Plum Tree Care Instructions
Nothing beats savoring a homegrown plum plucked right off plum trees grown in your back yard. These are relatively easy to grow, and if cared for properly, will guarantee baskets of juicy plums for many years. Flowering plum trees are grown for aesthetic purposes as well, blossoming into beautiful white flowers during April before turning into the sweet fruit that attracts so many birds.
Follow these steps to provide optimal growing conditions for your plum trees.
Step 1 - Soil Requirements
Plum trees grow well in almost all types of soil but prefer acidic soil. Test your soil before you begin planting to determine if it needs any amendments to help grow bountiful trees.
Step 2 - Sunlight
Plum trees love a full sun, so plan where you want to plant your trees. Select a spot that gets adequate sun. Leave around 5 feet between trees so each tree can get its fair share of sunlight. Prune taller trees that may overshadow your plum trees.
Step 3 - Planting
Wait a month after you prepare your soil, and then begin planting your trees. Dig a hole about 1 foot wider and deeper than the roots so the roots can flourish. You may need to stake the trees since plum trees need extra support in the beginning years of their lives. Applying mulch around the tree trunks prevents weeds and retains moisture. An alternative to this is to mow the area around your trees.
Step 4 - Watering
The amount and frequency of water your plum trees need depends on the weather. Make sure you water your plum trees regularly in the hot summer months. Rainfall is fine, but water your trees if it fails to rain for a week or more. If your trees go without water for long periods, their leaves will curl up and turn brown.
Step 5 - Fertilizing
Growing fruit requires a lot of energy by the trees so make sure they get sufficient nutrients along with water and sunlight. Use a root fender in spring once the buds begin to appear in order to redirect nutrition straight to the roots. An alternative to this is to use a water soluble fertilizer, applied with a sprayer, to the soil around the trees.
You must remember to fertilize again after these flowering trees develop blossoms and then again when they begin to bear fruit. Applying fertilizer again when the fruit is 1/2 its harvest size to ensure a good yield.
Step 5 - Pruning
Pruning and removing dead limbs is important to retain shape of your plum tree. The ideal time to prune is in the summer. Avoid pruning on a damp day because your trees may be susceptible to silver leaf disease that enters tree tissues through open cuts and wounds, causing severe damage and possibly killing the the trees. When you prune, make straight cuts rather than jagged ones. Apply a sealant on the limbs you have pruned.