'Krauter Vesuvius' Purple Leaf Plum
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Prunus cerasifera 'Krauter Vesuvius'
This Vesuvius is a kinder, gentler “volcano,” its first name being the last name of its breeder. It spouts a flow of fragrant pale pink flowers in spring, followed by an eruption of dark red leaves which deepen to purple and hold that color throughout summer and autumn.
Hardy in USDA zones 4-9 and deer resistant, the deciduous tree tops out at about 20 feet in both height and width. Also known as cherry or myrobalan plums, purple-leaved plums generally are grown for their flowers and foliage rather than their cherry-sized fruits, which tend to be sparse and bland. They provide a splash of contrasting color to the green foliage of most other plants and trees. This cultivar is somewhat resistant to black knot disease.
Culture: For the best hue in the north, plant purple-leafed plums in fertile, well-drained soil in full sun. Though they will survive in partial sun too, their color may turn greener under those conditions. In the deep south, full sun may fade the purple foliage, so the trees should receive only morning rays there.
To shield their blooms, position them where they will be sheltered from strong winds, but make sure that the location still is airy to help protect them from fungus diseases. Prune them in late winter.
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