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How to Feed Plum Trees

plum image by Vladislav Gajic from

If a plum tree goes without proper feeding, it can lead to stunted growth and limited productivity. Feed your plum tree with fertilizer to increase its nutrient content, recommends the Ohio State University Extension. Fertilize regularly when caring for plum trees, unless the trees are able to absorb nutrients from fertilizer you use on your lawn.

Fertilize your plum tree in early spring before buds begin to break out and when hard frosts are no longer expected.

Use your rake to pull back any mulch around the bottom of the tree.

Spread the 10-10-10 fertilizer evenly, beginning 2 feet out from the trunk and spreading away from the tree, until you are slightly out from under the tree's branches. Use 1 cup of fertilizer for each year the tree has been planted. If you planted the tree two years ago, use 2 cups of fertilizer. The maximum amount of fertilizer is 1 pound on trees older than 10 years.

Replace the mulch around the bottom of the tree.

Miniature Plum Trees

The two primary plum species are European plums (Prunus domestica) and Japanese plums (Prunus salicina) Both varieties can be grafted onto dwarf rootstock. Japanese plums are self-sterile, meaning that they require cross pollination to produce fruit. Plums generally require winters that stay above -20 degrees Fahrenheit, or United States Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 5 and above. The local climate will affect what time plums ripen. Since dwarf plums have smaller roots than regular plum varieties, they need fertile soils with plenty of moisture and nutrients in a relatively small area. Young plum trees will need some summer fertilization and irrigation.


The best mulches for plum trees are sawdust, straw or wood chips.


Do not fertilize your plum trees in summer.

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