6 inches apart. Most European cultivars don’t require thinning and only minimal pruning.

Wear safety gear like gloves and safety goggles when trimming or thinning the fruit. Prevent the spread of disease by dipping the cutting blades in Lysol or Pine-Sol between cuts. Allow for a natural drying process.

When Should Plum be Harvested?

From late summer to October, depending on where you live, plums are ready for picking.

When possible, let European plums ripen on the tree for the finest flavor. When picking plums, use your fingertips to gently push on the fruit to see if it’s ripe. When the fruit’s skin is soft to the touch, it’s time to harvest it. With a small twist of the fruit, plums should readily fall from the tree.

Allow Japanese plums to ripen in a cool environment so they can be picked a little earlier.

If you want a sweeter plum, you’ll have to select it when it’s fully ripe (At least give one a shot before selecting them all).

Final Thoughts

Plums take four to six years to beat fruit after planting. This means that you will have to wait a long time before you can pick the fruit from tress. During this time, take care of the plant properly. Keep it safe from pests and diseases. Moreover, install an electric fence or use netting to protect your trees from birds, squirrels, and deer. They love eating plums and won’t leave your fruit alone unless you take some measures to protect your plant from them.

Related: Where Do Plums Grow in the World? | When Do You Plant Plums? When is the Plum Season? | Do Plums Ripen After Picking? | Do Deer Eat Plums? How to Prevent? | Do Birds Eat Plums? How to Prevent Birds from Eating Plums?

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