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How to Plant Plum Trees From Seeds

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How to Plant Plum Trees From Seeds

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Overview

Picking and eating fresh, juicy plums from a tree in your own yard is satisfying and delicious. Starting a plum tree from a seed can be an enjoyable project and is relatively easy to do. With some special preparation for the seed itself, and some care and patience, you can start a plum tree from a pit at home.

Starting Your Plum Tree Seeds

Step 1

Make sure a plum tree will grow in your area by checking the hardiness zone for your region. Most plum trees need a certain amount of cold to set fruit. Because of these 'chill hours', they are usually grown from zone 5 through zone 9.

Step 2

Obtain your plum pits. You can get pits from a local tree, commercial sources such as seed companies, or the tastiest way--from fresh fruit sold at your grocery or farmer's market.

Step 3

Remove the seeds from the pits by opening them with a nut cracker. Make sure the seeds are fresh and free of damage or disease.

Step 4

Break the dormancy of the seeds. Plum seeds need a certain amount of time in cold conditions to germinate. The steps below demonstrate two methods of breaking dormancy.

Step 5

Plant your seeds directly in the ground in the fall to break dormancy, if you live in areas where temperatures drop below 40 degrees F for at least 90 days. Plant seeds 2 inches deep in fertile, well-drained soil with plenty of sun.

Step 6

Stratify your seeds to break dormancy. If the temperature is not right in your area for direct sowing or you want to plant in the spring or indoors, use a technique called stratification. Place your seeds approximately 1 inch deep in a small container filled with half peat moss and half sand and refrigerate them for 30 days. Keep the soil from drying out to encourage germination.

Step 7

Once you have broken the dormancy of your seeds, you can plant them after the last frost of spring. Plant seeds 2 inches deep in fertile, well drained soil with good sun exposure.

Step 8

Watch for sprouting in 3 to 4 weeks. As your plum tree grows, continue to water and feed it with a fruit tree fertilizer.

Things You'll Need

  • Tree seeds
  • Plastic container and lid
  • Soil mixture of 1/2 peat moss and 1/2 sand
  • Nut cracker

References

  • Iowa State University
  • Tree/Shrub Seed Germination: Quick Reference
  • Treehelp.com
Keywords: plant plum seed, plum propagation, palnt a plum pit

About this Author

In Jacksonville, Fla., Frank Whittemore is a content strategist with over a decade of experience as a hospital corpsman in the U.S. Navy and a licensed paramedic. He has over 15 years experience writing for several Fortune 500 companies. Whittemore writes on topics in medicine, nature, science, technology, the arts, cuisine, travel and sports.