Methley is probably the best Japanese plum (Prunus salicina) for growing in the UK.
Japanese plums are much more widely grown around the world (including in Europe, but not the UK) and therefore available in supermarkets year-round, so you have probably come across Methley or similar varieties.
Like many Japanese plums, Methley has a dark red flesh. The flavour is milder than most European plums. Methley is self-fertile and easy to grow provided you have a warm sheltered situation.
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Like most Japanese plums, Methley is potentially a heavy cropper. However, it flowers very early (well before European varieties) and in the uncertain conditions of a UK spring, this can put the blossom at risk from frosts or bad weather. For this reason it is best grown in a sheltered location with a warm south-facing aspect. The blossom is more abundant than with European varieties, and this adds some ornamental interest.
Japanese plums do not cross-pollinate with European plums, however this should not be a problem because Methley is a self-fertile variety.
Methley ripens in mid-July in southern England.
Advice on fruit tree pollination.
Developed by Californian fruit enthusiast Luther Burbank in the late 19th century.