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Summer brings an abundance of fresh plums every year. There’s a lot to do with them anyway: cobblers, jam, puddings, tarts, pies and anything else you can think up.
How much water do plum trees need?
Here, you will find out the perfect amount of water that plum trees need so that they will be healthy enough to keep giving you sweet, ripe plums every season.
By the end of this read, you will also be able to water plum trees correctly and identify when your plum trees need water or when they are overwatered.
If plums are gotten from plum trees, you’ll need to plant them first. Let’s see what you need.
How Much Water Do Plum Trees Need Per Day?
Plum trees don’t need water every day. If that is so, then how much water do plum trees need?
First of all, plum trees have different water needs depending on the age of the tree. Juvenile plum trees will need to be watered more regularly to become established and their older counterparts need less.
Young plum trees should be watered once in 2 weeks while mature ones should receive water only once a month.
The method of choice when providing water is to water your trees with a water hose and each watering session should last for 5 to 10 minutes at a time.
In giving water to plum trees, you must consider the weather conditions and adjust accordingly. If it is consistently hot, you should increase the water you give but if you’re experiencing frequent rainfall, there’s no need to provide any water.
Even if plum trees prefer moist soil, they must not be left to soak in water. You should wait for the soil to dry out first before watering again.
How Do You Water Plum Trees?
To water plum trees effectively, use a water hose to spray the water evenly around your trees. The hose should be on for up to 10 minutes each time.
Watering plum trees from above will leave the plum tree’s leaves wet and unable to dry on time. This increases the risk of diseases of the leaves related to fungus especially when the tree is at its early stage.
Easy steps to take to water plum trees:
1. Always aim to water above the drip line to nourish the critical root zone. The drip line is the area below the canopy of the branches and the critical root zone is just below the top edges of the tree.
2. How much water do plum trees need? You should water your plum trees thoroughly once every 2 weeks for the first year.
As your plant grows, reduce the watering frequency to just once a month.
3. Use a drip hose to apply water evenly around each tree for up to 10 minutes to deeply soak the roots.
4. To help conserve moisture, gardeners should consider using organic mulch such as shredded bark, dry leaves and wood flakes. When spread around the base of the plum tree, mulch reduces the rate at which water is lost through evaporation.
5. Plum trees should be watered immediately after fertilizer is applied to dissolve them and carry nutrients down to the roots.
Do Plum Trees Like Wet or Dry Soil?
Plum trees grow well in soil that is neither soaking wet nor too dry. They thrive in soil that is kept consistently moist throughout the year.
Both too little and too much water can harm and even kill plum trees.
If grown in flooded soil, plum roots suffer and are unable to absorb enough nutrients and oxygen from the soil. On the contrary, dry soil draws water out of the cells of the tree and robs it of essential nutrients.
How much water do plum trees need? Plum trees need the soil to be moist down to 24 inches below the surface.
If the soil is not at the correct moisture level, you can alter it were needed to create a well-draining environment for your plum trees.
The right soil type makes a lot of difference in keeping your plum tree satisfactorily hydrated. It should be able to drain within a day or two after a heavy downpour and if it stays wet much longer, then it could benefit from the addition of sand, perlite, or vermiculite.
The soil to plant plum trees should not harden or compact as it dries. Mixing peat moss into the soil reduces compaction and promotes healthy root growth.
Can You Overwater Plum Trees?
Like most plants, it is possible to overwater plum trees. They don’t like to be surrounded by overly wet soil.
The soil where the plum tree is planted must be well drained for the roots to prosper. Soggy soil can cause a lot of problems for plum tree roots–they will not be able to absorb water and food to nourish the plant.
They can also begin to rot and eventually kill the plum tree. Additionally, if the bark at the base of the tree changes from light brown to black or dark brown, it signals that the plum tree has been receiving too much water.
Keep the soil reasonably moist all year round and remember that it is very easy to overwater plum trees especially when they are still young. Avoid overwatering your trees by adapting your approach to different weather conditions as explained earlier.
You can easily overwater your plum trees so skip the watering rounds if you get a lot of rain that keeps the soil moist. Adding water manually in addition to natural rainfall is an unfailing way to overwater your plum trees.
Although a little depression in the soil around the plum trees aids summer watering, it’s important to bring the soil around the tree up to the level of the surrounding soil for the winter.
If the gully is not filled in, the water could pool and freeze around the trunk and injure the trees.
How Do You Know If Plum Trees Need Water?
Plum trees are sturdy and only show signs of needing water when they are too dehydrated. Dehydration in plum trees can manifest in several ways: the leaves will shrivel and begin to turn brown.
You should not wait for things to deteriorate before taking action if not, it may be difficult or impossible to help your trees recover. Plum trees that need more water will have wilted leaves that turn brown around the edges.
Don’t wait until your trees are dehydrated to give them water, instead, keep your plum trees on a strict watering schedule to avoid damage and death.
Again, continually adjust the amount of water you provide based on changes in the weather conditions. Avoid severe dehydration by watering your trees regularly.
Start watering your young trees once every 14 days. Then, after the first year of your plum tree’s life, continue with the monthly watering sessions.
Water your plum trees more when temperatures rise above 26°C since hot weather can dry out the soil quickly. When the weather gets extremely hot, you may need to water it 2 to 4 times a month.
Whenever the soil feels dry, know that your plum tree needs more water.
If the plum tree shows signs of dehydration, such as the edges of the leaves turning brown or widespread wilting of the leaves, it is probably receiving water in insufficient amounts.
The climate in the region and the conditions of the soil can determine watering frequency– whether to increase or reduce water availability, modifying the standard recommendations.
Water Loss Due to Evapotranspiration
Every day, the soil loses water through evaporation. The rate of this process can help you calculate a more accurate watering schedule for your plum tree.
This rate depends on the size of the tree and weather conditions and is important to know because it will help you determine how many gallons of water to put on your plum the next time you water it. Temperature and humidity help determine the rate of evapotranspiration.
In fog conditions, the plant loses an average of 0.1 inches of water per day. This rate increases to 0.2 inches per day when there is more fog or the weather are warm or closer to summer.
Hot summer days without fog can cause the tree to lose 0.25 inches of water per day, but when it’s over 100° F or hot and windy the rate is 0.3 inches a day.
It is necessary to monitor this evapotranspiration rate closely so that the plum trees do not lose too much water.
Does a Plum Tree Require Lots of Water?
Plum trees have reasonable water requirements. Very young plum trees need water more than older ones.
Plum trees need watering every 2 weeks for the first year after planting. After the first year, reduce the watering frequency to once a month.
Use a soak hose to thoroughly water the root area for 10 minutes at each watering session. It’s easy to overwater plum trees so make sure you stick to a strict watering schedule.
Try to keep the soil in the root area of your plum tree moist but not wet. If the soil is wet or soggy, your plum tree is overwatered.
When the soil feels dry, it’s time to water your plum tree and if temperatures are above 80°F (26°C), increase the watering sessions to keep the soil moist.
Symptoms of water stress are similar whether you overwater or underwater a plum tree. Both can cause the leaves to fall off and turn dark, but too little water can also cause the leaves to wilt.
To find out if you are providing too much water or too little, test how the earth feels in your hand. Take a sample from 4 to 8 inches below the surface and try to roll it into a ball in your hand.
If it forms a solid ball that doesn’t leak water, the soil is moist enough. If the water comes out even when you create the ball with light pressure, wait a few days to water again as the soil is already too wet.
If you can’t form a ball, it’s time to water your plum trees again.
Make a plan before you plant a plum tree.
Before you plant plum trees, there are things you need to decide on and put in place so that you can provide the best care possible for them:
1. Choosing a variety that will thrive where you live. Consider the climate you reside in.
Is it very hot or cold?
2. Where will you plant your new tree? Choose a spot that receives enough sun and ensure there’s sufficient space between trees.
3. Prepare the land you intend to use. The soil type that plum trees grow well in is damp, loamy, well-drained soil.
Clear weed and amend the soil if need be.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much water does a Purple Leaf Plum need?
Purple leaf plum is a breed of plum out of many. In fair weather, your purple plum will probably need 5 to 10 gallons of water a week, applied weekly.
Why are the leaves turning yellow on my plum tree?
If the plum trees don’t get essential nutrients such as zinc, iron, manganese, and magnesium the leaves can turn yellow. Some fertilizers could also cause the leaves to thicken and become yellow.
How often to water newly planted plum trees?
Newly planted plum trees need water once every 2 weeks for the first year after planting. The next year, you can reduce the watering frequency to once a month.
How do you care for plums?
Be sure to water the young trees heavily every week during the first growing season to help promote growth. Fertilize the soil and add mulch.
Prune the trees regularly.
How and when do you prune plum trees?
Prune only established plum trees and do this every year in April before bud break.
How much water do plum trees need? As we have seen, the water needs of these fruit trees depend on major factors like age and the climate in which they are planted.
You should water plum trees every 14 days in their early stages of growth and as they become established trees, they would only need to be watered once every month. To get desired results, let the water hose run for 5 to 10 minutes at a time to fully saturate the roots.