I’ve recently started to experiment with seedlings, apples, plums and cherries. One of my favorite plums is Kubanskaja Kometa but some years I have a lot of problems with pollination (the variety isn’t self fertile). What if I grow a seedlings from Kometa (openly pollinated), might those seedlings: 1) get self fertile? 2) act as a new pollinator for my Kometa?
I guess it could vary from plant to plant since all of them are unique and also depending on if the plant that gave pollen is self fertile or not.
Thankful for any information and even with wild guessings
Question: is this variety the same as Kuban Comet? Described as self fertile on Raintree’s website:
Kuban Comet Plum
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Kuban Comet Plum
Kuban Comet Plum
A unique cultivar from Krymsk, Russia. This teardrop-shaped, cling stone plum has bright yellow, very sweet flesh. Kuban Comet is extremely hardy, so it thrives in cold climates. The self-fertile, dwarf tree, which reaches about 10’ tall, is very productive and easy to grow. 2 inch-long, yellow-orange fruits turn red when fully ripe in late July, and the tart skin resists cracks.
Looks exactly like mine, didn’t find any photo of my own three/fruit. Interesting that it’s sold as self fertile over there. Is it possible that it’s som other version of the same plant? When sold here in Finland it’s recommended to buy another three for pollination. I’ve also read the same on Baltic pages where they recommend the same (Mara, Skoroplodnaja). I’ve got a Podarok St Petersburg and a Matjuni close to my Kometa but doesn’t work out great. Also have 2 different friends/growers with exactly the same problem.
I think you will find that although it is “self fertile” if you want to encourage full production of any variety that may be self fertile, you should pick another variety that can cross pollinate. Since it’s an Asian hybrid I have read that almost any Asian plum that blossoms about the same time would be a good choice. I have several mature plum trees and always notice that most blossoms do not become fruit. In those cases a cross pollinator can add the fruiting capacity.
Yes, this summer a had an Asian plum (Golde plum) besides it that I hadn’t planted yet, both flowering at the same time. That gave me some fruit this year, nothing the year before… a solution might be to graft Asian plum on Kometa, running out of space on that spot so another three besides it is nearly not an option.
Good points by both of you. Thinking along the same lines, I’ve grafted several other plum varieties to mine to ensure maximum pollination. Another observation that I’ve made with Kometa is that it blooms early and sometimes a late frost can cause damage to the blossoms.
Also, do you eat the fruit of Kometa fresh or do you process them somehow? I found the fruit off my tree to be are pleasant to taste but not as sweet and flavorful as European plums.
I’ve been eating them fresh, one of the sweetest, and largest, plums I have. And yes, it blooms real early, same time as my peach three, most of my other stone fruits are several weeks later. Often when Kometa is almost done the first flowers on my Padorak St Petersburg starts. They’re normally flowering half a week or so at the same time.
I don’t grow the Russian varieties mentioned here, but I have noticed a possible correlation to early blooming and poor fruit set in plums I do grow not related to frost damage- sometimes it takes a few warm days to get pollinators going in my region in NYS. I have also noticed that earlier blooming will get better yields on rare years when early spring is warm and turns cool and wet just as later bloomers are opening their buds.
Commercial apple growers in my region are keenly aware of the affect of cool weather on pollination related only to the absence of pollinator activity. A self fertile variety often needs insect pollination and if it doesn’t it may need warm weather for the tree to hold the sterile fruit as is said (and I believe) to be the case with pears.