The comprehensive resource for plums and orchards

Victoria plum



The Victoria plum is by far the most popular plum variety in the UK.  It is also probably the most popular fruit tree of any species sold in UK garden centres, being self-fertile and well-known for heavy crops of very attractive fruit with a lovely red-plum colour.  English gardeners wanting to grow a plum tree tend to look no further, and with good reason.

As the name suggests, Victoria dates from the Victorian era but not much is known about its origins.  It was introduced in the 1840s and rapidly became a popular garden and commercial variety - a position it has maintained ever since.

Victoria really excels as a culinary plum.  It cooks to a distinctive pink/orange puree which makes very good jam and a good-flavoured filling for pies and crumbles.

Victoria plums are sometimes considered inferior to other dessert plum varieties for eating fresh.  However this assumption is probably based on the poor flavour of shop-bought Victoria plums, which are usually picked far too early.  The trick with Victoria is to leave the plums on the tree until they are fully ripe - the skins will start to become a darker red rather than the more usual orange flushed colour.  At this point the flavour, whilst not perhaps comparable with the best dessert plums, should not disappoint.  (However, if you are intending to use the plums for cooking with, then it is best to pick them slightly under-ripe).

This combination of excellent culinary qualities along with pretty good flavour for eating fresh makes Victoria one of the most versatile English plum varieties.  However Victoria suffers from two serious problems.  Firstly it has very poor disease resistance to the plum disease silverleaf.  This is a fungal disease that enters through open wounds in the bark, and for this reason Victoria plum trees, like all plum trees, should never be pruned in winter - in fact it is best to avoid pruning entirely with this variety.

Secondly, the wood is brittle, and given its tendency to over-crop, tends to result in branches breaking under the weigh of fruit - which of course are then exposed to disease infection.

Growing a Victoria plum tree is therefore a good way to gain first-hand experience of silverleaf.  However whilst fruit trees that are prone to disease are often best avoided, paradoxically, Victoria is a very easy variety to grow - the inherent heavy-cropping capability means the tree tends to keep going regardless of the inevitable disease and broken branches it accumulates within a few years.  It is therefore a very good choice for the gardener who wants to grow fresh plums, (although given its tendency to lose branches, perhaps not as a specimen tree).

Last updated 23 Aug 2010.

Rate this variety for flavor

Current rating: 4.2 out of 5. Total votes cast: 5
 

Visitor comments

(Use the form at the bottom to add your own comments about this variety)

26 Aug 2012 
When my mother moved into her South London house in 1956 there was a mature Victoria Plum at the bottom of her garden. It produced heavy crops all through my childhood. Eventually it succumbed to silver leaf disease and was cut down. However suckers had come up in a neighbours garden. These grew into a mature tree, we continued to eat the plums for many years hanging over the fence. This too succumbed to silver leaf, however we still eat the fruit from another suckered tree in the next garden, which still hangs over my mothers fence. This tree is not very healthy now but we have had 56 years of fruit from essentially the same tree and it was mature when we arrived!


08 Feb 2011 
We inherited a Victoria Plum, which was mature when we moved into our property in 1985. The tree consistently produced excellent crops of delicious plums. It contracted silver leaf disease and significant die back and had to be taken down a couple of years ago. It produced fruit for at least 40 years and I thoroughly recommend it.



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A very popular English plum, especially good for culinary use. Heavy crops of attractive plum-coloured fruit.

Victoria phototape

Origins

  • Species: Prunus domestica
  • Originates from: Alderton, Sussex, United Kingdom
  • Introduced: 1840s
  • Orange Pippin Cultivar ID: 1255

Identification

  • Fruit colour: Red / mottled
  • Fruit shape: Long / oval
  • Stone clinging?: Free stone
  • Sub-group: Lombard

Using

  • Uses: Eat fresh
  • Uses: Cooking
  • Cooking result: Puree
  • Flavour quality: Good
  • Flavour style: Sweet/Sharp
  • Harvest period: Mid season Late August
  • Use / keeping: 1 week

Growing

  • Cropping: Heavy
  • Flowering period: Mid season
  • Flowering group: 3
  • Fertility: Self-fertile
  • Pollinating others: Good
  • Vigour: Average growth
  • Gardening skill: Average
  • Attractive features: Attractive fruit
  • General disease resistance: Poor

Climate

  • Climate suitability: Temperate climates
  • Climate suitability: Tolerates cold winters
  • Blossom frost-resistance: Good resistance

Other qualities

  • Awards: RHS AGM 1993

Disease resistance

  • Plum pox virus (Sharka)  - Some susceptibility
  • Canker  - Very susceptible
  • Silverleaf  Chondrostereum purpureum  - Very susceptible

Relationships to other varieties

Offspring of this variety:

Fruit tree register

Do you have a tree of this variety in your garden or orchard? If so please register the details here and contribute to our international register of fruit trees.

The following Victoria trees have been registered - click the name to view more details of each tree.

You can also view these trees on a map.

United States

United Kingdom

Denmark

France

Ireland

Poland



Latest Spring blossom records for this variety

2014 season

  • 19th June  2014  - tree owned by Nicola in HOWDEN, United Kingdom
  • 24th April  2014  - tree owned by Neil in KNOWLE, United Kingdom
  • 12th April  2014  - tree owned by Bruce in TAUNTON, United Kingdom
  • 2nd April  2014  - tree owned by Zoe in MILTON KEYNES, United Kingdom
  • 13th March  2014  - tree owned by Esiah in LONDON, United Kingdom

2013 season

  • 8th May  2013  - tree owned by Graham in BLACKBURN, United Kingdom
  • 6th May  2013  - tree owned by Paul in Southport, United Kingdom
  • 1st May  2013  - tree owned by Richard in YORK, United Kingdom
  • May  2013  - tree owned by stanwatt2008@hotmail.co.uk in GARDENSTOWN, United Kingdom
  • 25th April  2013  - tree owned by David in EWERBY THORPE, SLEAFORD, United Kingdom
  • April  2013  - tree owned by John in CONGLETON, United Kingdom
  • March  2013  - tree owned by John in AYR, United Kingdom

2012 season

  • 18th April  2012  - tree owned by stanwatt2008@hotmail.co.uk in GARDENSTOWN, United Kingdom
  • 18th April  2012  - tree owned by Nickkk in OLDHAM, United Kingdom
  • 7th April  2012  - tree owned by Peter in PETERBOROUGH, United Kingdom
  • 5th April  2012  - tree owned by Alan in CHIPPENHAM, United Kingdom
  • 4th April  2012  - tree owned by Bruce in TAUNTON, United Kingdom
  • 28th March  2012  - tree owned by Simon in DULEEK, Ireland
  • 24th March  2012  - tree owned by David in GATESHEAD, United Kingdom

2011 season

  • 9th April  2011  - tree owned by Peter in PETERBOROUGH, United Kingdom
  • 6th April  2011  - tree owned by Richard in YORK, United Kingdom
  • 5th April  2011  - tree owned by Simon in DULEEK, Ireland
  • 4th April  2011  - tree owned by James in MELBOURNE, United Kingdom
  • 4th April  2011  - tree owned by David in EWERBY THORPE, SLEAFORD, United Kingdom
  • 1st April  2011  - tree owned by Alan in CHIPPENHAM, United Kingdom

2010 season

  • 18th April  2010  - tree owned by N. in CAMBRIDGE, United Kingdom
  • 1st April  2010  - tree owned by Nikolai in DUBLIN, Ireland

2009 season

  • 3rd April  2009  - tree owned by N. in CAMBRIDGE, United Kingdom

Record your blossom dates in our Fruit Tree Register - more >>.

Latest harvest records for this variety

2014 season

  • 4th week September  2014  - tree owned by Esiah in LONDON, United Kingdom

2013 season

  • 3rd week September  2013  - tree owned by Richard in YORK, United Kingdom
  • 3rd week September  2013  - tree owned by John in CONGLETON, United Kingdom
  • 2nd week September  2013  - tree owned by Paul in Southport, United Kingdom
  • 3rd week August  2013  - tree owned by John in AYR, United Kingdom

2012 season

  • 1st week September  2012  - tree owned by Richard in YORK, United Kingdom
  • 1st week September  2012  - tree owned by Zoe in MILTON KEYNES, United Kingdom
  • September  2012  - tree owned by Janet in ST AUSTELL, United Kingdom
  • September  2012  - tree owned by Janet in ST AUSTELL, United Kingdom
  • 3rd week July  2012  - tree owned by Kurt in WINDSOR, United Kingdom

2011 season

  • 1st week September  2011  - tree owned by Mark in SADDLEWORTH, United Kingdom
  • 3rd week August  2011  - tree owned by Simon in DULEEK, Ireland
  • 3rd week August  2011  - tree owned by Peter in PETERBOROUGH, United Kingdom
  • 2nd week August  2011  - tree owned by James in MELBOURNE, United Kingdom

2010 season

  • 3rd week August  2010  - tree owned by Nikolai in DUBLIN, Ireland
  • 2nd week August  2010  - tree owned by Dianne in NEWPORT, United Kingdom

2009 season

  • 1st week August  2009  - tree owned by Dianne in NEWPORT, United Kingdom
  • July  2009  - tree owned by Hazel in CHEADLE HULME, United Kingdom

Plum, gage, damson trees

The following fruit tree nurseries offer Victoria plum trees for sale:

Where to buy plums to eat

No orchards have registered as growing this variety. If you grow this and want to register please go to our Orchard Registration form.





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