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The Howard Miracle Plum: A Wonder Plum

The Howard Miracle Plum, Prunus salicina, is known by several names: Howard Miracle Plum, Howard’s Miracle Plum, and Howard’s Wonder Plum. 

Howard Miracle Plum

A fun, yellow, fresh eating fruit with zesty and complex flavors, the Howard Miracle Plum is a wonderful addition to any home orchard no matter what name you use. You are going to love this gorgeous addition to your garden.

All About The Howard Miracle Plum Tree

Unique with a pretty yellow skin that is tinted with soft reds and pinks, the Howard Miracle Plum offers an interesting flavor profile. The freestone fruit is perfect for fresh eating off the tree with a light amber flesh that can go all the way to white. This gem is a one-of-a-kind flavor bomb. It has a tropical fruit flavor with notes of pineapple, orange, grapefruit, nectarine. The sugar level is high, and you will detect a honey flavor as you bite into the sweet, juicy, and tart plum.

The fruit is often mistaken for a nectarine since its color and flavor profiles are unusual for a plum variety. If you are looking for something unique and different, this plum tree should be on your list to plant.

The Howard Miracle Plum Tree Facts

The Howard Miracle Plum tree is hardy for USDA Zones 5 through 9, with a low chill requirement of only 400 chill hours. It is hardy to a whopping minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Like all plum trees, the Howard Miracle Plum need full sun, 6 hours at a minimum. They love well drained soil that has been amended with rich compost; and prefer moderately moist soil. The plum tree will need mulching and watering in the early years and during dry spells.

The delicate white blossoms appear in March, and they put on an eye-catching show. This plum tree works exceptionally well as a specimen plant in your edible landscape with its gorgeous display of flowers, interesting yellow fruit, and beautiful spreading form. With a mature height and spread of only 10 to 15 feet, it is a perfect size as an ornamental plant that doubles as a fruit tree. 

A mid-season fruit producer, it will have you harvesting 30 pounds of sweet, citrus like fruit in August only 2 or 3 years after planting. The fruit has a delicate nature and is not good for commercial shipping making it hard to find. This delicate nature and wonder flavor are why we grow our own fruit trees; to have something tasty and unique in our garden. You won’t find these beauties at the grocery store, they are more likely to pop up at farmers markets and neighboring home orchards. All the more reason to plant your own tree.

Pollination Partners

The Howard Miracle Plum needs a pollination partner. The Santa Rose Plum or other Satsuma Plum plays nicely with the Howard Wonder.

You can learn more about the Santa Rosa Plum in our review of this stunning fruit tree. Planting one of each, a Howard Miracle Plum Tree and a Santa Rosa Plum Tree will satisfy all of your plum orchard needs. That is, until you find another variety you absolutely must have and need to plant!

Eating, Storing, And More

The Howard Miracle Plum is perfect for eating fresh off the tree. Every bite is a study in tart citrus and juicy sweetness. The plum will keep for a week or two, but not much longer. It is best used or preserved as close to harvest as possible.

Plums offer outstanding nutritional value. They are good source of potassium, calcium, phosphate, and vitamins C and B complex. Gobbling them up is good for you and they taste so delicious as a snack.

The Howard Miracle Plum, with its zesty citrus notes, makes an interesting glaze for roasted meats. It also makes an excellent plum sauce for dipping savory items like gorgeous egg rolls, chicken nuggets, or fried shrimp.

Given the striking yellow color of these plums, they are a showstopper when added to garden salads. Tip: The flesh tends to brown after cutting, a squeeze of lime or lemon juice will help keep the oxidation at bay.

History of the Howard Miracle Plum Tree

The story behind this plum is shrouded in mystery. It is said to be a Miracle Plum because it is a cross between an Asian plum, Satsuma, and a European plum, Green Gage, which is truly a miracle. Since the hybridization between an Asian plum and a European plum is nearly impossible, it is highly unlikely and genetically improbable that this is how Howard’s Miracle Plum as born. Current day theorists believe it was not the Green Gage plum but a green Asian variety that was used in the hybridization.

Frederick H. Howard discovered this delightful plum in Montebello, California, in 1946. The Howard Miracle Plum is a stunningly sweet and juicy addition to the plum tree family regardless of its lineage.  

Disease

common bacterial canker

Plum trees are fairly disease resistant. They can attract Bacterial Canker, so you need to be on the lookout for it and plan for prevention.

Bacterial Canker is an area of dead bark tissue, it grows slowly across the branch. It appears as a sunken wound that oozes a rusty or amber colored liquid. It is caused by the Pseudomonas Syringae bacteria and affects the tree’s limbs and leaves. With no leaves, the branch will not produce buds and fruits.

Prevention

Prevention is the best offense in controlling bacterial canker. Keep your trees stress-free by ensuring they have the proper nutrients. Spray in the fall or spring with a foliar spray with micronutrients. Eliminate pesky Nematodes, these little worms can inflict serious stress. Finally, practice good pruning and leaf removal habits. 

Treatment

To treat Bacterial Canker, removed the infected branches. Be sure to sterilize your pruning shears between each use. It is preferable to wait until late winter to prune away the infected branches. Then cauterize the cut with a hand-held torch to prevent reinfection.

How To Use The Budding Method When Attaching A Scion

Buds and leaves on successfully grafted

Scions

A scion is a living portion of a plant that has been cut off in order to be joined to a root stock by grafting. Typically, the scion is a stem, but can also be referred to as bud or a shoot. The best cutting is a stem with several dormant buds that will grow new stems and branches.

There are several reasons to graft and or bud a plant cutting onto a different root stock host. They include, but are not limited to, creating a dwarf variety making the tree more manageable, propagating plants that do not root well from cuttings, to add more than one varietal on a tree, and to use a root structure that is superior to the original plant. 

T-Budding

Grafting in Spring

Growers generally prefer the budding method for plum trees. Budding should be done in the early, active growing season. 

Cut a “T” on the stock plant away from other buds and branches. The “T” should be 1-1 1/2 inches long and the cross 1/2 long. Cut into the bark until you reach the resistance of the branches woody layer. Open the T-slit wide enough so you can insert the grafted bud. Cut a bud from your desired plant scion by starting 1 inch below the bud and cut underneath the bud to 1/2 inch above the base of the bud. Insert the bud into the slit opening. It should fit neatly into the opening — trim the bud’s ends if necessary. The opening needs to be able to closed tightly for good contact and protection against disease.

Wrap with budding tape around the stem to close and protect the joint insertion. To help aid in your budding success, choose a Grafting Knife and Budding Tape Kit that is right for the job. The best tools make the job easy and successful. 

Order Your Howard Miracle Plum Today

Whether you call them Howard’s Miracle Plum or Howard’s Wonder Plum, you need to have these zesty yellow beauties showing off in your home orchard with their fun citrusy and plummy flavor. 

Order your Howard’s Miracle Plum scion cuttings and get budding. You will be delighted at your green thumb prowess when you graft your first, second, tenth tree, and more. Don’t forget to order a pollination partner. The Santa Rosa Plum variety is a good complement to your Miracle Plum.

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