Growing plums can be very rewarding. Within several years, you could be enjoying a delicious harvest of sweet fruit each summer. Unfortunately, plums are susceptible to a number of fungal diseases, including black knot disease and brown rot. Thus, heavy use of fungicides is often required to protect the fruit, and many tree owners are not comfortable eating fruit that has been so heavily sprayed. A great way to limit fungicide use while still enjoying delicious plums is to plant the following disease-resistant plum varieties in your backyard.
Developed at Auburn University, the AU Rosa plum is a disease-resistant cultivar that grows well in areas where black knot disease and brown rot are common. AU Rosa trees are upright and very vigorous. Their dark green leaves are very attractive, and in the spring, they become covered in plentiful flowers. The fruit of AU Rosa plum trees sets heavily. These plums are firmer than many other varieties, which makes them easy to transport. AU Rosa plums have a dark red skin and yellow flesh with a sweet flavor.
Another Auburn University variety, the AU Cherry plum is a great choice for a home garden because it is extremely vigorous and requires little care. The trees are medium-sized with dark green leaves. AU Cherry plums are dark red in color with a dark red flesh. This makes them an attractive choice for desserts and canning. Their medium-firm texture allows them to be sliced easily and makes them suitable for storage.
Seneca plums were first cultivated in Europe, but are now popular in the United States. They are a late season plum, and are often not ready to harvest until the beginning of September. Seneca plums have red skin with a sweet yellow flesh. The trees are hardy and disease-resistant, and they can tolerate a wide array of climates. Seneca plums are commonly used for eating because of their large size and sweet flavor, but they may also be canned or dried.
Choosing a disease-resistant plum variety will make caring for your plum tree a lot easier. You'll be able to use far less fungicide spray, and you won't have to be quite as vigilant at looking for signs of disease. Still, you will need to remember to have your plum trees pruned each year. Doing so ensures that air is able to circulate between the branches, so mold and mildew do not get the chance to grow. Proper pruning and other tree services also prevent branches from cracking if they are too heavily loaded with fruit.