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Plant description:

These make lovely shade trees and are very easy to grow. There are two types: the European plum, suitable only for areas with very cold winters; and the Japanese varieties, which are more adaptable and bear well in areas with milder winters. Prunes are similar, but need very cold winters to bear well. There is only one self-fertile plum variety, ‘Santa Rosa’; all the others need two varieties for cross-pollination. ‘Santa Rosa’ can be used as a cross-pollinator for other varieties.


Family: Rosaceae

Synonym: Prunus insititia

Botanical Pronunciation: PROO-nus doh-MESS-tik-a

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Botanical name

Prunus domestica

Plant Care



Common name(s)

Plums and prunes


Uses in landscape design

These make lovely shade trees and are very easy to grow.

Planting instructions

Space trees 5m apart.


Prune only when young to shape trees. Water well every three weeks in summer during dry weather.


Pick fruit when it is ripe and tastes ready to be eaten. Some varieties ripen after picking.

Common pests and diseases

Fruit fly; occasionally pear slug.

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