• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Prunus domestica 'Early Rivers' (C)

plum 'Early Rivers'

  • Other common names plum 'Early Rivers'

  • Synonyms Prunus domestica 'Early Prolific'
    Prunus domestica 'Rivers's Early Prolific'

  • Family Rosaceae

  • Genus Prunus can be deciduous or evergreen trees or shrubs with showy flowers in spring, and often good autumn foliage colour. Some have edible fruit in autumn, and a few species have ornamental bark

  • Details 'Early Rivers' is a small, rounded, dark blue plum, best for culinary use, cropping in late July. It is partially self-fertile, but crops much better with a partner; pollination group 3


  • Foliage Deciduous

  • Habit Bushy

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)




  • Full Sun

  • Aspect South-facing or West-facing

  • Exposure Sheltered


  • Clay


  • Loam


  • Sand


  • MoistureMoist but well-drained, Well-drained

  • SoilClay, Loam, Sand

  • pHAcid, Alkaline, Neutral


  • Ultimate height 2.5-4 metres

  • Ultimate spread 2.5-4 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 5-10 years

How to grow

Cultivation Grow plums in a moist, but well-drained soil. An acidic soil (pH 6-6.5) is ideal. Keep a weed-free area of at least 60cm radius around trunk. Thin fruits if necessary. Irrigate in dry periods. Less susceptible to frost damage than many other cultivars

Propagation Propagate by chip budding or grafting on rootstock for fruit

Suggested planting locations and garden types Wall-side Borders

How to care

Pruning Pruning plums; regular pruning required in summer, according to tree form. Plums can be grown as cordons, pyramids, bushes, or as trees

Pests Plums suffer from plum aphid, caterpillars, fruit tree red spider mite, brown scale, plum moth and bullfinches may be problematic

Diseases May be affected by silver leaf, bacterial canker, blossom wilt and fruit by brown rot

Did you find the information you were looking for?

RHS members can get exclusive individual advice from the RHS Gardening Advice team.

Join the RHS now

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.