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How to Grow Plum Trees in Containers

By Tammy Curry ; Updated September 21, 2017

Plum trees grow well in containers, although they require more frequent watering and fertilization. There are two varieties: European and Japanese. European plum trees require more chilling hours--when the temperature drops below 44 degrees F.--than Japanese plum trees. Chilling hours are required for fruit production, not for tree growth. If you live in a cool climate, plant a European plum tree; if you are in warm climate, plant a Japanese variety.

Mix 1 part sand, 1 part peat and 1 part bark in a 5 gal. bucket to create your potting medium.

Place a 1- to 2-inch layer of gravel in the bottom of the 5 gal. planter. Fill the container 1/2 of the way with potting mix.

Trim the largest roots and loosen other roots to promote new growth.

Place the plum tree in the container, spreading the roots over the potting mix. Add potting mix until it is 1 to 4 inches from the top.

Water thoroughly, then fill the planter to the top with mulch.

Fertilize once new growth has become obvious. Potted fruit trees need to be fertilized every four to six weeks.


Things You Will Need

  • 5 gal. bucket
  • Large scoop
  • Sand
  • Peat
  • Bark
  • Gravel
  • 5 gal. planter
  • Mulch
  • Fertilizer


  • Water plum trees two to three times per week.
  • Place the container in full sunlight.
  • Re-pot every two to three years to prevent the roots from becoming bound.
  • Trees brought indoors should be gradually taken back outdoors so that they can acclimate.

About the Author


Currently residing in Myrtle Beach, SC, Tammy Curry began writing agricultural and frugal living articles in 2004. Her articles have appeared in the Mid-Atlantic Farm Chronicle and Country Family Magazine. Ms. Curry has also written SEO articles for textbroker.com. She holds an associate's degree in science from Jefferson College of Health Sciences.