The Victoria Plum Tree has been around for nearly 200 years! This tree has earned an iconic status in British culture and is used in countless recipes. The Victoria Plum well known for both its relative ease of growing and delicious taste.
If you’re as excited about Victoria Plums as we are, you’ll find everything you need to know about them in this article.
History of the Victoria Plum Tree
This plum tree cultivar is quickly approaching its 200th anniversary. The origin of the Victoria Plum Tree is hinted at in its name.
This plum gets its heroic name from Queen Victoria and the Victorian Period in English history. In the 1840s, this cultivar first started popping up in England. Since then, it’s become one of, if not the, most popular fruiting plum trees in England.
In fact, the fruit of the Victoria Plum is also called the cooking plum because of how often it’s used in British cuisine.
Characteristics of the Victoria Plum Tree & Plum
Let’s start by talking about the fruit.
The Victoria Plum is known for its deep, yet bright, purple color when fully ripened. If you buy Victoria Plums at the store, then they might be a little less vibrant than those picked right off the vine.
These plums start their lives as smaller, green versions of the final fruit. As they ripen, they turn yellow and then orange as they make their way towards their final plum purple color.
The tree itself can grow up to around 13-feet tall with certain rootstocks able to be trimmed back down to around 8-feet at the smallest.
It’s worth pointing out that Victoria Plum Trees have very brittle wood. This quality is made more noticeable when they are either grown in poor conditions or improperly cared for. The weight of fruit can be enough to snap the branches in unhealthy trees.
Where should the Victoria plum tree be planted?
When it comes to heat, these plums do best in heat zones one through three. These are either northern or colder climates. This is an English tree after all, so think more raining and cold and less desert climates.
The climate zones for this tree also reflect its English roots. You can successfully plant this plum in climates like 2, 2A, 2B, and climates 3 through 22.
Size and Spacing
This plum really loves its personal space!
When planting Victoria plum trees, consider giving them ample room between their neighbors. This allows them to branch out and generate more fruit. Experts recommend seven to eight feet between trees.
This tree is in flowering group 3. It is also a self-fertilizing plant. This means that it doesn’t really need a pollinator to create fruit. However, the quality of fruit can be greatly improved by a pollinating partner plant.
Victoria Plum Tree Care
Learning how to care for your Victoria Plum Tree is an essential part of helping it to grow and create the delicious fruit that it is known for. There are some common diseases that affect plum trees that you should also look out for.
Here are some great beginner tips for keeping this plum tree happy and healthy.
This plant loves sunlight.
You’ll get the best results out of this plum when you plant it in full sunlight. This is, of course, if it is in the right climate. This is full sun for chillier climates and not necessarily full sun in tropical regions.
The Victoria Plum Tree loves being right in the middle when it comes to watering.
You’ll want to keep this plum watered to an average moisture content in the soil. This means regular waterings, but not enough to soak it. This plum will suffer if it gets too wet or too dry.
We wrote this handy guide for pruning your plum trees.
When it comes to the Victoria plum tree, you’ll want to follow this pruning advice.
Only prune after flowering when the tree is still without any leaves. This plum tree doesn’t need much pruning. It’s mostly to make sure enough light is reaching the center of the tree and branches. About 20% of this tree needs to be pruned in between seasons in order to promote new growth and control spread.
Common Uses For The Fruit
These plums are culinary all-stars especially when it comes to British cuisine.
Whether you’re looking to put some up for long-term storage or you want to try your hand at a plum crumble, Victoria Plums are a solid choice for any aspiring cook.
What Does Victoria Plum Fruit Taste like?
This fruit has a very delicate balance of sharp and sweet tastes. This makes it an ideal candidate for all kinds of different cooking applications. From sauces to cakes, this plum plays along well with almost any recipe. There is also a small hint of almond in this plum’s overall taste.
This plum was built to be preserved.
You’re most likely to encounter this plum as a jam, a preserve, or even as a ketchup! More often than not, this type of plum was built to be used in these types of recipes. Its naturally balanced flavor and delicate flesh make it a go-to choice for jams and other canning techniques.
This plum can also be cooked into crumbles and cakes. It holds its shape very well when used in these recipes. If you’re going to be baking these plums into a cake, make sure to dust them with a little flour before adding them to the batter. This will help prevent them from just sinking to the bottom of the cake.
What about eating these plums raw?
Can you eat Victoria Plums raw? The answer is technically yes, but you might not want to.
There’s nothing dangerous about these plums, but if you’re not getting them fresh off the tree, it might not be worth it.
In order to make sure these plums are ripe when they get to your local market, they are often picked before they are fully ripe and left to ripen off the vine. This spoils much of what makes their flavor so great.
So, if you’re looking for a raw Victoria Plum to snack on, try to find something fresh and local.
There’s a little trick you can do to make sure you have fresh, local plums all year long.
Canning / Freezing / Drying
In order to make the most out of your Victoria Plums, you should consider preserving them for long-term storage.
There are a few options you can take with this plan. The first is to can them which is always a great choice for fruit like plums. If canning your plums doesn’t sound like the right move for you, they retain their delicious flavor in the freezer for a surprisingly long time. You can also dry these plums to have as fun and easy snacks all year long.
Now that you have all these preserved plums, what should you do with them? Here are three recipes to get you started on your plum journey:
Health Benefits of that Fruit
Are you looking for a plum that will help your health? Victoria Plums have been associated with everything from boosted memory to weight loss.
Adding fresh fruit into your diet is a great idea. Plums are naturally rich in nutrients and a great way to replace less-healthy sweet snacks. If you are looking to kick out the synthetic sugars and preservatives, adding some plums to your diet is a great place to start.
Now that you’re in love with the Victoria Plum, where do you buy these plants?
Where To Buy The Victoria Plum Tree?
The best place to buy these plum trees are at a local garden center. This way you can inspect your young plum tree or cutting before it’s sent to your home. This isn’t always an option that is available to everyone, however.
This plum is also available from a few online retailers such as Nature Hills Nursery. This can be a harder to find plum tree as it is so specific to England. If you keep your eye out and scour the web, you’ll have a Victoria plum tree in your yard before you know it!
Where To Buy The Fruit
The fruit of the Victoria Plum can be found just about anywhere—if you’re willing to get a little creative.
As we’ve mentioned throughout this article, the Victoria Plum loses a lot of its natural qualities when you pick it before it ripens on the vine. This restricts “fresh” fruit options to people with a plum tree in their backyard or a local farm with this cultivar.
If you’re willing to get creative, you can find this plum everywhere. You just need to be ready to use jams, frozen plums, or canned plums to your advantage. If you are looking to cook with this plum, those options are probably going to be your ideal. You can likely find the real deal in your local market, just be ready about a lower quality due to the shipping.
The Victoria Plum is a hallmark of English cuisine. This plum cultivar has a storied history and will only continue being one of the most delicious plums around.
Whether you are looking for a new culinary experience or you want to try your hand at growing one of these legendary trees, you can’t go wrong with the Victoria Plum.