Cherry Plums for the Deep South

Is anyone having success growing Cherry Plum, Prunus caricifera in the Deep South or in any other high stem canker pressure areas? I have some of the hybrids, most too young to be sure how they are ultimately going to do. But have any true cherry plums shown adequate disease resistance for a Southern Climate?

Mariana (P. caricifera X P. munsonia) does great. I have scion of either Sprite or Delight (P. caricifera X P. salicina) that’s doing fine so far after 3 years. With it I’ve tried to cheat stem canker by growing the Mariana root stock out to about breast height and grafting the scion into the branches. The idea is for the main trunk to be the more resistant Mariana. I’ve done the same with Shiro which is another hybrid. One is in on a Toole’s Heirloom Improved Chickasaw trunk and the other on a P. munsonia trunk. I also have some young trees of AU Cherry which is supposedly a very disease resistant hybrid. Anyway, I’m interested to hear what some of the other possibilities might be. Thanks.



I like your approach but I haven’t grown any. My thoughts have been more about using the resistant varieties on their on root system and then graft other varieties to the top or on individual limbs. If all goes to plans a diseased limb could be removed without destroying the whole tree. Hope your plans work.

I do as well. We shall see.

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I’ve had AU Cherry for probably eight years. Never had any disease issues at all. Blooms slightly later than my other plums, so I actually get some fruit every few years. When it does produce, it produces a huge crop.


That’s what I’m expecting from Au Cherry. I’m also hoping that it and the other Cherryplum hybrids I have will bloom with and be cross fertile with Mariana. They should since they also bloom slightly later than the Improved Chickasaw plums and Asian X Chickasaw hybrids. I currently have to bring hog plum (Prunus umbalata) branches in the yard during bloom time to make Mariana fruitful. That works, but it would be nice to have trees growing in the yard that will do the job without worrying about finding wild hog plum trees blooming with Mariana every year.


Have you tried growing any Prunus hortulana in your area? I had several seeds sent to me from an arboretum in IL.

I don’t know what that is. Please let me know more.

All I know about it is from research. It’s a native plum, similar to other North American native plums, but its native range is in the midwest. As such, I’d expect it to bloom much later than more southern plums. The fruit apparently doesn’t ripen until much later as well - later summer to early fall in its native range. Which also supports that it may be a late bloomer.

So, if you’re looking for a good pollinator for other late blooming plums, this may be a good one. And for me, it may also avoid freeze damage during bloom, which is the biggest threat to my plums.

Not sure how well it would do in your warmer climate, but it may be worth a trial. I’m unsure of its disease resistance.

More info here.