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possibility of growing plums from pits?

Posted by ricecracker 8a (My Page) on
Thu, Sep 18, 08 at 15:49

i was visiting some friends recently and they had a huge amount of heirloom plums from a farming co-operative they belong to. i took some pits home with me since i thought they may sprout as they are heirlooms and not hybrids. that being said, they're dry now, and i was wondering if it would be possible to start growing them in a large pot, planting them now and letting them over-winter either outdoors or in the garage. does anyone know how to grow a plum and if i should do something special (i.e. crack the pit first, special soil). any and all information is appreciated! thanks in advance.


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RE: possibility of growing plums from pits?

Ricecracker, you can plant the seeds but you can't be assured that the seedlings will produce true to type -although you may get wonderful plums, or not, you won't necessarily get a plum like the tree it fell from.

But plums often offer another option, the shoots from the roots, assuming there are any. Those will grow true (they are asexual clones rather than sexually produced seeds, i.e., crosses) but may take a few years -as would the seedlings.

It's also possible to graft buds or scions to established trees. Everything that comes from that union will be true to type.

I haven't deliberately grown plums or other stone fruit from seed but I do have a few show up in my compost from time to time. So I guess a good way to start them would be to put them in reasonably good dirt and water them.

Good luck,

Mark


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RE: possibility of growing plums from pits?

oh it would definitely work, but you probably won't get the type of plum you are thinking you will. I know of a few places near my house (along public hiking trails or in roadside ditches) where people's discards have grown (although they could also be native wild plums up here, difficult to tell unless you have botanist help). the fruit from these trees are typically a little larger than a quarter in diameter, with bitter skin. The flesh inside is tasty, and good for jelly, plum butter, or eating, but it's not the same as the plums you would buy at the store.

that little warning out of the way, i found these directions for planting wild plum from seed:

Propagation from Seed: Harvest the fruit in the summer when ripe (the fruit turns dark purple), usually in late August. Remove the pulp or fruit from the seed. Seeds can be extracted by maceration and recovered by flotation. Natural germination predominately occurs in the first or
second year after seedfall. Sow the seed in early fall, it is important to sow early enough so seeds can prechill before seedbeds freeze. Seedlings reach suitable size for transplanting in one to two years. Cold stratifying up to 6 months in a moist environment can break seed dormancy.
shouldn't be terribly different for the type of plum that you are trying to plant


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