Purple-leaved plum (Prunus cerasifera pissardii)

Prunus cerasifera pissardii, also called red plum or garden plum, is a small tree (it is part of the same genus that includes cherry, peach and almond trees) deciduous of ornamental origin, which is a native variety of Persia, from the species that makes up the subgenus Prunus.

It is native to both Eastern and Central Europe and Central and Southwest Asia.


This plum is a tree that is characterized by being quite decorative, since it has a red-purple and brown-purple foliage, which offers the opportunity to add pleasant color contrasts within the garden.

It has a white bloom that is born at the top of a bare branch, so it has great appeal.

It must be said that Prunus cerasifera pissardii is an ornamental plum, so it does not offer a production of edible plums. It usually blooms prior to the appearance of the foliage, when it is completely covered by small and abundant pinkish flowers.

It also has a shiny reddish bark that turns out to be distinctive of the genus Prunus.

The Prunus cerasifera pissardii has the ability to grow to a height of approximately 8 meters and a width of 4 meters. It has a particular spherical shape and has an immense ornamental appeal due to its beautiful flowering in white and/ or pale pink tones, to which must be added the original color of its foliage and which allows it to create extraordinary contrasts.

It has simple, elliptical, deciduous leaves with serrated edges, which belong to a foliage of a dark red tone, which, as mentioned above, is ideal for creating contrasts in gardens.

It also has a rounded crown that looks a bit messy due to its numerous branches.

It produces flowers of a pinkish hue, which have a width of around 2-3cm. Its flowering is usually more abundant when winter ends, giving rise to small pentameric, actinomorphic, hermaphrodite and mainly solitary pink flowers that sprout before their leaves do.

In addition, Prunus cerasifera pissardii offers fruits that lie in drupes of a dark red hue.

Cultivation and care

It must be planted in a place where it can receive enough sunlight and where it can enjoy deep soil and a good supply of organic matter. And although it is a variety of plum able to withstand cold climates and strong frosts very well, the truth is that it is most convenient not to expose it to late frosts, since it does not support them well.

In the same way, it can be said that by properly withstanding moderate droughts and high levels of pollution, it turns out to be an ideal type of plum to grow in large cities.

It is a species quite sensitive to pruning, so that it is only necessary to carry out light pruning and annually, preferably at the time when autumn begins, in order to promote adequate healing of the cuts.

And because it blooms on old branches that are more than two years old, it is usually best to lighten the old branches at the time of maintenance pruning, which in turn will promote their flowering.

Light training pruning is necessary while the garden plum is in its early life and light maintenance pruning annually when it is formed.

It is also necessary to know that although they are not really demanding with the soil, it is usually best to grow them in slightly clay soils that have proper drainage and a good content of organic matter.

It is enough to apply fertilizer once a year during the spring, always preferring organic matter fertilizers such as compost, humus and/ or manure.

They are also small trees that have great resistance, so it is not common for them to be affected by diseases and/ or pests, although they generally experience problems with aphids, rust and mealybug, which are very easy to treat.

The most efficient way of multiplying is through the propagation by tongue grafting carried out in early spring and/ or by bud grafting on the various varieties during the summer period.

Likewise, it is possible that their reproduction takes place through cuttings during the beginning of summer.


The ornamental uses of Prunus cerasifera pissardii are usually varied, so they can be used as shade trees and as decorative elements both in alignments and alone.


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