How to grow wild plums from seeds.

eukofiosJune 16, 2012

A friend in Georgia mailed some wild plum seeds to me. I would like to grow them. I also live near some wild plum trees, the plums are the size of a sweet cherry, yellow, and very tasty. I suspect they are also wild, and seed grown trees might be interesting.

Instructions are conflicting. I see some that say scarify the seeds by sanding them. Some say stratify the seeds for 90days, then plant them. That would put planting in september. Other instructions say don't let them dry out.

I know they may not yield edible plums, or it may take 7 years or so, but I would like to try anyway. Does anyone on this forum have experience growing plums from seeds? What do you advise? What was your experience with seed grown plums - did you get trees, and did they provide fruits? My current experience with seed-grown trees includes ginkgos (very successful), maples (you can't miss), wild cherries (accidentally let the little trees dry out and die. I could kick myself).

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Stone fruit pits are best sown in the fall, so they can naturally be stratified by winter. They need the cold to crack open the thick "shell".

You cold try cracking th epit, to get to the "nut" on the inside (the viable part). That can be thrown in the fridge for 2 or 3 months.

Plum pits tend to be smaller then peaches, so you may not be able to crack them without destroying the embryo. I would wait till the fruit is ripe in the fall, and plant the pits where you want them.

Worse comes to worse, if they arent pallitable, you can always graft some more desirerable types..

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 6:32AM
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dan_j(SE MI 6a)

I think the way it works in nature is that a wild animal eats a bunch of fruit and wanders off into the woods or fields and poops. I'd wait till after dark...the neighbors might talk.

Hope this helps,

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 8:35AM
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I haven't had good luck holding pits over to plant in fall, I think they tend to dry out too much inside. I do better if I just plant them right away, and forget about them until the next spring. Be sure to mark the planting site with a stake, and if they are particularly valuable, plant them inside a cylinder of hardware cloth half sunk into the ground so animals don't get them.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 9:40AM
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Thanks for the comments. I think I'll plant them in containers and keep them in a sheltered spot until next Spring. We'll see what grows.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 10:03AM
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