This is my first time posting here, and I could really use some advice on persimmons. I recently purchased a Jiro (rootstock wasn’t given) rated at a zone 6, and I ordered a Chocolate, and Coffee Cake persimmon, both are on lotus rootstock and rated zone 7. I’m not concerned to much with the Jiro but am starting to worry that the other two might suffer from cold damage or may not have a long enough season to produce ripe fruit in my area. Has anyone grown these varieties in zone 7 or lower? Is lotus rootstock cold hardy? If anyone can share some of their experiences and advice I would greatly appreciate it.
Virginia zone 7a
We’ve got some serious, serious persimmon experts on here who can help you much more. But as someone who lives right on the line of 6a/7b in TN, I can tell you that I’ve had 3 Japanese persimmons survive the last 2 years and 1 that didn’t. My Chocolate, Saijo, and fuyu have made it at least 2 winters (saijo and fuyu have gone through 3 winters). But my Hachiya died durring its 2ed winter. This experience doesn’t really reflect what I’ve read about which of those are most hardy, but its what I’ve experienced.
To be fair, I should also say that the last 2 winters have been very mild and even 3 years ago wasn’t as harsh here as other locations. SO I don’t know that they’ve really been tested. I think the coldest we’ve been in any of those 3 years is just about 5 degrees, and only for a day or two.
Hi Matthew, I have had Chocolate for at least a dozen years in 7a and it has done fine. Coffeecake also should do fine. Unless it gets below 0F you should be OK with them. I have several varieties on lotus.
Thanks cityman and Scott for the fast responses, I feel a bit more at ease now. I’m really excited to grow something I’ve never tried growing before. I’ve only ever eaten the Fuyu from grocery stores, and am looking forward to what a home grown persimmon tastes like in comparison. If you guys have any other growing tips for persimmons let me know.
Nice name. Welcome.
I’ve got both Chocolate and Coffeecake on D. lotus planted in my z7a urban backyard. Chocolate is on a raised berm of loamy clay. Coffeecake soldiers on in a frost-pocket of deep silty loam. No freeze damage on either after 3 terrible winters here. The site is fairly protected. Six-foot tall wooden fencing on both sides of the narrow backyard. Two properies to the east is a three-story brick furniture warehouse. Some other mature tree trunks nearby. So the desicating winter winds are muffled before they reach my trees.
No fruit yet, but Chocolate exhibited a grand total of ONE female flower last year.
This year, the trees are nicely sized up.
When I bought them, they were a fair size, from one of the Dave Wilson Nursery vendors (probably Raintree; I can’t remember).
I had Ichi Ki Kei Jiro here in zone 6b for many years. I protected it the first 2 years, but not thereafter. I saw fruit first in its 4th year and it continued to fruit until after the winter of 2012. It died back to the rootstock and as of last summer it has now been retracted to be Nikita’s Gift. (Asian-American cross)
It has another stem rising from the roots and I think that one will be Elmo (American persimmon)
I’m in Michigan…
Matthew, I am also in VA 7a and planted a Jiro last spring. It didn’t do well last year but that was my fault. (I accidentally let it get waterlogged in its pot before transplanting it…damaging the roots) It lives through the year and went into dormancy in an apparently normal manner but now I am waiting to see how it comes out.
I will say that I have several neighbors with fuyu type persimmons (of which Jiro is one) and they have big beautiful trees covered in fruit so I think your odds are good. The astringent varieties are generally even more cold hardy so those should generally be ok as well.
I had planted a Chinese astringent persimmon six years ago. It was a very small about 1 feet barefoot tree. It started fruiting in third year. In fourth year, my husband tried to pull the tree straight and killed the tree. Then new shoots came out of the root and died back that winter. It survived last winter and I grafted fire crystal persimmon on it.
My advice is to protect the trees for the first two year.
You can also try some Chinese astringent persimmon. My mum knows how to take the astringent taste off the green persimmon fruits. So we start to eat persimmon from summer till fall, from crisp to soft.
If anyone wants to learn, I will ask my mum in detail.
Thanks for all the replies everyone, I’m feeling more confident about my persimmon growing experiment than I was yesterday.
Matt in Maryland, mine are Dave Wilson trees too, I got Coffee Cake from Raintree and Chocolate from Trees of Antiquity. Did your Chocolate get male flowers or just the one female?