Grow your own plum tree
Want to try growing your own plums? Plant a plum pit. The resulting tree may never produce fruit, but it’s fun to try – and you never know – there may just be a compatible plum in the neighbourhood to help with pollination. This is a long term strategy that you might want to undertake with a child to watch the tree grow and finally maybe produce fruit which may or may not be edible.
1. Clean the plum pit of all its flesh. Dry the pit for a week or so.
2. Test the pit by dropping it in a pail of water to see if it sinks or floats. If it floats, try another pit. If it sinks, it is still viable.
3. You can help the pit get an earlier start by scarifying it (cracking the shell).
4. Put the pit in some sphagnum moss or surrounded by a wet paper towel in a baggie.
5. The seed will have to be stratified by being exposed to a cool temperature – about four degrees C. Try the crisper. Check it often after five weeks. When it splits and sprouts (any time up to eight weeks), it’s time to plant.
6. Plant the pit three to four inches deep in some potting soil.
7. Transplant it after about a year (springtime is best) to where you want it to grow permanently.
Growing plum from a branch
Take several cuttings from the tip of a branch about the circumference of a pencil and about a foot long in late fall after dormancy. Make the cuts about a half inch above an upper node and below a lower node. Remove any leaves and be sure to take the cutting from a main stem – not a water sprout.
You can treat the lower portion of the cuttings with rooting hormone, then place them in a plastic container to retain moisture. Leave them out over winter and plant up in early spring. They should root in a few weeks. Be patient.
Princess Kay Plum ( Prunus nigra 'Princess Kay').