The first season my Flavor Grenade pluot bore fruit I was delighted with its very high brix and potential to eat as crisp fruit candy- unique among J.plums I’ve tasted (it was my first pluot and still the only one to bear profusely).
I remember Scott saying that to his palate, FG was a sweet nothing. Well, this year it’s just a nothing here, as is one Scott loves- Laroda. Both sucked last year as well and since its first year, FG has been a dud 3 or 4 years running. Once the fruit might have gotten good if I could have protected it from yellow jackets- but it tends to crack, so not so easy.
This year we’ve had lots of sun during summer but endless rain in spring, which is creating a problem with stonefruit of many split pits. However, that is no excuse for all of these plums failing to get brix high enough to make them enjoyable to eat.
A plum that Scott said he doesn’t like, Ruby Queen, has been quite good, although yellow jackets are going after every flaw in the skin. Fortune has been appealing at sites where I’ve tasted it.
Here in NY, after trialing it for 5 or 6 years, I would highly recommend Ruby queen as the best deep purple flesh late season plum, unless you want to take your chances with Elephant Heart.
My giant EH died this year after providing, by far, it’s most amazing huge crop of incredibly sweet, luscious plums last year. In the course of 20 years growing it at various sites, I can say it’s not a reliable producer, tends to have fruit flawed by pitch pockets when it does but that when it’s good… it’s very, very good. The queen of J. plums, IMO.
Plums have suffered at many sites this year without any clear single answer why. Just lots of either dead or struggling trees. Sometimes I believe the problem is bacterial spot, but there were no symptoms on the EH.
That is the second Elephant heart I’ve lost on my property in the last 20 years or so. I will plant another. I have enough room to spare for this temperamental lady.