Blood plum - planting, pruning and care tips

Blood plum - planting, pruning and care tips

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The blood plum inspires numerous garden lovers every year with its pink flower dress. Due to its dark red foliage, it is also an eye-catcher for the rest of the year.

Appearance and genus of the blood plum

The blood plum is a subspecies of the cherry plum, which gets its name from the intense dark red to black-red colored foliage. The ornamental tree grows as a shrub or small to medium-sized tree. Trees are usually available as half or standard trunks.

The reddish foliage of the blood plum

In spring, the flowers appear at the same time as the leaves. They are white with pink stamens or completely pink. The leaves are oval, tapering and jagged at the edges. After flowering, edible cherries develop from the end of April. Caution: the seeds inside the kernels are poisonous!

The pink flowers of the blood plumCharacteristics of the blood plum
  • Family: Rose family
  • Subfamily: Spiraeoideae
  • Genus: Prunus
  • Type: cherry plum
  • Subspecies: blood plum
  • Botanical name: Prunus cerasifera
  • Height of growth: 300 - 400 cm
  • Width of growth 200 - 500 cm
  • Flowering period: April

Growth and growth behavior of the blood plum

The ornamental tree grows to between five and eight meters high, some specimens even reach more than twelve meters. The width is three to five meters. The growth is between 20 and 35 centimeters per year. The growth can be controlled well with targeted cuts. As a solitary plant, the blood plum comes into its own in the garden. With the intensely colored foliage, which remains strong throughout the summer, it is also an attractive eye-catcher. Blood plums also grow as a container plant. However, special dwarf breeds are more practical here.

Location and soil conditions

A sunny location is ideal, but the blood plum also thrives in partial shade. It is absolutely windproof. The plant needs a nutritious, slightly chalky soil. For young plants, the soil must be loosened well before being planted. A substrate enriched with compost promotes growth.

Blood Plum Care Tips

Blood plums are undemanding and easy to care for. Regular watering is only necessary for freshly planted trees or shrubs. If the wood has grown well, you only need to water during long, summer dry periods. The frost-resistant wood does not need winter protection.

Fertilize blood plum

If the soil is nutrient-rich, no fertilizer is required, but compost can be worked in around the tree slice in spring. Blood plums in the bucket are grateful for a one-off complete fertilization before flowering.

Cut blood plum

The cut is important in two ways: it influences the growth habit and is necessary for the development of the flowers. Blood plums that are never cut bloom more and more sparingly. However, you should not overdo the cutting, otherwise the plant will form unsightly broom shoots. The right time to cut is after flowering.

In young blood plums, all of the faded shoots are cut down to about five remaining buds. In older trees, the oldest branches are removed and rejuvenated. If the blood plum gets too big, you can cut or shorten a number of branches, but preferably not the main branch! Favorable interfaces lie directly above a branch.

Pest and disease prevention

The right location and good soil usually ensure healthy, resistant blood plums. Prolonged wet weather can lead to certain diseases.

Shotgun disease is a fungal infection. The leaves get small brown spots, eventually sections come out so that the leaf looks perforated. Affected leaves must be removed and disposed of with household waste. As a measure, spray with fungicides or special copper preparations, even before leafing out next spring.

The Monilia peak drought is also caused by fungi. The disease can be recognized by withered shoot tips. Control is difficult because the fungal spores spread extremely quickly and strongly. Affected plant parts are best removed extensively and completely destroyed, branches cut into healthy wood. Even an airy crown can limit the spread. Plant protection products that work against Monilia are also commercially available.

Aphids occasionally appear. As long as the infestation is limited, vigorous hosing with the hose helps.