Santa Rosa Plum Tree
The Santa Rosa plum tree is the most popular in California. The fruit has reddish-purple skin color and yellow color flesh. The flavor is sweet and juicy with a bit of tartness under the skin. A very delicious and enjoyable plum. A relative small to moderate size tree. Enjoy beautiful white blossoms in the Spring time. A low chill requirement of fewer than 300 hours. Self-pollinating. Summer harvest. Cold tolerant to USDA Zone 5.
Not compatible with your zone (2a)
General Plant Information
Santa Rosa Plum Tree Information and Care
The Santa Rosa plum tree is small to moderate size. Although a plum tree can grow up to 2o feet tall, many homeowners prune to keep them between 8-12 feet tall and wide. Plant in the full sun and in soil that drains well. Use high-quality planting mix. Space trees 10-20 feet apart in depending on how large trees are intended to be grown. Santa Rosa plum trees have simple tiny green leaves that are smooth.
Water and Fertilizer
As a winter deciduous plant, the plum tree becomes dormant in the winter and do not need supplemental watering. Discontinue irrigation during the winter. Begin to water once the plum tree leafs out in the Spring. Usually once per week of deep water is good until it becomes warmer. Increase the frequency to 2-3 times per week when it’s hot.
Fertilize with organic fruit tree fertilizer during the Spring to Summer growing seasons. Use flower, bloom, and fruit fertilizers with more phosphorus and potassium but little nitrogen in the winter to promote Spring blossoms. There many types of fertilizer. Popular Organic fertilizers high in phosphorus and potassium can be humus based or bone meal. Manure and blood meal fertilizers are high in nitrogen.
Harvest and Pest Management
Fruits are ripe in the Summer. Cover your tree with birds and animal netting to protect fruits from animals. Using repellents and covering fruits or the whole tree are very effective measures. Also, keep the area clean, remove fallen and ripe fruit, and possibly harvest early and store fruit indoors.
Use organic dormant sprays known as horticultural oils such as Neem oil in the Winter. These prevent soft-bodied insects from becoming a problem in the Spring.
Pruning and Thinning
Plum trees should be pruned in the Winter while dormant to maintain height and form. Remove any suckers, dry twigs, or crossing branches. Top the tips of long branches to promote lateral growth from that branch. Remove growth towards the center of the tree or in the center where little light will reach.
Thin your tree in the Simmer to direct growth and remove any growth that would waste the tree’s energy. Remove excessive fruit to prevent broken limbs and small fruit. Use white water-based paint on the tree’s trunk to prevent sunburn.
Mature Size and Form
Plant most fruit trees about 10 – 15 feet apart. Some varieties like Figs, Pomegranates, and Mulberries can grow larger quickly.
Planning is the most important step when planting a tree. Plant your tree where it has enough space to grow to its full potential. Otherwise, your tree will grow into your surrounding trees. A tree that can grow taller with faster growth will overshadow nearby trees. You may need to move other trees to allow for the one that is thriving rather than cutting back one that naturally grows fast and tall.
Additional InformationUSDA Hardiness Zones : 5-10
Chill Hours: Less than 300
Pollination: Self-Fruitful / Self Pollinating
Plant Type: Deciduous
Bloom Color : White
Bloom Time : Spring
Harvest Time : Summer
Watering : Regular
Sun Exposure : Full Sun
Soil and Planting: Plant in soil that drains well. Dig a hole that is as deep as the tree’s roots and at least twice as wide.
Place the tree in the hole and backfill around the plant’s roots with a mixture of the native soil and high-quality planting mix that has washed sand and organic fertilizer.
Create a basin around the roots drip zone so that water collects. Water deeply until the roots and nearby soil is saturated and reaches field capacity.
Plant Care Information
How To Water - Frequency and Duration to Irrigate
Irrigation Water Quantity and frequency based on tree maturity – Fully saturate the soil with water once per week during the early spring. Increase to twice per week as the weather warms. Water 3 times per week or more during hot summers. Provide about 5 gallons of water for a 5 gallons size plant, 15 gallons of water for a #15 size container plant, and 25 gallons for a #25 depending on soil type. Sandy soils can hold less water required more frequently, while clay soils can hold more water and require less frequent irrigation. Young trees with less developed roots require water more frequently while mature plants with developed roots will require less frequent watering.
Fertilizer and Plant Nutrition
Fertilize your tree every 3-4 months. Use a complete balance fertilizer with a 1-1-1 or 2-1-1 NPK ratio during the Spring and Summer growing season, and a formula with more phosphorus and potassium before the tree flowers to improve fruit production and development.
Winter Pruning and Summer Thinning
Prune your tree to allow light into its center for proper growth and fruit production.
Prune fruit trees in the Winter to maintain size and shape to prepare for Spring growth. Thin the tree in the Summer, and remove excessive fruits. Remove any dry twigs and branches. Cut off any new growth below the graft or very low in the tree, this will direct the plant’s energy to its main branches. Thin your trees during the Spring and Summer seasons to ensure the plant’s energy is directed as desired. Harvest ripe fruit to prevent undesired pests.
Harvesting and Pest Management
The basics of integrated pest management is cleanliness and the use of a combination of methods. This means we use an organic pesticide when the pest population reaches a threshold that requires action. Horticultural oils such as Neem oil is an organic pesticide that controls tiny, soft bodied insects. Use organic Bordeaux and Liqui-cop to manage fungus causing diseases such as powdery mildew, rust, and leaf-curls.
Keep a clean environment, free of weeds and dropped fruit that host insects or attract animals. Harvest when fruit reaches size and store indoors. Use repellants and bird netting to protect your harvest from other animals.
Sun Exposure: Full Sun
Deciduous trees need about 5 hours of direct sunlight for proper growth and fruit production.
Sunlight Sensitive plants like Cherries, Persimmons, and Plums can burn in hot climates if they lack water. Use afternoon shade to prevent this damage. A lack of light will stunt growth; balance is key.
Limited Guarantee and Returns
The two factors that determine if a deciduous fruit trees will grow well and produce fruit in a certain area are the Chill Hour Requirement and the Cold Hardiness. “Chill hours” are the amount of cold a deciduous fruit tree need to produce fruit. This is measured in the number of hours below 45 degrees Fahrenheit a plant must experience during its winter dormancy. Paradise Nursery only grows Low Chill fruit trees that meet the chill requirements of all areas of the United States.
The second factor is Cold Hardiness. Cold Hardiness refers to the minimum temperature a plant can tolerate. The USDA’s Cold Hardiness Zones indicate the average minimum winter temperatures of areas. Based on the shipping zipcode, our website will only allow you to add plants to your cart that grow within your USDA Hardiness Zone, and tolerate your climate.
Pollination & Propagation
(Grafting/Cutting) Most of Paradise Nursery’s edible plants are self-fruitful. Self-pollinating trees do not require an additional tree to produce fruit. For your convenience, we have indicated which trees require a pollinator, and their associated pollinators. Only the sweet cherries, avocados, and some plums require a pollinator. All of our other propagated edible plants do not require a pollinator. All of our edible plants are either grown from cuttings, budded, or grafted. This way, we can ensure that our plants are high quality and fruit immediately. Plants will generally begin fruiting within a year of planting.