Plum compatibility Research

Compatibility of Plums and Plum Hybrids

Can Asian plum and European plum graft on the same rootstock as Citation, Mariana or Myrobalan? As @Vincent has expressed an observation that this is a question that many members would like an informed answer, it goes without saying that we need input from members with firsthand experience who have experienced success in proving compatibility among the plum species. After reviewing considerable literature the details we often seek to plan a Prunus grafting project is often not easy to locate! With the ongoing creation of new varieties a compilation of compatible types would be very useful to many members, so when Vincent’s question came to me, it reminded me of the need to find out from the experience of others to make record of what combinations are feasible.

I have drafted this preliminary answer to the question in short form and ask that members who have personal experience with grafting various types of Plums, Plumcots, Pluots, Apriums, etc and know for a fact that compatibility is possible between any two stonefruit species, give me your feedback as to what works. I will then attempt to edit this article and update it with member documentation and credits so that all may know what works well.

While I realize the question that @ Vincent is posing tends to confuse rootstock compatibility with both rootstock and the species grafted to the rootstock, for sake of simplicity I want to limit this paper to addressing the compatibility among the wood species above the graft onto the rootstock, until such time as I obtain enough feedback that expresses any rootstock’s ability to directly support grafts of 2 or more species. Generally, its recognized that rootstocks are chosen primarily based upon dwarfing, soil suitability, stability and vigor some Stonefruit rootstock may be more suited and tested for any one of the primary plum species: P. domestica, P. salicina, P. persica, P. americanna. As well it may be suited to any one of these but not all! My preliminary research shows most growers do not specify or list which species are not compatible with their rootstocks leaving this question for members with real experience to answer!

Given that many of our member have limited space to support each tree but desire to have multiple varieties of each tree, the question reflects a sincere and very valid need to gather data form our collective knowledge.

For example after about five years of experimentation with many failures and some successes, here is what I know works well and what does not work at all:

What does not work: I found this on the internet about 10 years ago when i wanted to top work my sweet cherries into plums: When i ask the question: What types of fruits can be grafted together on the same tree? I get this answer: For example, one can graft peaches, plums, plumcots, apriums, pluots, apricots, nectarines, cherries and almonds all onto the same tree. One could also graft a tree of different citrus, or a tree of different apples and pears. Feb 17, 2016

So after several years of trying to graft various plum and peach scions onto my sweet cherry trees and failing 100%, I knew there must be some element of truth missing here! This response might have been more helpful if it had stated that in many instances there is a need to use an interstem to bridge compatibility between wood of the same genus or of different families!

What I know does work from my Experience:

Top Workin Sweet cherry Trees with Interstems: When attempting to graft various types of plum species to my sweet cherry trees I have found both Cherry Plum and Adara Plum to be fairly equivalent as inter stems to bridge compatibility from cherry wood to all plum varieties. I say fairly because i have only seen and observed about three years of growth, and they both seem to be supporting growth vigor equally. Using inter stems to bridge compatibility these varieties are now vigorously growing:

Prunus domestica: Green gage, Castledon, Rosy gage (a Cross), Coes Golden Drop

Prunus salicina: Methley, Satsuma,

Prunus salicina hybrids: Oblinaya, Beauty, Nadia

Interspecific Hybrids: Flavor King

Prunus munsoniana: Wild Goose

On my P Americana native rootstocks I have the following growing as direct compatible grafts: Burgandy, Castledon, Ozark Premiere, Waneta, OPAL, Wild Goose, Mount Royal Plum, Kuban Comet, Dapple Dandy, Rheine de Mirabelle, Sweet Treat Pluery, Waneta, Friar, Luisa, Black Splendor Shiro, Satsuma

On my Myrobalan 29c rootstocks I have: Opal, Dapple Dandy, Methley, Flavor King, Flavor Supreme,

On my roadside cherry plum I have grafted directly: Ozark Premiere, and Wild Goose, Nadia.

To provide effective feedback from members who are engaged in grafting plums and wish to provide feedback of what has worked for you or just as valuable, what you know has always failed, I am asking you to answer these three questions: ( In each case please indicate the number of years your graft has grown well as you would expect).

  1. Rootstock support: Have you grafted more than one Prunus type directly to any Rootstock without any type of interstem? If so please give me your Rootstock name, and the different varieties grafted directly to the rootstock. (To clarify: I am referring to a rootstock that has several native scaffolds onto which your varieties are grafted, i.e. there are no inter stems or other plum varieties between the roots and the scaffolds.)
  2. Above the rootstock: Where there is only one type and variety grafted directly to the rootstock, have you grafted other types of prunus directly to the original variety?
  3. If you have used an interstem to create what some refer to as a “Frankentree” of multiple varieties, please tell us your rootstock name and what interstem lies between the rootstock and your multiple varieties.

In closing, to solicit your input and to facilitate my use of your data, if you wish to give only a brief comment feel free to do so directly, but if you wish to provide me your actual experience please simple PM me asking for my email address and I will provide that to you for use in providing me your experiences. Let me know if you wish to be credited in my final edition.



Kent, Wa

Wikipedia definitions: ,

  1. Pluots, apriums, apriplums, plumcots or pluclots are some of the hybrids between different Prunus species that are also called interspecific plums
  2. Prunus is a genus of trees and shrubs, which includes (among many others) the fruits plums, cherries, peaches, nectarines, apricots, and almonds.
  3. Citation Rootstock: From the below reference#1, this rootstock was developed by USA, Zaiger Genetics, patented in 1983 , and is described as a dwarf rootstock: Prunus salicina x Prunus persica
    (Red Beaut plum x peach).
  4. From reference #2, MARIANNA 2624 ROOTSTOCK is described as: It will produce a large semi-dwarf tree, can be easily maintained from 12 to 17 feet tall. Tolerates wet soils and good disease resistance; moderately resistant to phytophthora, crown rot, root rot, and oak root fungus. Root-knot nematode resistant. Can sucker in adverse conditions. It is compatible as an understock for plums, apricots, and some almonds. Incompatible with peaches and nectarines. Hardy to USDA zone 4-10.
  5. From reference #3 Myrobalan 29c is described as: A Vigorous well anchored rootstock good for all plum varieties. Less suckering than seedling Myrobalan and resistant to root knot nematode, crown gall and oak root rot.
  6. From reference #4 Myrobalan is described as: A plum rootstock with Prunus cerasifera parentage. Graft compatibility with Apricot, Plum, and Prune. Myrobalan is a highly vigorous seedling rootstock that is well suited for a wide range of soil types. It is usually considered a vigorous or semi-vigorous rootstock, producing a tree with a mature height of 16ft - 20ft. Trees on Myrobalan should become free-standing but may benefit from staking for the first few years in lighter soils and / or windy situations. Like most seedling rootstocks Myrobalan is not particularly precocious, and trees should start bearing after 4-5 years. Apricot can be grown on Myrobalan plum rootstocks, although weakness and breaking at the graft union has been reported after high winds. As a result of this problem Myrobalan rootstocks should only be used in very heavy or wet soils.


#1: Rootstocks - Fruit Report

#2: Marianna 2624 Rootstock — Raintree Nursery


#4: Foundation Plant Services


Thank you Dennis. This is a really good topic.
I have an old peach tree that was there when we bought our house. I don’t know the name but had plums, and cherry-plums take and is now flowering. I also have an old santa rosa plum which had 3 peaches graft take and is also now flowering.

I just did grafts using adara, and hollywood plum as interstem to graft scions like european plum, and cherry on to peach and plum. I will provide more info after this year, if it survives. I also grafted european plum directly to peach which Vincent recommend.

My question for you is how many inches of interstem would you recommend? I just did my grafting and only used around 3-4 inches of interstem which might be a mistake. Joereal told me he uses 5 inches for it to work. I hope I get lucky.

[quote=“John_P, post:2, topic:51941”]
just did grafts using adara, and hollywood plum as interstem to graft scions like european plum, and cherry on to peach and plum. I will provide more info after this year, if it survives. I also grafted european plum directly to peach which Vincent recommend.

“My question for you is how many inches of interstem would you recommend? I just did my grafting and only used around 3-4 inches of interstem which might be a mistake.”

Hi John,
Sounds like you are plowing new ground! You should have some valuable data once you see how well they grow and if there is no delayed graft defects. You have accomplished some graft types that I could not make work like peach on plum!
To answer your question, I recall reading they should be 6” long, but from my experience the majority of my interstems are about 4-5” so I expect you will be Ok.
Some people advise removing all interstem buds, but I usually keep at least 1 ea on the tip end which can serve to keep the interstem alive, even if your plum scion fails. Then at least you can summer green graft onto the interstem or do it again the following year. Another trick I learned from a local orchard is to pre- callous the interstem graft to the plum scion about a week or 10 days in a cold water bath, covered to prevent all light and stored indoors. This gives that graft a head start to callous at near optimal 68F temps, and it may be fully calloused by the time you use it outdoors. So I do this about a week before I expect outdoor highs in mid 60’s which is about as early as I start outdoors on plums. I complete the graft usually a whip and tongue, maybe do a chip bud on the interstem, then parafilm all but the bottom 2”. The I stand it up in a cold water bath about 3” deep, covered in a dark room.
Take care and do keep good notes!
Thanks and good grafting luck!
Kent, wa


Wow Dennis. This is a great info. Just to clarify. For it to callous sooner i can graft scion to scion interstem cover with parafilm and rubberband and then leave it in a water for 7-10 days. But wont the scion wake up with with the temp 68 lets say i will leave it in the garage? Thank you Dennis!!

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Hi John,
Actually, Light is the predominant factor to awaken buds, allow absolutely no light (cover the container with a dark blanket), you can monitor them daily just to give you confidence, indoors where I assume your home temp is around high 60’s. They should be fine. When you graft outdoors there will be a need to shave off the bottom end of the interstem that is submerged until you get back to unoxidixed bright wood and green cambium. I would not exceed 2 weeks, probably 10 days is about right. At 68f the graft will fully callous in about 3 weeks, so your interstem graft is ahead of the outdoor graft, this assures that your plum buds are ready to break out even before the interstem buds and gives them priority on use of the limited energy stored in the combined interstem/plum scion. Keep in mind that Adara and cherry plum interstems are quite a bit more agressive than most other plums. They are usually opening bud much earlier that other plums, so if you allow them to do so, their buds can usurp the majority of stored scion energy. As you probably are aware, until nutrients can flow thru to nourish the scion, the buds cannot be fed enough to succeed. So this just gives you that extra advantage.
Try it!
Take care


Better yet John, try a test, do one graft your normal way and another of same varieties using dark callousing, and I think you will see the difference.

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I don’t know if this is exactly what you are after, but my experience is that all plums grow vigorously on peach. I have the following, all directly grafted to peach:

Black Splendor
Purple Heart
De Montfort
Early Transparent
Geo Pride
Kirke’s Blue
Rose Marie
Flavor King
Reine de Mirabelle
General Hand
Golden Transparent
Emerald Beaut
Golden Nectar
Petite D’Agen
Coes Golden Drop


I am particularly interested in what happens with the Hollywood interstems and how they perform. I just received some Hollywood scions from another member ( @dpps ) so it will be a new addition to my varieties. I am intrigued by what She told me about them being easily rooted. That’s also true about cherry plum and Adara. I read that Hollywood was developed by Burbank from a P. Salicina x p. Cerasifera. It seems all three share the same P. Cerasifera parentage. It’s too early to generalize that the three are equivalent as interstems, but I will be interested to see what others report. I was just lucky to have a mature Cherry plum that volunteered on my street frontage to have it to experiment. Now I rely on it as much as Adara for my interstems.
Kent, wa

Hi Kevin,
I knew you had told me you grow them on Peach rootstock, but I had assumed you use an interstem! So that’s very informative as well, yes it’s exactly the type of data I want to assemble. Would you mind giving me some details on how you typically graft? For example are you first growing all your peach scaffolds out to form the structure before grafting each variety. What types of grafts work best. When do you graft onto peach? Since peach grafting requires a warmer temperature to callous, do you wait until you get a solid 65 to 80F weather trend?
I use these as my optimal ambient grafting targets:
Nectarines/Peaches – 18-26 deg C. ( 64.4 to 78.8F)
Apricots/Cherries – 20 deg C. ( 68F)
Plums – 16 deg C. ( 60.8 F)

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I honestly would love to try this. I’ll do anything to get a successful graft. Unfortunately we have rain till March 14. No rain in the next 3 days but i wanted it to be a week or 10 days when i try that.

To be clear with the Hollywood interstem, i got the info from joereal. He used hollywood plum as interstem to graft european plum into Japanese plum which I’m trying to graft to peach and plum. I recently read that hollywood is not compatible with peach, we will see what happens.

Here are my plum graft take on peach tree:
Casselman, shiro, easterbrook plum, hoops red cherry-plum, toka, eldorado plum

Here are my peach graft take on santa rosa plum tree:
Early amber peach really good growth with flowers
Roza peach small with flowers
Unknown(lost my tag)small with flowers


Hi Dennis is this good enough?

I did 5 W and T interstem grafts adara to cherry. Van, Lapins, rainier, bing, black republic. I hope it works!!

Hi John,
I would keep the graft unions above water, only the base of each scion that is not parafilmed should be submerged. The parafilm does a good job of preserving moisture. Then store in a dark container.
Good luck

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Oh no i misunderstand it. Do you think this will still be viable? They have been submerged for 2 days now.

Not to worry, should still be ok

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And also it is a foam but it is covered and totally dark when covered.

Thank you for all your advice!!

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Slightly off-topic question but I thought I would try here before starting a new thread… Does anyone have any insights into plum species that will pollinate Wild Goose plum (variously described as p. rivularis, p. munsoniana, p. hortulana, p. americana…)? The variety I have is from Ken Asmus at Oikos; he refers to it as p. hortulana. Mine flowered profusely this year for the first time but appears to have set no fruit, despite blooming ornamental plum trees nearby, blooming beach plums a few hundred feet away (plus a blooming BP branch strapped to the trunk of the WG plum for several days), lots of pollinator activity, and artificial pollination using the blooming branch of an ornamental fruit-producing plum from a nearby shopping center. Would love to hear any insights this group might have.



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Hi Peter
My WG are from Okios, have more blossoms this year so I should know soon if self fertile. I am adding a number of native plum varieties to my WG thicket to try to get better pollination.

Prunus angustifolia, Prunus umbellata, and Prunus Nigra are in the same clade as Prunus munsoniana. Prunus cerasifera and Prunus simonii seem to have broad compatibility with other plum species, which is why they are present in most modern commercial hybrids.

You might find several of these articles an interesting read.
Kent, wa
Plum genetics and relations

Prunus angustifolia, Prunus umbellata, and Prunus Nigra are in the same clade as Prunus munsoniana. All four are found in North America. Whereas, Prunus cerasifera and Prunus simonii are far more widespread with P. Cerasifera inhabiting most continents. Perhaps this explains why the latter two are in the lineage of the majority of currently available domestic plum hybrids. We know that Burbank used Asian plum stock and the Native American plum in his breeding program but there are many unknowns about the various crosses that make up his named varieties. Prunus simonii is specifically mentioned in articles about his work, but we do not know if the Japanese plums he imported were hybrids of P cerasifera or not!

The following input from reference #1 below tells us that the russian cultivar ‘Skoroplodnaya’ is a hybrid cross between Prunus salicina Lindl. and Prunus americana Marsh.
Cherry plum (Prunus cerasifera Ehrh.) is a relatively new crop in Estonia. It is known that cherry plum cultivars show usually somewhat lower resistance to the frost with comparison with the European plum (Prunus domestica L.) cultivars. Our main objective was to test cherry plum cultivars for their adaptation to the climatical conditions of Estonia and their potential commercial value. Cherry plum hybrid cultivars under estimation were obtained from Russian, Byelorussian and Latvian breeding programs. During 1995-2000 eight introduced cherry plum hybrid cultivars ‘Alvis’, ‘Karminnaya Žukova’, ‘Kometa’, ‘Mara’, ‘Naidena’, ‘Podarok Druzyam’, ‘Pramen’, ‘Vetraz’ and one selection Matyunin´s 9-250 as well as american cultivar ‘La Crescent’ and russian cultivar ‘Skoroplodnaya’ (hybrid between Prunus salicina Lindl. and Prunus americana Marsh.) were evaluated for their productivity, fruit weight, harvesting time and fruit quality characteristics in an orchard, planted in 1988-1989 at the Polli Horticultural Institute of the Estonian Agricultural University. Winter hardiness of these cultivars was estimated during winters of 1993/94, 1995/96 and 1996/97. This paper contains also the brief descriptions of the cultivars. According to our results frosts caused the different level damage practically to all studied hybrid cultivars. ‘Mara’ and ‘Alvis’ were the most hardy cultivars during three winters estimation. The most injured were ‘Naidena’, ‘Skoroplodnaya’ and ‘V
etraz’. ‘Mara’, ‘Pramen’ and ‘Karminnaya Žukova’ were the highest yielding cultivars in this trial. Fruit weight was the largest on ‘Kubanskaya Kometa’ and ‘Podarok Druzyam’. Fruit attractiveness and flavour were ranked highest for ‘Kubanskaya Kometa’.

The second article goes into quite some detail about the relationships of many known diploid plum varieties pointing out the gene pool contributions of P Salicia, P Simonii, P Cerasifera, and the Native American plums. A review of the results of this study shows the clusters of varieties that show high similarity coefficients. With P Cerasifera showing up throughout the study as a contributor of so many gene pools, perhaps that is why the cherry plum is so capable to serve as a grafting interstem for so many varieties of stonefruit.

#1. Cherry plum hybrid cultivars in Estonia