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Santa Rosa plum tree

Prunus x salicina 'Santa Rosa'

Santa Rosa is the definitive Japanese plum, with dark red skin and a sweet rich flavor.

Santa Rosa japanese plums for sale

  • Full-size 1-year bare-root tree $36.95
    Mature height: 16ft-24ft after 10 years
    Myrobalan rootstock
Next deliveries

You can pre-order now for shipping in the spring 2023 planting season.


Santa Rosa is the definitive Japanese plum, with its bright magenta red skin and its rich sweet red flesh. It is easy to grow and very productive.

Fruit size is fairly large relative to European plums, but most modern Japanese plums are noticeably larger now. Given its ease of growing and productivity it continues to be one of the best Japanese varieties for the backyard grower.

How to grow

Unusually for a Japanese plum, Santa Rosa is reliably self-fertile so can be planted on its own. It is also an excellent pollinator of almost all other Japanese and hybrid / inter-specific plums.

Santa Rosa is ideally suited to the climate of the West Coast (and other areas around the world with a similar Mediterranean climate) where it usually ripens in late June. In more northerly climates it remains an "early" variety, but is likely to ripen in August.

Advice on fruit tree pollination.

History

Santa Rosa was introduced by the famous Californian fruit breeder Luther Burbank around 1906 or 1907. Although technically it is probably a plum hybrid (and one of the earliest commercial plum hybrids at that), in most respects it can be considered a straightforward "Japanese" plum. It went on to become one of the most widely planted of all plum varieties worldwide, accounting for a third Californian production for most of the first half of the 20th century, although other varieties have now succeeded it (many of them being close descendants). One of the signs of its ubiquity are that most other Japanese plum variety ripening times are usually counted relative to Santa Rosa (in the same way that pear ripening times are given relative to Bartlett).

Santa Rosa characteristics

  • Gardening skillAverage
  • Self-fertilitySelf-fertile
  • Pollination group1
  • Pollinating othersGood
  • Bearing regularityRegular
  • Picking seasonMid
  • UsesEating freshCulinaryDual purpose
  • CroppingGood
  • Keeping (of fruit)2-3 weeks
  • General resistanceGood
  • Cold hardiness (USDA)(5) -20F / -29C
  • Summer maximum temperaturesHot (>30C / 86F)
  • Chill requirementLow-chill 300 hours
  • Country of originUnited States
  • Period of origin1900 - 1949
  • Flesh colourGolden / Yellow
  • Fruit colorRed
  • Fruit sizeSmall
  • Cling-stoneClingstone

Similar varieties

  • AU Rosa
    AU Rosa is a heavy-cropping and self-fertile red plum, related to the popular Santa Rosa but with better disease resistance.