Satsuma Plum Tree Overview
The Satsuma Plum tree is a Japanese plum variety which is one of the more popular blood plum varieties and prized especially in California. These trees produce delicious dark red plums with radiant white flowers in the spring. Not only is the fruit large with delicious juicy, firm flesh, but it is also perfect for canning as well as eating off the tree. If you would like to cook with them, they are great for both sweet and savory dishes.
Moreover these plums will ripen around late July to early August. In fact, Luther Burbank, a legendary horticulturist developed this variety in Burbank California and introduced it commercially in 1887 under the name ‘Blood Plum of Satsuma’. Although Luther Burbank named this variety “Satsuma” after a province in Japan, the Japanese plums actually originated in China. They were then brought to the US through Japan in the 1800’s. Compared to the European varieties, Japanese varieties are juicier, and not quite as sweet.
Just like any other plum tree, the Satsuma plum tree grows best in full sun with well-drained, loamy soil. While it can grow well in hardiness zones 5-9, it does especially well in places with cool but not cold winters and long, warm, and dry summers. Additionally, it needs around 300 chill hours which are the average hours of air temperature between 32° and 45° F in a typical winter season. Since it is one one of the earliest blooming fruit trees in the early spring, it will decorate the landscape with a bouquet of aromatic, white blossoms. If you would like more information on how to plant and grow this tree, see our guide.
- Uses: Eating fresh, canning, cooking
- Taste: Sweet, juicy, firm
- Size: Medium – large with a round shape
- Color: Dark red skin
- Type: Japanese
- Hardiness Zones: 5-9
- Harvest period: Late July – early August
- Pollination: In order for it to bear lots of fruit, we recommend growing this variety with Santa Rosa Japanese plum tree or with another Japanese variety such as the Fortune.
- Cultivation: This plum tree grows best in full sun with loamy well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0-7.0.