Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Purple Leaf Plum, Purple Cherry Plum
Prunus cerasifera 'Thundercloud'

Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Prunus (PROO-nus) (Info)
Species: cerasifera (ke-ra-SEE-fer-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Thundercloud

4 members have or want this plant for trade.


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring

Grown for foliage

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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By GardenGuyKin
Thumbnail #1 of Prunus cerasifera by GardenGuyKin

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There are a total of 14 photos.
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2 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive palmbob On Jun 25, 2013, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

pretty easy and drought tolerant plant... growing it in the high desert (sunset 11) where it needs water pretty regularly... grows to about 20' max here... no way any taller.

Interesting cultivar in that it grows new olive green leaves that quickly turn a dark purple... opposite of most trees that have both purple and green leaves at different stages of development

Positive miscanthus65 On Aug 16, 2011, miscanthus65 from Summerfield, NC wrote:

KayMN, I had the same problem with beetles eating my Plum Tree...for years I would spray liquid seven to fight them off. When the tree became too tall to reach, the leaves on the upper part of the tree looked like lace from being chewed.
But then I found the worlds best kept secret: Bayer Tree and Shrub Proctect and Feed! Just sprinkle granules around the tree once a year and the tree will absorb thru the roots and go into the leaves. Not only have the beetles stayed off the tree, it is now growning faster and looking quite healthy and more full. Good stuff! The Thundercloud Plum is beautiful with the spring flowers and purple foliage!

Neutral KayMN On Jul 19, 2011, KayMN from Robbinsdale, MN wrote:

This is a nice looking tree - leaves, blooms color
Here in Minneapolis, MN though the Japanese beetle loves eating the leaves on this tree. They have chewed through more than 1/2 of the leaves on our 2 young trees.

Neutral smiln32 On Jan 7, 2005, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Foliage is deep purple. Upright form. Prefers full sun. Average drought tolerance. Does not like compacted soil. Excellent specimen tree.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Acton, California
San Leandro, California
Greenview, Illinois
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Wyckoff, New Jersey
Garner, North Carolina
Summerfield, North Carolina
Salem, Oregon
Kingston, Tennessee
Cross Junction, Virginia
Lexington, Virginia
Puyallup, Washington
Waukesha, Wisconsin

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