How to Grow a Persimmon Tree from a Seed? Complete Guide.Local Tree Estimates
Have you been wondering gow to grow a Persimmon Tree from a seed? We can help! First lets give a little background to this great little tree.
Persimmons are a delicious-looking and delicious fruits that you can grow in your homestead. The fruits look like apples and the trees don’t grow too tall. It is one of the fastest-growing homestead trees.
When they bloom, they create beautiful clusters of fruits. The ripe fruits are so inviting that they are simply irresistible.
The fruits can be astringent (almost bitter like) or non-astringent. In non-ripe persimmons, the characteristic astringency is due to the presence of soluble tannins in the flesh of the fruit. As the fruit ripens and softens in some cultivars, the astringency disappears and they become sweeter. There are some cultivars that will be non-astringent from the word go.
You can eat the persimmons raw when they turn orange in color. They will typically be hard at first but they will turn softer over time. Both the hard and soft persimmon fruits are quite delicious. When they are still hard, you can peel and eat them just as you would apples. When they are soft, they are almost jelly-like so you can simply cut the fruits in half and scoop the delicious flesh with a spoon like you would with passion fruits.
Persimmon Tree are Healthy
The fruits are rich in both vitamin A and vitamin C. They also have great antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Persimmons promote the healthy development of the skin and the mucous membranes. They boost your immune system and offer protection from mouth and lung cancers. The fruits also have a high fiber content which can make them an excellent weight loss diet.
When they are astringent, you can easily use them to make vinegars. The sweet persimmons can also be used to make vinegars and even persimmon wines. In Japanese, the dried persimmons are known as Hoshigaki. They are delicious, too, and are made through an elaborate process into a dry sweet treat.
Apart from the delicious fruits, persimmons also make for great ornamental plants. Their aesthetic appeal is hard to match, particularly when they are fruiting. The fruits hang about like little colorful decorations on a Christmas tree.
Varieties of Persimmon Trees You Can Grow in Canada and the United States
Understanding how to grow a persimmon tree from a seed can be greatly impacted by your location. The three most common varieties of persimmons grown in the Canada and the United States are: –
- Hachiya or the Japanese Persimmon
- Fuyu Persimmons
- American Persimmons
Hachiya or Japanese Persimmons
The Japanese persimmon has a rounded shape and will grow to up to 3m in diameter. The color is a bright orange which will grow duller as the fruit ripens. The Hachiya is very astringent and will pucker your mouth in the beginning. However, the astringent quality wanes as it soft-ripens at which point, it will become creamier and sweeter.
The Fuyu persimmon originates from China. It is smaller in size and is shaped like tomatoes. Unlike the Japanese persimmons, the Fuyu persimmons are not astringent as they do not contain any tannins. You can eat them when they are still very firm (when the astringency is most felt in other varieties) and they will have a crisp and sweet flavor.
Unlike the Asian persimmons which are grown for the fruit and for their ornamental value, the American persimmons are grown generally for their ornamental quality.
Also, while the Asian persimmons are self-fruiting, the American persimmons will need both a male and female tree to fruit. If you are looking to grow the persimmons for the fruits, you are better off with the Fuyu and Hachiya persimmons.
The American persimmons are hardier than the Japanese persimmons. The American persimmons do well in the USDA hardiness zones 4B to 9B. The persimmons are better suited for the zones 7 to 9A.
Considerations When Growing Persimmons from Seed
When learning the best way of how to grow a persimmon tree from a seed it is usually through cultivars. When selecting cultivars, you can pick between the astringent and non-astringent ones. Non-astringent persimmon cultivars are gradually replacing the astringent ones but you can still find both for cultivation.
You can still grow persimmons from trees but you have to consider the fact that trees grown from seeds will not have the same quality as well as yields as those that have been grown from cultivars. Trees grown from seeds are not as strong in their resistance to diseases and cold hardiness as those grown from cultivars. The fruit will still be delicious but it may not be as abundant and healthy as those from persimmon trees that have been grown from cultivars.
Collecting the Seeds
If you are going to grow persimmons from seeds, then it better be a good quality seed. The seeds should be bigger and well developed. They should also be fresh. These are the seed characteristics that will improve the chances that they will germinate.
The best time to collect the seeds that you will germinate is in autumn when the persimmon fruits begin to soften. The seeds should be collected only from ripe and healthy persimmon fruits which do not have green skin, rotten spots or bird pecks.
Start by cutting the persimmon fruit open. Collect the few seeds inside the persimmon fruit and then soak these in warm water for a few days. This will loosen any sticky flesh that is still attached to the seed.
Lightly rub the persimmon seeds in running water to clean them off. You can use the seeds immediately or you can store them in a cool and dry place for later use.
To boost the germination process, you can put the persimmon seeds through a moist chilling process. This chilling process attempts to recreate the natural process of overwintering that seeds undergo outdoors.
To do this, start by wrapping the persimmon seeds in a moistened paper towel. Put the seeds in a jar or a plastic bag inside the refrigerator for a period of two to three months. If you see the moist paper towel drying out before the “overwintering” is complete, you can sprinkle it with a little water that will help keep the persimmon seeds moist for the duration of the simulated overwintering.
Persimmon Seed Germination
Once they start germinating in the paper towels, the persimmon seeds will form a very long taproot early on. To avoid inhibiting this growth and development, it is advisable to use tall plastic containers for the germinating persimmon seeds early on. This will allow the root to form uninhibited without cramping itself.
Create a sterile potting mixture and sow one germinating persimmon seed per pot. Ensure that the pot used has drainage holes at their base. The persimmon seeds should be planted at a depth of 2 inches. The pots should then be placed in a warm and well-lit location.
If the daytime temperatures are falling below 70-degrees Fahrenheit, you can use a propagation heat map to provide extra warmth to the germinating seeds. Within a period of 6 to 8 weeks, small persimmon seedlings should begin to appear.
The germination rates for persimmon seeds are usually quite low. Although we have seen people reporting germinating rates of up to 75%, most people report germination rates of 25% to 35% on average. To increase your likelihood of obtaining seedlings, it is recommended to germinate multiple persimmon seeds.
Caring for Persimmon Seedlings
Persimmon seedlings will thrive best where there is indirect sunlight and evenly moist soils. The seedlings should be kept outdoors in sheltered conditions during the spring months. You can then gradually expose them to stronger sunlight over a period of one to two weeks. The persimmon seedlings should also be watered weekly but allow the top inch of the soil to dry out between the waterings. This will help keep the roots of the seedlings healthy.
The young persimmon seedlings will already have an extensive but fairly fragile taproot system when they begin germinating. When transplanting, take special care not to disturb the roots.
You should also take special care to ensure that the roots of the seedlings do not dry out when you are transplanting from the pots to the orchard site. Container-grown persimmon seedlings usually see a smooth transition and do not suffer much transplanting shock.
Because of their long taproots, plant the persimmon seedlings at the end of the first full growing season. It is recommended that you plant them in autumn, right after the first rain.
Spacing for persimmon seedlings will depend on the following factors:-
- Soil type
- Tree canopy management
- The rootstock
- The type of persimmon tree
Fuyu persimmons, for example, require spacing of 5m by 3m or about 660 trees per hectare.
As a general rule, the planting site should afford you at least 20 square feet of space for every persimmon tree. This will guarantee sufficient space to ensure a mature spread.
Ideal Soil Type
While persimmons will grow in various soil types, they generally do very well in well-drained loamy soils that have a good amount of organic matter. They do best on the alluvial river flats in which the persimmon trees will develop to a very large size.
You can add green crop manure or well-composed animal waste over several months before you plant them. This will help boost the organic matter in the soil. Carry out soil analysis months in advance before you plant so as to ensure it has the right nutritional composition.
Avoid heavy loamy soils as these are prone to water-logging. The preferred soil PH should be in the range of 6.5 to 7.0. Before transplanting, carry out an early and adequate soil preparation as this will aid in the proper establishment of the persimmons. Unlike other deciduous trees, they will better tolerate damp soil conditions for a longer duration of time as long as there is sufficient drainage.
Avoid seaside soils which have a very high saline content.
After planting, spread organic mulch around the base of the persimmon plants in order to keep soil moist. The trees will take anywhere between three and five years before they begin bearing fruits.
Persimmon seedlings do not require too much water so avoid overwatering. However, the soil should be kept moist. Due to their long taproots, the seedlings are fairly drought-resistant once they are established. Water clogging is one of the leading causes of the death of persimmon plants.
After they have grown to a certain height, you can train persimmon trees in order to modify the natural growing habit of the plants. This not only improves the fruit quality but it will also make harvesting easier. Some of the training systems that you can use include palmette and the modified central leader.
Fruit thinning is also an important aftercare measure but it is an optional one. Your fruits will still do well without thinning but it has some advantages that could enhance your yields. Evidence has shown that thinning results in bigger fruits and enhances the fruit color. Fruit thinning can also assist in controlling certain insect pests such as mealy bugs by ensuring there is less fruit crowding. However, due to the waxy leaves and tough outer fruit layer, many pests generally avoid persimmon trees.
When thinning is performed during the flowering stage, it will help minimize biennial bearing. If you are performing thinning, leave at least two to four fruits for every bearing laterals of the persimmon tree.
The young persimmon trees may require some light pruning while they are still dormant as well as during summer. The early light pruning will create the framework for your preferred tree training system.
Summer pruning should be done only on the mature trees. They help improve the plant in various ways. They improve the fruit size and color while also thickening the laterals.
Pruning is only recommended if the plant is growing too vigorously. Some mature persimmon trees may simply require thinning out the weak shaded branches. Because the flower buds will emerge out of the current season’s growth, too much pruning of your persimmon trees may have the unintended consequences of cutting down on the crop load by encouraging a strong vegetative growth.
If the shoots are heavily pruned, then no flower will develop which will result in very low fruit yield.
Hopefuly this guide on how to grow a persimmon tree from a seed has been helpful for you. We wish you all the best!