J. Plums vs. Pluots


Like all things related to gardening. it boils down to your locale. Where I live ‘Beauty’, ‘Burgundy’ and ‘Santa Rosa’ are all excellent. Rather than compare apples to oranges, peaches to nectarines, or pluots to plums, better to look for the best fresh fruit in a given harvest window. The above mentioned plums are excellent in their window.

That said, ‘Burgundy’ is the champ because it holds so well and is very good to excellent depending on when you chomp into one. It’s spicy after first getting color, and then deep, rich, “OK, that’s what a plum should taste like”, as it gets darker and shrivels/drops. ‘Beauty’ is wonderful when firm, but turns to a small sack of heavenly sweet plum wine when dead ripe. ‘Santa Rosa’ has a small harvest window but if you love a sweet plum with a tart skin, this is your jam. :smile:


I just need a few of these fruits. Plums and pluots, that is and I’ll be happy. So sounds like a have a lot of choices. The only nectarine is one from the Honey series and I’ll be all set. Here the traditional peaches like Redhaven etc come out excellent, and if my scion takes I’ll have those bases covered.
A group not mentioned is the high acid whites, I like them the best but seem to be in the minority there. That was the first group I made sure I covered. And they grow well here too, another plus.
A few more years of growing and I’ll have a better idea of what I can make work here.
I’ll try all the different fruits. We are not hot here, but we are not super wet either. Pluots are grown commercially here as are peaches and nectarines. We have the warming from the Great Lakes, and it protects us from severe weather. Especially southern MI where I’m at. We have had little snow, those recent storms missed us completely. Less than 10 inches so far. The lowest temp this winter was 9F. So it’s not super hot nor super cold, it’s not a bad place to grow stone fruit. We do tend to have extremes although usually only once every ten years. Otherwise the weather is steady as she goes. No late freezes, no extreme temps etc. Moderate rain, not a lot, not too little. Maryland ave rainfall is 44.5 inches NY is 41.8 MI is 32.8. CA is 22.2 So reports on how fruit does in the Northeast or out west tells me nothing of how it will do here. I certainly would expect a lot less brown rot.So pluots may be fine here or peaches with rot problems will do better here with less rainfall. Not as well as CA but better than NY or MD. Precipitation averages from NOAA. And are 30 year averages. Not recent data, 1981-2010. Still is tells us enough except for the problems in CA, Hopefully they will get back to normal in the next few years.


I haven’t had fruit off any of mine yet but I’ve noticed in my area that peach and apricot seem to be less susceptible to bacterial canker than either.

I have elberta peach, santa rosa plum, flavour grenade pluot, and bella gold peacotum. The santa rosa and flavor grenade require pruning out disease every year, elberta peach and peacotum have comparatively fewer problems. It’s possible this is due to location as the flavour grenade and santa rosa receive the most sun. Flavour grenade has been growing so fast that the bark cracks and then it gets infected. Santa Rosa will tend to get sunscald on some of the upper branches and then it gets infected. Bella gold is probably less vigorous than either and is receiving less sun so I haven’t had problems with canker.

The best plums I’ve ever had were of unremarkable origin, bought in a Sam’s Club in upstate NY. I’m not positive about the variety, but I highly highly suspect they were Seneca plum. They were large red / purple European type plums with a waxy bloom, freestone, firm but not crunchy yellow / orange flesh, extremely sweet and richly flavoured, very meaty, not drippy or like sugar water in any manner. Very good plums.

I know it’s European but if I was choosing varieties right now I would give Seneca a go and maybe pollinate with Jefferson.


This is gospel in my book. Like Mr. Clint I want to have as extended season as possible of really good tree ripened fruit right off my own trees. For stone fruit that means from the trees to my mouth. Of course, I can’t keep my window as open as MC because I’m in the northeast (the cold air gets in).

If you like the fruit as much out of your fridge as off your trees as long as they were grown by you, the Pluots seem to offer a wider window than most plums- I had Flav Gr I’d forgotten about that were still decent 2 months after harvest from my fridge’s fruit bin.

Peoples opinion of store bought fruit is only reliably relevant if the fruit was grown nearby.

Plums also vary greatly from site to site. I have one customer whose Methely produces outstanding fruit of very good size where at other sites nearby it is just so so, valued mostly for its early cropping- a couple days in front of Early Magic.

The reliability of plums in the northeast also varies from site to site for reasons I’ve never been able to fathom, but this is mostly about E. plums.

And then there is the question of individual taste. FN doesn’t consider stonefruit below about 23 brix to be worth eating whereas I’ve only gotten Honey Royale into his class of really high brix fruit (28) out of everything I grow besides some of my E. plums- and this was just a few fruit of its first crop last year. To me that is more sugar than I need or crave- it is nice- it is interesting but it is sweetness beyond my need for a nectarine or pluot to taste perfect in my mouth.

So glad my palate feels that way, because I don’t grow my fruit in a greenhouse in Texas. Maybe if the brix of the fruit I grow was consistently as high as FN’s my palate would change.


Hi Garden family,
These days I stay consumed with nurturing my flavor supreme because I am anxiously anticipating harvesting this fruit sometime in July. It grows just as well as my jap. plum trees: I have August Sensation which is really good. It is rich in flavor and has a flowery aftertaste and it is good and sweet with a punch! It is one of the Supersweet varieties produced from Berry Farms in Tennessee. I have a Burbank (absolutely bland), Santa Rosa, (I haven’t tasted it yet) and 2 unknowns because we are in a very humid climate, the flavor supreme that I harvested was absolutely they are attached to my 2 fruit cocktail trees. I live close to Atlanta, GA and although fantastic. I guess because it was harvested before the humidity got really bad since it is an early pluot. I am still waiting on my 4-n-1 pluot tree to produce this year. I have learned through trial and error not to bring my trees into my 73 degree kitchen during the late freeze occasions, but instead, to just put them in the garage until the late freezes are overwith! I have yet so much to learn still! ::stuck_out_tongue:


Sorry Family,
Some where in writing this, the sentences got intertwined and they ended up in the wrong places. Forgive me, I can make sense of my writing…:disappointed_relieved:


Yes having fruit throughout the season is important. I will not even buy peaches or plums anymore, only off of my trees so having fruit throughout the season is important. I think i got that covered though.Maybe another early variety, mid and late season are filled. I do this with my brambles too. I petty much have raspberries or blackberries from June to November. A little slowdown in the middle, the blueberries are strong at that point.


I like to try and fill the seasons also. I also try and find a balance of good quality and ease of growing. I haven’t tried FK or FS for that reason. Can’t see myself doing any hand pollinating at this point. I think I will likely add a few plums and a few pluots eventually and see what works. I really liked the Santa Rosa I had when I had it. Honey Blaze was my favorite nectarine and I wish I still had that one but it died due to an irrigation glitch when I was on vacation. For me it was better than Honey Royale but I think I may have been picking it too soon. I do still have that one so hopefully I’ll get another chance to see if I can get the timing down.


There are no warts on Honey Blaze. I remember at one point writing a post declaring it the worlds best fruit. For the Honey series it’s more about culture than which one. I like them when they are soft to the touch, that’s pretty ripe. This is some high brix Honey Blaze. The four smaller fruit on the bottom had a higher water deficit and more dwarfing rootstock than the larger fruit on top. That’s a map of brix numbers. I like 24-30 best. Above 32 indicates too much water deficit and they may develop off flavors.


Around a brix of 20-24 sounds good to me. i don’t want them too soft or overipe. Curious as to what mine will be this year? The high range is usually not possible here, although I should be able to get them in the 20’s. I had a few last year right at 20. I can’t wait! I have so much gardening to do inbetween it will keep me distracted.


Do you not have squirrels or do they not bother your nectarines/peaches? Squirrels here just blitz my peaches/nectarines. For some reason they seem to not bother the plums. I try to trap as many as i can early on and keep their numbers low.


Yes a problem. I have netted the trees, well have a pvc cage, but the trees are too big now. I’m trying super hot pepper spray. I have opossums too. I can’t trap them in the burbs. Well I can but I’m supposed to rent the cage from the city, and pay the city to remove animal. That is if I can convince them they are a pest.


Even trapping only reduces the damage, doesn’t put an end to it. I think new squirrels move into an area quickly.


I was once on a diet that limited simple sugars as much as possible. After a year I could taste sugars in foods that I never considered to be sweet. After going off the diet I put hardly any sugar in sweet recipes. They tasted like I remembered them, but other people would complain. Eventually I re-acclimated to normal amounts of sugar because I resumed eating foods prepared by other people. It did convince me that you can set taste thresholds by controlling regular exposure levels.


Oh boy do I have squirells and birds. They would take almost everything if I allowed it. What I did to combat them was to grow my trees in pots on a drip system and I then built chicken wire cages around each tree. Pruning kept the trees in bounds. Constant problems with my drip system and too much work on maintaining the cages and needing the yard space for other reasons has made me move my container growing to my place of work. Luckily I have a greenhouse with space during the summer so I will be growing them in there as long as I’m able. My set up isn’t exactly like Fruitnut’s but I think I can make it work. I still have pears and apples in ground and I intend to try the wire mesh bags like Mr. Clint reccomends. I have used them before to mixed results but with a few modifications to make my bags more like his I think it can work.


That’s a really good point AJ,

I attributed some of my change in taste to growing up, but yes, it doesn’t take long to change one’s perception.

When I learned that milk contains a significant amount of sugar, I was surprised, but now it strikes me how sweet it is. I never thought of peas, corn, ketchup, plain cereals, American Chinese and Thai food as containing as much sugar as they can.


In the U.S. folks have been upping their sugar intake big time and for a lot of Americans fruit just isn’t sweet enough to fulfill their cravings.

Historically, apples were very important in the role they played in fulfilling the desire here for strong sweetness. When cane sugar was a luxury reserved for the rich, sugars were concentrated by turning apples into apple butter and dried apples.

Now breeders are trying to create super sweet tasting fruit both by increasing brix and also by reducing acid. None of FN’s favorite varieties were available 50 years ago.

The quest for low-acid, high brix fruit is also, to some extent, cultural, IMO. In the south folks tend to like higher sugar than in the north. It is a trend that also may apply to Europe and Asia- the warmer the climate the sweeter the desserts (and in the case of S. USA the sweeter the iced tea).

I wonder if the craving for higher sugar in warmer climates isn’t somehow related to the fact that stronger sun tends to create higher sugar fruit. Many of the tropical fruits are extremely sweet.


A similar thing happened to me with salt. I grew up putting salt on everything. When I stopped using the salt shaker and reduced salt in recipes I became very sensitive to the taste of salt and found some foods to be too salty. I’ve reduced my intake of sugar also and now find some foods to be too sweet to enjoy. It’s a cultural thing and we can adjust.


I stopped drinking pop two years ago and have found many things now tast too sweet to me. Sometimes it is really surprising when I eat something and it does taste like it used to. I find a sweet pear tastes almost like candy to me now.


In Russia back in the late 70’s some power company employees (going off memory here) found a family living in the remote area and they hadn’t been in touch with others for like the 1930s or something like that (they knew nothing of WWII). Their diet was pretty much what they could find (one of them died earlier from starvation). The one thing that caught my attention in the article was the oldest member (who had lived in a village before running off to the wild) said the thing he craved most was salt…40 some odd years with no salt. The sad thing is after making contact with outsiders, most of the family ended up dying (probably from salt/diseases they hadn’t been exposed to ever).