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Natal Plum Growing Guide

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Natal Plum Tree

Natal plum is a pretty green shrub native to tropical and Southern Africa. The plant has lovely glossy green leaves and produces snow white fragrant flowers. It also produces a nutritious plum like fruit.

Natal Plum Varieties

  • Boxwood Beauty: This is a thornless variety that is often used as a ground cover. It has white flowers and matures at about 24 inches tall and wide.
  • Emerald Blanket: A low, spreading dwarf cultivar that is often used as a ground cover shrub.
  • Fancy: A standard upright form with upright, large fruit.
  • Nana: Thornless dwarf cultivar grows to only 12 to 18 inches tall and wide and has white flowers.
  • Tomlinson: Another standard-sized thornless variety.
  • Variegata: Cream to yellow variegation

Natal Plum Care

You should plant your seedling in soil that drains well. Indeed this plant is known to grow well in sandy soil.

The Natal plum is forgiving of poor soil, as long as it is well-drained. While these plants prefer a slightly acid or neutral pH, they tolerate slightly alkaline soil. Consequently, they have proven to do well near coastal areas.

Time needed: 4 minutes

How to grow Natal plum from cuttings.

  1. Take cutting

    Take a tip cutting about 10cm (4in) long from your mature vine and take it back to your potting table.

  2. Remove bud

    Cut below the second or third mature leaf on the cutting.

  3. Rooting Hormone

    Remove what is now the first mature leaf and any tendrils or flower buds with it. Then dip the cutting into rooting hormone so the hormone touches the wounds on the stem.

  4. Plant in a pot.

    Transplant into a small pot full or premium potting mix.

  5. Sun and Water

    Finally, make sure your plant has heaps of sunlight and water regularly in the dry season.

natal plum flower
Natal Plum Flower

Propagation of Natal Plum

What is the best way to propagate Natal plum?

The best way to propagate Natal plum is from cuttings.


You should not need to water your plant during the wet season. For the balance of the year you should water once every few weeks, depending on the variety and soil.

However, make sure you do not overwater, because this plant is susceptible to root rot. Consequently, it is good if your soil dries out completely between waterings. Therefore good drainage is very important and remember, the Natal plum is fairly drought-tolerant.


You should use a fertiliser that is equal parts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Indeed fertilising will help maintain plant health and promote fruiting.

Pests and Diseases

We have had no problems with pests or diseases. However, aphids can be a problem. This can be managed by applying Neem oil. Indeed this is a great organic way to keep pests at bay.

This plant can have fungal problems, but that can be avoided by ensuring you do not over-water.

The Natal Plum Fruit

The plant produces small fruits, which taste like cranberries. Consequently they are often used in jellies and jams.

Health Benefits

A traditional food in Africa, this fruit can improve the nutrition of those who consume it.

The plum is extremely high in Vitamin C. Consequently, it is known to boost the immune system and support the health of teeth and gums. The fruit is also rich in calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.

Furthermore, the potassium in the fruit helps to regulate blood pressure and improves muscle function. In addition, the magnesium is good for your heart.

In conclusion, all the best and we hope you enjoy the Natal plum.

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