How to Germinate a Plum Seed

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A single seed can potentially produce hundreds of plums.

Plums are categorized into three main groups -- the European, Damson and Japanese, according to the University of Rhode Island Landscape and Horticulture Program. Each group has its own qualities and benefits, but all have the same general growth requirements, although some have different pollination needs. Perhaps the most important aspect of plum tree growth is successful seed germination. Replicate the natural cycle of a plum seed for the best germination results.


Step 1

Remove the seed from the plum and scrub it under warm running water to wash away the flesh of the fruit. Any leftover flesh may potentially lead to rot.

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Step 2

Plant the seed between 2 and 4 inches deep in a sunny location. Cover the seed with soil and tamp it down lightly. It's best to plant in late fall, just before the ground freezes.


Step 3

Leave the seed in the ground throughout the winter months. The seed should crack open during this stratification period, which in turn makes it more likely to germinate.

Step 4

Keep the soil moist, but not soggy once spring comes around. As long as the seed gets moisture and exposure to sun, it should germinate by the middle of summer.


The seed must be cold stratified at a temperature between 33 and 41 degrees Fahrenheit for a minimum of 90 days. Store the seed in the refrigerator if you live in an area that doesn't get temperatures this low. Plant the seed in the ground after the stratification period.

Plant multiple seeds to increase the chance of successful germination.



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