The Prunus Cerasifera ‘Thundercloud’ (Thundercloud Purple Leaf Plum) Full Care Guide


The Thundercloud Purple Leaf Plum, otherwise known as the Prunus Cerasifera ‘Thundercloud’ or Cherry Plum ‘Thundercloud’, Thundercloud Cherry Plum, Thundercloud Myrobalan plum, is a rather well known tree plant by gardening enthusiasts around the world.

Best known for its high maintenance and moderate growth, this tree will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its purple colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.

This is why all the topics you need to know in order to achieve this will be covered in this Thundercloud Purple Leaf Plum Care Guide. Ready? Let’s go!

In order to take proper care of your Thundercloud Purple Leaf Plum you’ll need to keep in mind the following guidelines:

  • Water: The Thundercloud Purple Leaf Plum wants regular watering to enhance fruit production but as a landscape plant, too much water will be a problem.
  • Light: Keep your Prunus Cerasifera ‘Thundercloud’ in an environment where it can receive full sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the Thundercloud Purple Leaf Plum in soil with moist but well-draining to well draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of clay, loam, chalk, and sand.

And as with many other plants, these are the only three care factors you need to remember to make sure your Thundercloud Purple Leaf Plum is, for the most part, healthy and well to survive.

Prunus cerasifera 'Thundercloud' plant

Scientific / Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the Thundercloud Purple Leaf Plum belongs to the Rosaceae family, the genus Prunus and the species Cerasifera, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Prunus Cerasifera ‘Thundercloud’ (PROO-nus ser-as-IF-er-a).

As with other Prunus’s, the Thundercloud Purple Leaf Plum is a deciduous plant, which means it will shed its leaves annually once autumn comes.

Growing Region

As a rule of thumb, we recommend to always keep in mind your plants’ native region and environment, since these are the conditions that your Thundercloud Purple Leaf Plum is most accustomed to, thus where it can most favorably.

With this in mind, the Prunus Cerasifera ‘Thundercloud’ will be most used to the heat zones in the 1 – 8 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a and the ideal climate zone is between 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22.

Growth and Size

Growth

In terms of size and growth, the Thundercloud Purple Leaf Plum is a relatively moderate grower, which makes things somewhat easy for any plant enthusiast.

Size

But what exactly does this mean for your Thundercloud Purple Leaf Plum? How large a pot should you consider, how tall, how wide can it get? Let’s jump in…

The Prunus Cerasifera ‘Thundercloud’ can grow up to 15′ – 20′ (4.5m – 6m) in 15′ – 20′ (4.5m – 6m) and 15′ – 20′ (4.5m – 6m) in 15′ – 20′ (4.5m – 6m). 

Also, expect it to grow in a wonderful rounded shape, which is something worthwhile to remember when making your garden landscape plans.

Water

In terms of watering, the Thundercloud Purple Leaf Plum is a fairly complicated plant to take care of.

This is mostly because it has a not so straightforward watering schedule and somewhat regular watering needs.

Specifically, most experts agree that the Prunus Cerasifera ‘Thundercloud’ wants regular watering to enhance fruit production but as a landscape plant, too much water will be a problem.

Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively average needs in terms of water. 

Prunus cerasifera 'Thundercloud' sprig

Watering

As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Thundercloud Purple Leaf Plum in soil with moist but well-draining to well draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive. 

When you consider this, this is why you should aim to choose soil that has good drainage, and moist properties to keep the right moisture levels at all times. 

In our experience, the famous ‘thumb’ or ‘finger’ test is what works best for the Thundercloud Purple Leaf Plum since with it, you will be able to give it the right amount of water, every time – regardless of the environment or placement where you do decide to keep it.

Soil Mix

As mentioned earlier, the Thundercloud Purple Leaf Plum prefers to have soil with good drainage, and moist properties at all times, reason why you need to make the soil mix out of clay, loam, chalk, and sand.

This is why most experts agree that the Thundercloud Purple Leaf Plum requires soil with clay, loam (silt), and sand, which will give you the right conditions it needs.

In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably alkaline, acid or neutral soil.

Light and Exposure

In terms of light & exposure, the Thundercloud Purple Leaf Plum requires full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions. 

Most experts agree that this tree will do well as long as you keep it in partial to full sun, and it will be able to grow properly.

Specifically, we recommend that you place your Prunus Cerasifera ‘Thundercloud’ in little to partial shade (only 2-6 hours of direct sunlight a day), to full and direct sun (more 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).

Season

Being a deciduous plant, the Thundercloud Purple Leaf Plum will shed its leaves annually once autumn comes.

But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the spring (mid, late), and during the summer (early, mid, late).

Flowers

You can expect your Thundercloud Purple Leaf Plum to flower around the spring months from April to June (spring).

In particular, this tree is well known for its showy flowers around the plant enthusiast community.

The Thundercloud Purple Leaf Plum produces some beautiful pink, or pink and white flowers around this time of year.

Foliage

The leaves from the Thundercloud Purple Leaf Plum have a beautiful purple color during most of the year.

In particular, they have a simple arrangement with a alternate organization in its leaves.

The Thundercloud Purple Leaf Plum is well known for being able to attract birds, so keep that in mind when choosing your plant, as you’ll likely end up finding one or another in your garden.

Prunus cerasifera 'Thundercloud' and bees

Garden

Does your Thundercloud Purple Leaf Plum have any garden recommendations? Does it serve any gardening purposes? Here’s how you can get the most out of your new plant.

Most Prunus Cerasifera ‘Thundercloud’ owners agree that this tree will look great in most cottage, contemporary and rustic gardens of all types. 

Other owners consider that they complement well most gardens of japanese garden, city and courtyard, informal and cottage, and in traditional garden styles. 

In particular, the Thundercloud Purple Leaf Plum’s best location within your garden is in beds and borders, and in hedges and screens, others use it for landscaping in a specimen, wildlife garden, coastal exposure, urban garden, or a woodland garden.

Companion Plants

Thundercloud Purple Leaf Plum’s do well with some other plants beside it. One good companion plant is the Viburnum, which will pair up nicely with your leafy friend.

Others consider that a nice Syringa will work well too, so choose whichever you find works best for you!

Conclusion

And we’ve come to an end. Fortunately, that’s everything you need to know about your Thundercloud Purple Leaf Plum to keep it safe and sound in your garden or home. Enjoy planting!

Martin Duran

Hey y'all! My name is Martin Duran and I am from Cali, Colombia. Since 2018 I have been learning about plants and how to take care of them. Here's is my journey... “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ― John Muir

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