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Growing Plums in Florida - Polk County Extension Office - University ...

Growing Plums in Florida - Polk County Extension Office - University ...

Growing Plums in Florida - Polk County Extension Office - University

HS895 Growing Plums in Florida 1 E.P. Miller, P.C. Andersen, J.G. Williamson, J.J. Ferguson and J. Bitter 2 Plum production has good potential for commercial growers and homeowners in Florida and other mild winter areas throughout the Gulf coast. However, most seasonal plums on the market are from California and will not perform well enough in Florida to produce fruit. From 1998 to 2001, plum cultivars have been released from the University of Florida's breeding program that adapt to our mild winters and high disease pressures. Because they have cropped reliably and produced high quality fruit, these cultivars are recommended for trial in Florida. The names of all University of Florida plum cultivars begin with the prefix 'Gulf.' These cultivars are Japanese type plums (Prunus salicina Lindl.) and have resistance to plum leaf scald (Xylella fastidiosa) and bacterial spot (Xanthomonas campestris). Fruit size is satisfactory (about 1 1/2 to 2 in. diameter) and fruit quality is good. They ripen in early to late May or about two weeks before California plums. Plum Cultivars Adapted to South Central, Central, North Central, North and Northwest Florida 'Gulfbeauty' was released in 1998 and patented by the University of Florida. Fruit color is dark reddish purple and the flesh is yellow with a green hue (Fig. 1). The skin is sour, which is common in Japanese plums, but the flesh is sweet, sub-acid and firm, when ripe enough to eat. The flesh clings to the stone even when soft ripe. Fruit are round and medium small, about 1 3/4 in. diameter, and weigh from 55 to 70 grams. 'Gulfbeauty' is the earliest plum to ripen from the University of Florida breeding program. Ripening occurs about 5 days before 'Gulfruby' and about 8-12 days before 'Gulfblaze.' As the fruit approach full ripe their color becomes noticeably darker (Fig. 2). Ripe fruit will hang on the tree for 7-10 days. Quality is good, especially for an early ripening plum. During its season no other fresh plums are available. Bloom and cross-pollination occurs with 'Gulfruby' and 'Gulfblaze' and overlaps with 'Gulfrose.' Fruit set is good with flowers formed on spurs and the previous season's shoots. Trees are vigorous and semi-spreading. In the 1. This document is HS895, one of a series of the Horticultural Sciences Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Publication date: March 2005. Please visit the EDIS Web site at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu. 2. E.P. Miller, biologist, Horticultural Sciences Department; P.C. Andersen, professor, NFREC-Quincy; J.G. Williamson, professor, J.J. Ferguson, professor, and J. Bitter, graduate student, Horticultural Sciences Department, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611. Mention of a pesticide is for identification purposes and does not imply endorsement of that product. Always read and follow label directions exactly when using any pesticide. Current information on pesticide use can be obtained from local County Extension Offices. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A. & M. University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Larry Arrington, Dean

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