Simple Tips For Successfully Growing Your Own Plum Trees In Pots And Containers
Plums are a beautifully tasty sweet fruit, ideal for eating fresh or for making into jams and preserves.If you want to grow your own plums but don't have space to grow trees in the conventional manner, With a little care and attention plum trees can happily grow in pots. Don't buy a standard fruit tree as these are not suitable. Instead, choose a dwarf variety that has been cultivated to suit growing in a small area and is ideal for being planted in a pot or container.
Choose a good sized pot to allow the roots to grow and get well established. A decent sized pot will allow for a much stronger and healthier tree. A pot or container that is 60cm deep or more is ideal. Some plum trees are self fertile, meaning that you only need to grow one in order to produce fruit. Even so, by having two or more trees of similar varieties that pollinate at the same time, you will likely have more plums being produced. If space is an issue, you can buy a tree which has two similar varieties grafted to the same rootstock which will be in effect, two trees in one pot.
If possible, position your potted plum trees close to the house in a sunny area. The building will provide protection from strong winds, plus the proximity to the house will help deter birds taking their chances and feasting on your fruit.
Plum trees require exposure to the sun so site in a sunny area protected from strong winds. The fruit of plum trees grows on spurs. To maximise the amount of light to reach these spurs, prune the tree to maximise the light to reach them. This is best done in late autumn or early spring. If you do it when it is too cold and wet, the tree will be more prone to disease.
Humans are not the only creatures to enjoy the sweet taste of plums. To prevent the plums being ruined by birds, it may be advisable to cover the tree with netting once the fruit start to form. To protect from insects coming up from the ground, put a grease band around the trunk of the tree. Trees grown in containers suffer less from this than trees grown directly into the ground but if is a potential problem, a grease band should be effective in stopping them from reaching the fruit. Plum trees can be heavy croppers so make sure the fruit is picked regularly to prevent the weight of the fruit breaking and damaging branches.
The tree will need to be re-potted every few years as the nutrients in the growing medium are depleted. Regularly feeding the tree with a suitable organic fertilizer will help to keep it healthy, though be careful not to feed too much nitrogen rich fertilizer as this will lead to a lot of foliage growth at the expense of the fruit. Keep the pot or container well watered and to retain the moisture, mulch the top with bark or gravel to prevent evaporation. Ensure the pot or container has adequate drainage holes in the bottom to prevent it becoming waterlogged and killing the tree. This is particularly important in the winter months when rainfall is heavier and growing activity is less.
Nothing beats picking fresh fruit from your own trees, and you don’t need an orchard to do so. Plum trees in pots in your garden or outdoor space will provide you with a good supply of your very own home grown plums.
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Norma on May 14, 2017:
I've had my plum tree for about 3 yrs and no fruit ..it's in a huge pot. Flowers but no fruit. What's the deal.
Linda Bryen from United Kingdom on July 09, 2013:
I always wanted to grow some fruits in pots and thank you for your helpful tips.
Jen Smith (author) from UK on February 27, 2012:
I am glad it was useful.
Prasanna Marlin from Sri lanka on February 27, 2012:
helpful information. Beautiful and interesting