J. Plums vs. Pluots

To those who have grown both I’m curious are there any plum varieties that match the quality or come close to the pluots? Also are they easier to grow than pluots? The only plum I have experience with is Santa Rosa and to me it was excellent. Just wondering how it or other j plums stack up to the pluots.


1 Like

I haven’t produced any pluots, but am trying with a young tree and some grafts.

To me, the thing that I like in pluots over Japanese plums is the texture. I do not care for bags of water, which most Japanese plums seem to turn into before they ripen. They seem to go from sour unripe, to squishy string water.

Pluots, at least some, can be meatier, even crisp while high brix.

For plums, I tend to prefer Europeans.


I started out with about equal pluots and J plums in my greenhouse, ~12 of each. Most of the plums didn’t pan out. About 6-8 top line pluots left, that after adding more. After adding more J plums I’m down to only one of which equals the retained pluots. That one is Emerald Beaut. This yr about 26 brix. I like Flavor Treat better. It matures about the same time, Sept-Oct. It’s twice as big, firmer, prettier, and 25 brix this yr.

The other survivor is Burgundy but it’s not in the same ballpark as the best pluots.

I see no difference in yield or production issues.

1 Like

True that. I tasted an EB about 6 years ago in a farmer’s market and it blew me away! It doesn’t hurt that it hangs on the tree for a month+, only gets sweeter while retaining crunch and is late season when others are gone.

1 Like

I have problems growing pluots due to rot and pollination issues, but putting that aside I also don’t like their narrow flavor profile - all of them are too much “fruit punch” taste. The best plums have lots of subtle flavors - clove in Satsuma (I made some jam and gave it to someone and they swore there was clove in it), papaya in Lavinia, etc. I do agree some are far too juicy, all the Santa Rosa descendants have that problem in particular. Satsuma and Lavinia are “meaty” Japanese plums, one reason why those two are some of my favorites.

I have an EB graft that has not been producing but I think this year I will get a few.


The pluots seem to be the fighter pilots and the Jap plums seem to be the journeyman who fly C130’s. Haha. I’m certainly not an expert and I’ve never produced my own yet. Santa Rosa and Satsuma get their fair amount of attention but neither of them seem to be talked about in the same vain as Flavor King and Flavor Supreme.

Last summer I had my first Aprium and I Think I preferred it to any plum or Pluot I ever tasted. I liked its crisp texture and apricot flavor. Can’t wait till I actually can harvest my own and do more accurate taste tests.

Thanks Scott. Satsuma looks like a pluot :slight_smile: Searching for “Lavinia” I only see posts by you, and Cummins nursery which has “Lavina”. I’m assuming those are the same.

The only bearing pluot I have is Flavor Grenade. I love it’s crisp, super sweet quality but it doesn’t replace my favorite plums, just adds to the portfolio.

Elephant Heart is problematic but can be as good as any pluot I’ve tried. I am also a fan of Satsuma, my own Early Magic (originally from Treetop Nursery but no longer commercially available) and Ruby Queen. Santa Rosa and Ozark Premier are also very good.

These varieties reliably bear. I’m still learning about the ultimate potential of pluots but commercial growers in CA debate about whether they are worth growing due to their unreliability according to an article I read in Good Fruit Grower magazine a few years back.

Flavor Grenade seems as reliable as any J. plum, however.

Alan, is your Early Magic the same as the Earli Magic scott speaks highly of?

Interesting, I did not notice but it looks like Cummins mis-spelled it? I obtained it from ARS:


Cummins also said its from Lithuania but ARS says its from Latvia.

@bradkairdolf, those are the same plum. I think Earli Magic is the original spelling.

Thanks Scott. I’ll have to look into getting a scion or some budwood to give that one a try.

I don’t think there’s much question that the best pluots are better eating than J plums in a warm sunny climate with a long growing season. Maybe in less favorable conditions the advantage is reduced or eliminated. I can’t speak to that or disease issues. But I’ve had consistent production many yrs in my greenhouse. It’s difficult to form a good opinion when the fruit is scarce or only available occasionally.

1 Like

It’s always so interesting to see how different people have different tastes. There are is a variety of plum grown around here called methley. I have had some people tell me it was amazing and others tell me it was garbage. It really is amazing how many variables there are to this. Alan Ozark premier is also one pretty common around here. I have heard that it gets pretty darn big.

Yes, I gave him the wood.

Wildscaper, Thats why I like hearing the opinions on this site. If all you have tasted is a store bought Santa Rosa, a home grown methley taste good. I grew some last year and they were bland, but still better than store bought. People that like methley like themt because they are not tart.
I would grow just plouts except for disease pressure. I am try a couple of pluots in containers but have several plums. The plums should start making this year and I will hopefully have my first pluots next year.

Okay, for those out west, Burgundy plum is really, and surprisingly excellent. The reason Burgundy won a spot in my intense walk and pick orchard was to act as a pollinator for several of the other interspecifics. Shockingly, it has outperformed many others. The pluot this consistently excellent for me is Flavor King. It is really, really good. And rich. Not “fruit punch” to me at all, very rich and very good. SpiceZee nectaplum (not a pluot, but an interspecific) is right behind Flavor King for me. I am waiting for Emerald Beaut to set. This will be it’s 2nd season and I did get some decent chill hours, so hoping for some fruit this year. This is a zone-pushing stone fruit for me, so we’ll see :slight_smile:

So true!

Living in central Ca (Fresno/Clovis) I have eaten bins and bins(between 30-40lbs) of pluots, plums and nectarines etc. The absolute best piece of fruit, imo, is Honey Royale. Between the J. Plums and pluots, hands down the pluots are the best, especially Flavor king and Flavor Supreme. The best plum imo is emerald beaut, which is very similar to Flavor Grenade. Some years I thought Flavor Grenade was better and some years Emerald Beaut. After multiple years I have finally concluded that overall Flavor Grenade is sightly better than emerald beaut.

1 Like

… I think I was a little too negative in the way I worded my “fruit punch” comment above … I love Flavor King and Supreme, don’t get me wrong. If either one was easy to grow they would be amongst my favorites. But they are all to me in a similar flavor profile - contrast FK vs FS with the distance from Santa Rosa to Satsuma, its much greater.

Hey Pointers I got started with Zaiger’s fruits 2000-4 living on the Kings river at Piedra. That’s about 15 miles east of Fresno. Overall I’ve rated Honey Royale my favorite fruit. FK and FS are easily the best pluots I’ve tried. And I agree Emerald Beaut is the best plum. That’s 100% agreement in my book.

I like all the Honey series nectarines: May, Lite, Fire, Blaze, Royale, and Diva. Wish I could get Honey Gem. These are the best fruit I grow if one can get the brix up. They have the richest flavor. Our own Alan ripened a Honey Royal at 26 brix this past yr during a period of drought in New York. I think it blew his mind.

1 Like

Do you know or have you ever noticed how long Flavor Supreme can hang? I know some of them seem to have a very long hang time.