The Ocean is Blue-So is the Sloe Plum
Selected from 100 percent immune to black knot plants our sloe plum seeds represent the highest immunity of black knot on a population level. I offer our 3rd generation seeds from the original variety 'Plena'. 'Plena' was fully hardy and fruitful in Michigan however the black knot is so severe it wiped out the most of the planting after 15 years. When I grew a second generation I found numerous seedlings completely immune to this. As a result, everything else was removed and now I have this seed strain to go forward.
This is a good selection for fruit production as well as cultivar development. However the plant itself is very productive and needs really little selection to be used commercially or otherwise. Some selections have higher fruit production where the fruit is produced in dense clusters much like a good beach plum. Sloe plum spreads by stolons making it even easier to develop and propagate new selections of this widely popular fruit known throughout the world. It has never caught on in the U.S. only because few people had the knowledge of its both health giving properties and well as its use.
Ocean Blue Black knot immune selection with good growth habit with large canes and wide spreading habit. Clones by growing underground roots that spread slowly outward creating a colony. Thinning a bit helps with yields making the canes larger and more robust creating a twiggy type tops to 4 feet. Ocean Blue is a selection that can be grown from seed, but further selection could be done on yields. If grown in a typical orchard environment there are no bugs or diseases that affect the fruit. The rather strong flavor is mellowed if processed with sugar.
Refrigerator method is best: Here is what to do with the seeds. Add a moist media to the seeds like Canadian peat moss and store the seeds for 60-120 days at 38 to 42 F. Seeds will begin to sprout within 60 days in the refrigerator. Some will take longer and others will be doubly dormant requiring a warm period and then another cold period. This will be enough to crack all the stones which will germinate quickly when put at room temperature. But don't throw out the seeds if they do not sprout the first cold dormancy. You may have to give them another chance. These seeds were floated to get rid of the blank seeds. Extras were given to accommodate for partially filled seeds in case there are some.
Seeds will be offered along with a stolon or scion of the cultivar "Ocean Blue" for clonal reproduction. 'Ocean Blue' is from two plants that have zero black knot even though the plants are surrounded by black knot or dead sloe plums from black knot. These two plants are identical in all characteristics with heavy yields with small purple plums. I cut the runners to give you a stolon root plus scion for growing. I send enough to make sure you are successful with it.
Seeds plus stolon cuttings or scions will be sent with the seeds during the dormant seasons. Seeds can also be sent separately so you can get them started in dormancy sooner than later. Harvest is done in mid to late August. Seeds are ready to go by mid to late September.
|Genus & Species||Prunus spinosa Plena seed sources|
|Height (ft)||3-5 ft. with 3-10 width if let to stolon|
|Pollination Requirements||Several plants is likely preferred for fruit yield, however lone plants are fruitful.|
|Soil||Grows very well in sandy and rocky soil. Not for moist soils.|
|Climate||Prefers a cold climate. Found in mountainous regions. Not for hot or moist climates. Foliage drops in late August or so.|
|Ease of Cultivation||Super easy to grow from seed. Careful about damp off. Use an appropriate soil mix to allow good drainage. Once it reaches the height of 3 ft. and the shrubs are putting on spurs, then you know you are close to fruiting. For me it took 4 to 5 years to fruit from seed in Michigan. What to do with the fruit? People use the fruit usually for alcoholic beverages. The tannic fruit is often used a type of health tonic and can be processed into syrup. A few wine and spirit companies have purchased the plants and seeds from me for several years. No nurseries offer this plant as far as I can tell. I was told I had the only planting in North America.|