I love when clever gardeners combineThe best parts of two different fruits to produce something wonderful. One of my favorite fruits (besides lemonade) is ephemera. If you’ve never heard of it, apricot is a mix between apricot and plum. They’re hard to find at grocery stores, but ephemeras are delicious and definitely worth growing.
You can see them at farmers markets and specialty stores in the spring and early summer, but there’s no need to buy them when you can grow your own. Unlike many fruit trees, apriums will provide a harvest for you in as little as three years.
I highly recommend that you add an aprium to your garden or garden. You won’t regret it when you bite into this sweet fruit.
- 1 What is aprime?
- 2 Varieties of Aprim
- 3 how to put aprim
- 4 care of aprim
- 5 Common problems and solutions for growing aprium
- 6 Harvesting and Application of Eprim
What is aprime?
aprims (prunus aprium) are known to be complex hybrids, meaning they have multiple generations of breeding, rather than being crossbred only once. Although they are a hybrid between apricot and plum (Prunus armeniaca x Prunus Salicina), the apricots are more like apricots in appearance and texture.
Eprimes were developed by Floyd Zaeger of Zagger Genetics in the 80’s. Made in California through hand pollination, they are juicy and sweet like a berry with a golden exterior. Fruits similar to apricots have a high sugar content and a luscious texture to the flesh.
You may be wondering how an aprium differs from a pluot or plumcot. This can be a bit confusing as they are all in between an apricot and a plum.
The plumcot is a 50:50 cross between apricot and plum, the pluot being more plum than the apricot, while the aprium has more characteristics of apricot than plum. Proportionately, you can say that ephemera in its appearance and taste is 75% apricot and 25% plum.
Varieties of Aprim
There are many varieties of ephemery, so look at your local nursery for good options. If a friendly neighbor has an aprym tree, you can ask to cut down one of your own. Thank them by baking them some ephemeral tarts.
In addition to the varieties below, there are ‘Honey Rich’, ‘Tasty Rich’, ‘Bella Sweet’ and more.
This is a very sweet and juicy ephemera. It is white fleshed and although it looks like an apricot, it has the sweet taste of plum. Choose this variety if you live in an area with mild winters. It is semi-dwarf so suits any size yard.
The leah-cott is slightly larger than the cot-n-candy and has orange skin and flesh. Of all the eprims, this is one of the most reliable producers.
Considered by many to be one of the best-tasting ephemerals, this variety is perfect for an early-season sweet treat because it blooms and bears fruit early. Be careful if you live in an area that often gets late frosts. This may not be your best option.
This variety is a little less fuzzy than the others, so it’s a great choice if you prefer smooth skin. It is ready for harvesting from late July to early August.
This variety was made using Santa Rosa plums, which gives it a firm and juicy flesh. The skin is slightly tart, but it is pleasantly stuffed with sweet flesh.
how to put aprim
Aprims are relatively neat and, in the right climate, require little extra effort to grow.
You’ll need at least two apriums for best results, although many varieties can bear fruit on their own. It all depends on the particular variety, so pay attention when selecting your trees.
They like hot springs and summers. Hardy in zones 7 to 10, they require full sun and about 300 to 500 hours of chilling with temperatures below 45ºF.
Requires loamy soil rich in organic nutrients. It should be well drained with a neutral pH at about 6.5 to 7.5.
Plant the plant in a location that is protected from wind but still receives full sun. In very hot areas, afternoon shade is fine.
For planting, dig a pit three times the width of the root ball and one and a half times the height. Install the plant in the hole and fill in the soil around it with well-rotted compost. Tamp down and water thoroughly. Keep Seoul moist but not wet. These plants require good drainage.
You can grow fruit trees from seed or cuttings, but seeds are unpredictable and usually slow. A tree may not grow true from seed, either, depending on the variety.
That’s why most people either buy their own trees or take cuttings. To cut, use the following steps:
- Take a cutting that has about four leaf axils.
- Keep the leaves at the top of the cutting, but remove the lower leaves.
- Make the cutting at an angle. This is known as cutting on the bias.
- Dip the end into rooting hormone and push it at least halfway deep into a pot of clean seed-growing mix.
- Water well and place the cuttings in a location with partial sunlight.
- Keep it warm during the winter by bringing it inside if necessary.
Growing aprium from a pit is quite difficult and takes a long time. Here’s a method to try:
- After eating your aprim, clean the pit and soak it in water for 24 hours.
- Place in a small bundle of wet paper towels and place it in a plastic ziplock bag or similar bag.
- Keep it in the fridge for at least 1 month.
- Remove the seeds and plant them in a good quality seed growing mix.
- Place on a windowsill in filtered sunlight and keep the medium moist.
- Over time you will see germination. This may happen quickly, or it may take some time so be patient.
care of aprim
Treat your aprium trees to a fertilizer targeted at fruit trees in late winter, mid-spring and summer when fruiting has begun.
In dry weather, water deeply once a week. When it is not dry, make sure the soil remains moist, especially in the first year.
Prune regularly to encourage fruiting and prevent disease. This video shows you how to prune apricots. The process is the same for apriums:
Companion Planting for Growing Aprim
Do not try to grow capsicum near the apriums. They are prone to a fungus that can also affect ephemeral trees.
Common problems and solutions for growing aprium
Unsurprisingly, apricots are prone to many of the same issues that apricots and plums do.
These insects often become a problem after a mild winter. They pierce the fruit and suck out the sweet juice. Pick up all rotting fruit under the tree and remove any rotting fruit on the tree.
The severe cold will kill the eggs of this insect.
It is a serious fungal disease caused by the pathogen Chondrosterium Purpuram. Signs of infection include silvery color or luster of leaves and darkening of bark. After this, the branches begin to die back. Eventually, the tree will die if the disease is left unchecked.
Make sure you feed the ephemer regularly to avoid silver leaf and don’t let it become stressed in dry weather. Do not over fertilize.
If some foliage has a silvery sheen, the tree may be able to control it on its own. If all the leaves are silvery and the wood is dark in color, it is possible that the roots are infected as well. Remove the tree and burn it.
Keep in mind that drought and cold weather can also cause silver leaf, so look for darker bark to make sure it is disease and not false silver leaf.
These pests destroy a lot of leaves in a short time. See our article on Japanese beetles and how to control them.
Bacterial canker is a common problem on many plants. You may see black lesions at the base of the buds and on parts of the branches and trunk. You must have often seen gums oozing from wounds.
In bad cases, the tree may suddenly die.
Try copper fungicide at the first sign of leaf drop and practice good hygiene when pruning. This means cleaning your tools and making sure they are sharp before cutting.
If your aprium suddenly fades in late spring or early summer, you may have this problem. The bark will discolor and look definitely unhealthy.
Treat this disease by removing all affected branches, removing at least one foot of healthy tissue after symptoms appear.
Otherwise known as ripe-fruit-rot, this is an annoying disease that strikes you late in the season when you think your crop has escaped any major issues.
Water-soaked lesions that are brown and sunken appear on the fruit and spread rapidly. Ripe fruits rot on the tree.
Remove all infected fruit and remove any debris from the base of the tree. Some fungicides may be useful for preventing disease from future seasons, so check what’s available in your area.
Harvesting and Application of Eprim
For harvesting, once they reach their ripe color, pluck the fruits and give them some. Don’t wait until the eprym is soft on the tree. Pick them when they are a bit tough and cook them in a paper bag. That way, you won’t have to share your harvest with birds and mammals.
You can eat them fresh, sliced into salads, in cobblers and pies, make jams, add them to breads, pancakes and waffles.
It is a wonderfully sweet fruit, so enjoy the taste of summer in your backyard.
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