Flowering plum trees are small, ornamental trees grown for their flowers, fruit and foliage. Cultivated varieties are available in nurseries and garden centers. Both native and introduced species grow wild in the United States.
Flowering plums reach a height of 25 feet and a width of 15 to 20 feet. Upright with a rounded crown, some species have thorny twigs.
Flowering plum trees have purple, slightly glossy foliage that turns bronze, pale purple or red in the fall.
This is one of the earliest trees to flower in spring, usually in mid to late April throughout its range. The pink or white flowers are small, fragrant and short-lived.
For the best color, grow flowering plums in full sun. They are widely adaptable to a variety of soils but are subject to fungal diseases in very wet conditions.
Hardiness and Range
Flowering plum trees are suitable for growing in zones 5 through 8. Planted in a protected spot and given a thick winter mulch, some species can be grown as far north as zone 4.
Because of their petite size, flowering plums are a good choice for small yards. Their colored foliage provides summer contrast.
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Moira Clune is a freelance writer who since 1991 has been writing sales and promotional materials for her own and other small businesses. In addition, she has published articles on VetInfo and various other websites. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Hartwick College.