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Mexican PlumPrunus mexicana

  • Northern Red Oak - Quercus rubra
  • Mexican Plum
Mexican Plum should be grown in full sun or partial shade on well-drained, rich soil but will tolerate almost any soil. It is quite drought-tolerant once established. This small tree is well suited for residential landscapes, and is especially popular in Texas. It might be best to locate the tree back from the edge of a patio, deck or walk since the fruits can be a little messy for a short period in the summer or early fall. Planted in the lawn or in a bed of low-growing ground cover, fruits drop unnoticed and are of no concern. The tree can be a `show stopper' when it is in bloom. It makes a nice tree for planting near power lines due to its small size.

Hardiness Zones

The mexican plum can be expected to grow in Hardiness Zones 6–8. View Map

Tree Type

This tree is considered both a flowering tree and an ornamental tree. It is typically planted for both its visual interest and profusion of spring flowers.

Mature Size

The Mexican plum grows to a height of 15–30' and a spread of 20–25' at maturity.

Growth Speed Slow Growth Rate

This tree grows at a slow rate, with height increases of less than 12" per year.

Sun Preference

Full sun is the ideal condition for this tree, meaning it should get at least six hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

Soil Preference

The Mexican plum grows in acidic, alkaline, loamy, moist, sandy, silty loam, well-drained and clay soils. It is quite drought-tolerant once established.

Attributes

This tree:
  • Produces showy white flowers in February and March.
  • Provides amazing fall color, with the green leaves turning a showy shade of orange.
  • Makes a good choice for residential landscapes and sites under power lines.
  • Yields small, showy red fruit.
  • Grows in a rounded shape.
  • Should be planted back from patios, decks and walks because it can produce some mess for a short period in the summer or early fall due to the fruit.

Wildlife Value

The fruit of the Mexican plum is eaten by several species of bird. Its blossoms provide food for insects such as bees. The tree itself provides nesting sites and materials for birds as well.

History/Lore

The roots of the Mexican plum have been used as rootstock for commercial plum production in the past.