How to Grow a Japanese Plum Tree


The Japanese plum tree (Prunus salicina) is a medium-sized fruit-producing tree, typically growing to about 15 to 20 feet in height. The plums are the most commonly eaten fresh plum thanks to their juicy, sweet taste. Plant a Japanese plum tree in full sun, and make sure you provide rich, well-draining soil with a pH range of 5.5 to 6.5.

Step 1

Dig out a planting hole for the bare-root Japanese plum that is approximately 18 to 24 inches wide and about 16 to 18 inches deep. If you are planting more than one Japanese plum tree, make sure to dig the planting holes approximately 15 to 20 feet apart from one another.

Step 2

Incorporate into the soil you extracted from the planting hole 1 to 2 cubic feet of an organic matter. Use aged manure, compost, leaf mold or similar material.

Step 3

Create a conical mound of soil in the center of the planting hole that is approximately 8 to 9 inches high. Snip off any broken branches or broken roots on the Japanese plum tree.

Step 4

Place the bare-root Japanese plum into the planting hole. According to the National Gardening Association, you should plant plum trees with the graft union 1 inch above the soil line. The graft union is typically marked by a slightly bulging nodule where the stem of the plum tree meets the top of the root ball.

Step 5

Hold the Japanese plum tree vertical in the hole, once you are sure it is sitting at the proper planting depth. Then, slowly scoop in a few shovelfuls of soil. Spread the soil in and around the roots of the Japanese plum tree using your hands. Scoop in more soil until the planting hole is about 1/2 full of soil.

Step 6

Pour enough water into the planting hole to fill it. Let the water completely drain back before proceeding. Then, fill the remainder of the planting hole with soil. Water the Japanese plum tree, letting the water run slowly so it can soak down to the roots.

Things You'll Need

  • Japanese plum trees
  • Shovel
  • Organic matter


  • Sunset Plant Finder: Information on Plum Varieties
  • National Gardening Association: Planting Plum Trees
  • University of Georgia: Growing Plum Trees
  • The University of Florida: Plum Trees
Keywords: growing a japanese plum tree, how to plant a japanese plum tree, japanese plum planting

About this Author

Katelyn Lynn is a certified holistic health practitioner who specializes in orthomolecular medicine and preventative modalities. She also has extensive experience in botany and horticulture. Lynn has been writing articles for various websites relating to health and wellness since 2007. She has been published on She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in alternative medicine from Everglades University.