How To Grow Plum Tree From Cuttings | Propagate Plum Tree From Cutting

Read below on how to grow and propagate plum tree from cuttings and how and when to take plum cuttings. Plums can be easily grown from seeds, but the fruits may be different from the parent tree. But Growing plums from cuttings will produce the exact clones of the parent trees and will grow fruits of the same quality as the parent trees in a few years as I have grown in Australia. 

The procedure for propagating plums from cuttings is the same for all types of plum trees including hog plum, coco plum, paradise plum, natal plum, june plum, and abajeru or icaco plum trees.

Propagate Plum Trees From Cuttings

A healthy Plum Tree
Plum Tree: Take cuttings from a healthy Plum Tree.

Can you grow a plum tree from a cutting? Yes, you can propagate plum tree from a cutting as you would grow nectarines from cuttings (grow nectarines from cuttings) and jamun from cuttings (growing jamun tree from cuttings). Propagating plum tree by stem cuttings from a branch will produce fruits much sooner on the tree than you grow a plum tree from seed (how to grow plum tree from seed).

Can you root a plum cutting in water? It is pointed out that the plum cuttings will not root in water, because the cuttings in water do not get enough oxygen needed for root growth. The best way to root plum cuttings is in soil.

When to Take Plum Tree Cuttings For Propagation

Take cuttings from late winter to early summer just at the time of new bud/leaf formation, although cuttings taken in summer may also root if they are not too hard.

How to Take a Cuttings From a Plum Tree

The first step is to find a healthy plum tree in your area or friend's house from which to take your cuttings.

Grow Plum Tree from a Cutting

  1. Take plum cuttings in early morning. Wrap the cuttings in a damp newspaper and sealed in a polythene bag to prevent them drying while you carry them to your home.
  2. Do not take cuttings from very young soft branches. Take cuttings from a branch that has grown in the previous year and about to produce buds (semi-hardwood cuttings). Too hard cuttings (hardwood cuttings) will not root or will take very long time to root.
  3. Take cuttings about 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) long which should have at least 2-3 leaf nodes. Leaf nodes are points where a leaf may grow or was growing or still attached.
  4. The cuttings should be pencil thick, about 3 to 5 mm thick. Thick plum cuttings will take longer to root or may not root at all.

Prepare Plum Cuttings for Rooting

  1. The bottom of the cuttings should be cut at a 45-degree angle and should have at least one leaf node where the roots will grow.
  2. There may not be any leaves on the cuttings, remove them if a few are there.
  3. Remove the bark at the lower 1 inch portion of the cutting lightly by scraping with a knife.
  4. Rooting Medium for Rooting Plum Cuttings
  5. The rooting medium should be free-draining, standing water will rot the cuttings.
  6. You can make the rooting medium by mixing perlite or river sand and potting mix equally. You can also use only river sand, that works well.
  7. Now take a small pot having many drainage holes at its bottom. Fill this pot with the rooting soil.
  8. Water well to ensure that the rooting soil is thoroughly wet at all places.
  9. Keep the pot in shade for one hour to drain excess water.

Planting Plum Cuttings

After you prepare the cuttings, the next step is how to plant them.

  1. Apply rooting hormone at the bottom of the cutting to encourage to grow roots quickly.
  2. You can use a chemical rooting hormone or an aloe Vera gel, which is a natural rooting hormone.
  3. Now make a hole in the soil by a stick. Place the cutting in the hole, about 1 to 2 inch deep in soil, and firm the soil around the cutting.
  4. You can plant more than one cutting in the same pot.
  5. Enclose the pot in a plastic bag which will work as a mini-green house, providing high humid environment to the cuttings.
  6. Place the bag in shade at a warm place. The cuttings need a temperature of at least 21°C (69.8°F) to root.
  7. You can place the cuttings indoors on a heating pad to maintain this temperature.
  8. Open the bag every week and give a few drops of water to soil if it is dry and close bag again.

How long will it take for plum cuttings to root?

Plum tree grown from a cutting is flowering
Flowers grown in the first year after rooting of plum cutting

  1. The plum cuttings should root in 3 to 8 weeks depending on temperature, cutting thickness and humidity. 
  2. You will see new leaves growing, even flower buds may also grow. But wait, roots may yet not have grown, it would take another 2 weeks.
  3. Just try lightly to move the cuttings with your fingers, you will feel some resistance if roots have grown, even some see roots may come out from the bottom holes.
  4. Once the roots have grown, water only when the surface of the rooting medium dries out.

Plum grown from a cutting
Plum plant grown from a cutting

The above picture shows a plum tree propagated from a stem branch cutting which produced flowers in the first year after planting.

Video on Growing Plums

How to grow plums from cuttings youtube video
How to grow plums from seeds youtube video
Plum tree from seed flowers in 2 years