I have been looking at the hybrid persimmons such as Rossyanka and Nikita’s gift with a lot of interest lately. They appear to combine the cold hardiness of American and the size of ‘Kaki’ persimmons.
I am more keen to learn about the flavor of these persimmons. I prefer the intense flavor of astringent ‘Hachiya’ type persimmons.
If I was fortunate enough to be able to grow Asian persimmons in my zone (8B) then is there an advantage to growing a hybrid persimmon? Are they possibly more flavorful than ‘Hachiya’ or ‘Saijo’? One of the guys at the One green world nursery told me that Nikita’s gift was the best persimmon he had ever eaten.
I have a 7 years old Nikita’s Gift. Very good firm Fruits but not as cold hardy. Lots of top died back at -10F. It needs Winter protection in my Zone 5. No problem grafting on American persimmon rootstock.
The only hybrid I’ve tasted is Nikita’s Gift. I found the taste to be just as good as Hachiya and Saijo. The only issue I have with it is that it doesn’t ripen well off the tree if picked too early. I will now pick them in December… My Nikita’s Gift survived two frigid winters in a wind tunnel (NJ Zone 6), and survived like a champ.
Generally, the hybrids are described to be smaller than the Asians, but larger than the Americans. Cliff England recommends Sestronka as a nicely sized hybrid alternative to the Asians. I have Sestronka, Kasandra, and Zima Khurma hybrids as well, but I am years away from seeing fruit from them.
Saijo is early ripening (September for me in NJ), and would do fine in your climate zone.
I have Nikita’s Gift and Saijo in Southwest Washington State Zone 8a maritime cool summers. Of the two, I like Nikita’s gift much better. Both had to be ripened off the trees. To do that, I placed the persimmons in a plastic shoebox with a couple of apples. They ripened fully in a few days. I liked that because they keep well when not ripe, so that method let me extend the harvest. This year Saijo blossoms just now opened, and NG is a little later. We will see if I get a harvest this year.
I might have seen your blog when I was researching Nikita’s gift. Was very helpful to see the efforts (and wonderful results) of a fellow PNW gardener. I look forward to hearing about your progress this year with persimmons and other fruits.
I did a lot of grafting this year myself. The Apples, pears and figs seem to have all taken off.
The persimmon grafts are holding steady, no visible progress after over a month but they havent died. I grafted an apple about 2 weeks after the persimmon and it has already leafed and branched out. So I wonder if persimmons are just more difficult.
The parent tree (Jiro) had leafed out a month ago and it has some flowers now. I saw somewhere (Joe Real?) that persimmons can be grafted after the first leaf or two. Perhaps that was too early given our cool springs.
One thing to think about from my persimmon grafting experience, was they were very slow to take but ultimately did. I covered with aluminum foil for sun protection until the grafts started growing. When they did grow, they were slow and the leaves had a reddish color. They didnt grow a lot last year. They also had flowers in the winter that died with frost, but did not seem to harm the other buds.
This year, those grafts have been growing fast, vigorous, and bloomed. Interesting, the leaves are a normal rich green. That was coffee cake grafted onto Saijo.
One change I did last winter was water in 1/4 cup of Epsom salts in 2 gallons of water. That was because the Saijo leaves were yellowish for the past 3 years and growth not vigorous. My soil tested low in Magnesium, and I used the Epsom salts to supplement that. That might be why the graft was slow and had odd coloration last year. The Saijo tree is also darker green and more vigorous this year too. Maybe that had an effect on the graft as well.
I did the exact same thing: grafted in May after the stock was leafing out. The scion came from Burntridge Nursery.
It still looks good and is still green (I checked it today) and buds appear to be swelling. But no bud break yet.
I would agree with you. I ate the ones I picked too early by freezing them and then thawing them. The taste is different after thawed, but was still good. Just remember that NG can be very late ripening…
I would go with Virginiana for cold hardiness. I have more success with persimmon grafting in late April or early May when the temperature in the midst 70s. I think Dax try to bench graft some this past Winter.