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How to Plant Chinese Plum Seeds

By Joshua Duvauchelle ; Updated September 21, 2017

The Chinese plum plant (Sageretia theezan or Sageretia thea) was once grown for its leaves that were brewed into tea, according to the New York Botanical Garden. Today, many gardeners and homeowners raise the plant for its lush look and small fruit, which can add vibrant color to any backyard or houseplant collection. Though the Chinese plum plant can be purchased as a started shrub at some nurseries, planting seeds is often more economical.

Collect seeds from an existing Chinese plum plant. Wait for the fruit on the plant to become overripe and very soft before picking the fruit and breaking it open to reveal the fruit's seeds. Separate the seeds from the fruit flesh and rinse them under water, then allow the seeds to dry for several days. Alternatively, obtain seeds from a specialty garden or nursery.

Fill a gallon-sized plant pot with commercially prepared potting soil while you're waiting for the harvested Chinese plum seeds to dry. Alternatively, mix your own potting mix. For Chinese plums, the Bonsai Clubs International recommends mixing equal amounts of coca shell, peat moss, turface and ground pumice stone.

Plant two Chinese plum seed per pot, burying each seed 1/4 inch under the soil surface and separating each seed by 2 inches.

Mist the surface of the soil with water twice daily or as needed to keep the substrate moist. The seeds will typically germinate within 14 days.

Wait for the seedlings to reach 2 to 3 inches in height, then pull out the weaker and thinner seedling so that there's only one Chinese plum plant per pot.


Things You Will Need

  • Chinese plum fruit or seeds
  • Gallon-sized pot
  • Potting soil
  • Spray bottle


  • Chinese plum plants can be placed outdoors whenever the outdoor nighttime temperature stays above 55 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Bonsai Clubs International.

About the Author


Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.