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How to Grow Plum Trees From a Seed

Plums are a very wholesome and functional fruit. They can be eaten raw, canned, made into jams or jellies and are used in a number of flavorful desserts. Of the three varieties of plums (European, Japanese and damsons), the Japanese plums are the most common plums in America for eating raw. When growing a plum tree from seed, keep in mind you might want to consider it an ornamental tree, since plum trees grown from seed rarely produce fruit.

Preparing the Plum Seeds

Remove the plum pits from the fruit and place them into a wire basket or colander. Run cold water over the plum pits to remove any sticky residue. Set the plum pits out on paper towels and let them dry for one to two days.

Crack open each of the pits and remove the plum seeds. You can use a nutcracker, a vise, or a hammer. Use care when cracking open the plum pits so you won't damage the plum seeds inside the pit.

Dampen down 2 cups of fine sand. The sand should be damp to the touch, but not drippy wet. Place the dampened sand into a large (2-quart) plastic, zipper top bag.

Place the plum seeds into the bag of damp sand. Zip the bag closed, then shake it gently to distribute the sand over the plum seeds.

Set the bag into a cold area, such as the back of a refrigerator where the temperature will remain consistently between 35 and 40 degrees Farenheit for three months. Check on the bag of plum seeds at least three times a week to make sure the sand is moist. Mist the sand with water as needed.

Remove the plastic bag from its cold storage after the alloted time and pot up the plum seeds into individual pots.

Planting the Plum Seeds

Pour sterilized potting mix into 1-gallon planting pots. Water each of the pots thoroughly until the soil is well dampened. Pack down the potting mix in each of the pots until it's been well compressed.

Poke two holes in the center of each 1-gallon pot that are 2 inches deep.

Drop one plum seed into each of the holes and cover with 2 inches of potting mix.

Place each pot in a location which will provide light and some warmth. Ideally, there should be between eight and 10 hours of light made available daily and a temperature of between 55 and 70 degrees Farenheit.

Water often enough to keep the potting mix moist. Germination of plum seeds usually begins in approximately three to four weeks, depending on growing conditions. You can transplant each of the plum tree seedlings into their permanent location when they have grown to about 10 to 12 inches tall.


According to the University of California, when choosing a plum variety for growing, you should grow the variety of plum tree that is best suited to your particular growing region.

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