2017 jujube crop


Uh oh. I should call and ask them about this year’s Honey Jars.


They said those were grafted.



Turns out I was indeed wrong. JF&E’s Honey Jars are grafted on generic jujube roots this season. I heard back from them today confirming this.


This is the list they gave me, GA 866, So and Sugar Cane. I think I will go with So since it seems ornamental, too.


You are in zone 5, you may also want to take cold hardiness and ripening time into consideration when picking a variety.

I am in zone 6 a, sometimes 5b. I don’t want to plant late ripening varieties.
@tonyOmahaz5 would be able to help you. He is in zone 5.


Has anyone ever tried air-layering jujubes?


I have one in progress now. I put a rock on the branch about 3 months ago and will check soon to see if it worked.

Good point- when I fall planted 2 So and a Tigertooth last fall, the So both had significant dieback (to the ground and to 4" above), while the Tigertooth was fine. I’m not sure if it is variety dependent or if it was the nearby fence which saved the Tigertooth. For my established So, it has survived -10F without any dieback.


Maybe I’ll try that trick in order to get my Honey Jar onto its own roots… and then cut away the generic rootstock.


I think that Cliff England was recently suggesting that jujubes be planted with the graft union under-ground, since he’s had a few break at the union. That may also help increase the chances that the suckers you get in later years are HJ…


we managed to root a couple of hj twigs last year, using generic rooting hormone we got from walmart. They are still alive after their second growing season, but have been runty unfortunately. Not sure if they’ve become ‘damaged goods’ due to possible hormone overdose, or maybe still recovering from the trauma and have yet to produce sizeable roots.

or could be that perennials aren’t destined to eternal life, ultimately senescing/declining at some point, if the hj cultivar grew from a seedling that germinated > thousand years ago, so now “acting its age”

a clone growing on nothing more than its own adventitious roots–void of strong taproots typical of seedlings or younger rootstoc suckers.


This may be a dumb question, but, is it possible that this variety does not have a strong root system? And that’s why it is always grafted and that’s why your roots were lagging in development? And, maybe, if you grafted cuttings from this onto a known vigorous rootstock they would take off?


not a dumb question at all, since the scenario you brought up is a permutation that cannot be disregarded.

just as some types of rootstoc(for other species)have dwarfing tendencies and relatively shortened lifespans on the scions grafted to them, hj could be just that on itself. HJ is actually dwarfish compared to other jujus, even when grafted on other rootstock which supports rapid growth for other cultivars.

in the tropics, airlayered citrus is generally not capable of rapid growth, and will assume a bushy habit which will take years to form thick-enough branches to be called trunks. When grafted to seedlings of same species(that are self-fertile, say, calamondin), trunk formation is faster, but a calamondin seedling that is not top-worked tend to form a main trunk, assuming a relatively tree-like habit with a thick and long trunk prior to forming a canopy, and the thorns will be formidable(not generally seen on airlayers/scionwood grafts)

could almost surmise that the age of the roots is the true age of any tree, which could be ‘diluted’ by grafting over with budwood that has matured(if no watersprouts are permitted to grow). Also think that it may go the other way around – with rootstoc diluting the age of the budwood(and also surmise that watersprouts are always of the same age as the rootstoc and not influenced by budwood grafted onto it)


Well, your post reminded me of the situation with grafted tomatoes where the fruit from the rootstock is awful, but the roots are so vigorous that even the whimpy-est and delicious tomato cultivars grafted to them have a much better chance at higher production (and in some climates/soils, even survival).
Hmmmm. So with the experience presented so far, why would HJ on its own roots be of interest?


I’ve been growing HJ seedlings and in my limited experience so far the HJ are not nearly as vigorous as rootstock or other seedlings. I do have a Honey Jar on its own roots planted out in my orchard and it will be interesting to see what it does.

I think one of the big interests is to retrieve known cultivar suckers to propagate. However that success is going to be based upon how vigorous those nongrafted trees are when they mature. Because these jujubes are so expensive to purchase (even rootstocks are $15) and precocious (fruiting as two year old seedlings) we are trying all options in propagation.


am sometimes sore about mother nature ‘deliberately’ creating unpalatable cultivars to be the most hardy of rootstock. Have to say though that mother nature cut some slack for certain jujus,as some of us here have been looking forward to trying fruits from their jujube trees’ suckers, since nurseries seem to be using random seeds(from chance pollination) as rootstoc.

as @k8tpayaso insinuated, many people would much prefer to have jujus on their own roots, since any sucker growth would be a clone of the desired cultivar, and there will be no need to graft. You just need to dig it up and give it to friends/family(without your friends/family complaining about thorny brambles with sour/yucky tasting fruits in the future)

HJ is easily one of the most popular and in-demand(and for good reason!), so propagating them on their own roots is worth trying.

below is one more proof of hj’s precocity, which more than makes up for its runty growth(even on vigorous rootstoc)


How did you get Honey Jar on its own roots?


We already have two posts explaining why we do want HJ on its own roots, but your other question seems to be why wouldn’t we want HJ on rootstock that would make it more vigorous. The answer is that while we might want that in some situations, there is no known rootstock that would make HJ more vigorous. Jujube rootstock is just whatever seedling jujube you have. There is no research in the US on jujube rootstocks and to my knowledge no one has identified any superior rootstock, at least not in the English speaking world.


It is a seedling. Germinated in January of this year and planted out in August this year.


So your plant is a seed-planted offspring of a Honey Jar? If so, then it will be genetically unique and not exactly the same as the parent.


Yes. Another reason for want of suckers…