This seed comes from a dwarf strain of beach plum developed by selecting five plants from over 4,000 seedlings that fruited in one year from seed. Those original five plants eventually provided enough seed to create the 'nana' strain by making several plantings of it throughout my farm. It is true from seed of which the characteristics are compact growth with multiple spurs and small branches laden with fruit. Compared to the other beach plums we grow, Nana’s fruit production is much greater with spur type fruiting on a lateral bearing plant. After 20 years plant height averages from four to five feet tall. Will cross pollinate with other beach plums as well for better fruit set. Nana is longer lived than other beach plums in that the main trunk does not break down after 15 years of fruiting. Plants tend to grow more upright with a strong central trunk.
Currently (August, 2022) the seeds are being processed. I am currently rehabbing the older plantings now to improve yields for next year. I apply chicken manure for additional nitrogen and gypsum for nitrogen absorption and increased water percolation. This produces a good return blossom if done yearly. This application is done during the growing season in the summer during fruiting in June.
The following varieties will be available as scionwood for grafting. They will be listed individually here in the options with seeds of the Nana.
"Black Pearl" Heavy producing compact plant with dense spur type fruiting. Small dark blue-violet to black fruit. Easy to pick plant with short limbs to 4 to 5 ft. tall that arch over. Fruits produce in dense clusters.
"Blue Pearl" Columnar to broad branching dense plant with dense blue fruits produced in clusters. Plants are dwarf reaching 3-5 ft. with no legginess that is normally found within beach plums. Very good production of delicious fruit. Pits pop clean out very easy. This selection has both good yield and good sized fruit. Seedlings of it produce very good lateral bearing dwarf plants.
"Multiverse" A small dark blue to black fruited variety with small fruit produced in dense clusters. Fruit has a lightly astringent skin than other varieties but fine for general processing. The yield per plant is very high with fruits that hang down in clusters. Reliable fruiting found in this universe of beach plums. Appears to spread lightly by runners and breed true from seed. Would be a good wildlife fruit as well. Ripens late in mid September compared to others.
To germinate the seeds plant outside in the fall 1/2 to 1 inch deep in a weed free sandy soil. Seeds will emerge slowly late in the spring. A portion of the seeds may need an additional season to fully germinate but normally a 70 percent success rate is normal for the Nana strain for the first year. Never freeze woody plant seeds in your freezer. That is not dormancy. It will kill the embryo.
For growing the seeds: take the seeds and put into a zip lock bag filled with lightly moist Canadian peat moss. Refrigerate 34-38 F for 60-120 days. Seeds will begin cracking open while in the fridge after 60-90 days. These can be plucked out and planted in pots in a light soil mix. Plant 1/4 inch deep. Tops will emerge in 7-10 days. A portion of the seeds may not sprout. These will need an additional warm- (120 days of room temperature is fine) and cold (60-120) days period to germinate. You can also direct seed outside. Plant a little deeper than other Prunus as it will aid in prevention of pilfering by rodents up to one inch deep.
|Genus & Species||Prunus maritima|
|Height (ft)||3-6 with equal spread|
|Pollination Requirements||Self fertile to some degree but benefits from more than two individuals or other beach plums or hybrids of beach plums where there is overlap in flowering.|
|Soil||Does well in sandy soil as well as prairie type rich soils. Slightly acidic is good.|
|Ease of Cultivation||Once established this form of beach plum is easy to produce from seed to create further varieties. The quick turn around for precocity is an added benefit. A portion of the population does flower at one year from seed and an even greater number in the second year. The branching is also denser making it ideal for the home garden as well with few leggy plants that flop over with heavy yields. Nana is the equivalent of a spur type apple tree with higher yield per unit of vegetation. But further refinement could be done to increase the fruit size. Although beneficial, the skin on the fruit is really the bonus of the beach plum and it would not be an advantage to develop a bland beach plum.|