The British love plums from Victoria plum trees. The cultivar has been around since the Victorian era, and it’s the most popular plum variety by far in the U.K. The lovely fruit is particularly known as a cooking plum. If you start growing Victoria plums on this side of the pond, you’ll want to stock up on Victoria plum tree information first. Read on for a description of the tree as well as tips on how to grow Victoria plums.
Victoria Plum Tree Information
Victoria plums that ripen on a tree in your backyard orchard are really delicious eaten fresh. However, if you buy them in supermarkets, they may have been picked early and allowed to ripen off-tree, reducing the flavor. In either case, the plums from Victoria plum trees are excellent in jams and pies. The flesh cooks up to a puree the color of a sunset. It has a great sweet/sharp balance, with just a taste of almond.
It’s the color of the Victoria plum that is the tip-off as to ripeness. According to Victoria plum tree info, the plums grow in green, then transform to a bright orange before ripening to plum purple. Pick them when they are red/orange for the perfect cooking plums, but for eating fresh out of hand, harvest the plums when dark reddish purple.
The trees are available on standard “St Julien A” rootstocks as well as smaller rootstocks. Standard trees grow to 13 feet (4 m.) tall, while with the smaller VVA-1 rootstock, expect an 11 foot (3.5 m.) tree that you can trim down to 10 feet (3 m.). Victoria plums grown on the Pixy rootstock can grow to the same height as on the VVA-1. However, you can prune them down much smaller, to 8 feet (2.5 m.).
How to Grow Victoria Plums
If you are tempted to start growing Victoria plum trees, you’ll discover that it isn’t too difficult. These are fairly easy-maintenance trees if you site them well. Victoria plum trees are self-fertile. This means that you don’t necessarily need another plum species in the neighborhood in order for your tree to produce plums, but it still helps.
So exactly how to grow Victoria plums? You’ll want to find a site that will accommodate the tree’s height and spread. The site should get full sun but it should also be sheltered from wind and weather. This will keep high winds and late frosts from damaging the crop.
Growing Victoria plums is far easier if you start with excellent soil. Make sure it is well-worked and add in organic compost before you plant. You can mix in some fertilizer too. This plum tree tolerates poor conditions, but the more favorable they are to begin with, the better the fruit will be.