Lets Talk Pluots

ahajmano(sunset 23, Mission Viejo CA)March 13, 2013

So Dave Wilson makes a lot of hype about the Pluots they carry. What have your experiences been?

I just removed a Howard Miracle and Mariposa plum out of my ground and potted them up, replacing the space with a Flavor King Pluot. I had done more research and concluded that the two plums do not produce well in my area (400 hours chill coastal southern california)

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Bradybb WA-Zone8

I've tried a few Pluots.Flavor King,tastes like a deep fruit punch to me.Flavor Grenade,crunchy,sweet,almost like honey.Flavor Queen,nice,like a plum.Dapple Dandy,okay,nothing special,like a plum also,but they were store bought.The others came from fruit stands/farmers markets.
I'm looking forward to trying Flavor Supreme early in the Summer,missed it last year because I didn't know most of these were available in my area.
I liked Flavor Grenade so much that I planted a tree and also a Flavor Supreme that Burnt Ridge has.Hopefully they will produce and be sweet. Brady

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 11:06PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Pluots aren't my top fruit but are sweeter than plums IME. Flavor King is number one on flavor. Others I like are Flavor Supreme, Geo Pride, Flavor Grenade, Flavor Finale, and Flavor Treat.

I've needed special techniques to set fruit on Flavor Supreme. Either hand pollination or when in a pot cram it right next to another blooming at the same time. Bees don't find it attractive. It is worth the trouble.

The varieties listed are probably #1 amongst my customers. I rank them a little below my best nectarines.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 11:03AM
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ahajmano(sunset 23, Mission Viejo CA)

Well You know I have to ask now, What are your top 10 overall varieties amongst all fruit?

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 11:18AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

How about a top six and some extras. The top six are ones I've fruited at least 5 years. It takes that long for me to be sure about a variety. Brix and taste varies a lot more than most suspect.

1. Honey Royale, 18-28 brix
2. Honey Blaze, 20-28 brix
3. Arctic Star, 20-24 brix
4. Robada apricot, 20-24 brix
5. Flavor King, 18-22 brix
6. Flavor Supreme, 20-28 brix

I like Tasty Rich aprium because it's the first to ripen, always reliable, and 17-19 brix. Also Flavor Treat pluot last to ripen and 20-26 brix. But there are many more as good as these two but for their season they are tops.

I haven't fruit sweet cherries enough to be sure but like Sandra Rose, Selah, Van, Royal Rainier, Rainier, Bing, Lapins, and Skeena.

Best apricots are Tomcot, Robada, and Golden Sweet.

Other nectarines I like are Honey May earliest, Arctic Sweet, Arctic Jay, Arctic Snow, and Honey Fire.

Best grapes Summer Muscat and Summer Royal.

Best blueberry Sweetcrisp.

Best fig: Strawberry Verte

This post was edited by fruitnut on Thu, Mar 14, 13 at 19:44

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 1:03PM
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ahajmano(sunset 23, Mission Viejo CA)


#1, 2 and 4 are commercial varieties I do not have access too (and are high chill)

I don't believe flavor supreme does well in my 400 hour socal environment either.

But I can plant an Arctic Star! How does this compare to Snow Queen, that I recently planted?

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 3:22PM
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The published chill hours for Honey Royale and Honey Blaze are not correct. I have been growing them based upon Fruitnut's recommendation for a few years and they fruit every year....no problem here in Houston. The nectarines should be available at Adams County Nursery. Don't know what the actual chill hours are, but nowhere near the published hours..... mine are full of blooms right now.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 4:35PM
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ahajmano(sunset 23, Mission Viejo CA)

nice... Well my guess is I have more winter chill in socal than Houston. Where in Houston? How far from the gulf?

I know for instance that Baytown stays warmer in the winter than Willis.

Also, if these two commercial varieties are so good, why are they not stocked for the home grower?

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 5:33PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Robada apricot is available many places but it's not low chill. I'd say you need 700 hrs Utah minimum, not below 45F. Mine isn't blooming well outdoors or in the greenhouse this year. I'm upping my chilling in the greenhouse next year.

I've found the Honey Royale and Honey Blaze bloom well where Robada won't. But I'm a little surprised it will bloom in Houston. That 900-1,000 hrs is way too high!!

Kingwood, what do you think of the eating quality of those? Would you mind giving your favorites?

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 5:33PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


I've read that Zaiger has a policy of not releasing varieties retail that have commercial potential. At least not until the patent expires. This is at least partially do to the potential for stealing these things and sending them to China or elsewhere. They have more control over commercial plantings.

I'd agree that almost any place in southern CA has more chilling than Houston and more effective chilling. This year Houston was about 300 hours below 45F but a large negative for Utah hrs. In socal Utah hrs are almost equal to below 45F. I'm a believer in the Utah model for higher chilling plants.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 6:04PM
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Thought I remember a post where you said a fig was your best fruit. No mention of it here...

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 6:57PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I said Strawberry Verte this past year was as sweet and had as good a flavor as anything I grow. So yes I did forget that. But it's only one year. And I still would take a big nectarine over that small fig. Size does matter, some!! However the fig can be easily stored for later use.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 7:26PM
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Fruitnut, I grow apples, pears, plums, figs, longan, blackberry, raspberry, muscadines, persimmons, and various citrus. I only keep the best based upon flavor and disease resistance. My previous home was in a community northwest of Houston (Bear Creek). They average 600 hours most years. I grew most of the varieties mentioned up there, but also grapes. Did not have disease or bug issues on that side of town. I currently live in Kingwood (northeast Houston). It is a forested community and has every bug and disease known in my yard. Can't grow grapes here, but it has even more chill than Bear Creek. Kingwood is @ 30 miles north of downtown, but the city annexed us years ago. Our chill hours are totally different than the published Houston chill hours. Have a weather station in one of the subdivisions here and my yard is always one degree colder than their figures. Most years I get over 600 hours, but we hardly had a winter this year, even out here, but we still got much more chill than Houston.

The Honey series nectarines are very good. I had a garden variety nectarine for many years and thought it was O'K, but after tasting the honey series, I pulled it out. My favorite apples are Liberty (crisp and like candy here). I think it prefers this heat. Also Jonalicious is very good ( I still eat them green). Very sweet with nice acid. Very similar to granny smith and pink lady when harvested green.

My favorite pear is Southern Queen, crisp, acid, and sweet. I don't care for melting pears. I grow Beauty and Golden Nectar plums. Have pulled everything else. Remember my criteria is flavor and disease resistance. I have gotten rid of many varieties that I enjoyed, but had too many disease issues. Only keep the best due to limited space.

I grow cherries and mulberries in pots and will move them to my Louisiana property. Grow Royal Ranier and Lapins. Both have flowered, but only the Lapins fruited. Birds got all of them. They have not flowered since the years of drought. Will see what they do this year.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 3:37PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


Thanks so much for sharing your experience!

I think you stated earlier that you liked Inca plum. Was that a good eater that was too disease prone?

I fruited Jonalicious in Amarillo a few years and then moved. I really liked it and have planted it again but no fruit yet.

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 3:54PM
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ahajmano(sunset 23, Mission Viejo CA)

Speaking of Inca, I posted a separate thread on that plum yesterday... What a coincidence.


    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 4:30PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

ahajmano, I would say most folks in S. Calif. have less chill hours than Houston, unless you're located in the inland areas and in the hills. I am very fortunate to get about 600 ch in N. San Diego county, and being about 6-7 miles from the coast, but only because I'm in a very unusual topography that gives me much higher chill hours than just two miles southwest of me. I can drive two miles away, and I expect the chill hours "down the hill" to be more in the 300 range.

That being said, for us here in N. San Diego county, the pluots that do well for myself and some of my friends in the CRFG chapter here would be:

Flavor King (really, really exceptionally good)
Dapple Dandy (seems to be a regional performer, and it performs well here)
Flavor FInale (nice to have an exceptional late stone fruit)

And, for other stone fruits:
Royal Lee & Minnie Royal Cherry (Royal Lee is touted to be a bit better than Minnie Royal, but I couldn't tell the difference)
Arctic Star Nectarine (this tree sets so much fruit and is so vigorous, I have had to prune it 4 times in 1 1/2 years)

I have many of the varieties fruitnut has mentioned that will be producing this year, so more reports to follow (thanks to fruitnut assisting me in making some great selections).

Patty S.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 5:57PM
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DWN promotes pluots more than it hypes. These plum/apricot interspecific crosses go all the way back to Luther Burbank and his plumcots, who died in 1926. These crosses are nothing new in concept, but very new in their recent implementations by Floyd Zaiger. Here are the Pluots that I am growing:
* Flavor King: Long live the king! This might be the best piece of fruit that I grow - which includes 30+ trees. It really tastes funky though if harvested too early, so let it set as long as you can.
* Dapple Dandy: This might be the most under-rated fruit on this message board. Don't judge this fruit by what you will find at the local farmer's market - they look great sooner than they are really ready. Let them hold on the tree and shrivel a bit, they might look less than perfect, but will taste incredible.
* Flavor Grenade: Sweet and crunchy, crunchy and sweet, yum, yum -- let them hold until you can't stand it any longer. Pure candy.

The pattern here is that the DWN pluots hold well and are somewhat better than even the best plums.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 11:17PM
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Bradybb WA-Zone8

I visited Luther Burbank's Experimental Farm today,what's left of it.A museum guy in Sebastopol said it was originally 27 acres and now only 3.He also said some of the trees are still growing in the apartments areas that surround the farm.
I did see a Plumcot at his house in nearby Santa Rosa.
There is a plaque there that states he once supplied twenty thousand Prune trees to local businessmen in one season.The guy was a workhorse. Brady

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 2:42AM
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Hi all

i went to a high end fruit and veggie store and managed to score some of the fruit varieties discussed on GW. I enjoyed the Dappple Dandy pluots a lot, but found them to be very similar to Santa Rosa ie tart skin and flavorful sweet and tart blend flavor to the fruit. Also tried LIberty apple and Yali asian pears. I love the Yali, when properly ripened it had a sweet / tart flavor blend better than any asian pear I'd tried, and I have 5 fruiting trees currently. I know it's a long shot but I'll be trying to grow something hopefully similar from seed. I have 2 euro pears that can serve as hosts to help me sample each little tree. Also, Liberty tasted good, but not a true flavor rush. Texture was a bit less crunchy than I'd hoped.

Just to put all this into perspective I adore tart flavors and get bored easily by too sweet fruit.

Pam in cinti

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 2:59PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

Pam, I'm with you! Currants are my favorite fruit!
Out of those listed Arctic Jay has a balance. Not listed but also with an acid/sweet balance is Arctic Glo. Zee Glo sounds good too! Here in MI the Flamin' Fury line is excellent. Sweet, but with a great taste, very firm peaches, 90% red color, long shelf life too. Most of the peaches and nectarines in this series are resistant to bacterial spot and brown rot.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 12:22AM
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Three years ago�"early September I believe�"I bought (at my local farmers market) six round burgundy-black pluots with a light orange-yellow flesh. These were the most delicious pluots that I have ever tasted�"they were way better than Dapple dandy, Dapple Fire, Flavor Grenade, Flavor King, and Flavor Finale pluots�"they were very juicy with a strong mango flavor and with some peach after taste. My guess estimates is that they had a brix of approximately 27. Sadly, that was the only year that I tasted them because in 2011 and 2012 we had a late spring frost here in the High Desert �"both Freezes were on April 6th (what an irony)�"that killed most pluots, since then I have not tasted those pluots that I had described above.

My questions are:

Could these have been Geo pride pluots or one of the Amigo pluot series?

Has anyone tasted these pluots?

If these are Geo Pride pluots these would be good news for me, I will be buying (2014) a four-in-one tree that has a Geo Pride included .

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 4:10PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

They're not Geo Pride. It is a mid season pluot. They could be Flavor Treat but mine ripens later and I'm usually 10-14 days ahead of the Fresno DWN harvest chart. There are dozens of pluots that it could be.

Here's a picture of my Flavor Treat. It's a firm fleshed pluot, not what I'd call juicy. These were ones out of the fridge in early Dec. The center fruit is Flavor Grenade.

Another picture at harvest:

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 4:40PM
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I donâÂÂt think that they were flavor treats, those that I bought were darker than the FTs. They look similar to those Geo Pride pluots that you posted on another post.
âÂÂGeo Pride pluot, another sugar highâÂÂ

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 11:11PM
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Hi, the title for this tread is, "Let's Talk Pluots." Maybe we should start a new thread titled, "Let's Guess Pluots." Or I can offer up my guess of Flavorich. :)

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 12:12AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Does Flavor Queen not set many fruit? Out of my 8 pluots, it set the least fruit, even though it had a lot of flowers...

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 1:25PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


Flavor Queen has been a heavy setter for me. The light setters have been Flavor Supreme, Flavor King, and Flavor Treat.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 1:48PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Hmmmm....must have been poor pollination? Flavor King set a lot better then Queen...

From most fruit set to least:

Flavor Grenade
Geo Pride
Dapple Dandy
Emerald Drop
Flavor King
Flavor Supreme
Flavor Queen

The good thing is there is fruit of every variety. So hopefully i finally get to try some of these pluots i hear such good things about.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 3:27PM
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Gonna jump in here with some pluot questions.
I have never had a great tasting pluot yet, but since I first got into growing a few peach trees over 20y ago because someone recommended it to me to get great tasting fruit, it looks like I need to take the plunge based on everyone's advice here and put a few pluots in the ground! Looking for recommendations.

Anyway, I am in SW PA, zone 6a. We get a good amount of rain, humidity and overcast days and brown rot is my biggest problem for my peaches, but I can get a decent harvest of great tasting fruit. We get some late spring frosts (but have only lost the majority of my peaches once in the last 20y due to frost), and my peach trees usually start blossoming around the week of April 15th or so. The first killing fall frost is usually mid October though that can vary a lot. My trees will be planted in the ground, not in pots.

So, specific questions:
1. best cultivars for northeast/upper midwest growing condiions with fair amount of humidity and rain, and shorter growing season than CA? I can probably put in at least 2 or 3 small trees
2. pollination - I just planted my first 2 Japanese plums this year and would put my pluots right next to them. The recommended pollinizers as per Dave Wilson Nursery and other websites are Burgandy or Santa Rosa - will most other J. plums that are listed as good pollinizers work if they blossom at the same time? I have an 'Ozark Premier' and a 'Starking Delicious' both of which have fruited fairly well for a friend in our locale.
3. When are pluots ripening in the mid-atlantic/north east area?
4. Is brown rot as bad on pluots as on peaches?

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 8:53AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


You should read the current thread linked below. That is a very good discussion about your prospects with plum/pluot type material.

I think pluot will rot worse than peaches, more like the nectarine. You'll need a good fungicide program. If that's not in the cards you'd do better with a plum like Satsuma.

Here is a link that might be useful: what's your favorite plum

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 2:00PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Also read scottfsmith's member page. He's the pro on eastern fruits and brown rot susceptibility.

Here is a link that might be useful: scottfsmith's member page

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 2:05PM
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