The plum tree is ornamental and useful at the same time, because it produces both decorative flowers and delicious fruits. In return, it requires little care and a suitable location. Especially with the latter, however, there are a few factors to consider, and only if these are observed will a rich harvest be in store.

Self- and cross-pollinated

The plum tree is available in numerous varieties that differ in one fundamental point: the type of pollination. There are self-pollinating and cross-pollinating plum trees here. The self-pollinators do not need another plum tree, so they are particularly suitable for smaller gardens. However, they often bring in a lower yield.

They include:

  • Queen Victoria
  • Auerbacher
  • oat plum

Cross-pollinators need at least one other plum tree of a compatible species. However, more is always better. Because the larger the number of fruit trees, the higher the probability of successful fertilization. The planting of several trees pays off, as they bring in a very high yield.

These include:

  • Kirkespflaume
  • The President
  • Ruth Gerstetter

There are also plum tree varieties that are considered to be particularly high-yield. As well as frost-sensitive and very hardy species. Information on this can usually be found directly on the label of the plant or can be obtained from the gardener. Due to the huge variety of varieties, there is something suitable for every taste and every garden.

Note: Choose the plum tree not only for the yield, but also depending on the available space and the circumstances – only then will it give pleasure in the long term.

Find the right location

Plums need a very sunny and warm location where neither cold wind nor late frost can prevail. Areas that are very sheltered and can store heat well are ideal. House corners and locations surrounded by hedges and other trees are usually optimal.

If possible, the location of the plum tree should be on the south side. East and west, as long as they get plenty of sun, are also suitable.

Apart from cardinal direction and solar radiation, attention must also be paid to soil and winter conditions. The location for the plum tree must be as free from frost as possible, especially if it is late frost. Waterlogging and prolonged drought are also not well tolerated.

The right substrate

The plum tree needs a substrate that is rich in lime and nutrients. In addition, the soil should be able to store the water well, but not tend to waterlogging. Soil rich in humus and mixtures of ordinary garden soil with compost, little sand and clay prove to be ideal choices. If the introduction of sand and clay is not sufficient to effectively prevent waterlogging, drainage can be introduced.

If the substrate is rather poor in nutrients, enrichment with manure or manure is recommended. Initially before the plum tree is planted, but also as an additional upgrade of the substrate in the following years.

How and when to plant?

A plum tree should be planted in the fall if possible. If necessary, they can also be planted after the last frost in late spring. If it is a very young specimen, you should provide the wood with a support, for example a stable post. The support is planted directly with it. Be careful not to damage the roots. It is ideal to attach them to the tree before planting. This also makes insertion much easier.

It must also be noted that the support must be removed again later. So don’t sit too low or too tight.Young plums are more vulnerable than their adult relatives, and the pressure of competition does not do them any good. For this reason, the site must be free of weeds and other plants that would otherwise deprive the young tree of nutrients.
Of course, the whole garden or a very large area does not have to be cleared. A radius of about 1.0m to 1.5m around the plum is sufficient. This also applies if the nearest neighbors at the site are also plums.

Watering after planting

In the first year after planting, the plum tree needs a lot of water in order to be able to develop healthy roots. So that the roots penetrate deep into the soil and do not just spread far and wide on the surface, we recommend flooding as a casting technique.

This means nothing other than giving a large amount of water regularly. The root is literally flooded from above. If the water seeps deeper and deeper into the ground, root growth follows. So that this technique really leads to the desired result, the substrate must be able to dry slightly between waterings. If, on the other hand, it is kept moist, the roots lack the incentive for deep growth.

Note: Since large amounts of water are supplied, the plum tree does not need to be watered weekly. Exceptions are of course very hot and dry phases.

The drying of the substrate should also not be exaggerated. It must not be completely dry or cracked, as this would seriously damage the roots and plums, especially in the first year. So it is important to find a middle ground here.

care of the plum

Plum trees are quite frugal fruit trees. After the first year, they rarely need to be supplied with additional water and fertilization is only necessary if necessary – but usually does not have to be on the plum tree’s care plan.
Only a shaping and healthy blend is necessary. And this, too, is normally limited to a single use per year.

Watering – only when necessary

Very young plum trees and except for the first year after planting, these fruit trees usually do not need regular watering.

Of course there can be exceptions to this. If the summer is particularly hot but there is little rain, watering is required. And preferably in the evening, so that the water really gets to the roots and does not evaporate on the surface of the substrate. The same applies, of course, if a long dry phase affects the plants in another season.

Water that is as soft as possible should be chosen for watering, because lime can damage the roots in the long term. Since the plum tree prefers a calcareous substrate, it is not necessary to pay meticulous attention to the lime content with every watering. It is perfectly sufficient to refer to the following sources from time to time.

  • Rainwater, for example from a barrel or cistern
  • Pond water without chemical or medicinal additives
  • Stale tap water

If none of these rather soft types of water are available, it can of course also be water from the tap or garden hose.

Real caution is only required if the substrate shows signs of excessive lime content, i.e. dry, white deposits and crusts form. In this case, the top layer of soil should be removed, the substrate loosened up and fresh humus-rich soil added. After that, of course, special attention must be paid to soft water so that a renewed change is not necessary in the first place.


As already mentioned under the care of the plum tree, it does not require regular fertilization. Unless the substrate is very poor in nutrients or the tree has exhausted itself with a very large yield. Then it makes sense and is necessary to provide additional nutrients.

The following fertilizers are suitable:

  • Complete fertilizer for fruit trees, if possible in liquid form
  • Compost
  • stable dung
  • Dung

Whichever means you choose, make sure that the fertilizer is harmless. For example, if it is not clear whether the manure and manure producers received medication, it is better to refrain from these nutrient suppliers. The same applies to the complete fertilizer, which is not specifically designed for fruit trees. And the compost can also be of concern if plant residues that had previously been treated with pesticides were accidentally disposed of in it.

The reason for this special caution is of course the fruit of the plum tree. This is because harmful substances accumulate in these and end up on the dining table.

To cut

The only care that the plum tree should definitely and regularly receive is pruning. The ideal time for this is late autumn or early spring.
Pruning a plum tree is not difficult in itself, but the following must be observed:

  • Remove dried and aging branches
  • Thin out the inside of the crown
  • Not even radically, but cut gently and carefully every year
  • Aim for a round to oval crown shape
  • Reduce the lateral leaders by about a third of the total length
Tip: If the plum tree was only planted last year, you should wait with the pruning or cut it very carefully. Only in the case of very long and therefore protruding branches does a correction make sense at this point.

The trimming should be done with clean and very sharp instruments. This reduces the risk of infection of the plum tree. In addition, sharp knives and scissors protect the tissue because they do not squeeze it.


The plum tree can be propagated by its seeds, shoots and grafting. Propagation through seeds and shoots is particularly easy. For the refinement, on the other hand, a certain amount of knowledge and sensitivity is required, which is why it is not discussed here.

Propagation by nuclei

For this form of propagation, the stone is removed from the plums and opened with a nutcracker – this shortens the time until germination.

Place the seeds in potting soil and cover them with the substrate, either put them in the fridge for a few weeks or take them outdoors to a very sheltered spot over the winter. This is necessary because plums are so-called cold germs. So they need a cold pulse to expel.

After staying in the cold, the temperature and the amount of light can be increased slowly. Planting out is possible as soon as the plum tree is 30cm to 50cm high. A planting time in the spring would be favorable for this.

Propagation by natural shoots

Natural shoots usually appear around the plum tree over time. All you have to do is dig them up and plant them in the desired location or first in a flower pot. It is important to ensure that there is a sufficiently large root on the shoot. So digging must be done carefully and deeply.

Tips for Propagation

  • Choose shoots that are as large and strong as possible
  • Water and fertilize the young sprouts and shoots regularly and plentifully
  • Ensure adequate protection against cold wind
  • Keep light and warm


If, over time, it becomes apparent that the location is not suitable, or if the plum tree has to be moved for other reasons, there are a few things to consider.

Of course, as many roots as possible must be preserved. It is therefore necessary to dig up a large ball of earth. At the new location, it is then important to pour plenty of water, just like with young plants. A casting ring can be very helpful here. In addition, the plum tree should be pruned and its blossoms removed in the first year. This saves energy and ensures that roots grow first.

Tip: The ideal time to move is spring.


No special precautions are necessary for overwintering a plum tree. At least as long as it is in a sheltered location. If this is not the case, a garden fleece can be useful.

Typical diseases and pests

Although the plum tree is relatively robust in itself, it can still be attacked by a whole range of diseases and pests.

This includes:

  • plum louse
  • Spider moths
  • fruit rot
  • plum rust
  • fool bags
  • pouch gall mite
  • plum moth
  • plum sawfly
  • buckshot
  • Scharka

Even if the plum tree requires little care, it should still be checked regularly for netting, fungal plaque, discolouration, deformation, signs of eating and other diseased areas. Leaves, shoots that are still green and the fruits are particularly affected.

All diseases and pests mentioned can be treated with commercially available agents. Damaged plant parts should always be removed and destroyed. Under no circumstances should the diseased parts be disposed of in the compost.

The plum tree is an easy-care fruit tree that is both decorative and fruit-yielding. It is therefore ideal for anyone who wants to make little effort and still want to get a large yield from their own garden.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *