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Mirabelles are one of the favorites among the subspecies of plums and delight every year with their sweet, yellow fruits. It has been a popular plant for thousands of years, attracting crowds of people and animals during the harvest season who want to feast on Mirabelle plums. Do you have a plum tree in your garden? Then you should definitely know when you can harvest the fruits that grow on the small trees.

harvest time

When you can harvest the sweet yellow plums depends on a variety of factors. Mirabelles have the best conditions for good growth in Germany and even part of the largest growing area for the fruit is in western Germany, bordering on Lorraine in France. The general harvest time begins at the beginning of August and, if the conditions are right, lasts until the end of September. Nevertheless, care and weather conditions must be right for this, otherwise the time of harvest can be delayed or only weak.


Care is crucial in order to be able to harvest Mirabelle early and with a high yield. Most important here is the cutting care, because Mirabelle plum trees grow quickly and have to be pruned in good time, otherwise the crown will be too dense and the fruit will have trouble reaching their normal size. In addition, the time of harvest can be delayed due to missed cutting measures. Uncut wild forms of Mirabelle can usually be harvested later, around the second week of August.

Mirabelle tree with fruits


The weather is also important, as too cool, wet weather can severely affect the crop. Above all, rain during the ripening of the fruits can cause problems, as they then burst and the yield is reduced. Therefore, the weather should be taken into account for trees that are already bearing fruit. In addition, the plants in rainy regions usually need longer until they bear fruit.


When you can harvest also depends on the location of the plant. This does not mean the location in the garden directly, but the location of the acreage. Prunus domestica subsp. syriaca in south-west and west Germany, especially in the Middle Rhine, the Palatinate areas and Mainfranken. But they also quickly bear fruit in Baden-Württemberg and Hesse, as long as it is warm enough. In the north and east, which are usually dry or too rainy and also cooler, they usually take two weeks longer.


In rare cases it can happen that you can harvest the mirabelle plums as early as the end of June, but this is more of an exception. This mainly depends on the variety. For example, the variety 'Miragrande' a late bloomer compared to the other varieties and can only be harvested in September. For this reason, Mirabelle plum trees can be planted very well offset in order to increase the yield and the period of the possible harvest. If you plant the right varieties, you will have ripe mirabelle plums that you can use from the end of June to the end of September, which is around 90 days.

Tip: If you find wild plum trees, feel free to harvest them as well. Compared to the refined varieties, which are often grown in gardens and orchards, the fruits are usually smaller, but the taste is no less sweet.

Correct the growth of plum trees by cutting back

Caution: risk of confusion

Please pay attention to the harvest time Mirabelle (bot. Prunus domestica subsp. syriaca) for possible confusion with the cherry plum (bot. Prunus cerasifera). Both are plants that belong to the genus Prunus and for this reason look very similar. Compared to Mirabelle plums, however, cherry plums can be harvested as early as the end of June, as they bear fruit very early and are actually one of the early fruit trees of the year. Their harvest time lasts until the beginning of August, depending on the variety.

The differences to Mirabelle plums are clear:

  • Colours: mostly reddish, blue and yellow, only yellow with red dots or green in Mirabelle plums
  • Compared to mirabelle plums, the flesh does not separate easily from the pit
  • usually sour in taste, often bland and less sweet than mirabelle plums
  • smoother skin

The size of the fruit is the same and as many people are unaware that the yellow plum only ripens to a waxy yellow colour, there is often confusion between the two. Since, as described above, you can only harvest Mirabelles from August and the period is correspondingly long, the risk of confusion is no longer so high.

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