“How often should I water with drippers my 20-year-old Santa Rosa plum tree?” Question from Gloria of Morgan Hill, California
Answer: Even established trees with deep roots need supplemental water during dry spells. In arid areas where soils are poor, irrigation is even more important, as is fertilization. Let rainfall decide when you irrigate your Santa Rosa plum tree (Prunus salicina ‘Santa Rosa’). During extra dry periods, you may need to water it two to three times a month. Remember that tree roots flare out, and most feeder roots are along the periphery of the flare, so avoid just watering near the trunk. The flare often follows a tree’s branching, so water further out to really irrigate properly.
Plum trees grow best in fertile soils that drain well. Adding a layer of compost, such as Black Gold Garden Compost Blend around the roots each year can help slowly feed the soil and hold in needed moisture.
Black Gold Horticulturist
About Jessie Keith
Plants are the lens Jessie views the world through because they’re all-sustaining. (“They feed, clothe, house and heal us. They produce the air we breathe and even make us smell pretty.”) She’s a garden writer and photographer with degrees in both horticulture and plant biology from Purdue and Michigan State Universities. Her degrees were bolstered by internships at Longwood Gardens and the American Horticultural Society. She has since worked for many horticultural institutions and companies and now manages communications for Sun Gro Horticulture, the parent company of Black Gold. Her joy is sharing all things green and lovely with her two daughters.
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