Purple Leaf Plum Tree

Prunus Cerasifera, more popularly known as Purple Leaf Plum tree is a type of plum tree with deep purple leaves, hence the name. With white and pink flowers, the fruit from this tree is not for human consumption which is why they make a great landscape plant. However, animals of the wild life can and do eat the purple leaf plums. Usually a medium sized tree, purple leaf plum trees grow up to 25 feet tall and 25 feet wide which means they need ample space to grow. Here we will discuss how you can plant and grow your own purple leaf tree as well as the problems and diseases that may plague these trees that you need to look out for.

The best times to plant purple leaf plum trees are in the late fall in a location that has moist soil conditions as well as full sun. The soil also has to be acidic and you can find out the acidity of your soil by taking a sample to your local garden store or by using a pH tester. The pH tester is very easy to use. It has a pointer that will land on the word acidic illustrating that the soil is suitable for planting purple leaf plum trees.

When planting this tree, ensure that the hole dug in the soil is the same depth as the roots of the plant. You also want to make sure that the width of the hole is also twice as wide. Once you have planted the purple leaf plum tree, you should water the soil. You want to water it as much when it has just been planted, to about a 12 inch depth.

These trees are susceptible to a few diseases that we will discuss here so it will better enable you to look out for them. Generally, keeping your tree healthy will be sure to prevent these diseases from occurring. Here they are nonetheless:

  1. Gray Mold – known to prey on non-woody plants, this disease caused by the fungus Botrytis Cinerea is also known to infiltrate purple leaf plum trees. It usually affects the trees in times when the humidity is high when the spores have been released from infected plant debris, e.g. fallen leaves. Gray mold may affect the fruit first and then move from the plum to the stems etc. That is why it is good to water the tree from the ground so that excessive water contact (and therefore moisture) reaches the leaves.
  2. Brown Rot – Brown rot is a fungus that affects the blossoms, plums and small branches of the purple leaf plum trees. A sign that you tree has this fungus is when the blossoms turn brown and die, the fruits rot on the stems as well as cankers forming on the twigs.
  3. Verticillium Wilt – this is a soil borne fungus which makes it a tricky disease to pick up on the purple plum trees in the initial stages. In fact, you may release that your tree had this disease if it suddenly collapsed and died. By this time, the fungus had already infected the roots and other parts of the purple leaf plum tree. Signs include discoloration of the bark and foliage or wilting.

Only the first two of the above diseases can be treated with the proper fungicide. Contact your local garden store with the details of the purple plum tree disease and they will provide you with the proper fungicide.  The last disease is cured by the tree itself through a healthy recovering process. Happy growing!

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