There are a number of reasons for a purple plum tree, also called the purple leaf plum tree, to lose its leaves. The common health problems that affect this tree require immediate attention and ongoing care.
A late frost can damage a plum tree and cause it to drop its leaves, especially newly forming and young leaves. Pruning the tree helps to promote new growth, but severe frost may stop a plum from producing leaves.
Purple plum trees that do not receive enough light sometimes drop their leaves early. Purple plums grow best in full sun, and shaded plums are more likely to lose their leaves. Plum trees should receive full sunlight throughout the day.
A deficiency of the major nutrients needed by fruit trees, including nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, can cause a plum tree to lose its leaves. Adding fertilizer and compost to the soil helps keep purple leaf plum trees healthy.