Can I Plant A Plum Pit: Tips For Planting Fresh Plum Seeds

Can I Plant A Plum Pit: Tips For Planting Fresh Plum Seeds

Have you ever eaten the last of the most deliciously juicy plum and, with the pit as the only memento, wondered, “Can I plant a plum pit?” The answer to planting plums from a pit is a resounding yes! Keep in mind, however, that the resulting tree may or may not fruit and, if it does fruit, the plum from the new tree may be nothing like the original glorious, succulent fruit.

Most fruit trees are propagated from compatible rootstock or the mother plant onto which the desired variety is grafted to obtain a “true” copy of the fruit. Planting plums from a pit may result in a very different variety of the original; the fruit may be inedible, or you may produce an even better variety. Either way, it is fairly easy and super fun growing plums from pits.

How to Plant Plum Pits

First when considering planting plums from a pit, look at your geographic region. Most varieties of plum grow well in USDA zones 5-9. If this is you, you’re good to go.

When you are planting fresh plum seeds or pits, first remove the pit and wash in lukewarm water with a soft scrub brush to remove any pulp. The seed needs a chilling off period at temperatures of between 33-41 F (1-5 C) before it will germinate, about 10-12 weeks. This is called the stratification process and there are two methods to accomplish it.

The first method is to wrap the pit in a moist paper towel inside a plastic bag and then place it in the refrigerator. Leave it there for six to eight weeks, keeping an eye on it in case it sprouts earlier.

Conversely, natural germination is also a method of stratification wherein the plum pit goes directly in the ground during the fall or winter. It’s a good idea to add some organic matter, but no fertilizer, into the hole, about a month before planting the pit. When planting the fresh plum seeds, they should be 3 inches (8 cm.) deep in the soil. Mark where you have planted the pit so you can find it in the spring. Leave the plum pit outside through the winter months and watch for any sprouting; thereafter, keep the new plant moist and watch it grow.

If you have cold stratified the seed in the refrigerator, once it has sprouted, remove it and plant the plum pit in a container with well draining soil composed of one part vermiculite and one part potting soil, about 2 inches (5 cm.) deep. Situate the pot in a cool, bright area and keep moist but not too wet.

After all danger of frost has passed, select a new location in the garden for your new plum tree with at least six hours of direct sunlight. Prepare the soil by digging a hole 12 inches (31 cm.) deep, removing any rock or debris. Mix compost into the soil. Plant the new plum from a pit to its original depth and tamp the soil around the plant. Water and keep evenly moist.

Otherwise, you should mulch or compost around the base of the seedling to retain moisture and fertilize with tree spikes or a 10-10-10 fertilizer in the early spring and then again in August.

When planting plums from a pit, have some patience. It will take a few years before the tree bears fruit, which may or may not be edible. Regardless, it is a fun project and will result in a lovely tree for future generations.

How to Germinate and Sprout a Plum Pit Seedling with Stratification

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Inside each plum pit is the potential for growing a whole new tree. Plum trees (Prunus domestica, USDA plant hardiness zones 4-9) grow easily from seed, but the seeds need a period of chilling called stratification to successfully germinate and sprout. The process takes a long time, but your patience and effort will be rewarded with a plum tree seedling in spring. However, be aware that growing a plum tree from seed may not produce a tree with good-quality fruit since stone fruit trees rarely reproduce true from seed.

How to Plant Plum Seeds From a Plum You Just Ate

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Commercial growers would never grow a plum (Prunus) from a seed because their livelihoods depend on controlling the process they rely on grafting or regrowing from twigs and buds. However, if you already have a plum tree, you'll see that seeds from plums that squirrels or raccoons eat begin to sprout in random places throughout your yard. Planting a plum seed is sometimes that simple. Even so, there are a few planting techniques you can use to maximize the chances that your seed will grow.

Prepare a mixture of sand and perlite in a 1-to-1 ratio in a 1-gallon plastic container. Perlite is a mixture of crushed, naturally occurring volcanic rock used to help garden soil drain more easily and is widely available at nurseries.

Tap the plum seed with a hammer just enough to put a crack in the hull. This process, known as scarification, breaks the seed's dormancy and tells it that the time is right to germinate.

Plant the seed 2 to 3 inches deep in the sand and perlite mixture and water it thoroughly. Keep the soil constantly moist but not soggy.

Place the container in a spot where it will get at least four weeks of cold temperatures, such as outdoors, in an unheated garage or even in your refrigerator.

Remove the seed from its cold storage area and repot in a more organic soil mixture. Let the seedling grow for up to one year.

Water the seedling regularly and protect it from digging squirrels or birds by covering the soil with rocks, hardware cloth or metal screening.

Plant the tree in its permanent location in a spot that gets full sun for most of the day. Add an organic soil mix to the planting hole if your soil is is not already well-draining.

Plant Plum Seeds From A Plum You Just Ate

It is possible to grow a plum tree from the seed of a plum you just ate. This is because most plums come from grafted trees. Wash the pits under running water to remove the plum flesh. Dry the pits and place them in a plastic bag. Remove the pits from the bag. Soak the seeds in a bowl of tepid water for four to five hours. Mix equal amounts of sand and peat moss together in a bucket. Water to keep the soil evenly moist, but not soggy or the seeds can rot. If the weather is still cold, transplant the small plum trees into 6-inch pots, and continue to grow in a bright sunny window.

Plant Seed Indoors

Stratify the black plum seeds in late fall or early winter by placing them in a refrigerator that has a temperature of 33 to 41 degrees F for three to four months.

Prepare a planting medium by mixing equal portions of course sand and sterile peat moss. Lightly moisten the medium and fill 4-inch potting containers that have bottom drainage holes.

  • The black plum tree is a stone fruit variety that can be propagated through seed collection.
  • Lightly moisten the medium and fill 4-inch potting containers that have bottom drainage holes.

Remove the seeds from the refrigerator and sow them in prepared containers at a depth of 2 inches. Water the soil after planting. Continue to water the seeds to keep the soil evenly moist during the germination period.

Place the planting containers in a warm location that has direct sunlight at least six hours during the day. Let the seeds grow until they reach a height of approximately 12 inches.

Transplant the black plum seedlings in an outdoor location the following spring. Make sure the location has well-draining soil and full sunlight.

  • Remove the seeds from the refrigerator and sow them in prepared containers at a depth of 2 inches.
  • Place the planting containers in a warm location that has direct sunlight at least six hours during the day.

Fertilizer and watering

So, in addition to how to properly plant a plum in the spring, it is important to know how to properly care for it. In the first year after planting, no fertilizer is required.

But from the third year of life, you can make fertilizers in the fall , necessarily potassium and phosphorus. In the spring, nitrogen fertilizers are applied, which are reused after flowering.

Organic fertilizers are introduced in mid-June. Moreover, in young plants, the area of ​​application is only trunks, and in adults - the entire area of ​​planting.

Acidic soils are additionally calcified with dolomite flour.

Plum loves moist soil, so regular watering is an integral part of care. Watering is considered good, in which the soil is moistened to a depth of 40 centimeters. It is important to remember that fruiting trees require increased watering. But you should not fill the plum too much, as this can lead to the development of fungal diseases and cracked fruits.

Watch the video: How To Grow Plum Trees From Seed, Just Over 5 Months Old!