Hog Plum Tree

Growing Zones in Ground: 6 - 11 / in Pots: 4 - 11

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The Hog Plum Tree, also called the Yellow Mombin, is a species of tropical fruit tree that grows up to 70-feet tall in its native jungle-like habitat, but can be kept to below half that size by prunning. Hog Plums are related to Cashews, and are grown mainly for their yellow, sweet, plum-like fruits. Hog Plum Trees have medium-green, pointed oval leaves that are glossy and edible when young and cooked. The thick, cork-like bark gives the tree a unique appearance and many are grown for their ornamental value.

Hog Plum fruits are small (about 2 inches long) and oval, yellow, and sometimes have tiny brown spots. Hog Plums are very juicy, tart, and slightly acidic with a single seed that is not eaten. The flavor of Ripe Hog Plums can be described as a cross between a Granny Smith Apple and a Nectarine. Hog Plum Trees, despite being tropical natives, can be grown in the ground within USDA Zones 6 to 11, or in pots in Zones 4 to 11.

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Hog Plum Tree Care

Plant Hog Plum Trees in the fall in a well-drained location that has available organic matter in the soil. Be sure that the area is not prone to standing water. Hog Plum Trees can be grown in full sun to partial shade, and they will bloom and produce fruit in either such location. A spot that gets morning and mid-day sun, then some afternoon and setting sun shade is ideal. Hog Plum Trees are strong and flexible, and they have evolved to survive the high winds of seasonal tropical storms. However, protecting these trees from heavy wind can help increase bloom retention, and therefore, help the trees produce heavier yields.

Hog Plum Trees are self-fertile, which means that a single tree can produce fruit. However, if you grow two or more Hog Plums together, you can expect even greater numbers of Hog Plums. Plant in a hole that is twice the size of, but equal in depth to, the root ball and water in well. You can also grow Hog Plum Trees in large pots with drainage holes using rich potting soil that has perlite, and 10% added sand. Water both in-ground and potted Hog Plum Trees when the soil is dry down to 2-inches deep.

Hog Plum Harvesting and Uses

Hog Plum Trees are deciduous, so don’t be alarmed when they drop their leaves just before flowering. The yellow-white blooms appear on spikes that extend from branches and produce drupe fruits that hang on small but sturdy stems. Like many tropical fruit trees, Hog Plum Trees tend to bloom and produce fruit continually in a cycle of blooming, growing and ripening fruit, holding the ripe fruits for a time, then dropping the remaining crop. The trees will then rest, regrow new vegetative material, and bloom again to restart the cycle. This production of fruit is based less on the seasons, and more on the time it takes the tree to complete crops of fruit. As such, Hog Plum Trees tend to make one full crop each year with the fruit ripe between early summer and early fall. The trees can also bloom and make smaller crops between their larger, main blooms.

Hog Plums can be eaten from the time they begin to turn yellow, until they are deep yellow and begin to fall from the tree. Although they have a long period of edibility, Hog Plum flavors vary greatly depending on ripeness. The earliest fruits are both sour and astringent. Many young children love the taste of just-yellow Hog Plums, which has the tart bite of sour candy. As the fruits mature they begin to sweeten slightly and once they are all yellow, they have a somewhat sweet, mostly tangy flavor. As they fully ripen, they develop a deeper yellow color and some brown spots on the skins. At this stage Hog Plums have a Granny Smith-like apple flavor but they are still juicy and a bit more acidic than a ripe apple.


Hog Plum fruits and leaves are used as food, and many other parts of the trees are used in traditional remedies. Fruits are eaten fresh and made into juice, jelly, and added to stews in many places where the trees are naturalized. The young, tender leaves can be eaten as long as they are cooked. The flowers are used to make tea that is said to soothe sore throats and mouth sores. In Peru the bark is traditionally used for a long list of ailments including healing wounds, coughs, and stomach pain.

Prune Hog Plum Trees when they are dormant after the leaves have fallen, but before blooms set. By doing this you can keep your Hog Plum Tree at a managable size for trimming, watering, and harvesting. Use mulch to keep weeds from growing around the tree base. Always remove trimmed branches and fallen fruit from the base of the trees. Fertilize with citrus fertilizer once in spring and once in summer according to amounts suggested by the fertilizer manufacturer.


When do Hog Plum Trees bloom?

Hog Plum Trees bloom after finishing a crop then dropping their leaves. This usually happens between early spring and mid summer, but trees can bloom periodically, given the area and tree health.

How tall will a Hog Plum Tree get?

In ideal locations, Hog Plum Trees can grow to about 70 feet tall. They can be kept smaller by prunning while dormant.

Are Hog Plum Trees self-fertile?

Yes. Hog Plum Trees are self-pollinating and one tree will bloom and produce fruit.

Can Hog Plum Trees grow in pots?

Yes, Hog Plum Trees can be grown in pots. Use pots that are at least 3 gallons for new trees, and increase pot size as trees become larger.