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How to Grow a Pluot Tree From the Pit

A pluot is a complex cross between a plum and an apricot. It has smooth skin and is more similar to a plum than an apricot. A pluot is sweet with a strong flavor, and has a very juicy pulp. Commercial growers primarily cultivate this hybrid in California, and private gardeners also grow pluot trees in areas with moderately cold winters. Pluot trees grow best in Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 5 through 8, where the lowest temperature during the year is between minus 20 and 20 degrees Fahrenheit. The procedure for growing a pluot tree is generally the same as for a plum.

Loosen the soil to a depth of at least six inches in the fall before the first frost. Mix limestone with the soil to raise the soil pH above 6.5 if necessary. Select a planting site in full sun with with good drainage, such as a southern facing slope.

Dig a hole in the planting site about 2 inches deep. Place the pluot pit in the hole with the pointed tip facing up. Cover the hole with soil and tamp the soil over the pit without compacting the soil. Space the holes at least 20 feet apart if you plant more than one pluot pit.

Water the pluot pit in the spring after the last expected frost. Provide 1 to 2 inches of water per week during the growing season to keep the soil moist at all times. The pluot seed should sprout in three weeks.

Apply a 1-inch layer of mulch around the pluot seedling when it reaches a height of 6 inches. Keep the planting area clear of other vegetation. Apply a round of general fertilizer in early spring of the second year. Follow the application instructions provided by the fertilizer manufacturer.

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