How to grow Natal Plum

Natal plum grow and care – shrub‎ of the genus Carissa also known as Carissa macrocarpa, Natal plum perennial evergreen plant, and grow for the edible fruits but mostly used as ornamental plant, and can grow as hedge plant or ground cover, can grow in tropic, mediterranean, desert, subtropical climate or as houseplant and growing in hardiness growing zone 10+ and with the right care in hardiness zone 9b

Leaves color is dark green, the shape is circular to ovate shape, grow in pinnate structure

Flower color white with five petals grow in cluster 2-5+ flowers and flowers are fragrant,

Natal plum fruits

Fruit edible color glossy pink-red the shape is oval, inside the fruits there is liquid like milk

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How to grow Natal plum growing and care:

Prefer more -5C, but can survive lower

What is the best way to start growing?
Plant / Seed / Vegetative Reproduction care propagation

Is it necessary to graft or use vegetative reproduction?
No, but in propagation can ensure: size of the plant, dwarf or tall, the quality of the fruits, density of the growth, grow as creeper or hedge plant, with or without thorns.

Difficulties or problems when growing:
Thorns, most of the cultivars have thorns

Planting season:
Spring in hardiness zone 9b, spring to summer in growing hardiness zone 10a, spring to autumn in hardiness zone 10b and all year in hardiness zone 11+

Pests and diseases:

Pruning season:
All year

How to prune:
More for design, and for easy pickup, or design as tree or bonsai

Size of the plant:
0.5-5 m, 1.8-15 feet and dwarf cultivars 20-50cm (8-20 inches)

Growth speed in optimal condition:
Medium growing / slow growing

Water requirement:
Small amount of water / Average amount of water prefer more water but can be also drought tolerant

Light conditions in optimal condition for growing:
Full Sun / Half Shade / Full shade problem of blooming and bear fruits

Is it possible to grow indoor as houseplant?
Yes, but might won’t bear fruits, in order to bear fruits need to expose to some sun

Growing is also possible in a planter /flowerpot / containers:
Yes, start with the desirable size of container or even better pot that bigger 20-30% from the root ball that change when the root ball grow until arrive to the desirable size of container, use potting soil, care instruction: mostly to prune and design once a year

Blooming information

Bloom season:
Mostly spring to summer, but can be all year

General information about the flower
White flower with five petals grow in cluster

Pollination is done by:

Edible Fruits

Fruit harvest season:
Mostly summer to autumn, but can be all year growing zone

Fruits pests or diseases:

What can be done with big quantities of Natal plum fruits?
Eat raw, pickles, jams

Work requirements on the fruit:
Nothing special

How long does it take to bear fruit?
2 year

How to grow Natal plum from seeds

Sowing requirement:
Moist soil, warm weather, well-drained soil

Saving and care for seeds until sowing:
Dry and dark in room temperature

Sowing season:
Spring / Summer, possible all the year from hardiness zone 11+ but will establish better in the spring

Planting spacing:
20*30cm (8*12 inches) but need after to transplant, better direct 1*1m (3*3 feet) or just start with separate pots

Depth of Sowing:
0.5-1cm (

Conditions for seeds germinate:
Moist soil, sunny location

Watering requires for Seeds:
Average amount of water do not over water and don’t let it dry

Germination time:
3-5 weeks

Condition of seedling:
Sunny location, water regular until establish

Cultivars varieties

Boxwood Beauty – dwarf cultivar in 30-60cm (12-24 inches) no thorns

Nana – dwarf grow to 0.5m, (1.8 feet or 20 inches)

Prostrata – low cultivars that grow 20-40cm (8-16 inches) and can use as groundcover spread and cover efficient.

Bonsai – all the cultivars can grow as bonsai its matter of design and better to choose plant that grow slow and will be small

Horizontalis – Natal creeper – 20-30cm (8-12 inches) grow as creeper groundcover

Scientific name:

Carissa macrocarpa

Alternative names: Large num-num, Big num-num, Amatungulu, Grootnoem noem, huge tuttlei, Natal creeper

How to grow Natal Plum

Planting Natal plum

Natal plum planting season

Natal plum flower

Growing Natal plum

Harvesting Natal plum

Natal plum care

Natal plum


Blooming Seasons
  • Spring flowers
  • Summer flowers
Edible Parts
  • Edible Fruit
Culinary uses
  • Eaten raw
  • Jams
  • Pickles
Flower colors
  • White flower
  • Mediterranean Climate
  • Subtropics Climate
  • Tropics Climate
Harvest Season
  • Autumn Harvest
  • Summer Harvest
Ornamental parts
  • Ornamental flower
  • Ornamental fruit
  • Ornamental leaves
  • Ornamental plant
Plant growing speed
  • Average growing plants
Plant life-form
  • Evergreen
  • Perennial plant
  • Shrub
Plant Uses
  • Drought tolerant plants
  • Edible plants
  • Hedging plants
  • Ornamental plants
Planting Season
  • Autumn Planting
  • Spring Planting
  • Summer planting
  • Winter planting
Plants sun exposure
  • Full sun Plants
  • Part shade Plants
Watering plants
  • Regularly water
  • Small amounts of water
Hardiness zone
  • Hardiness zone 10
  • Hardiness zone 11
  • Hardiness zone 12
  • Hardiness zone 13