Santa Rosa Plum Tree Information

Meanwhile, the “Santa Rosa” plum tree (Prunus salicina “Santa Rosa”) is hardy at U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9. The tree needs 400 chill hours and functions well as a pollenizer for other plum trees which require cross-pollination. The cultivar was introduced by plant breeder Luther Burbank in 1906 and is considered a producer of high-quality fruit. Though replaced by most commercial growers with more bacteria-resistant varieties, “Santa Rosa” is still a favorite among home gardeners and is frequently found at farmer’s markets.

Planting website and Attention

A “Santa Rosa” plum tree needs to be planted in well-drained soil and receive whole sun to do its best. Multiple “Santa Rosa” plantings are spaced far enough apart to accommodate each tree’s mature width of 12 to 15 feet. “Santa Rosa” plum is self-fertile, nevertheless, creating fruits even if no other plum trees are nearby. It creates more fruit if a pollenizer is supplied, though. Water your “Santa Rosa” plum at least once each week but more frequently during dry spells. When the tree is young, give it deep soakings therefore that it establishes a strong root system. The tree should be pruned every year when it is dormant, during winter. The job involves pruning it to have an open-center contour, trimming its vigorous vertical shoots back to their outward-facing branches and cutting away branches that produce thin, V-shaped forks to avoid limb breakage. Apply a general-purpose fertilizer in early spring before new growth starts.

Pests and Disorders

Though, according to some “Los Angeles Times” article, its plums are thought to be the gold standard for what plums should taste like, the “Santa Rosa” cultivar was abandoned by several commercial growers because of its susceptibility to plum leaf scald and other bacterial diseases. Additional insects and diseases can affect plum trees too, including scales, borers, mites, aphids, leaf spots and rots. Keeping up a normal watering program to the tree, binder it as required and pruning it every year can help to keep it healthy and lowers the probability of problems. Remove dead and damaged limbs when pruning as well as limbs affected by infection. Always maintaining the region beneath your tree with no fallen leaves, rotting fruit and other debris prevents insects, fungi and bacteria from having a convenient place to overwinter. Where aphids and mites are debatable and using ladybugs is legal, think about releasing ladybugs into the garden. Insecticides and antibacterial sprays may be necessary if infection and insects become a problem. If you are not sure what disease or pest the tree has or how to take care of it, then take one of the insects or even some of the tree into a nursery or county Cooperative Extension office and ask for help identifying and solving the problem.


A “Santa Rosa” plum tree starts producing fruit once it reaches 3 to 5 decades of age. It’s an early-producing selection, covered in white flowers in May and ready to harvest late in July. The plum fruits are ready to choose when their skin gives a bit when gently squeezed. Ripe plums pull easily away in the tree using a small twist. Plums intended for cooking are selected when they’re still slightly firm and could be allowed to keep on ripening on a counter if some also are desired for eating raw. Shying away from plums with white spots in their skins is not vital. The spots are caused by naturally occurring yeast and doesn’t affect the fruits. In fact, the white, white yeast spots are considered a positive indication the fruits have never been too handled when they’re found at farmer’s markets and grocery stores.


“Santa Rosa” plum produces versatile fruits which can be used in a wide variety of applications. The plums are medium to large in size and also have red-purple skin and yellow flesh which changes to red near the skin. They’re hot and supply a balanced blend of sweet and tart. Because the plums’ flesh is a bit more company, the fruits are candidates for canning and cooking. They may be dried easily, just chucked in a plastic bag and kept in a freezer for many months. The fruits are used to make ice cream, jelly, preserves and a sauce to serve over chicken and chicken and turkey.

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