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Known as ooray, QLD Davidson Plums are a tall, slender native Australian rainforest tree found in Queensland and Northern New South Wales.

This ornamental tree is a popular bush tucker plant, as the unique and distinctive fruit is packed with beneficial antioxidants. The plums have dark blue/purple skin with a vibrant, almost magenta, flesh and grow in clusters directly off the trunk. The fruit is very tart and works well in both savoury and sweet products, particularly sauces, jams, jellies, cordials and ice cream.

Davidson Plums offer a taste of Australia’s amazing flavours and are the perfect fit for narrow spaces and a compact urban setting. 

In this comprehensive guide on how to grow and care for your Davidson Plum tree, we will cover:

  • A quick guide on QLD Davidson Plums.
  • What to do when my plant arrives.
  • I’m ready to plant, what do I need?
  • Repotting and replanting steps.
  • Ongoing care for your QLD Davidson Plum tree.

By following these care instructions, you'll be able to enjoy one of Australia’s unique flavours. Happy gardening!

CLICK HERE to grow your own Davidson Plums!

1. Quick Guide - Plant Info

Botanical Name: Davidsonia pruriens

Plant Type: Small to medium evergreen tree.

Climate: Warm temperate, sub-tropical and tropical.

Mature Height: 5 – 10m  

Position: Full sun to part shade with protection from strong winds and afternoon sun in hot climates. 

Water: Water regularly, especially if you aren’t in a high rainfall area.

Soil: Moist, well-drained soil with plenty of organic matter.

Fertiliser: Organic, slow-release native fertiliser during the when flowering and fruiting.

Frost Tolerance: No

Drought Tolerance: Mature trees are drought tolerant.

Fruiting: Davidson Plums take 3 – 4 years to start to product fruit, depending on growing conditions. Queensland Davidson Plums fruit from February to May, extending through August in some years.

Harvest: Fruit is ready to harvest when they develop a purple blush.  

Storage: Whole, unwashed Davidson plums should be kept at room temperature until ripe, sometimes taking up to one week to soften. Once ripe, the fruits can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days. The fruits can also be frozen for extended use. 

Pots: Grows well in large pots (use a quality potting mix).

2. What to do when my new Davidson Plum baby arrives.

After transit, plants become extremely stressed. It’s important to allow your Davidson Plum tree to adjust to its new environment before you repot or plant in the ground.

  • Remove the packaging around your tree, but keep it in its original pot.
  • Place your Davidson Plum in a position that is lightly shaded and sheltered from the wind.
  • Water your tree extremely well.
  • Allow to acclimatise in its original pot for at least two weeks before repotting or planting.
3. I'm ready to plant, what do I need?

Repotting:

  • A pot that is at least double the size of the original pot.
  • Premium, well-draining potting mix.
  • Seaweed solution.
  • Organic mulch (e.g. pine bark, sugar cane or pea straw).
  • Slow-release native fertiliser.
  • Gloves (QLD Davidson Plums have bristly hairs on the stems and mature leaves that can be a skin irritant).

Planting in Ground:

  • Compost and well-rotted manure.
  • Seaweed solution.
  • Organic mulch (e.g. pine bark, sugar cane or pea straw).
  • Gloves (QLD Davidson Plums have bristly hairs on the stems and mature leaves that can be a skin irritant).
4. Re-potting & planting steps

Position: Place your Davidson Plum tree in full sun to part shade. It thrives in a humid subtropical to tropical climate. Choose a sheltered location with protection from strong winds and the afternoon sun in hot climates.

Planting in Pots:

  • Mix 5mL of seaweed solution in approximately 2L of water and soak the soil in the original pot. This will help prevent transplant shock, boost root regrowth and loosen the soil to make transplanting easier.
  • Choose a pot that is at least double the size of the original pot.
  • Fill half of the pot with premium, well-draining potting mix and sprinkle some slow-release native fertiliser. 
  • Carefully grab the tree by the trunk with one hand while supporting the pot with the other. Gently remove the Davidson Plum from the pot and place in the centre of the new pot. (Make sure you’re wearing gloves!)
  • Fill the pot with the remaining potting mix, leaving a gap for a layer of mulch. Firm the soil around the plant using gentle pressure. 
  • Sprinkle a large pinch of slow-release native fertiliser on top of the soil.
  • Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of the plant to help conserve water. Keep the mulch away from the trunk to prevent collar rot.
  • Water in well.

Planting in Ground:

  • For the best results, Davidson Plums prefer well-draining, slightly acidic soil (5 – 7pH).
  • Dig a hole at least as wide and as deep as the root ball. 
  • Enrich the soil by digging in compost and well-rotted manure.
  • Make sure the hole is adequately moist and water before planting if necessary.
  • Gently remove the Davidson Plum from the pot and place in the centre of the hole. (Make sure you’re wearing gloves!)
  • Back fill, firm the soil around the plant and water in well with a 5mL seaweed solution to 2L of water mix.
  • Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of the plant to help conserve moisture and suppress weeds. Keep the mulch away from the trunk to prevent collar rot.
5. General Care

Soil: Use well-draining, slightly acidic soil (5 – 7pH). A well-draining premium potting mix works well for container planting. Ensure good drainage to prevent root rot.

Watering: Water your Davidson Plum tree consistently, especially during the growing season. Keep the soil consistently moist, but not waterlogged. Mulching around the base of the tree helps retain moisture and regulate soil temperature.

Fertilisation: Fertilise your Davidson Plum in spring with an organic, slow-release native fertiliser. 

Pruning: Height is controlled by pruning the tips for easier maintenance and harvest. This also encourages multiple stems and fruiting.   

Pests and Diseases: Monitor your Davidson Plum for pests like fruit fly, birds, and caterpillars that may be attracted to the fruit. Protective netting can be used to prevent bird damage. Fruit fly can spoil the fruit. Use fly traps early in the season before fruiting commences to help detect and monitor presence of fruit fly.

Harvesting: Davidson Plum fruit is ready to harvest when they are fully coloured and slightly soft to the touch. Gently twist/snip the fruit from the stem or give the tree a firm shake and any ripe fruit will fall to the ground. Remember to wear gloves as the bristly hairs can be a skin irritant.

Winter Care (for cooler climates): Davidson Plums prefer warmer climate zones, but will tolerate cooler regions if protected from frost. They can even be brought indoors, provided there is adequate light.