Growing plum trees
Plum trees are easy to grow and produce a reliable harvest, although you might need to guard the fruit from the birds. You can buy full-sized plum trees or choose a dwarf variety to grow in a container on a sunny patio. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions to help you grow a bumper crop.
When to plant plum trees in the UK
Plum trees are sold either as bare roots or as potted plants. Bare root plum trees should be planted between November and March in the UK, while they’re still dormant. Those bought in containers can be planted all year round, but they will require more care and water if planted through the hottest summer months. For more advice, read our plum tree growing guide.
When to prune Victoria plum trees in the UK
Like all plum trees, you should prune your Victoria plum in the early summer to reduce the risk of silver leaf infection. For the best protection against disease, paint your pruning cuts with a sealing compound.
How to prune plum trees
If your plum tree is very overgrown, don’t be tempted to prune it back hard. Instead, prune it over a series of years. There are three main ways to prune and train a new plum tree:
- Bush – it takes three years to train a new plum tree into this central leader style. After that, you can just prune lightly in the early summer to remove any weak, damaged or diseased branches along with any vertical growth that causes congestion in the centre.
- Pyramid – achieved over a series of years, this is a popular method for limiting the height of your tree.
- Fan – trained against a sunny wall, this method requires regular pruning twice a year.
If you’re looking for more practical tips, check out our Growing Guides for a wealth of information and advice.