Black Prince - an apricot with an unusual color

Everyone knows that apricot is a southern heat-loving culture. They tried to grow it in Central Russia for a long time, but this plant did not get wide distribution there. Apricot blossoms early, and return frosts are guaranteed to deprive the crop. Low winter hardiness did not allow to tolerate cold winters, and it was easier for gardeners to grow cherry plum and plum than to spend time and effort on a capricious southerner. But even I.V. Michurin began work on the cultivation of apricot varieties that could successfully grow and bear fruit in the conditions of the Middle Strip and the Moscow Region. As often happens, the case helped. Pollination of cherry plum apricot yielded fruits with an unusual color. The resulting hybrid was studied and finalized. As a result, we now have an excellent variety that grows and stably bears fruit in the conditions of the Middle Strip.

Description of the hybrid Black Prince

The hybrid grows in the form of a tree, up to 3-4 meters high. This greatly simplifies the care of the plant. Crohn does not thicken. Leaves are small with a serrated edge. There are noticeable thorns on the skeletal branches, but they are rare, and appear in the sixth year of the tree's life. Small pink and white flowers bloom late, so the return frosts are practically not affected. The hue of the bark is dark green. High frost resistance and good resistance to diseases make this variety promising for cultivation in regions much north of traditional for apricot. To taste, the fruits can compete with nectarines.

Black Prince variety tastes great

Their pleasant sweet and sour taste is complemented by spicy tartness. Pronounced apricot aroma successfully combines with notes of plum and peach. The skin is dark burgundy, when fully ripe, it becomes brownish. The pulp is reddish-orange, very juicy. The size of the fruit is from 60 to 80 gr. The stone is small and does not separate completely. Transporting better than apricot. To do this, tear them a little immature. Depending on the region, it matures from the second half of July to mid-August. Ripe fruits may crumble.

Ripe fruits have an apricot taste, and unripe fruits - cherry plum

Most black-fruited apricot varieties are only suitable for processing. Jam from them is amazing in taste. The fruits of the Black Prince compares favorably with other varieties in that they are good both in fresh form and in preparations (jams, compotes, marshmallows).

In different sources, data on the need for pollinator for the Black Prince differ. Some say that it is a self-fertile culture, while in others it is self-fertile. In any case, many stone fruit crops are grown in orchards, and plum, turn, cherry plum, ordinary apricot or its black-fruited varieties can become pollinators.

Tree planting

In order for the plant to please you with abundant fruiting, it is important to choose the right place for planting. It is best if it is a sunny, sheltered from the north winds place, on a hill where there are no nearby groundwater. Soils can be any, but it should be remembered that on heavy clay soils the yield will be much less. When planting several seedlings, the distance between them should be at least 2–2.5 meters. In addition, it is necessary to remember the compatibility of plants. Since the Black Prince is obtained by crossing such crops as apricot and cherry plum, their neighborhood, as well as plums or thorns, will not oppress the plant. The close proximity of apple and pear is undesirable as well as berry bushes. And a nut growing nearby will overwhelm any of its neighbors, be it stone fruit or pome fruit. Do not plant vegetable plants nearby. They need more frequent watering, and this negatively affects the winter hardiness of the tree.

The timing of planting seedlings depends on the region. In spring, it is best to do this when the snow has already melted, and the soil has not yet completely warmed up. Usually this time falls on the end of April - the beginning of May. In the southern regions, it gets warmer earlier, at the end of March or in April. Spring planting is preferable, since in this case the survival rate of plants is maximum. In autumn, the most favorable time for this will be the end of September - October, but only in the southern regions. Survival in this case is lower than in spring. In Central Russia, Central regions and Moscow region, autumn planting is undesirable, as seedlings do not have time to take root before the onset of cold weather and freeze out in winter. Plants with a closed root system can be planted throughout the season, from April to October. When planting in hot weather, it is necessary to mulch the hole with peat, needles or grass. This will reduce moisture evaporation and prevent root overheating.

When choosing a seedling, pay attention to the state of its roots. If they are poorly developed, dried out or damaged, then it is better to refuse such an acquisition. At home, put the seedling in a bucket of water for 1-2 hours. You can add a root stimulant (according to the instructions). If the planting is not planned immediately, then dip the roots in a clay mash and wrap them with a moist burlap. Or drip a seedling.

1. For planting, a hole is dug with a width of about 80–90 cm and a depth of about 80 cm. If the soil in the site is heavy, clay, then the size can be increased to one meter, with the obligatory drainage device. A layer of broken brick is poured at the bottom.

Digging a hole of the required size

2. Fertile land, peat and sand are mixed in equal amounts. Wood ash is added (approximately 2 kg). Fertilizers and manure are best avoided, as the plant reacts poorly to their excess. In the pit a hill is made from the prepared mixture. A seedling is placed on it, and its roots are carefully straightened. When planting, monitor the position of the root neck. Too high a landing is as bad as a low one. In the first case, the roots are exposed and dry; in the second, the plant will grow poorly and may die. The optimal distance is 3-5 cm from the soil level.

We straighten the roots and sprinkle with earth

3. The remaining fertile earthen mixture is poured into the pit and compacted so that there is no void under the roots. This is done carefully so as not to damage them.

We compact the earth, but not very much

4. A roller from the ground is poured along the edge of the planting pit so that the plant can be watered. For a seedling will be enough 2-3 buckets of water. After watering, the soil in the hole is mulched with a layer of peat, coniferous litter or sawdust. This is done to reduce moisture evaporation. In hot time, the mulch does not allow the roots to overheat.

Mulching a well affects rooting

Care Features

Growing a Black Prince is no more difficult than any other tree. Agrotechnical techniques are known to everyone: watering, pruning and top dressing. But you should pay attention to some nuances. First of all, this applies to plant nutrition. The Black Prince reacts poorly to excessive fertilizer application, especially nitrogen-containing. Therefore, organic matter should be introduced only at the beginning of the growing season and the minimum amount. For this purpose, you can use compost or well-rotted manure. Bird droppings are absolutely not suitable, as they contain a lot of nitrogen. Phosphorus and potash fertilizers are applied minimally during the period of crop formation.

Water the plant should be moderate, but often. Lack of moisture The Black Prince does not tolerate well, and its excess can lead to rotting of the roots. After harvesting, the frequency of watering is reduced. This makes it possible for young growth of branches to mature before the onset of cold weather. For the same reason, it is impossible to plant vegetables under the trees, which have to be watered more often than the tree requires.

The peculiarity of the variety is that the crown of the tree is slightly thickened. In spring and autumn, sanitary pruning is performed when frozen, broken or diseased branches are removed. The crown should be formed in the first 3-4 years after planting. Then only if necessary, when weak and inwardly growing shoots are removed.

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Forming pruning starts when landing

In young seedlings in late autumn, it is better to warm the base of the trunk with foliage, peat or spruce branches. This will prevent freezing, especially if the winter is not snowy. When the snowdrifts are large, then at the beginning of spring it is necessary to remove part of the snow from the trunk, leaving 40-50 centimeters. A cover of greater thickness will adversely affect the lower part of the plant.

Diseases and Pests

The Black Prince has a high resistance to fungal diseases, but, unfortunately, not absolute. In addition, various trees grow in the garden, which may be more susceptible to various infections. Under favorable conditions (high temperature and humidity), the risk of their spread to other plants increases. Infections in the Black Prince are the same as in ordinary apricot or other stone fruits.

Table: Apricot diseases and their treatment

DiseaseHow does it manifestDisease control measures
MoniliosisYoung shoots and leaves begin to dry out. The fruits are often mummified.Affected branches are cut out and burned. In autumn, all plant debris is removed under the tree. The plant and the soil under it are treated with a 3% solution of Bordeaux fluid in the autumn and before buds open. After the appearance of foliage, the treatment is repeated with a 1% solution.
KleasterosporiosisReddish spots appear on the leaves, the affected areas become dry and fall out. Leaves become perforated.Remove and burn all affected branches and plant debris. The treatment is carried out in the same way as with moniliosis.
Fruit gray rotIt is a type of moniliosis. It develops in warm, humid weather shortly before harvest. Small light brown spots appear on the fruits, which increase, turning them into a rotting mass.Affected fruits are harvested and burned. In autumn and winter, plants are treated 2-3 times with 3% Bordeaux liquid, with an interval of two weeks. In the spring they spray with Nitrafen or Horus (according to the instructions).
HomoniosisLeaves and fruits are affected. Yellowish spots appear on the leaves, which increase and darken. Leaves dry and fall off. Fruits either do not develop and fall off, or become ugly and tasteless.Remove all affected fruits, diseased branches and plant debris. They burn everything. The soil under the tree is treated with a 1% solution of copper sulfate or Nitrafen (according to instructions). In late February - early March, sprayed with a 3% solution of Bordeaux fluid.

Photo Gallery: Apricot Fungal Disease

Manifestation of clastosporiosis

Moniliosis affects all stone fruits

Fruit rot can ruin an entire crop

Pests that can appear on apricots:

Aphids are one of the most common pests in our gardens. A large number of ants on the site contributes to its dispersal very quickly, and the fertility of aphids is such that tens of generations appear during the season. To combat these sucking insects, drugs such as Karbofos, Fitoverm and others are used (according to the instructions). The appearance of aphids during the period when the crop will soon need to be harvested makes the use of chemicals impossible. In this case, alternative means of combating this pest will come to the rescue. You can treat the plant with a soapy solution (dishwashing detergent or washing powder), but it is better to use household or tar soap. A piece (100 gr) grate on a coarse grater and pour a bucket of water. When the soap is wet, the solution is mixed and treated with plants. A good effect is the use of infusion of wood ash (1 glass per 5 liters of water). Insist a day, then add 1-2 tablespoons of detergent (for better adhesion). You can use hot pepper, horseradish or garlic. Processing such infusions is safe for humans and harmful to aphids. Finely chopped roots and leaves of horseradish are poured with boiling water in a ratio of 1: 2. After a day, strain, add 1-2 tablespoons of detergent and use. Chilli pepper (1-2 pods) finely chopped and pour 1 liter of boiling water. After 10-15 hours, strain and add a spoonful of detergent. Peel the garlic (1 large or 1-2 medium heads), pass through a garlic squeezer, pour a liter of boiling water. When the infusion has cooled, strain it and add detergent.

Weevils, scale insects , moths and other pests can move to apricot from neighboring trees. To destroy them, use drugs such as Decis, Intavir, Actara, etc. (according to the instructions). If the use of chemicals is not desirable, then a garlic-soap solution checked by many generations of gardeners will come to the rescue. Garlic is passed through a garlic squeezer, laundry or tar soap is rubbed on a coarse grater and water is added in a ratio of 1: 1: 3. After a few hours, the solution is stirred, filtered and the plant is sprayed with it.

Everyone knows that diseases are easier to prevent than to treat. This is also true for plants. Timely removal of plant debris, sanitary pruning and garden processing in late autumn and early spring will significantly reduce the risk of infections or pests.

Reviews about this grade of black apricot

I had such a tree. A delicious apricot. And the compote is just super. It’s easy to look after him, like an ordinary apricot. When the fruits are half-ripe, the taste is like a plum, and when it is completely ripe, the taste of apricot, only the flesh is dark red. In the spring I will plant a new tree.


In our region (Volgograd), black apricot Black Prince is more resistant to disease and frost. It blooms late, does not fall under frost, unlike apricot. The size of the fruit is quite large, some reach 90g, for several years we had a crop failure for apricots, and black has always been. This year, the harvest for all apricots and he also does not lag. Bought in 2004. in the market, as a curiosity, not knowing anything about him. Lucky, not fooled.


The Black Prince is growing in my garden. Taste between apricot and plum. The fruits are juicy and tasty. The color is dark purple. The tree is sick, undersized. I have it for the third year. While a few fruits and eat everything.


Aronia apricot varieties are still not very common in the gardens of Central Russia, although in the Crimea, the North Caucasus and the Kuban they are no longer a novelty. Someone stops the lack of information and the risk of buying a "pig in a poke" from an unscrupulous seller. And if you learn more about this wonderful variety is not difficult, then with the purchase of a seedling of this particular plant may be difficult. But if your friends or neighbors grow such a tree, then grafting on plums, cherry plums or their seedlings will be a good way out of this situation. Apricot Black Prince will be the highlight of your garden collection and will give you and your loved ones the opportunity to enjoy the taste of this wonderful fruit.


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