Dwarf Santa Rosa plum trees, as food-bearing plants, are considered edible landscape. Santa Rosa is a juicy and self-fruitful Japanese plum that is popular for growing in California and Arizona. The skin of the plum is reddish-purple and opens to an amber flesh. Once planted in a full sun location that has well-drained soil and good air circulation, periodic care will help dwarf Santa Rosa plum trees to thrive.
Water newly planted trees every 10 to 14 days if there is no rain. Allow the water to fully saturate the area around the tree.
Apply 3 to 4 inches of mulch, like pine chips or leaf mold, around the base of the tree keeping the mulch about 6 inches from the stem. Mulch will help to hold in moisture and block weed growth.
Fertilize once the tree is established or at about three years. Use a 10-10-10 compound which has an equal blend of nitrogen, phosphate and potash. Apply the fertilizer as directed by the manufacturer, which may be one-half pound for each year of the tree’s growth, up to 6 pounds. Keep the fertilizer about 1 foot from the trunk of the tree and apply in a circle out to the drip line, which is an imaginary circle on the ground equal to the reach of the longest branches of the tree.
Prune damaged or diseased stems as they occur. Make the cut at least 6 inches into healthy wood. Branches that touch or cross another branch can be pruned out in late winter while the tree is dormant.
Wrap 1/4-inch wire mesh fencing (also called hardware cloth) around the trunk of the tree to prevent damage by mice, rabbits or voles. The fencing may come in 2 to 4 foot tall rolls. Check the wire annually to ensure it does not need to be replaced with a larger piece, to avoid damaging the plum tree trunk.