Garden Care

Fruitless Plum Tree: A Decorative Specimen For Your Garden

A fruitless plum tree can take all the spotlight of the garden to itself with its stunning purple foliage and pink flowers.

The plant is a perfect ornamental element of landscaping designs, no matter if one single tree stands alone or if many of them grow together along the driveways or avenues.

Let’s scroll down to learn more about this beautiful specimen!

What Is A Fruitless Plum Tree?

fruitless plum tree

Fruitless plum or flowering plum trees are ornamental plants well-known for their beautiful foliage color and (mostly fragrant) blossoms.

This purple flowering tree does bear fruits, but the fruits are small and few.

It may even take some years for them to sprout a small quantity of plums once.


Flowering ornamental plum trees are available in many variants thriving in USDA hardiness from 3 through 9.

The plant usually grows in a rounded form with a great density of branches. They have deep purple foliage that stays showy all summertime.

Their flowers’ color normally ranges from white to pink. The non-fruiting plum trees are short-lived, with an average lifespan of around 20 years.

Types Of Fruitless Plum Tree

Let’s look at the table below to learn about the variants of the plant!

SynonymsScientific nameHeightFlower colorDescription
Blireana PlumPurple-leafed plumPrunus × Blireana15 -20 feetPinkThe leaves are ovate with bronze or purple-red hue. The flowers are dark pink, blossoming in spring and winter.
Krauter Vesuvius Purple Leaf PlumCherry plumPrunus cerasifera ‘Krauter Vesuvius’15 -20 feetPinkIts leaves are usually pink or dark reddish-purple and grow at great density. 
Pissard Plumpurple leaf plum, purple cherry plum, Newport cherry plumPrunus cerasifera ‘Atropurpurea’15 -20 feetPinkThe tree has pinkish-white flowers, which are fragrant while blooming at the beginning of the year.
Thundercloud Purple Leaf PlumMyrobalan plum, Cherry plumPrunus cerasifera15 -20 feetPinkThe tree’s leaves are dark purple. Its solid pink flowers resemble the shape of bowls and bloom in the early spring.
Chickasaw Plum Treesand plum, sandhill plum, Florida sand plum, mountain cherry, Cherokee plum, Prunus angustifolia12 -20 feetWhiteThe tree originated from North America. Its bark is black, branches are reddish, and leaves are green, oval, and small. The white-and-orange antlers flowers blossom fragrant from Feb to May.      
Flatwoods Plum TreeHog plumPrunus umbellata12 -20 feetWhiteThe deciduous tree has oblong-lance-shaped leaves and smooth bark. You usually can see a single or group of five flowers together. 
Pigeon Plum TreePigeon Seagrape, tietongue, doveplumCoccoloba diversifolia30 feetWhiteThe tree’s canopy is round and dense, with green leaves and white flowers. 

What Are The Tips To Take Care Of Fruitless Plum Trees?

plum tree non fruit bearing

The plant requires no special soil except to be moist and well-drained.

You should choose sunny or partially sunny places and regularly water and fertilize before they produce flowers to ensure healthy growth.

Growing and maintaining a fruitless flowering plum tree in your garden is indeed not difficult.


I recommend you water your flowering plum tree every week. Though the variants are drought-tolerant, they still need extra moisture during extremely hot summers or without rainfall.

Keep in mind that if you have a young plant, water it more than those established before.


Make sure you provide enough sunlight. A purple plum tree usually needs to be under full sun for six to eight hours every day to produce a vibrant purple color.

Partial shade is fine, but I once planted it under too much shade. And the tree didn’t get enough light, while the purple leaves turned green.

Temperature And Humidity

The plant can withstand different temperatures. They can tolerate cold (-20F) and summer heat if they are in their growing zones and receive enough water.

They usually don’t have any issues with humidity as well.


A non-fruit-bearing plum tree prefers well-drained soil with a 3.0 – 7.0 pH acidity. You should not put their seeds in a place where water easily stagnates.

A young plant especially likes moist and excellent drainage to produce good flowers (and even fruits).

Many variants can grow on clay or sandy soil. Compacted soil, pollution, and other urban conditions may make them struggle to survive.


The moderately rich soil is ideal for an ornamental plum tree to thrive. People usually fertilize every spring as it’s the time for new growth to start.

Yet, according to what I know, fertilizing can be done every 2-3 years if your area is rich and fertile soil.

You should use the all-purpose fertilizer and follow the instructions carefully. Plus, fertilizer should be added to the ends of the branches.


Pruning has multiple purposes: to get the desired shapes and sizes of the trees, to protect them from the potential risk of dead and diseased branches, and to better grow buds and flowers.

The best time to prune the flowering plums is after flowering; otherwise, the flower buds of next year will possibly be eliminated.

Yet, if you are having an issue with silver leaf, do it in the middle of summer. You can remove diseased, damaged, or dead branches anytime.


Plum flowering young trees are available in nurseries, but if you’re an enthusiast and have patience, you can try to propagate them from softwood cuttings.

Since most variants are cultivars, you’d better not grow them from seed; otherwise, you’ll not have the true type.


The plant can’t be grown in containers; they should be planted in the outdoor landscape, not indoors.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases

There is quite a long list of pests and diseases that a plum tree non-fruit bearing may face. You should be careful with some insects, such as Japanese beetles, tent caterpillars, borers, scales, and mealybugs.

Common diseases include black knot, prunus ringspot, powdery mildew (which also causes white spots on green bean leaves), or other bacterial diseases.

The symptoms of an unhealthy plum tree fruitless are discolored or wilted foliage, poor flowering, and growing delay, which can lead to death.

Thus, providing enough air through branches and proper living conditions are highly recommended.

The Bottom Lines

fruitless flowering plum tree

Once grown in an ideal environment, a fruitless plum tree can make the landscape more picturesque. The beautiful shades from white to pink of its flowers will astonish any visitors.

Besides, the flowers have a strong fragrance, making it a choice to beautify your design. Growing this ornamental tree is also not difficult. So, why don’t you give it a try to be a member of your garden?

Samuel Mark

Hello I am Samuel. Samuel's Garden is a garden blog where I share my experiences in garden caring and tree growth. Hope you enjoy it!

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One Comment

  1. Hi Samuel,
    Really appreciate this summary but it does raise a question. Is is okay to gently prune the trees in the winter when they are dormant just to help re-shape them? Our trees were topped at one point and now put out very long and spindly branches going straight up. Thanks!

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