Need some tips for my grown-from-seed 5 month old Italian Plum tree

So my family home has had a fantastic Italian Plum tree on the property since my parents moved in 40 years ago. Unfortunately we can’t take it with us when we move in the next 1-2 years. So, I thought of the idea to take a ton of its pits and get their seeds, plant them and try to grow a new tree to plant on the property of the new home we buy. I found success in this process, first successfully getting the seeds out of the pits and then stratifying them so the root grew. Then they got planted in pots on May 10th of this year. After just two short weeks the seeding was looking great but now in Oct it doesn’t seem like there has been much growth. I’m worried I’m doing something wrong. The soil is seed starting mix which I know is basically has no nutritious value but it gets good watering, natural sun and I have put the fertilizer balls on the top soil in attempt to get it some fertilization. Whether that is adaque fertilization or not… Hence I’m asking for help.

Considering how long it will take to grow to start producing fruit I’m guessing I’ll probably just end up spending the $50 and buying a 4’-5’ tree somewhere and plant that when we move. However I don’t want to give up on my project. It would still be cool to see it all the way through and end up planting it.

A gallery with pics of the seed being planted, the seedling and the young tree as it is right now: Italian Plum Tree - Album on Imgur

Thank you for any advice, tips and assistance you can provide! I’m also totally open to recommendations on say a book or a forum that specializes in Fruit Trees that has a good reputation. I’m also very interested in any fruit tree online stores you guys/gals recommend as reliable and high quality sources to buy trees from.

(I just learned about Air Layering this week and so I’m going to give that a try in order to get a more advanced clone of my tree. However, I don’t want to abandon the plant I’ve grown from seed. It’s a fun project.)

The variety “Italian Plum” is pretty common. As long as you sure of the cultivar simplest thing would be to buy it from a reputable nursery when ready to plant.

Plums will not be ‘true to seed’ at least generally so you are not going to to get the same tree that you seem so happy with. I think you have not moved yet. In which case you could use the next year to buy some root stock and graft the tree to them next year year growing in pot and it should be ready to plant the next year.

Thank you for the response.

So as I said in my post, I know it’s common and can be bought for around $50. Not to mention I can take a branch, Air Layer it and pretty quickly have a 5’ tree that might even fruit a bit if I want to save the $50. I don’t think I would go the “root stock and graft the tree to it” because grafting takes some technique/skill (I’ve tried unsuccessfully with Japanese Maples) when I could just pay $50 for a 5’ tree.

But again, as I said in my post, at this point I’m just curious as to what, if anything, is wrong with my little tree I’ve grown from seed. Is it growing normally? If not, what’s wrong? What type of fertilizer should I use to feed it so it grows well? etc.

I assume the tree is and has been kept outdoors,in the container?October is about when plants slow their growth,lose leaves and prepare for Winter.
Also,the last few pictures,look like the soil may be too wet.

Yeah, outdoors, in that container and it’s Seattle so yeah it’s probably quite wet. Should I be keeping it outdoors in winter even at its young age? Any tip on fertilization (what type and when to add it)?

I’m near Seattle,in Redmond.Keeping outside,should be fine or maybe in an unheated garage or shed,if the temps get really cold,like 15F and stay that way for awhile,which might be unusual.No light is okay.

I use Miracle-Gro,when they are that size,but no more,until new growth starts again in Spring.

No light is okay? That’s good to know. I do have a Shelf unit with grow lights (full-spectrum T5 fluorescent grow lights) but to be honest I’ve been wondering for a while how good the lights are at reproducing what the sun provides because I use them for growing seeds into seedlings for gardening and I haven’t been impressed with the plant growth. My seeds (vegetables) sprout and grow into nice seedlings but when it comes time to mature a bit bigger (to the size you see at nurseries when you buy vegetable plants ready to be planted) they stall and the leaves stop looking healthy. Maybe it’s just a lack of fertilizer… idk.

Do you use a liquid Miracle-Gro fertilizer? Yeah, adding fertilizer while the plant is dormant wouldn’t be smart. Thank you.

You don’t want to add fertilizer at the end of the growing season, it will cause your tree to put out new growth when it should be hardening off for winter.

If it’s the fruit variety you want to duplicate, suggest air layering several limbs next spring on the sunny side of the mature tree. You are more likely then to get the desired result. It’s too late now to try air layering, it takes a full growing season to get a good mass of roots before you sever and plant.
Kent, wa

Thanks. I hadn’t seen the “sunny side of the mature tree” part before anywhere so that’s good to know.

I use the water soluble stuff,but it doesn’t matter.What’s probably more important is the N-P-K ratio,which one knowledgeable person determined 3-1-2 to be beneficial.Miracle-Gro’s All Purpose is 24-8-16,so that fits.

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