Natal plum – Carissa macrocarpa – Carissa macrocarpa – Garden plants – Natal plum – Carissa macrocarpa – Shrubs

medium in size, evergreen shrub, native to southern Africa. The species in nature reaches 4-5 meters high, the varieties grown in Europe are smaller in size, and are kept below two meters, there are also dwarf cultivars that do not exceed 100-150 cm high. It has a roundish, very dense and branched habit; the stems are smooth, usually carrying numerous sharp spines, but there are cultivars without spines; the foliage is shiny and thick, oval in shape, and bright dark green in colour.

From spring to winter, the carisse produce numerous white flowers, star-shaped, waxy, delicately perfumed; in summer, the flowers are followed by small green, oval, fruits, which develop up to the size of big plums, and, when ripe, become of a fuchsia red colour. The plants of carissa macrocarpa are poisonous, both the leaves and the latex produced by the wood; ripe fruits, on the other hand, are edible and have a delicate taste of strawberries or sweetcurrants.

Carissa macrocarpa

Exposure

prugna del natalCarissa macrocarpa plants prefer sunny positions, but can also withstand slightly shady positions, even if poor lighting causes poor flowering. These plants don’t like frost, especially if prolonged, therefore they are cultivated in a place sheltered from wind and frost; in areas with very cold winters it is advisable to cultivate the carissa macrocarpa in pots, so you can move it in cold greenhouse, or in a sheltered place, during the winter.

There are some cultivars that are particularly resistant to cold, which can be grown in the open land even in the regions of northern Italy. These shrubs do not fear the salinity and the sea wind, therefore they can be cultivated also on the coasts.

  • Corbezzolo Evergreen tree or shrub native to Ireland and countries bordering the Mediterranean, which can reach 9-10 meters high, but which most commonly remains around the size of a tree or shrub.
  • photinia The Photinia x fraseri is a shrub, or small tree, evergreen, which can reach 3-4 meters in height; it is a hybrid, the plants used for hybridization are the P. glabra, originates from the…

  • Eleagno The Olivagno or Eleagnus is a genus that includes about 50 species of evergreen or deciduous trees or shrubs, originating in Asia. The stems are erect, dark in colour, densely branched, difficult to reach, and have a…
  • Azara The Azara microphylla is a shrub or small evergreen tree native to South America that has also spread in our territory. If the growing conditions are favourable, it can be used as a …

Watering

carissa As far as the supply of water to the plants of the plum of Natal from March to October is concerned, it is advisable to water only when the soil is well dry; these shrubs bear without problems even prolonged periods of drought. During the winter months water should be provided only sporadically, on days when the temperatures are fairly mild.

Check that there are no dangerous water stagnations on the ground, which could compromise the health of the plant.

Land

carissa In nature, the plum plants of Natal grow in the woods on the coastal dunes and, for this reason, the ideal type of substrate is composed of sandy soils, very well drained, which do not retain moisture. An enemy of the development and health of the plant is, in fact, the formation of stagnations of water that can cause the onset of radical rottenness and cause suffering to the plant.

Multiplication

The propagation of the plants of the plum of Natal takes place by seed or by cutting; varieties with a particular bearing or coloured foliage must be multiplied exclusively by cutting in late spring, using portions of semi-ignified branches, planted in a container to allow the correct rooting and the subsequent transplantation in the final location.

Natal plum – Carissa macrocarpa: Parasites and diseases

carissa The plum of Natal is particularly afraid of the attack of cochineal. When you see the symptoms of a possible attack by parasites and diseases, it is good to intervene promptly with targeted treatments carried out with special products available on the market, so as to effectively counteract the problem.

Watch the Video

Mimosa - Acacia dealbata

Corbezzolo - Arbutus

Photinia x fraseri

Buddleia