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Purpleleaf PlumPrunus cerasifera

  • Northern Red Oak - Quercus rubra
The Purpleleaf Plum should be grown in full sun on well-drained, acid soil to bring out the richest leaf color. It tolerates slightly alkaline soil. Tolerant of moderate heat and drought, it often succumbs to borers on poor, compacted soil.

Hardiness Zones

The purpleleaf plum can be expected to grow in Hardiness Zones 4–9. 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 purpleleaf plum grows to a height of around 25' and a spread of around 25' at maturity.

Growth Speed Medium Growth Rate

This tree grows at a medium rate, with height increases of 13–24" 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 purpleleaf plum grows in acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained and clay soils. It is moderately drought-tolerant


This tree:
  • Produces beautiful pink and white blossoms in early spring.
  • Features stunning deep purple leaves that are 1½–3" long.
  • Yields round, edible reddish fruit that is 1¼" in diameter and ripens in late summer.
  • Tolerates moderate heat and drought.
  • Grows in a rounded shape.
  • May need additional deep watering in the summer heat.

Wildlife Value

The purpleleaf plum can provide important cover and habitat for many bird species, small mammals and large mammals. The fruit is eaten by many varieties of birds and small animals.


The purpleleaf plum's parent plant was discovered sometime before 1880 by the gardener to the Shah of Persia.