Growing Plum Trees in Containers

What You'll Need
Plastic Containers
Potting soil

Prunus Domestica or the common plum tree is a sturdy deciduous tree. Plum trees are grown for ornamental purposes and for their seasonal fruits. They are one of the few fruit trees suited for container gardening and grow to an average height of about 2 meters, which makes them easy to prune. Growing plum trees in containers isn't demanding, but you should follow some basic instructions.

Plum Tree Container Gardening Instructions:

1. Procuring Plums

The bare-root variety of plums is suited for container gardening. These are available at most garden nurseries. You should cover the root bulb of the plum plant in a wet cloth for a few days before planting it.

2. Selecting Containers

Containers retailed at garden supply stores are offered in a variety of materials such as wood, plastic or clay. Durable plastic containers are best suited for potting plum trees. The container should have numerous drainage holes. It should be twice as wide as the plum plant’s thickest part.

3. Preparing Containers

Lay down a thin layer of gravel at the base of the container. This is crucial for ensuring easy drainage and providing a firm base for the growing tree. You can use dug-up soil from your garden as potting soil. However, you shouldn't use heavily-fertilized soil. Using the shovel, fill-up nearly three-fourths of the container with the potting soil.

4. Planting Plums

The early part of spring season is best for planting plums. Remove the moistened cloth wrapped around the root section of the plant. Place the plant inside the potted soil. Untangle the young roots and push them deep, inside the soil. Cover the roots with the potting soil and add some water. Add more potting soil around the planted plum. Clamp down on the soil bed.

5. Staking Plums

Most plums need staking during the initial two years. This helps establish an upright stem growth. Use stakes that are about 6-inches tall. Simply tie the stake to the main trunk using plastic strings. Specific plastic ties for binding purposes can be bought from garden supply stores.

5. Placing the Containers

Young plums are susceptible to strong winds, so place the container in areas that have adjoining walls. Plums prefer slightly shaded areas. You should avoid placing them in intensely-sunlit areas.

6. Watering Plums

If you can't count on getting moderate-to-heavy seasonal rains, make sure you water the young plums regularly. To keep the roots moist in dry seasons, you can use root feeders. Once the plum is two-seasons old, weekly watering is sufficient. Plum tree roots are vulnerable to waterlogging. Ensure that the container is draining out any excess water.

7. Basic Plum Tree Care

Newly-planted plums need some basic care. However, once mature, plum trees are easy-to-maintain, having minimal caring requirements.

8. Pest Removal

Silver leaf fungal infection is encouraged by older leaves and rotting plum fruits. To avoid this, seasonal pruning is necessary. You can use an insecticidal spray made of herbal oil and liquid soap to repel common pests like aphids.

9. Nutrition Care

During the spring season, spread some compost around the trunk. This also helps to kill the weeds. For organic fertilization, you can add bonemeal.

10. Pruning Care

The basic idea is to minimize foliage around the lower part of the trunk. The older branches should be pruned to ensure that younger branches develop at about 45-degree angles. You should prune plums with lightweight shears only. Avoid pruning during the winters.

11. Re-potting

You should repot the plums every two years. This encourages comprehensive root development. When repotting, try to use fresh garden soil as the potting soil.