I am growing these two fruits for the first time this year. I haven't been able to find anything other than vague info about them and definitely nothing about growing them in containers. Anyone out there growing them?
I can give you some help with the beach plum (Prunus maritima) part of your question. This is a subject that I know well and look forward to a book that is being written about the history of and those who have hybridized it. First you should know that beach plums do not set fruit consistently year after year. This has frustrated growers through the years as it is not a dependable crop. There is now a renewed interest in BP's and it is becoming more available in catalogs for the home gardener.
Grown inland away from the ocean it forms a pleasing bush shape about 5' high and wide. Those living along the New England coast know it to be a fairly low, wind tossed bush with a major rooting system that often is the 'glue' that hold sand dunes together. As part of a research project we once dug a dune growing BP to study its root structure. Gave up after three days of digging as we never did find the root termination.
If you do grow your BP in a container it should be a large one with good drainage set on bricks. Every second year I would probably dig it when dormant and trim the extensive root system. It is a thirsty but very tough shrub as I have found over the years of raising seedlings. Do a search for 'growing beach plums' which may be of further help.
Thank you so much! It is the beach plum that I knew the least about.
I only ordered one to try it out and then read in two places that it is self-infertile and can't pollinate itself. Do you know anything about that?
I wasn't expecting a bumper crop of plums and would be happy with the flowers and maybe a plum once in a while.
I nevere realized you could root prune. Thanks. That openrs up a lot of possibilities.
I'm pretty sure you'll find the thread I'm linking you to below to be helpful.
Here is a link that might be useful: Trees in containers ....
Thank Al. Talk about cioncidences...not 5 seconds ago I found that thread!
Aparentle beach plums are self infertile and need another tree to fertilize it. When you bonsai a fruit tree like that I guess you wouldn't get anything but blossoms...but that would probably be better for a bonsai anyway.
Love your posts and photos.
Thanks - hopefully they've been helpful.
Best luck to you!
Sometimes we like fruit on bonsai, but fruit doesn't reduce much at all. Can you imagine a tiny little bonsai tree with 6 or 7 big juicy Delicious apples on it? ;-) Also, fruit takes a LOT of energy from developing trees, so the more experienced artists limit the volume of fruit, and usually only allow the trees to bear in alternate or every third year(s).
Excuse me if I add a few more thoughts re beach plums which might be of interest. Yes, it takes two or more plants to tango. The original questioner did not indicate the intention to bonsai for which this shrub is an excellent candidate. It is a survivor which will take abuse if properly watered.
Probably those in charge of the MA. Horticultural Society these days do not know that this Society, back in the 1940's, offered a $10,000 prize to anyone who could find in the wild or hybridize a beach plum that produced fruit year after year without fail. The prize has never been awarded but it certainly is an incentive for those living in BP territory to keep their eyes upon the bushes every fall. The Society would still be obligated to make the award if proper proof was submitted. It received wide spread publicity at the time.
I am the OP and didn't know I needed more than one to fruit. I really don't want to order more so now I have an excellent candidate to relearn how to bonsai. What a great idea!
Al be prepared for questions. Nandina thanks for the info. I'd nvere heard of beach plums before I saw it in a catalog and now I'm fascinated with its history and all the stories about it.