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FutureStarrPlanting Plum Seeds OR''
Commercial growers would never grow a plum (Prunus) from a seed because their livelihoods depend on controlling the process; they rely on grafting or regrowing from twigs and buds. However, if you already have a plum tree, you'll see that seeds from plums that squirrels or raccoons eat begin to sprout in random places throughout your yard. Planting a plum seed is sometimes that simple. Even so, there are a few planting techniques you can use to maximize the chances that your seed will grow.Tap the plum seed with a hammer just enough to put a crack in the hull. This process, known as scarification, breaks the seed's dormancy and tells it that the time is right to germinate.
There are two ways to cold stratify plum seeds. One way is to plant the seeds in pots and set them outside to chill naturally during the winter months. The second way is to cold stratify the seeds in the refrigerator, which works best because you can control the conditions, and the seeds won't be scavenged by hungry squirrels. Start by gathering a plum pit or seed from a ripe plum. Rinse it thoroughly to remove any fruit residue from the hull and let the seed dry on a paper towel while you prepare a container for it. A plastic food storage container or a plastic bag will work for stratifying plum seeds. Poke a few holes in the lid of the storage container to let air in. Fill the container or bag with a moistened mixture of half coarse sand and half peat moss. Bury the seeds in the mixture and set the container in the refrigerator. Plum seeds need 90 days of cold stratification to germinate in spring, according to Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Keep the sand mixture moist but not soggy while thA plum pit or seed needs bright light and warm temperatures to germinate. Start the seeds in spring after all frost danger has passed.
An 8-inch nursery container filled with seed-starting compost or a mix of half potting soil and half coarse sand works well for germinating stratified plum seeds; just make sure the container has holes at the bottom. Sow one plum seed in the container at a depth of 2 inches. Set the container outdoors in a bright, sheltered location or indoors near an unshaded window with bright light.Plum trees grow best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 to 9. University of Illinois Extension recommends planting plum trees on a gentle slope so that cold air drains away. Choose a planting location with fertile, fast-draining soil and full sun exposure for most of the day. Mature plum trees can grow quite large, so space them 12 to 18 feet apart to accommodate their mature size, recommends the University of California BacPlum seedlings should be grown in pots for a year or two so they have time to develop a good root system before transplanting in the garden. Keep them in a sheltered location, such as against a south-facing wall with some midday shade. Water them regularly but let the soil dry out on the surface between waterings to prevent root problems. Transplant plum seedlings into the garden as soon as the soil warms in spring if you live in a cooler climate and in autumn if you are growing them in a warmer Mediterranean climate.(Source:homeguides.sfgate.com)